The Best of Times

Rain, January 2018

Near by in the rain…tears upon the pine…one day for all time…
The best of times remembered.
(P. Ferguson image, January 2018)


A solitary grass and flower muncher ambles across the road from one yard to the next. Unperturbed by the white painted fence it approaches and without the leaping gait of a high jumper, this fleet of foot one, simply springs from a standing position across the obstacle. Then turning its head, to look at this solitary walker, the deer smilingly,…“I bet you can’t do that.”

This path is the same approach I took earlier in the day, up a side-road where I encounter fathers and sons engaged in road hockey. It’s wonderful to see, during these days of peculiarity…family together. I enjoy these small walks always ensuring for breadth of space. How often on my wanderings have I seen family together on bicycles with little ones trying to keep up? Their legs rotating as fast as they can…to mom, dad, sister or brother. With excitement they exclaim, “Mom…Dad..look, look what I can do.” They will be tired later…bicycles put away…carried up the stairs…nodding heads collapsed upon parent’s shoulders…family together…these are the best of times.

Within my own walls I continue with my projects….this is what I can do…though I have found, rest for myself can be the day’s best reward – well equal to jotting a few words. Yet with this day May 3, I cannot help but think of my own family…Grannie who lost her father this anniversary day 1917. So too my own mother and father…how long has it been(?)…since parents let me pedal my tractor until tired? And with tractor in hand and junior in supporting arms I am taken home…these are the best of times remembered.

Private Ole Berget, 31st Canadian Infantry Battalion, Fresnoy-en-Gohelle

Tracing family letters at the Vimy Memorial, France.
Memories taken home…these are the best of times remembered.
(P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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