I wandered into the smoke-filled bar and heard the familiar songs of Conway Twitty crooned out by the svelte voice of Gordon Poison, who was in town the other weekend. To my surprise, he immediately recognized me and incorporated my name in one of those famous megahit Country and Western songs, much to the delight of the eager and now drooling audience. I don’t know if they were drooling over me or Gordon, but I’m pretty sure it was Gordon. The girls didn’t drool; it was the diehard, smoky western, drink-me-under-the-table and-slap-me-awake-in-the-morning fans that were deeply affected. I, being a WHO (remember them?) wannabe, was only slightly affected, and that was near closing time.

Yep, Gordon Poison, in all his golden-voiced glory, did liven up the evening for a weekend, and brought back many a memory of a path I fear to tread again (not because of Gordon, but because of closing time blues), sung to soundtracks which I now hear are slowly being overtaken by MC’s across the nation. I have no qualms about the latest music, but I seem to remember many of them sung to a slower tempo, and with pronounceable names (with the exception of the artist formerly known as %$#@), and without mixing with repetitive and hypnotic rhythms, more reminiscent of post-disco eras.

Limp Bizkit, however, makes a remix rendition of one of the WHO’s famous songs, without the added interruption of a totally new beat and great guitar work, but that’s where I stop in terms of admiration for today’s copycats. Hey, songwriting is hard and coming up with new material is even harder, so that’s why I stick to my guns when I say that the 70s were the greatest for new and original music. The 80s are forgettable. Remember the band A Flock of Seagulls? With Poison, however, he sticks to his guns when it comes to his renditions of timeless country classics and that is what I admire about this singer. He doesn’t slur his words and style with other styles now popular with the new groups.

Other than the usual raves I have for music and the sounds of summer,

I do have some problems with the sounds of mosquitoes buzzing around my nearly skinned scalp. With West Nile, I find it reassuring that I just have to apply some toxic potion to ward off near death. Public-awareness campaigns that tend to make me afraid of every dead bird and tiny bugs like mosquitoes. I heard many times this spring that there were quite a few dead birds lying around, without a hint of the usual lead poisoning that they usually die from around Cree communities (which is injected into their bodies at a dazzling speed of 1,300 feet per second from 12-gauge shotguns). So I am tending to be a bit more wary of how I spend my windless days out on the great outdoors.

Tourist season is picking up again, and the north is abuzz with the whistling of air-pushing giant recreation vehicles filled to the brim with wandering Americans and Golden Agers pushing their upper limits of discovery of the James Bay and surrounding areas. Tourists, like flies and other insects, are somewhat seasonal and do deserve some tolerance, but again, they do take some getting used to. I’ve seen tourists dip their toes into the frigid waters of James Bay and live to tell their grown grandchildren about it a few weeks later. And I’ve even taken a brave soul or two out on the bay to toss out marble tablets that look a lot like the Ten Commandments, except written in Chinese instead of Hebrew.

Speaking of Hebrew, I understand that my name means the Light of God, so perhaps the name Sonny isn’t much more than a misnomer rather than a spelling mistake attached to the holy moniker. (I heard this on the phone with a sales person, so I cannot verify the accuracy of his interpretation). But, for the rest of the summer, I bless you with windy, mosquito-less days. Shalom.