NO, REALLY: Past names get buried in my old ‘386 memory’

After working in a community for more than two decades you meet a lot of people...a lot of people!

The name sure rang a bell, but the face looked different.

It’s usually the opposite. After working in a community for more than two decades you meet a lot of people…a lot of people!

And unlike the good politician who remembers every name of every person they’ve ever met, I remember faces, but the names can be a struggle.

When I run into someone I briefly met or interviewed 10 or more years ago, my brain recognizes their features and then recalls the story they were part of, but the name takes more time.

I just say, “It’s my 386 at work. Recall takes some time, but there’s plenty of memory!”

And for those of you who don’t know, a 386 is an old computer.

This time though the name was too familiar, Bud Logan, but the face didn’t seem to match. The short dark hair was hidden by a cowboy hat and the face had a very grey goatee.

I e-mailed him and asked if his given name is Patrick? It didn’t take long before he e-mailed me back to confirm that, yes, it was indeed an old friend.

I first met Patrick, better known as Bud, back in the early 1990s. He was volunteering his time to teach students native art techniques at the former Campbellton Elementary School.

I remarked that his art reminded me of Carl Ray’s work. Ray, a talented Cree painter from northern Ontario, died tragically in 1978, and his works hang in many important Canadian collections.

Well, I had no idea that Cree blood also flows through blue-eyed Bud and I had just unwittingly paid him one of the biggest compliments he had ever heard at this stage in his artistic career.

I wrote a couple more stories and took photos of Bud at work, and one day he stopped by the office to give me something. It was just a “small thank-you,” he said as he handed over one of his finest signed prints.

I loved it. Still do, and it hangs proudly in my home.

Now, almost 20 years later, our paths cross again. This time though, it’s not about art.

Far from it, in fact. Bud, you may have read in Wednesday’s paper, was one of the organizers who spearheaded last weekend’s logging road clean-up.

About 25 volunteers cleared out more than 17 tons of illegally dumped trash from the logging road, located just north of the Willis Road-Inland Highway intersection. Bud figures there’s another ton left and the volunteers will be back this Saturday to finish the job.

However, they’re not stopping there. There’s more illegal dump sites – because some people are just too cheap and ignorant to pay tipping fees – and more volunteers are needed to do a job no one else wants to do.

I will go visit my old friend on Saturday and you should too. Check out the Facebook page: Shame The Logging Road Dumpers.