A Moment for Les

About a week an a half ago, I had a dream that I was escorting what I like to refer to as celebrity dignitaries. Basically, I was the equivalent of a “man in black” and it was my job to accompany a wonderful older gentleman – all smiles, laughters, and jokes, and his wife – also elder, statuesque, beautiful voice, held herself tall like a chorus girl.

We were staying at an “old” hotel where the gentleman was scheduled to appear in his comedy routine – his finale forever. I sat with his wife in the balcony as the audience roared with laughter and appreciation. Afterwards, I remember watching the two of them (from the hotel balcony) as they approached a white stretch limo. As the door opened and they stood there waving at the adoring crowd – streamers and balloons floating all around them – it began to rain softly.

The gentleman smiled broadly and held out his hands to his wife. She smiled, looked up at me, closed her eyes as the rain fell across her face, and she broke out into a song. It was the one song she was famous for and she sang it with all her heart and love. The crowd hushed in appreciation and drank in the performance. As she crooned the last notes, I saw tears mixed in with the rain as she opened her eyes again and her beautiful smile literally glowed, making the rain inconsequential.

She waved to me, waved to the crowd, and slid into the seat beside her loving husband. The door closed and they drove away. On the balcony, I cried, feeling a heavy weight on my heart followed by a lifting of joy. They were alone together now, and I would not see them again.

I awoke with a similar sadness as I tried to make heads or tails out of the vivid memory. I sat in my bed, looking down at my hands and I could see the “me” of my dream doing the same thing. We shared an emotion that I could not comprehend except that I knew there was a link somewhere to the “now”.

Today, I remember Leo “Les Barker” Bachle – creator of Canada’s famous WW2 hero: Johnny Canuck. He passed away on this day back in 2003 and a part of me is wondering if his wife (whom I last saw at his post-mortem inauguration and honoring at the 2005 Joe Shuster Awards) has gone on to ride with him in that limo…

I still remember.

From Primedia 1997, happy smiles shared with Les…

Mike Aragona & Les Barker

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