MING THE MIGHTY GANDER

MING THE MIGHTY GANDER


For awhile I boarded with Jack Mackie and his wife on a farm just west of Uxbridge for awhile in 65
One problem was Ming.
Ming was a huge Chinese gander, he had a flock of a dozen geese and he ruled the farm. He was big and  mean and if you came anyway near his flock he would attack with beak and wings.  Every movement depended if you were a safe distance from Ming. It was almost always a quick run from the car. A further problem was the nests nobody go near them and more geese were coming at a great rate.

So one night I was sitting around drinking beer waiting for Jack to get home from his shift and have a few beers with him.  It was a nice night with a full moon I wandered outside and stood looking at the moon and sipping my beer when I felt something touch my leg.  I looked down and to my horror it was Ming he just stood there. I stood there afraid to move.I dont know what got into me but I tapped his beak with my bottle and he opened his beak and I poured in a bit of beer. We drank the bottle more or less one for him two for me and parted as friends. I went inside and a bit later Jack came came running in. Jesus he said "that old gander is mean tonight he seemed to stagger like he was drunk or something". I laughed and told him about feeding him some beer.
Well the aftermath was Ming and I were best friends forever. I never had to run again I could walk through his flock. I could go in the nests and cull the eggs i could pick him up. And Every now again we would share a beer.

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Hi I am Gary LeDrew
And I am writing a book
I was lucky enough to be in the middle of most things in sixties and seventies and got to hang out with some of the greats and near greats and characters of that time.

I was involved in the Art scene and was friends and hung out with Jack Bush, Harold Town, Gord Rayner Robert markle, Mickey Handy, Gerry Gladstone, Gershon Iskowitz etc. etc. and I have stories about all of them.
I was in the music biz and managed a few bands like Kid Bastien and hung out with most of them. I was a close friend of Murray McLachlan for years, and hung out with Mike McDonald, Danny Marks, Praire Oyster, Irish Rebels, Downchilds, Ian Tyson, Tom Cochrane, Burton Cummins etc. etc. of course I was the Lobsterman and sang with McLean and Mclean. I hung out with Cannonball and Nat Adderly whenever they came to town.
I was Toronto's leading bootlegger for 5 years everybody came to my afterhours club from the Rolling Stones to the premier of New Brunswick. And Joanie Mitchell sang there.
I won an Actress in a poker game, Helen shaver cooked me supper and I went out with a bunch of models and actresses.
Lesley McDonnell introduced me to Leonard Cohen , Rod Steward and Paul Shaffer for a few. I hung out with Leonard for a while. I survived a night hanging out with Hunter S. Thompson (sitting with tom Waites)I basically had backstage passes to Maple Leaf Gardens and Massey hall whenever i wanted and Bonnie Rait kicked me out of her dressing room.
In the Movie biz I was friends with Mike Ironside for years and Winston Reckert, Catherine O'Hara, Michael Sarrazin,I have lain on Elizabeth Ashely's belly while she shoved coke up my nose. I showed Johnny Hart and Jack Caprio a good time. I took Howard Duff to Lunch everyday for a six weeks and was on his xmas card list until he died. I drank with Richard Burton at least a couple of times a week for 3 months and he told me everything.
I lived on a lighthouse as a kid and took off sailing in the caribbean for 15 months. I took and sold all manners of drugs and in the seventies I was The guy to know in Toronto.
I was one of the few white guys go to the Elephant walk club. If there is one thing I hope to dispel is Toronto as a dull place.
To business I am getting old and not in great health, I am living on a basic pension and I have to Hustle with my art and web sites most of the month to get by. I am afraid I might die before I get all these stories down
My friend Richard Flohil is also raising money to write his book so far over ten thousand and well deserved Richard was instrumental to the folk and blues and jazz scenes in Toronto and tells a good story too. In my own way I was too, I helped a lot of people along the way and I never really cared about money , you wouldn't believe the people that never paid their bar tabs for starters. i just might be a little more fearless in my admissions. For I am not ashamed of anything I did there is lots I wish I had never done.