My Story

My Story by Douglas J. Thorburn known as Thorb

"Thorb"          [my story]
(from Thorburn, Douglas J. to whoever you are now)

In the beginning there was a baby with black hair and blue eyes and a healthy size for a boy whom his mother (Irene) and father (James) decided to call Douglas James. The birth occurred in Toronto at about9:15 pm. on September the 11th, at the Toronto Western Hospital. Hence this Story begins. Jump to the
60s 70s 80s 90s 2000 a contact form page counter 1949 - above mentioned birth, a lot of suckling and crying and difficulty expressing my thoughts. 1950 - Learned the shaky walk and started to inflict my will vocally, though I wasn't often understood. Like as if I always wanted to eat, suck latex or watch a schrinkled face make silly noises that only seemed to mock my lack of communication skills. Then there's the bouncing and shaking. 1951 - Can't remember too much of what happened and [unless you believe B.F. Skinner] that stuff probably isn't very important anyway. 1952 - Harnessed to the cloths line because of wandering curiosity. Started skating and the rest of my childhood winters were guided from that event. 1953 - Vaguely remember something about dipping a carrot in the sand box and finding the gritty crunch quite interesting. ... . Hung out with a lot of girls. Probably due to of the lack of boys my age in the neighbourhood. Also remember those cloths trading games and laughing at how silly our mothers dressed us. Oh yea, that rock fight and those bullets and something about a broken car window or two. I was becoming very conscious although unconscious in action a lot of the time. Burning ants with a magnifying glass and other modes of playing with fire. The psychiatrist might like to hold back on the comments just yet, to see if it goes any further. What a year that four can be; first tastes of social reality. 1954 - After a summer of fun with the girls of the neighbourhood, (well at least attempted fun and a bit of hiding.) its off to half day school stuff in that childrenís garden, grade 0 or is that 1/2 to coincide with the time duration thing. That lovely place where we learn to play with strangers and friends alike and try to be quiet during nap time. The beginnings of formal education for my generation was in translated form "the childrenís garden" (kindergarten). Where we learn not to pull chairs out from under our friends when they are about to sit down and not to chop people in the neck like we see on the box. Ah, the box, even then it played such a roll in a child's development. 1955 - Real school begins with grade 1 and the a,b,cís, 1,2,3ís. A little bit of the old soap dish game in the washroom and yes, the 1,2,3ís of being allowed to go to the washroom unsupervised. Learning how long you can sit at a desk without talking to your classmates or yourself. 1956 - I wonder what really happened? this could have been the year I almost lost an eye climbed barbed frost fence gate to watch ball game someone jumped off... gate swung and I slipped. [just missed eye] [lots of blood so I ran home] 1957 - Remember playing soccer in the field and seeing some older guys surround my sister in the parking lot, its beside the field, so I diverted a run for the ball right off the field and up to the circle of guys hassling Donna where I at full speed kicked one of the guys [easily twice my size] in the shins and then ran right back into the middle of the soccer game. I looked back wondering if I was going to be killed and saw Donna was not being bothered anymore and I had learned how hit and run works real well. The guy is probably still in shock. 1958 - I was transferred to Bannockburn Public School where I got involved in formal extra curricular activities (sports and choir). Played baseball and hockey for the Avenue Road Lions Club in the North York leagues. This was in general a good time in my life and allowed me to meet a diverse range of people, which has had a profound effect on the rest of my life. This was also the time I began working for coin to support those trashy habits we all like to cultivate. (three years of delivering the Toronto Star and a lot of pop bottle and coat hanger scavenging in non-winter.) In that winter period I would shovel snow for some neighbors. 1959 - Hockey is my life or so I think for the moment. baseball team does really well and goes to provincial championships ... where we get smoked 1960 - I see a black curled up tornado on a sunny day and run but canít get away before it passes. Join every school sport and even choir to get activity patches for my jacket. Learn tennis and smoke most of the neighbourhood kids then nobody wants to play anymore got to play in championships at Maple Leaf Gardens we lost but wow ... the Gardens. 1961 - Junior High provides more variety, choices, new people and a lot of time in portable classrooms. quit paper route .. sold to one of my customers kids. [Gravitate to foreign student from Britain who's name may return with time.] learn about stock market and write book report on "Dial F" a softcore porn book sprain ankle at hockey try out time [jumping hedges] so I quit [was sick of 6am practices] wiped out on cinder track doing hurdles [lots of blood] 1962 - Dance Parties on the weekend with in-crowd/girls [please excuse the point form but..] [to keep the memories vivid I will start to add names as i remember them.] Rick Freeland, Linda Smook, Linda Pantling, Steve Wheatley, Carolyn Warmington, Mike Stitt, 1963 - First Love [Pamela Jones] and British invasion change my life. more so than Kennedy being shot and the mayor of Toronto [Summerville I think] dying playing baseball Close friend John Lanzerota dies unexpectedly and neighbourhood in shock. 1964 - High School split into two schools and bussing and shifts and not liking much about where I am or what I am doing except the little bit of time I get to use the trampoline. I find myself skipping a lot and hating French class and most of the things this so called Academic school is into. I fail willingly; for the sake of using my hands. There is a book in here somewhere? With the English immigrant friend and Math my only + and how hot the French teacher looked but oh what a Nazi attitude or was it my attitude along with adolescent lust washing the riverbanks of my mind. [In time I may find some truth but it will only be relative to the time I'm thinking about it] do councilor training course where my team leader is the singer guitar player from the "Cheys", have a great time. specialize in campfires and canoeing. 1965 - Transfer into 4 year S.T.&T. at Bathurst Heights Secondary School where a lot of my friends are attending. Not so much the odd man out yet still a bopper. Marks improve and I am finally learning some things that I think and know will be useful. No more intellectuals for the time being. Scrap the camp councilor idea because they want the first year of work to be free [volunteer] and I'm not into that. Get job a Loblaws as a back room bottle boy and quickly find out what exploitation of child labour is all about. After too much abuse and neglect, despite the perks, I inflict my will about my hours and get fired for it. Never even bother to pick up my last cheque from the a-holes. [I think the main one was Lawson] 1966 - My sister Donnafinds me new job working for John Scott at his B/A gas station. (Great people and that makes for a great job.) Time flies when you are having fun.
Another Book here about happy days... oh.... wait.... Someone has already done that... soooooo.... I can use the same title.. but what would it imply??
???? and Would it have to include sexy stuff?
1967 - Industrial accident at CNR humpyards (summer job) in Maple, Ontario. So much for hockey etc.. Helped design class jackets with Aaron Nisker and Pete Caravan. Bought my first Lemon and what a beautiful lemon it was. A 1959 black Chevrolet convertible with a new white top, red leather interior and a clock that worked. Scott lost station to head office because of his new station in Scarborough. I stick on with the new owner get laid-off later along with Gary Ventem. Go to work at Al Pearleyís Royal Sauna when Neil Valentine leaves his job there and then due to falling marks and lack of sleep I give the job to Gary to make up for me getting him fired and I go back to work for John Scott at his new station. Then Andie Wheatly starts apprenticing as a mechanic there and things are rosy again. This year could make books. Get to be a fairly good snooker player and heavy into roller skating at Mutual arena where the girls are available to fool around with us dapper young dudes. 1968 - Graduated from high school, Dad died, Sis got married and I started an apprenticeship with Ainsworth Electric (said to be the best) to become a union electrician. Worked in housing for first three months and then on to the Industrial. Traded the 59 Impala convertible lemon for a reliable 61 Ford. Couldnít work for John and do my apprenticeship so I had to quit and say good bye to John. 1969 - First year of real full time work, but still work part-time for John Scott out of friendship. Started golfing again with a new passion. Start downhill skiing again too and learn to target shoot. Met Marion Ireland and let her get away [and hate myself for not even being sure how to spell her name ... She even joked about it... I am so lame that way sometimes] . We roller-skated, went to Abbey Road club for a hot date ... bumped into each other at Expo's sequel etc. etc. and I even had life altering dreams. [what a skinny goof I was] Reading too much sci fi and psychic phenomena stuff ...

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1970 -  Attended large festival ("Strawberry Fields") at Mosport [thanks Mike for reminding me of the date]
        and started to realize there was a much larger society out there than I had previously known. 
        Experienced the psychedelic installations at the Exhibition from an installation point of view 
        Worked in Molson Brewery and Renyolds Aluminum on a roof in January at -10 Fahrenheit for 2 weeks. 
        Boy this working is quite something, ainít it. 
        Got 3.9 out of a possible 4 at George Brown College on my advanced course and received a letter of congratulations from head office at Ainsworth.  
        Traded in the Ford for a 69 Cuda and put some style into the old life.  
        Leave John Scott's part time work for some more fun less time work at Baview Skating Rink as a rink rat.
        Finally stroked out that virginity hurdle thanks to a friend from roller-skating.
        Had a few psychic experiences with Wickham and with my Cuda. 

1971 -  Asked for leave of absence and went to Europe and North Africa for 19 weeks on a paltry $400.oo and a plane ticket.  
        The major turning point of my life and a great adventure to boot. 
        Got back and cut my hair short again but remained hippie in mind.

1972 -  Gotta leave some holes in the whole story. [lots of experimentation]
        Met Maryanne Ireland again ... but she was too committed and I too ... c'est la vie ...  partly because of a dream that we would meet again when we were old.
        Jane a ski trip, 2nd & last date conception... just our luck. 
        adoption costs covered, forms filled out, some free electrical work and free love is rightly questioned. [ I hope you are all healthy and well ... I am so open to contact but unsure of any benefit it could possibly have ] we did only go out twice.  

1973 -  Finish apprenticeship and quit Ainsworth Electric due to the treatment of my favorite Forman by the office and all that bigoted political stuff.  
        Join up with Black and McDonald and find out other contractors seem to have a little better attitude, but not much.  
        Decide to apply to University of Guelph
        [after encouragement and badgering by  target="new">piers ] and see what happens.  
        Start painting classes at night school but after a month of traveling back and forth for a couple hours of work, I decide to use the whole night at home painting  and definitely accomplish a lot more.
        Psychic experience with Joanne while the Jims and I are winter camping at Cypris Lake 

1974 -  Black and MacDonald had me working at the General Motors Truck Plant in Scarborough and then went to the 
	Sheridan Hotel on maintenance, then to Continental Can.[Where I run into school mate nerd who's an ok guy. {last time I see David Philips}].  
        Caved in to the pressures of a young relationship and got married.  
        I guess I didnít see the signs like that sunny day when from out of nowhere, WHAM!! a car with no brake lights stopped in my lane and no time to avoid, so brace yourself.  
        Accepted at the University of Guelph into the general Arts Program, (YEA! who said us techies couldnít go to University.)   So I quit Black and Mac. despite the overtime, packed up the newly wed wife and my car and bike and off to Guelph we go.  
        (Probably the second biggest crossroads in my life.) [resurgence of poetry begins]

1975 -  We moved into a house on Alice Street [in the ward] across the street from the side of the Biltmore hat factory. 
        Then are evicted in February because its sold [we fell for it].  
        We didnít know that we could have stayed the winter. 
        Found a new apartment on Willow Road in the basement of a 3-story.  
        Go straight through summer semester and take extra credits.  
        Purely academic in life and a whole new perspective.  
        Things are changing all around me and Iím loving it except for poor marks in the summer semester, 
        [Due to some personality clashes and too much time watching the river flow.]  
        Get back into Hockey for exercise and something not so academic.  
        Busted out of our apartment because of Joanne's loud music during fanatic cleaning binges
        We move into Welly Woods (married students residences)[all for the best].  
        Start meeting a whole new group of people.

1976 -  Ups and downs year with lots of new experiences, poetry, art.
        Worked summer and fall, I just did one Sculpture course at night.
        [mostly due to 5 semester burnout and financial pressure in the marriage.]  
        Get close with Clive/Cathy Merritt and Tom/Terri Wilson and 
        Bill/Dianne McClellen along with Jack Pile.[where did they all go?]  
        Get Sam (my dog) as a surprise present from Joanneís work.  

1977 -  Second dog Rusty enters the household.[surprise!]  
        School continues with my deciding to focus more on art and less on Economics.  
        Accepted in strange northern Alberta work camp [team up with J.D.Pinder and Al Stanzel]
        at the Athabaska tar sands by my fellow construction workers, 
        despite the girl at the bank thinking I couldnít cut it(due to my artsie look).  
        Started the development of ritual pieces and shortened my art name to "Thor" 
        (from THORburn; it seemed appropriate at the time for the feelings it attained). 
        Mono print series begins. [using picture of Al at Edmonton Opera house]

1978 -  Solo show at University of Guelph, Library Stoa, "Thor"; 
        this consisted of mostly student work and some independent work completed outside of my BA acquisition.  
        Sold Serigraph print ("The Coffee Shop") to a visiting stranger and this really picked up my spirits 
        seeing that no other exhibitor that year had sold anything to anyone except relatives.
        got divorced
        bought 191 Eramosa Rd. Guelph

1979 -  Joined the Photo Arts Club and started doing a lot of composite photograph construction in the darkroom 
        at the University Center (great facilities!) 
        [still doing art for art's sake despite the songs].  

1980 -  Group show (brought "the Sunbathers" from my lawn inside at Ed Videoís new space 
        (2000 sq. ft.) at Commercial Street 
        (where I installed the lighting system 
        and acquired a lifetime membership).  
        Elected to board of Directors  of Ed Video.  
        Joined up with "Brigand" (Celtic rock band) 
        to do stage sound and light mixing. 
        Poetry reading at another Ed Video group show.  
        Video and Camera work at channel 8 Guelph for Ann Milneís talk show 
        and did sound and stand in performance for Harri Palmís 
        on location "In the Rubble" performance show.  
        Made some money by buying and selling old stuff at auctions and flea markets. 
        (Rented booth at Aberfoyle Antique Market.)    

1981 -  Solo show ("Trails") of new work at Ed Video Arts Center, 
        Commercial St. Guelph, Ontario.  
        Including opening ("The Same Old Scene") 
        and closing ("Poetry of Motion") performances.  
        Bad timing for show because of a mail strike 
        and the lack of being able to solicit attendance in that manner.  
        Despite that the performances were very well received 
        and I sold a composite photo to Dale Marcelle.
        Go with Brigand to do sound and lights for East Coast Tour.  
        After tour band separated.

1982 -  Ford Motor Company job for Adam Clark takes up lots of time
        lost in haze of work, women and beer with art photographed now and then.
        [have to expand this area later]

1983 -  Bancroft work and art etc. continues to not generate any coin 
        so I do more electrical construction.

1984 -  191E yard sculptures continue along with the electrical construction
        Mom, cancer, death all take their toll.  

1985 -  Created metal rod sculptures emulating my one like scribble drawings.  
        Worked very well.
        Ice storm creates two days of creating 
        outdoor art without cars [a memorable time].

1986 -  Quit Smoking Tobacco.  
        Show with Renate in Elora "Rod Sculptures"
        Get back with Ed Video board of directors and other artists.    

1987 -  Video work at Ed Video [too much to list] and play a lot of golf.  
	Work various electrical jobs for money
	Albion dart team does better than expected with mine and Corkie's help.      

1988 -  Performance art of spoken word continues and video and music

1989 -  Awarded 5yr. voluntary service award from Ontario Ministry of Culture 

1990 -  Buy RR3 for Dagmar and my Rural Artist Soul. 

1991 -  Have to work for big bucks as long as the economy will let me 
        and in-between move my stuff out of Guelph on the week-ends.  
        Drop out of shows and Video production and all that no pay art 
        and beauty so I can maintain a possibility of growth.  
        [I feel stagnant in Guelph]  

1992 -  Joined Kingston Artistsí Association 
        put abstract paintings in group shows
        Volunteered to help out Pic Press to meet different people 
        and learn Desktop Publishing

1993 -  Started Learning Desktop Publishing with Pic Press (using PageMaker)
        Sold metal rod sculpture at Art auction 
        (wall piece "nostalgia" didn't reach my reserve]
        Put a sculpture "Little Begger"  in group show at K.A.A.I. 

1994 -  Elected Vice President of the Kingston Artistsí Association Inc.,
        Pic Press work advances to Article placement and layout, 
        ad creation and layout and some computer graphics.  

1995 -  Pic Press production continues until the call of 
	electrical work at Ford where I can make some serious $$$$.
        Resign from Pic and K.A.A.I. due to long distance between work and them and I still need some time for family and home maintenance.  
        Start painting again and honing computer skills at home after the job ends.
        Buy kilns for future more permanent type of sculpture and to try making ceramic paintings.
1996 -  Worked primarily on Homestead at RR3 Studio rebuilding, new building and on 
	dry rock constructions "garden sculpture".
        Advised to revive my metal rod sculptures and formalize the bases, so I do the felt base thing. 
        Trip to British Columbia to holiday and visit old friends sparks new life into relationship and rekindles photography bug which in turn ads to my art.  
	show metal rod "dancers" "hunters" at Swan Gallery in Stratford.

1997 -  Computer upgrade and skill development continues.  [almost every day]
        Retooling Chrysler for Spider Installations and big bucks.
        Put metal rod sculptures into Swan Gallery in Stratford.
        Re-join K.A.A.I. start doing some sexy computer photo alterations.
        Set up web pages and present my sculptures to you.
        Huge overtime job at Chrysler Bramalea from Feb.-Sept. fronts cost reasociates me with union brothers
        and takes up a lot of time.  
        Stay at sister's [that reunites me with family 
        [I bring my dog Joey because I am so far from Dagmar and Meaghen]
        [they are also working in the GTA but still far away from me in Bramalea.]

1998-   Has begun with lots of web page work and play and well more nom d'plumes.
        Forest exploration after giant ice storm [storm of the century]
	Not enough electrical work and hands seem to have developed eczema [bummer].
	Get into "happy hockey" on Tuesdays in Tamworth meeting new local friends.
	Mostly dinkin around home with new/old/bush 4x4F150 getting wood 
        and playing with new hi8 video
	Oh yea.... lots of net time wastin away... chattin and picture playin.
	better at html but not paid for it yet. [maybe i should go to school for more papers]
	Show "reflection" "dancer #6# 

1999-	Well here it is....y2k consider the crunch year.
        50th b-day  life seems more ....... pale
        Party like its 1999 ... hey wait ... it is.

2000-   Who ever thought we would see it.
        Best friend Jim Arnett found dead in garbage transfer depot in Toronto [what a giant bummer]

2001-   Damn terrorists screw up my birthday ... forever.
        3 days later a hungup tree hits my dog Joey in back and paralyses back legs.
        Art becoming more private 
        local ad for electrical work got me some jobs so I could stay home with Joey
        Unpaid webwork less interesting and Angelfire and Tripod and Geocities all changing layout formats enough to screw up my efforts, so site changing slows until a rethink may bring it back.
        Rebuilt computers and selling some stuff on e-bay
        Joey miraculously recovers 
2002-   fixed and repainted my 87 Ranger automatic with a multi colour abstract
        finished studio insulation and drywall for winter readiness
        more e-bay stuff 
        Dagmar buys house in Aylmer
        put 2 pieces in KAAI show to break my cacooning
2003-   Meaghen gets into Masters program and goes to South Africa to study the fishes [Sharks]
        redoing websites begins with some abandonment and link elimination.  I feel it will be a long process due to the # of pages I've created. If you find any bad ones help me by fix them through the contact form
        Feb. go back to work for Rexton Electric at Airport and Fed Ex. [Toronto]
        Thanks to Clive and Donna and Ken [of Moneen fame] for the Space to stay in Brampton
        Break the routines and feel great by singing and playing with Reid & Dave & Jerry and friends
        still way behind on doing my taxes ... [major procrastination here]

2004-   Well here it is .. at the door .. no .. its in.
        while taking winter off I've got back into Tuesday happy hockey and the forest.
        redecorating with wallpaper removal painting and making baseboards [a change is as good as ....]
        Finally back at websites and uploading new stuff and >fixing older sites .
        Tapping a few trees for Maple syrup ... mmm mmm good.
        Making new markers in forest swamp along severance line 
2005    finished working at Airport for Brothers and Wright
        so back into hockey and art around rr3
        Meag cam back to Canada [passed her masters]
        Medical crap .. pain in the butt... literally
        New Swamp wood gathering approach works great for winter supply
        [decided to just pull out logs on the ice and cut later at my convience]

2006     writing way much poetry in the forums of
         tv tower blew down so re erected [added extra 8' I salvaged from work]
         jaming with "the Gist"  on some Friday nights
         Meag left again then got Married as soon as her and Mike got to South Africa
         New union hiring practices screw me on jobs.
         [all short term and only allowed 4 leaving me short for E.I.]
         Dagmar is gone and doesn't make much contact anymore
         Put Topaz on road for around 600 dollars ... 
         neighbour's dad's old car [114k clicks]
         [will save gas costs to Toronto and pay for itself very quickly] 
         saves wear and tear on Ranger
         giving Lincoln a deserved rest
2007     finally back into a bit of updating of websites [hoping to simplify]
         still prolific in the poetry thing and doing some jammin 
         taped some song attempts on cassette and dvd and mp3
         taking some short electrical jobs in Toronto area 
         [Chrysler for Comstock, Defasco for Bermis]
         planted mostly flowers in gardens
         re opened trails around rr3 ... just have to watch out for poison ivy ... it has proliferated.
I could write here for a long long time maybe for years but don't think you really want me to ramble any more than I already have. I can't decide if the preceeding stuff is a resume or a short bio or a cv or an auto biography in point form. I always seemed to like point form. maybe that is what led me to poetry and verse rhyme followed naturally as I felt for the rhythm/timing work and word meld int verse looks on the page came next pictures out of words not so elaborate as a face and the history of the person or anything like that. just journal stuff sort of common slang at times maken my own at times. Politics religion philosophy all part of art Math and Science and Art and Music and Sport and Work and Play [every day of your life]

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