--- Demise On Many Fronts ---

As we moved into the new building, events like the funding debacle were evidence that the spontaneity and magic was largely gone. Perhaps I was blinded by my own narcissism because notable successes were still happening. For example, Through my association with Jerry Thornton of Shoreline School District in Seattle. I obtained the use of Shoreline's Camp Waskowitz. in the Washington State Cascades. We went there first in 1974, on a major field trip planned and executed by staff member Bob Buie with assistance from Brian Wile. Reached through Snoqualmie Pass and located high in the Cascade Mountains, the Camp was an old Civilian Conservation Corps facility dating from the dirty 30s. The staff greeted us like family and the first visit grew into an annual outdoor education affair where our Grade sevens would spend a week or more in camp with a matching group from one of Shoreline's schools. Some of our most difficult students openly wept when it came time to leave. The magic returned briefly. On skit night our staff including myself performed "The Funky Chicken" and broke up the place. We had transcended a national boundary but political and institutional forces in Victoria would shut it down. I was told we should only be dealing with local and Canadian entities. The Outdoot Ed Camp became Janey Allan's responsibility and was relocated to Strathcona Park. There,it existed for two more years before ceasing entirely and giving truth to the old racing adage: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!". James Bay Community School remains today. Still, it is not the place I dreamed of. Instead, it is a place where there is no evidence that I was ever there. I simply did not exist.

My demise in James Bay coincided with the breakdown of my marriage. I was set to graduate from the U of O when I was informed by the university administration that they were invoking a residence requirement before granting my degree. There had been an understanding that residence requirements were to be waived. Not so, I would need 2 consecutive semesters in residence requiring me to take a year's leave of absence from my job. I walked outside and left and never went back. As I walked away, I felt a great sense of relief, great sense of freedom.

I began belatedly to focus on my family. I looked after my children so Lynn could have the freedom to study and have a life of her own. She was close to Kathy Talbot and she and Janey Allan became friends. By now, she had acquired her teaching credential and had a part-time teaching job in the Sooke School District. She was a good badminton player. I was lousy and I hated the game. She went to badminton alone. Then, I caught her in a compromising situation with one of my closest allies. We talked it out. I did all the talking. Larry Williams and I took our sons to Western Speedway on Saturday evenings. My wife told us we would have a late supper when we got home. When we got home she was never there. I was alarmed. Trying to ease my anxiety, we went to look for her without success. There was never any explanation. Also, I had an uneasy feeling that when I was with her socially, her "friends" disparaged me and this disparagement had begun to seep into my world in James Bay.

Pursuing his own agenda, Community School team member, John Talbot moved to James Bay to be close to the Ministry Of Health to seek future employment. John had denegrated me from the start but his wife Kathy did not. She was a friend. Then tragedy struck. Pregnant with their second child, she developed an aggressive cancer and was gone within months. Her death effected my wife, Lynn, greatly. A year later John Talbot married Janey Allan. These many years later, Kathy's son Todd, a budding TV personality, states that his parents are John and Janey Talbot. Kathy has apparently been expunged from history. After Kathy's passing, the distance between Lynn and I grew. At the end of the summer, she asked to go away for a few days on her own. She called home the next evening. She had blown the MGBGT's engine in Olympia Washington. I dropped everything. Took our BMW and drove to Olympia. I brought her home towing the MG behind. The boys and I spent the next week completely rebuilding the engine at Larry William's Garage. I worked the next weekend in Vancouver and she came and joined me at her request. I felt a reconciliation was underway. A vast feeling of relief flooded my soul. It didn't last.

That September, I committed some my administrative time to teaching in the school program. It was aimed at moving the school ahead. It was a reach too far. I was distracted by the agony of my failing marriage. It consumed me. I sought counsel from a apparently skilled female staff member. She listened and I poured out my guts to her. It was a big mistake. She was the enemy. Privately, I discovered that my wife had a boyfriend. She met him at badminton. He had been with her when the MGBGT blew its engine. He got on a bus just before I arrived in Olympia. He was a married unctuous Dane who counselled Lynn with the teachings of Friedrich Nietzsche. He fed her the nihilistic view that all values are baseless. His purpose was seduction. He succeeded. To me he was middle-aged and anything but prepossessing. From her, there was an initial rage at being discovered and then softening approach. The welfare of my children and family were my first priority. My wife invited me go to the Sidney Hotel for drinks. When we arrived, I was horrified to be greeted by Hans, the Dane and his long suffering wife Edith. This was a preplanned meeting where Hans and Lynn would present a proposition to Dave and Edith. Hans informed us that the marriages would stay intact and that Lynn and he would continue as close personal friends. The purpose was not sex. However, they weren't ruling it out. Cuckold took on a new and personal meaning for me. I took Lynn and left in a rage. Hans was a philanderer Lynn was only one of a crowd. He really crossed the line for me though when he started cozy up to my sons. This, I could not accept.

Finally, Lynn agreed to go to Family Counselling. It was expensive. I paid. The family was never to see a penny of her earnings as a teacher. I went to save my family. The counsellors informed us that they were only there to help resolve issues. They had no interest in preserving the family. I was in the wrong place but I stayed. They gave us homework. I prepared like crazy. Lynn refused to participate. Another "boyfriend" surfaced. She told me I was free to be unfaithful. In February she demanded a separation. I took the boys on a Spring Break vacation with my mother and reached a time and place where I hit rock bottom. I was physically incapacitated. My home and family were being torn apart.

In March, I was invited to have lunch with John Talbot who was courting Janey Allan. As we talked, he suggested it was time for me to leave James Bay. The advice could not have come from a worse source. In April, I received a phone call from the District Superintendent, Allan Stables, a ruthless man who had been put in place to deal with the likes of me. Al was an attack dog who struck down anyone who had apparent power good or bad. Still, he had a code he lived by along with a strange sense of integrity.He informed me that there was a conspiracy to remove me from James Bay led by the woman who I had confided in. He showed me a list of the complainants. He said I couldn't handle the situation. I felt defeated. I confessed my pain with my family situation. "You poor bastard!" He said. "Take a leave and the list will be yours when you return." At the end of the school year I did. This coincided with me leaving my home. Between April and June the conspirators tracked my every move and spread the news of my demise throughout the school district. I had been a 242 mph sea gull. The flock had rejected me and I failed to transcend. Instead, I crashed and burned.

Acquaintances congratulated me. Here, I was a forty year-old single male with my own apartment and 4 months of fully paid leave. I was free to have all the women I wanted. They envied me. I was devastated. I was sick at heart. I had lost my wife and the unfettered access to my children and my career was put on hold. Lynn had promised to work on reconciliation if I left. She immediately broke that promise and had her tubes tied. She then cut my visitation time in half. The next four and a half years were to be a painful purgatory. Certainly, I had some girlfriends but most of them were unhappy and more screwed up than I was. Sex simply never made up for the loss I felt. I went to Pierre Destrube, a psychiatrist. We developed a cordial relationship and he prescribed valium. I hated the stuff. Instead, I got very friendly with brandy, my drug of choice. In January 1978 after my banishment was over. I was assigned to Oaklands School. I had attended there in 1946. It had not changed. It was large and supposed to be a leading school led by skilled principal who had been promoted to the Central Office. I was eager to get back to work and I was on the lookout for the enemy.