vancouver island scenery

Road to Holberg Vancouver Island North

Funny sign along the road to Holberg and Cape Scott "Be prepared for the unexpected".

The story behind the picture, written by Larry of Ontario.

Part One:

Funny Sign Vancouver Island
I'm a new guy from Ontario, and trying to get my bearings. It's a quiet night, in the logging camp, and I was hanging around reading a book. There is a tentative knock on my bunkhouse door which I answer to find a nervous girl asking for Dez B. She goes on about it being his birthday, and she had hitched up-island to surprise him.

I explained that Dez had gone to the hotel in Port Hardy with some of the fellows. She seemed at a loss for words, so I said "Come in  and relax. There are refreshments here, so lock the door and I'll get a car and go get Dez".

I wandered over to the rec hall and see Charlie the Chokerman who lends me his car and I drive to the Seagate Hotel in Port Hardy, retreive Dez, and the happy couple wanders off into that good night.

A week or so later, I'm calling a girl back east. I wander out to the bunkhouse phone booth, drop my dime, and said "I'd like to place a collect call from Holberg to Galt, Ontario"...

The operator says, "Is this Larry"? My blood ran cold, I'd only been in B.C. for a few weeks. I was looking around for Allan Funt then I said, "Yes it is"...The operator said, "It's me, Dez's girlfriend, you let me stay in your room while you went and got Dez!  Would you like to make this call for free? I never got a chance to thank you". I certainly did and did just that. With charlie's car...

Part Two:
I was working at Rayonier in Holberg in March or so of 1974. Charlie the Chokerman was a wildman/party animal extraordinaire. He had been returning to the camp from the Seagate Hotel in Port Hardy, when the old car broke down.

He pulled over, parked on a deserted setting and hitched into camp. We had overtime, and worked the next weekend, so it was a week or so before he got back to the car. In the meantime, a grapple operator had dropped that scrap tailblock log on it, and truth be known, that grapple guy would have known it was Charlie's car. Charlies reaction was, "Oh well, I only paid 50 bucks for it".

I have been back in Ontario on a separate career path for decades, but I smile every time I look at that photo, and I think it's a shame nobody knows the whole story. So a toast to Charlie the Chokerman and his inadvertant monument to the unexpected. He would have liked that...And thanks Rolf for taking the shot!


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