“Going back to Winnipeg for me is something phenomenal”; interview with Winnipeg Goldeyes pitcher, Victor Capellan…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

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As a long time fan of the Winnipeg Goldeyes, I have always found it so interesting getting to know the players.  I recently interviewed one of the key members of the Goldeyes bullpen, Victor Capellan.  I have kept Victor’s answers as he wrote them; please keep in mind that English is Victor’s second language…

I asked Victor to share his thought on the Goldeyes playoff run and the night they won the American Association Championship:

Victor:  First playoff are something incredible are the most beautiful moment that has this sport in my career as a professional and I was in four serious championship of those won my two rings.  The night of the championship was something unforgettable because each championship each match is different but that night we saw it result of all the effort of all the regular season that in each match we deliver everything in him pitch.

I inquired about where he grew up and who is favourite ballplayer was while growing up?

Victor:  I was born in Montecristo, Dominican Republic and right now I’m living in Pennsylvania. My favourite player is Pedro Martinez is my favourite player for the way he focuses on each match as well as his way of dealing with people on and off the field.  If I wasn’t playing baseball, I would be working in agriculture.

I asked Victor why he decided to come back to Winnipeg for a second season?

Victor:   Going back to Winnipeg for is something phenomenal I love everything that you live in it stadium fans are amazing.  My message that I would like to tell the fans of Winnipeg is that they follow apollanfo to our team that we will always give the best of us on and off the pitch we go with him myself in this season

When I asked Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth about Victor’s contribution to the team, this was his response:

Tom Vaeth:  Well Victor was very instrumental, very reminiscent of the role Brian Beuning played in 2012. It sets your mind at ease as a coaching staff that you have someone you trust to take the ball, whether you’re a run down, even or ahead late in the game like we did with Victor and know that he is going to get the job done for you.

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It’s great watching manager Rick Forney and Tom Vaeth put together the 2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes roster.  Watch for further interviews with 2017 Goldeyes players.

Jeffery Bannon talks about his unique business, KB2 Clothing…by Chuck Duboff.

© Chuck Duboff

I have known Jeffery Bannon for many years; our friendship goes back to the time when he was managing the Bomber store at the old CanadInns Stadium.  With many years of experience managing the Bombers Store, working at the Olympics and World Junior Hockey, Jeffery is starting a new business, with a very unique idea in clothing apparel.  I interviewed Mr. Bannon about his new business, KB2 Clothingkb2clothing_horizontal_wordmark_black_400x4001.  Would you explain for the readers what your business is all about.
The business model of KB2 Clothing is based off a no minimum apparel provider – we believe that everyone has a logo, every brand needs apparel and we can facilitate that through high quality apparel items with orders as low as one. That free’s up inventory dollar, ensures you don’t have to worry about sizing and can promote your brand 365/24-7

2. What makes your business unique…it would seem there are a lot of apparel companies out there.
We believe in the online experience, we set you your exclusive online apparel store, with categories of mens, ladies, youth, headwear and accessories. This way your own online store can be sent to anyone, and orders can start immediately. From a Track/Warm Up Suit to a hat, we can do one. 
3. How did you come up with the idea for this business?
It was working at the Bomber Store that I had several requests from athletes and their families for one-offs, or a few for their children etc. Then recently with the Team at Keener Jerseys, we would get asked a lot for individual apparel items, just seems like a fit, and something I love to do. 
4. Do you have any background in retail, in clothing?

I was fortunate enough to work for the Blue Bombers, running their Bomber Store(s) for 9 years, I worked the 2010 Olympics and Two World Junior Hockey Championships as well as was very fortunate to be part of the Management Team for the first Old Navy Opening in Manitoba. You can say it’s a passion of mine.

 

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Jeffery Bannon with one of his sons.

5. Who is your target market?

Our target audience is anyone from any school, association, team, coaching staff, Alumni Associations, Booster Clubs,  Non-Profit organization, family or group of friends that want to place a low quantity apparel order. We also want to team up with Graphic Designers who want to start to get their designs out, as we are always in the need of new logos as well.
 
6. What would you like to say to the people who are reading this blog?
Just that we’d love to work with anyone who has this need for apparel – and we mean anyone, for the individual gift to your team, we can offer the ability to replace or add an item without having to buy extra or tie up additional funds. We take each item as if it was our own, and we won’t rest until your happy. Customer Satisfaction isn’t a sometimes thing, it’s an all the time thing. 
 
7. If people were interested in either finding out more about your business or in fact contacting you about making purchases, how would they go about doing that?
The best bet now is our Facebook page www.facebook.com/kb2clothing or via our Instagram or Twitter @KB2Clothing and if you just want to chat retail  – would love to talk anytime KB2Clothing@gmail.com 
8. Anything else you’d like to add Jeffery?
Just want to thank you Chuck for this opportunity, it’s a passion of mine and I hope to work with as many people as possible who have a need for low volume, no minimum apparel. 
For a view of how an exclusive website looks – you can check the KB2 Branded Store at http://kb2clothing.deco-apparel.com/shop/category/KB2-Clothing-Branded-Apparel-?c=1722562&ctype=0 

His name is Roscoe and he slept in a field last night and the night before…by Chuck Duboff

“Proud” “Were you afraid” ” Why did you do that?” “More of us should do that” “Thank you” “Were you uncomfortable” “How did others react?” “You have a heart.” Just a very small sampling of the reaction to yesterday’s blog…I must admit to having been very, very moved and shaken all day…

Chuck's Eclectic Blog.

© Chuck Duboff

“I wish I had something to give you Chuck.”

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His name is Roscoe.  He slept in a field last night.  “It was really cold Chuck and I haven’t eaten in three days.”

I was in my favourite cafe, Fools & Horses, this morning, reading the novel Still Alice.  I had my green tea and Bob Marley was playing on my Beats headphones.

I saw this gentleman walk in, obviously very cold and down on his luck.  He approached my friend Amy, one of the wonderful owners of the cafe, and she proceeded to give him a hot drink.

Without any hesitation, I got up and said hi to Roscoe and offered to buy him some food.  He chose a hearty sandwich and it did my heart good to buy him this food.

We sat down and chatted for awhile.  He told me that he sleeps in…

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His name is Roscoe and he slept in a field last night and the night before…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

“I wish I had something to give you Chuck.”

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His name is Roscoe.  He slept in a field last night.  “It was really cold Chuck and I haven’t eaten in three days.”

I was in my favourite cafe, Fools & Horses, this morning, reading the novel Still Alice.  I had my green tea and Bob Marley was playing on my Beats headphones.

I saw this gentleman walk in, obviously very cold and down on his luck.  He approached my friend Amy, one of the wonderful owners of the cafe, and she proceeded to give him a hot drink.

Without any hesitation, I got up and said hi to Roscoe and offered to buy him some food.  He chose a hearty sandwich and it did my heart good to buy him this food.

We sat down and chatted for awhile.  He told me that he sleeps in fields every night and hadn’t had any real food in several days.  He looked at me with tears and said: “I wish I had something to give you Chuck.”  My response was simply: “You’ve given me enough Roscoe, you just enjoy your sandwich.”  Watching him devour his sandwich, I realized how very blessed my life is and being able to help someone down on their luck was just the right thing to do.

Roscoe told me that he had been in the military for 25 years and from what I could understand, it seemed like he was saying that he had PTSD.  He hadn’t seen his one son in a very long time and really had nobody to turn to.

In the midst of all the hipsters with their computers and headphones and funky clothes and beards and books and essays…here was Roscoe, just grateful that someone had taken the time to talk with him.  You don’t have to give me anything Roscoe, just getting the chance to talk with you was gift enough for me.  Be safe my friend.

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Perhaps if we all took a moment to visit with those less fortunate than ourselves, there would be more sun shining on all of us.

Kristin Walker; as a gay person: “I am troubled by so many things in the U.S”

This is a reblog of a post from two years ago; I’m so very proud of Kristen, a former student of mine, who has grown into a wonderful woman.

Chuck's Eclectic Blog.

© Chuck Duboff

The spread of antigay legislation throughout the world is troubling; the hyperbole spewed by the likes of Vladimir Putin only reinforces the views of so many close minded people.  Uganda brings forward laws which would see any “gay behaviour or support” result in prison time.  Our friends just south of the 49th parallel have states like Arizona, Georgia, Texas  and Mississippi, presenting hate filled bills which would see gay people treated much like the Jews during the Holocaust and Black people during the Apartheid of South Africa.  It took serious public outrage and financial backlash for the Governor of Arizona to veto her states’ legislation.

When citizens are morally outraged by the actions of their governments, it is important to speak up against blatant human rights violations.  “When goodness remains silent, evil will flourish.”

During these past few weeks of antigay movements being in the news…

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Springsteen fans: an interview with Diane Geddes (springsteen2wpg)

© Chuck Duboff

Interview with Diane Geddes

Member of Springsteen2Wpg

 

Visit:  http://www.springsteen2wpg.com

 

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Bruce Springsteen; the E-Street Band.  Just reading that sends chills through the bones of devotees of the Boss.  I have been a fan of Bruce and his band for as long as I can remember; I was blessed to get an opportunity to see Bruce Springsteen and the boys play down in Fargo,  a concert I won’t soon forget. Recently, while on Facebook, I came across a group called Springsteen2Wpg.  I observed, followed, and became intrigued by the notion of the Boss playing in Winnipeg.  We have a new stadium, we seem to be getting all the name acts to come to the ‘peg…and quite simply, why not Winnipeg?  So, I started to follow these dreamers a little more…and bought into their efforts to try and bring Bruce to Winnipeg.  I’ve been told that band members have responded to their tweets on Twitter and their management has acknowledged Springsteen2Wpg.  

I’ve been pretty fortunate to get to know another Bruce fan, Diane Geddes, quite well.  She has started to follow this Blog (what with all my Bruce posts) and we often share tweets on Twitter and banter back and forth about the Boss.  It does seem like she has been to a lot of concerts, so, this week I decided that Sundays are now going to be, whenever possible, SPRINGSTEEN SUNDAYS….and I asked Diane to be the first contributor to SPRINGSTEEN SUNDAYS.  

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 What follows is a piece Diane wrote and e-mailed to me;

what an interesting piece of writing….

 

What’s it like to see Bruce Springsteen Live?

Perhaps my oldest daughter said it best when she attended her first show with us in Chicago a couple of years ago.  She said it was like going to a musical and everyone knew all the words to all the songs and are part of the show.  It’s a big party!  She can’t wait to see Bruce when (if) he comes to Winnipeg.  

For me, it’s more than just a fantastic and unpredictable concert, it’s a chance to have fun with other fans, see some you haven’t seen in a while and make new Bruce Friends.  At times it’s almost spiritual.  It can be thought-provoking at other times.  But, at all times, it’s just crazy fun!

What’s the most important thing to remember when seeing Bruce live?

Comfortable shoes!  I remember my first show, Fargo 1999, I was so thrilled that I had got a great deal on a pair of high-heeled boots that afternoon.  I thought I looked like a rock-chick wearing those boots that night.  I laugh when I think how I must have looked walking out of the Fargodome in my bare feet, carrying those boots in hand at the end of the night.

Are there others in Winnipeg that you know travel to see Bruce?

There are many here in Winnipeg and in Manitoba.  Many of them are part of the Springsteen2Winnipeg project.  Some have been seeing Bruce for many years longer than I have and have been to many more shows than I have.   Bruce has played Minneapolis and Chicago many times and Manitobans are well represented there.  It’s been a long time since Bruce played Fargo, but there were lots of us, Canadians, in that audience.

How hard is it to get tickets for other cities?

It’s easier today, in my opinion, than in the old days, when you had to get your tickets by telephone or go to a ticket counter.  The problem today is that there are many more people who will travel to a concert and there are secondary sellers that want to buy up the tickets for resale.  We’ve been very lucky to have gotten tickets to most shows we wanted to go to.  We have a couple of computers, iPhones and iPads, so we increase our odds by using all of them.  It’s pretty comical on ticket day!  When tickets went on sale for a few shows in Ireland at the same time, we were in Phoenix for the last show of the USA Wrecking Ball tour.  The time difference meant getting up in the middle of the night to try and get tickets.  Happily, we got the tickets.

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How does Europe compare to North America?

There are differences, for sure.  We were in Ireland and Wales but we met fans from all over Europe.  Like North Americans, the European fans love Bruce.  To me, the Europeans show their passion more than we tend to.  Bruce feeds off of the audience, so it seemed to me that the European passion brings out something a bit different in Bruce.    

The way they do the pit is different too in that they queue up and have regular roll calls to keep the queues intact and under control.  I was impressed with how well run they were.  It was tons of fun in the queues and in the pubs before and after roll calls.  You really bond with each other.  The downside of the way that it’s done in Europe is that the people with time on their hands get the best spots.  Here, the lottery system means we have no need to line up days ahead.  You come a few hours before the show, get your number and come back at the designated time.  A number is drawn and that becomes the first number that walked into the pit.

Because I was on vacation in Ireland and Wales, I had time and I had amazing spots in the pits for all six shows.  For the last show in Kilkenny, I was the 5th person into the pit and leaned on the centre walk out.  The investment of my 4 days of queue roll calls as that I got to strum Bruce’s guitar, hold his hand and get Max’s drumsticks at the end of the night.  By comparison, I have a love-hate relationship with the lottery system.  At the last show in Toronto, the lottery number was one behind us, putting us the last people in the pit queue.  People came and took pictures of the unluckiest people that day – us!  On the other hand, in Moncton a few days later, we were about 30 from the front and leaned on the right walkout all night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqKf_EcUFQE

What’s been some of the best concert moments you’ve had?

There are so many and best depends on the moment.  My best right now might be different from my best tomorrow.  Some stand-out moments, though, are:

Moncton, New Brunswick 2012- I grew up about 15 miles from the place Bruce was playing.  I moved from there when the city was growing through some challenging times retaining the railroad industry it had relied on over the years.  The city has rebounded nicely over the years but hearing Bruce sing “Death to My Hometown” and “My City in Ruins” resonated personally with me.  

Hamilton 2012 – “Terry’s Song” was brilliantly performed but my personal standout memory was “Trapped”.  I’m sure some psychiatrist might find some profound explanation but that song gets me every time.

Limerick 2013 – My first Bruce pre-show!  I knew Bruce has been coming out once in awhile to do a few songs for the people in the pit that had invested so much time in getting that prime property.  Only the most committed fans will do that.  I was hoping beyond hope that I’d get to be at one of those pre-shows one day.  When he walked out in Limerick and I was so very close, it was one of those “died and went to Bruce heaven” moments.  He did “Does This Bus Stop on 82nd Street”, “For You” and “Hearts of Stone”.  Over the next week, we say pre-shows in Limerick, Cork, and Belfast… Absolutely incredible!  Like a mini-concert for a couple thousand people.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B26-JwPv14o

 Des Moines 2009 – The last show we saw Clarence perform.  When in the pit, my favorite spot was left side in front of Clarence.  He was “The Man”!  I love a great sax but when Clarence got going, it was simply amazing.  Like so many others, it was a sad and shocking day for me on June 18, 2011 when I heard he had died.

Toronto 2012 – Bruce didn’t do much touring in 2010 and 2011 and it just didn’t work out for us to travel to so when Wrecking Ball Tour was announced, we were ready to travel.  Toronto was the first show I was at after Clarence passed.  As silly as it might sound to a non-Bruce fan, I couldn’t stand on the left side of the stage and it was emotional for me when everyone came out and Clarence was missing.  Tears came when Bruce did his Clarence tribute.  Despite being the last people into the pit, as a result of that rotten lottery draw, Toronto stands out as one of my very favorite shows.  How Canadian is it to be in the SkyDome (it will always be the SkyDome to me) and look up at the CN Tower in its red and white lights, listening to a great honorary Canadian (he’s honorary to me)

Like most Bruce Tramps, I could tell you many stories about every show I’ve been too but I’ll stop here.

Sounds like you’ve met lots of Bruce Fans,  any great stories?

Plenty…

I had met a nice couple in Phoenix in 2012. We ended up going to see Jeffrey Garland the night after the Bruce show.  We talked about Ireland and they were saying they would love to go but were already committed to something else.  Imagine my absolute surprise, when I was walking near the Kilkenny Ireland stadium months later, to meet up with a couple on the street who asked me where I was from.  When I said Canada, they asked where.  “Winnipeg”, I said. “We know you” was their answer.  It was the same couple from Phoenix.  Long story short, they had had to change their plans and decided to come to Ireland.  They told me they had been watching for me.  What are the chances!

Speaking of chances, we were sitting on the grass in Limerick Ireland, waiting for a queue roll when we heard someone mention Peterborough.  Well, my partner grew up in Peterborough and so we went over.  Now, 9 months or so later, Patti, John and Jen are our great Bruce friends from Peterborough Ontario.  We’re making plans to meet up for some Bruce shows when he announces more and they say they’ll come to Winnipeg when (if) he comes here.

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Francesca is another great Bruce friend we met.  Francesca is Italian and she drove on her bike all the way from Italy to come to the shows in Ireland.  We hung out and we plan to visit Italy one of these day and will definitely visit her.

Sadly, we’ve forgotten more names than we’d care to admit but over the years, we’ve shared stories and beer with so many Bruce Fans from all over the world like the guys who flew from Japan into just to see Bruce in USA and the young fellows from Grand Forks at the Edmonton show, who got the whole pit and Bruce jumping up and down, as if we were all at a punk rock concert.

Mostly, we’ve made friends with other Bruce fans through Springsteen2Winnipeg.  People like Kevin, Stu and Rick who have tried over the years to get Bruce’s attention and convince him to come to Winnipeg, and Yvonne who does a cover of “Cover Me” that is simply amazing.  People I have only met on line, like Randy who has never seen Bruce live, Keith, Jason, Sherri, Nicole and so many more.

Why Springsteen2Winnipeg?

When I was in Kilkenny, a town the fraction the size of Winnipeg, I found myself thinking “Why Kilkenny? Why Moncton? Why so many towns as small or smaller than Winnipeg?”   Bruce was inspiring that night and perhaps in the vein of those old-time revivalists, I caught a bug.  Bruce seems clearly on the path of playing places he hasn’t played before… small places.  Winnipeg is one of those places, and when it comes to musical history, is miles ahead of many of those places.  And so, it had to be tried again!  

Is there a chance this time?

I believe so!  Like so many things in life, there are no guarantees, but I believe if we continue to demonstrate that we want him here, he might just come, if not in 2014, then soon.  Bruce is more and more into social media and he may see us.  We are being followed by some of the E Street Band members.  They’ve retweeted us and have commented on our tweets.  We’ve been in touch with Bruce’s management team and Live Nation.  I’ve seen evidence that they’ve visited our website, so we are getting the message out.  If we continue to get people on board and stay the course, I believe we will see Bruce in Winnipeg soon.

                      http://www.springsteen2wpg.com

 

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Kristin Walker; as a gay person: “I am troubled by so many things in the U.S”

© Chuck Duboff

The spread of antigay legislation throughout the world is troubling; the hyperbole spewed by the likes of Vladimir Putin only reinforces the views of so many close minded people.  Uganda brings forward laws which would see any “gay behaviour or support” result in prison time.  Our friends just south of the 49th parallel have states like Arizona, Georgia, Texas  and Mississippi, presenting hate filled bills which would see gay people treated much like the Jews during the Holocaust and Black people during the Apartheid of South Africa.  It took serious public outrage and financial backlash for the Governor of Arizona to veto her states’ legislation.

When citizens are morally outraged by the actions of their governments, it is important to speak up against blatant human rights violations.  “When goodness remains silent, evil will flourish.”

During these past few weeks of antigay movements being in the news, I wondered what gay people were feeling; were they concerned, outraged, ready to fight back?  I contacted a friend of mine, someone I’ve known for a long time.  Only through Facebook had I become aware that Kristin Walker is gay; through her postings, she seemed quite happy with her life.  I contacted her and asked if she would be comfortable answering a few questions about what has been going on around the world and how she has responded to it.  Kristin seemed very comfortable answering the questions I put forward. 

 

INTERVIEW WITH KRISTIN WALKER.

 

Chuck: How are you responding to, and what are you feeling about, all the antigay legislation and activity that is going on around the world?  

Kristin: It’s such a tough question.  It makes you think about traveling and where your friends/family vacation or live.  I have a gay male friend who has been toying with the notion of buying a condo in Arizona.  He loves the community there and has never had any negative encounters on his many vacations there.  He has decided not to move forward with the purchase and has said he won’t go back until he is certain that he will treated fairly and with respect.  I personally will make sure me and my wife stay safe and will not spend my money at establishments or in States that would gladly kick us out.  What I find really interesting is Social Media is very quick at spreading the news and keeping us all informed but I work in an environment no different than an everyday water cooler where conversation is all sports, movies, weather and even a good political rant, but no one ever talks about anti-gay movements.  It is still a private conversation with a specific audience.

Chuck: When you see so much anti-gay commentary coming right from our neighbours to the South…how do you react? 

Kristin: America has always been odd.  As a Canadian, I grew up with diversity. There were no race issues, no gender issues and no sexual orientation issues because I just didn’t see them.  I am troubled by so many things in the US.  Mississippi is on the fence with an anti-gay bill which would be really unfortunate, but honestly, guns, race violence and southern evangelists sadden me more. 

Chuck: Do you think you were born gay?

Kristin: I don’t know.  I was born with a disposition to be right handed but had someone put a pen in my left hand and taught me how to write, how would it have ended up?  I was never exposed to homosexuality as a kid and had no idea what it even meant as I entered puberty.  I will also say that when I entered straight relationships, it never felt natural.  

Chuck: When did you realize you were gay? 

Kristin: LOL .when my boyfriend/fiancee told me I was.  Actually, I knew I was “different” as early as grade 6 but had no words for it or even the ability to explain it.  I was 17 when I started feeling down right confused and angry with my lack of interest in men.  I did become seriously involved with a man when I was 21 (which was also my first sexual experience) but as we were planning our wedding, I started to show intense interest in a mutual girl friend and I finally had all of the answers I was looking for.  

Chuck: How long before you shared with family and friends?  How did they respond? 

Kristin: I told my best friend only a few months after I came to terms.  She was really cool but she also had concerns for me, my safety and my future.  It was 1995.  2 years before Ellen came out.  It was not common conversation.  Coming out to my friend didn’t make it easier. In fact with every confession, it became more exhausting.  It got to the point where I didn’t want to say anything and I started to ignore friends.  It was easier just to move on.  It is my one regret in life.  As I got older and friends resurfaced, I have been pleased with the love I have received.  I did seek guidance from the Rainbow Resource Centre.  They helped me to maintain my self-respect and understand how my friends and family were feeling. 

Chuck: Have you met with any discrimination, roadblocks, because of your sexuality?

Kristin: As I came out and wanted to spread my wings, I moved to Toronto.  I was able to be loud and proud there.  But, what I quickly found out, drawing attention to yourself also made you a target.  I had put a rainbow sticker on my car and was put into a scary situation at a Tim Hortons drive thru.  What is surprising to me is that when I lived in Thunder Bay and now back in Winnipeg, I have not had any issues.  I have also been careful and aware.  I’m just not young and carefree as I once was.

Chuck: Do you have a life partner and if so, how has that gone?

Kristin: I do.  We have been together for 17 years and married for 7.  She has 2 children that were 5 and 7 yrs when we met, so I am another parent for them.  We have had a lot of chapters in our relationship, but every moment has been shared with each other.  I still feel the love we felt so many years ago.

Chuck: What has been the most challenging aspect of being gay?  Do you find there is a difference in Canada? Winnipeg? compared to any places you’ve travelled?

Kristin: Life is challenging for all in some way.  I just want to stop making decisions on who and what I say.  It would be so much easier to just speak freely and not worry about what happens next.  

Chuck: Are you comfortable with me writing this up and putting it up on my Blog?

Kristin: I wouldn’t have answered these if I didn’t want you to post them.