One more Angel in Heaven

Himalayas

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance

Never settle for the path of least resistance

Living might mean taking chances
But they’re worth taking.

I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack

Scott Weiler was so much more than a wonderful teacher and mentor. He was the most gentle, humble and caring human being I have ever met.

The shocking news of his sudden passing while traveling in India is a lightning bolt to the hearts of all who knew and worked with him.

My heart is like lead but is comforted by the fact that I have special memories of Scott to sustain me and I am heartened in the knowledge that Scott enriched the lives of numerous students and teachers during his brief time with us.

Scott lived life with a passion that translated into everything he did, whether it was in the classroom mentoring students, on the sports field coaching or cheering on the Celtic athletes, traversing the globe or just hanging with friends.

I had the honor and privilege of working with Scott for two years at St. David catholic secondary school. His upbeat attitude and wonderful sense of humor were infectious. I always looked forward to and will never forget our silly greetings – my greeting for him – SCOTTY! and his boisterous – RRRRRRRRR! in response – whenever we met within or outside of the school.

Scott Weiler

That he was pursuing one of his fondest passions, world travel, when he passed on, is both a fitting and comforting irony for his family and friends.

God must have chosen Scotty at this moment in time for an important role. His spirit is probably soaring somewhere near a Himalayan peak right now, free, unfettered . . . at peace . . . which is perhaps Scotty’s way of saying to his family and friends that “wherever you are in your life journey, take heart, have courage, dance like nobody’s watching, follow your dreams and never look back.”

Photo Credits:

Little Byte of Luck (Himalayas)

Scott Weiler – The Record

Related Links:

Waterloo teacher dies on Nepal trip

Obituary – The Record


Baby I’m Amazed at this ‘Up and Comer’

O.K. . . . I have had the distance of a few sleeps to absorb what may arguably go down as Toronto’s  best-ever rock concert – Paul McCartney’s ‘Up and Coming’ 2010 World Tour shows at the Air Canada Center on August 8th/9th.

As a young lad and like millions of other boomers, a good chunk of my formative years were spent watching the turbulent 60’s unfold on my parent’s television screen. The contorted faces of screaming and swooning teenage females during The Beatles’ first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and flashy trailers of the world-wide release of the motion picture Help in 1965 are two such moments forever etched into my childhood memories.

So to say that actually seeing and hearing one of the two surviving ‘fab four’ members perform live would be thrilling – would be both cliche and understatement. What truly amazed me was not just listening to the pantheon of legendary popular songs written and performed by Sir Paul in his more notable musical incarnations, The Beatles and Wings; or the fact that my wife and I and about 18,000 other fans were in the presence of (according to Guinness) the most successful songwriter in the history of popular music; rather, I was blown away by his remarkable passion and astounding stamina.

Like some famous pop performers, Paul could have ‘mailed in’ his performance or rested on the laurels of his stellar reputation alone. But no, this charming, energetic former Beatle played as if he were a giddy teenager auditioning for a spot in his first rock ‘n roll band.

As sweat saturated his white shirt, the 68 year-old ‘boy wonder’ from Liverpool strummed a variety of classic guitars, strutted and bounced across the ACC stage for no less than three solid hours, performing 38 songs without a break or sip of water.

I even closed my eyes during segments of two songs to verify for myself that this sensational senior citizen’s voice was as melodic and vigorous as ever.

His enthusiasm and genuine love of living in the moment spilled over numerous times throughout the evening, “You guys look like you are having a good time” and “I have an auntie who lives in Canada” (just before launching with his mates into a stirring rendition of Let ‘Em In).

There were other special moments, like when Paul strummed one of the sweetest guitar riffs in rock history from his Band on The Run hit song Let Me Roll It or when a euphoric female fan was escorted up on stage for Paul to sign her arm. Paul deadpanned, “I don’t want to see that arm on eBay now.”

Though this wasn’t Sir Paul in his prime, in many ways it was a much richer, more mature and wiser McCartney that wowed and satisfied the sold out crowds at the ACC. That I was able to ‘drink it all in’ with my lovely wife by my side was fateful indeed and more than just ‘a little lucky’.

Photo Credit: Barb Redfearn

Related links:

Ageless Paul McCartney charms crowd with inspirational performance

Sir Paul wows ’em at the ACC

Paul McCartney.com

Setlist

Venus and Mars/Rockshow

Jet

All My Loving

Letting Go

Drive My Car

Highway

Let Me Roll It

The Long and Winding Road

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five

Let ‘Em In

My Love

I’ve Just Seen A Face

And I Love Her

Blackbird

Here Today

Dance Tonight

Mrs Vandebilt

Eleanor Rigby

Something

Sing The Changes

Band On The Run

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Back In The U.S.S.R.

I’ve Got A Feeling

Paperback Writer

A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance

Let It Be

Live and Let Die

Hey Jude

Day Tripper

Lady Madonna

Get Back

Yesterday

Mull of Kintyre

Helter Skelter

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End