I talk about my family a lot when I’m on tour. My brothers, parents, cousins and uncles are my best friends and closest confidants. They are a smart and astute crowd who help form and moderate many of my views and opinions. I speak to most of them daily and no more than a week passes before I’ve touched every one of them by phone, mail or text. So, when my guests assume we are a close family, they are more than correct.
Growing up in a family business instills a tremendous sense of pride in your family, name and reputation. When everyone embraces the brand it creates a sense of loyalty among its members and a willingness to assist each other, no matter the circumstance. Their work reflects equally on ours, and therefore mine. We always covered each other’s back.
“… talk about my family a lot…”
As we grew older and matured (we’ve been touring since the age of 16), there are far fewer occasions where cover is required. David is never late anymore, Jake is actually waiting on us when he and Lori are providing foraging services or a “mug up” for guests, and Mark, well let’s just say Mark is like an avatar, everywhere at the same time.
Now as for Andrew,,,,, well I’m doing my best to behave. but recently I needed back up in the worst kind way.
I had just finished a morning tour on the last day of our 12-day comprehensive Newfoundland & Labrador Excursion, and I was exhausted. We’d had rough weather throughout much of our journey and while Dad says “Anyone can tour on a fine day“ it takes some kind of effort to keep guests upbeat when the weather turns on you.
“… just finished a morning tour…”
I spent the entire ferry crossing to Labrador scanning the ocean from the deck of the Apollo since I had guests who wanted to see whales and I knew this was their best opportunity in September month. Sure enough we saw humpbacks, minkes and porpoises. We visited new sites that earlier guests wouldn’t have time to view, and one of our guests was a print setter who explained all the intricacies of the press at the Coaker site in Port Union. I stood at length in the pouring (dare I say “Wet Rain”) in Bonavista pointing out the juvenile puffins who were putting on a rare aerial display of magnificent manoeuvers to impress a potential mate and partner for life.
Yes it was a long trip and I was killed when I finished that morning.
“… anyone can tour on a fine day…”
Since our farewell supper wasn’t scheduled until 6:30 in the evening, I decided to “take a blow”. Now I love a good nap and I usually enjoy no more than 3 hours in an afternoon siesta, so I didn’t bother setting an alarm. Can you imagine the shock when I awoke at 6:26 pm. Oh my!
I called my brother Mark right away and since he was already planning to bring his daughter down to sing for our group, he darted down to meet my guests and get the evening started. Thank goodness I’d ironed a shirt and pants before my nap so I was dressed, out the door and at the Newfoundland Hotel by 6:50. Just in time to reach the doors of the banquet hall and eavesdrop on my brother, who spoke about me with such reverence you need not ever worry about writing my eulogy – my brothers already delivered it.
What kind words. What a brother. What a family.
Yes, I dare say we are close.