Tales From The Work Van

Ep. 1

“Woodstock ’69”

I have been to more service calls than I can remember, seen all types of situations and have met all types of people. In this industry it’s that interaction I enjoy so much. But as soon as I think I’ve met some of the most interesting, crazy, unique individuals, in strolls someone ever more interesting, crazy, and unique.

October 2014, I attended a call originally thought to be a bowed main sewer line that slowly grew into a complete re-piping of all his underground pipes after realizing the previous company had butchered the job. The job was spanning out over a couple of days which gave the client and I plenty of time to get to know each other. I have always been a big classic rock fan and right off the bat I could tell this client was as well. He had walls of shelves in the basement full of vinyl records, decades worth of collecting. I’ll never forget this guys origin story, even though later on I’ve come to believe the 60’s may have been a little harder on him than he was letting on.

Originally from south east Saskatchewan, this client was going to school to become a priest, dropped out, then went full flower child in California. He went on with stories about bartending in clubs where the Grateful Dead would play and meeting Janis Joplin. I thought I was meeting a real life Forrest Gump. Just some nobody from nowhere Saskatchewan haplessly meeting all these famous people. Especially after he told me people tell him he’s on the cover of the Woodstock album.

Me: “What do you mean people tell you?”

Client: “Well I don’t know if its me. But my friends say the guy is holding the same blanket I use to carry around”

Me: “Do you think you’re on the cover?”

Client: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Well were you at Woodstock?”

Client: “I can’t remember.”

Me: “What do you mean you can’t remember?”

Client “I took a lot of drugs in the sixties.”

Me: “Well were you in New York state that weekend?”

Client: “I can’t remember.”

Me: “What do you mean you can’t remember?”

Client: “Look, you wanna know what I can remember from that summer? All I remember is I was driving through Georgia and I got pulled over by a state trooper, next thing I know I’m sleeping on his couch for a week.”

By this point I was just in awe of meeting my first real life sixties flower child. I didn’t think any of them made it past Y2K. He showed me the album and started comparing himself to the cover but by then I was already sold, this HAD to be the same guy. Later when I told this story to a friend she decided to start muddying the waters with some fact checking and came to the conclusion that this was not indeed the same man on the album cover. But in my heart I wouldn’t accept it, this story was way to cool to be untrue.

Rock on man!



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