In 2005, Ellen and I learned that our good friend Johnny Burke was going to be inducted into the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony was to take place in Moncton, New Brunswick and we certainly didn’t want to miss the opportunity of sharing such a prestigious honour being bestowed a good friend. So, we decided to drive down to Moncton to be part of the festivities.
In the few days immediately following the induction ceremony, Johnny, a native of New Brunswick, was headlining a few concerts so we tagged along. In the course of the tour, I jumped in to help with the packing and unpacking of Johnny’s equipment. Thus began and ended my very short life as a roadie! (But I was the roadie for a Hall of Fame inductee, not just some run-of-mill megastar).
Seven years later in 2012, Johnny became just the 51st artist to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Well, we couldn’t miss out on being present to see our friend achieve the ultimate national honour in Canadian country music. So another trip was planned but with a slight twist.
We had already committed to being in Halifax, Nova Scotia the week before the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Not to be deterred, we drove the 3,000 miles or 4,900 kilometers from Halifax to Saskatoon, stopping at our home in southern Ontario along the way to do laundry.
Not only was it a great adventure and an honour to celebrate our friend’s achievement but it was a great way to see the country: the ruggedness of New Brunswick, the breathtaking views of the Lake Superior north shore and flat terrain of the prairie provinces. Memories that will last a lifetime!