Day 248 - Les (1st person I approached)
September 05, 2014 - Les was siting outside of a downtown Vancouver coffee shop. They were closing and had taken all the tables and chairs inside, except for the one table and the chair that Les was sitting on. I approached him and explained what I was doing, and asked Les if he would chat with me.
“Yeah, sure. I’m just killing time for a little bit anyway, so that works out well,” he said. I sat on the sidewalk as we chatted.
Les was born in Grand Lake, north of Halifax, in Nova Scotia.
“I’m a McDonald. There are so many of us there you could spit in any direction and you’d hit a McDonald,” he says, laughing. Les has an identical twin brother and a younger sister.
“My sister is five years younger than we are. My twin brother is three minutes older than me. It usually works out that the first born is the bigger of the two. He was bigger and more dominant when we were younger." When Les was seven years old, the family moved to Bowden in Alberta.
"It was just a little town of about twelve hundred people. My father was in the oil and gas industry, so we moved because of his work. Bowden had a prison and an oil refinery, that's about it. I used to joke that whichever ‘refinery’ you went in to, you still came out crude. Ba doop boop,” he joked.
“In high-school, I got into sports and my brother was more of the academic. Eventually I was bigger than him,” said Les. In high-school he continued to pursue sports.
“I was doing Taekwondo, and then went into wrestling. I became pretty good at wrestling. The Taekwondo really helped because it was all about kicks and balance and flips. I’ve always enjoyed playing sports as well. It all helped me to get bigger and stronger.” he said.
“Bowden was a good place to grow up. I had a lot of good friends there.” A staff member from the coffee shop came over and apologized, saying that they were closing. He needed to take the table, and the chair Les was sitting on, into the store. Les finished his drink and we found a place up the road to have a seat and continue chatting.
When Les was sixteen, his parents divorced and he moved to Ontario with his father.
“I lived there until I was twenty, and then I moved to Banff, Alberta. I spent two years there and loved it. I thought I wanted to become a Park Ranger, so I moved back to Ontario to go to college. I was studying Fish and Wildlife Technology. I did that for a little while, then realized that it just wasn’t what I wanted to do,” said Les. He moved back to Banff, and spent the next twenty two years there.
“I started a video production company, which became very successful. And I enjoyed life,” he said with contentment in his voice. Les met his girlfriend in Banff and they have a son together.
"His name is Grayson, son of a grey-haired man," he says with a big smile.
“We decided to move out to the coast,” he said.
“Our son is two and a half now and we’re living in Squamish (British Columbia). One of my best friends from school in Bowden, is my neighbour in Squamish. It’s a great place. Friendly, and very community minded. In the two years we’ve been there, we’ve made some really good friends. It’s a wonderful place to live!” he said.
I asked Les what he had planned that he was waiting around for.
“Oh I have an audition,” he said.
“I’m an actor and I came into town because I had an audition earlier this evening. I was killing time because I have another one just up the street from here, in a few minutes.” He said that the earlier audition was for a chocolate product. The one he was about to do had something to do with a father singing to his daughter.
“Yeah, I’m a singer as well,” said Les. We talked a little bit about the work that he has done recently. (*Fact Check - see links below.)
Les told me that he would have to get going to his next audition. I walked a couple of blocks with him.
“I had something cool happen just a couple of months ago,” he said.
“I found out that I have another son. He’s twenty-three and lives here in Vancouver. We recently met up and so we’re working on getting to know one another. It’s going pretty good.” Les had known his son’s mother from his time in Ontario.
“I didn’t know anything about him. As soon as I saw a picture of him, I knew it he was mine.” #notastranger