As I mentioned in my previous blog, the first question that most of my readers ask is, “are you still living in the house that you talk about building in Never Say Die, and When the Going Get’s Tough.” As you can see from the pictures in my previous post, the answer to that one is, yes. Invariably, the next question is, “how many children do you have, and why do you never talk about them other than in the dedications of your books?”
That question is simple to answer too. I never married until I was 35—ten years after I started my practice in Creston. In the early years, I was so busy keeping my practice functioning, that I had little time for a personal life. After marriage, my wife, Ruth, and I were blessed with four children, each of which, we presently count amongst our best friends. They all remain very close with one another, and I’m sure each of the siblings would consider their brothers and sisters amongst their own best friends. I’ve also inlcuded a potrait of all the kids together. Marshall (top), John Gordon (left), Joan (Right), and a little Alicia (bottom).
Our first child, Joan, worked as a model in San Diego before settling down to raise a family. She is now married and living with her husband Cam and their two children James, and Scarlet, in Henderson, Nevada. Although she is a full time mom, she is still in fantastic shape, and offers fitness training to clients in the surrounding area and offers nutritional advice on line.
Marshall, our eldest son, is a fireman living and working in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Marsh has always been very active in sports (especially basketball and volleyball), and although he loves his work, he never fails to squeeze a two or three hour workout into each and every day. He has an Instagram account with more that 190,000 followers, and offers nutritional advice and workout plans for fellow body builders.
John Gordon is our third child (named after Gordon Veitch who was a prominent character in my first two books). Gordon was a big fan of both basketball and volleyball in grade school. He started on the provincial U 17 volleyball team when he was only 14 and has excelled at the sport since that time. He played three year with the Thompson Rivers University volleyball team at Kamloops before joining the Canadian National team in 2011. He has played professionally since 2011, first with the Izmir, Arkas in Izmir Turkey, and now with Pallavolo Piacenza in Piacenza, Italy. He, like the rest of his Team Canada mates, has his heart set on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Alicia, the baby of the family, was never content to let her brothers overshadow her, and very early on she decided to make her statement on the volleyball court. She chose Trinity Western University as the institution in which to do it, and became a member of the Spartans. While there, she was also on the Canadian National Volleyball team, and served as the flag bearer for the 333 member Canadian team at the 2015 Summer Univeriade Games in Gwangiu, South Korea. She retired from university life with a CIS gold medal for 2015, a teaching degree, and a CIS blocking record that could stand for years. She is presently playing professionally for Pannaxiakos V.C., a Greek team, based on the island of Naxos.
If there has been one major drawback of my children’s success in life, it has been their dispersion around the world. Other than the 12 hour trip to Grande Prairie from Creston, the only way I can visit my kids is to hop on a plane. That in itself, is not all bad, visiting children has taken me to places in the world that I may never have considered as a destination otherwise (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, in the US, Pune in India, Izmir, and Istanbul in Turkey, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Katowice, in Poland, and Naxos in Greece).
This weekend it will be taking me to Edmonton, where the Canadian National Volleyball team will be attempting to clinch a berth in the 2016 Olympics in Reo de Janeiro by defeating Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba at the NORCECA (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean) Continental Championship. For those of you with an interest in volleyball, I have posted the schedule below. Gord Perrin wears jersey #2.
- 5pm – Canada vs Mexico
- 7pm – Cuba vs Puerto Rico
- 1.30pm – Canada vs Puerto Rico
- 4pm – Cuba vs Mexico
- 7pm – Canada vs Cuba
All Canada’s matches will be streamed at www.cbc.ca, giving Canadian volleyball fans a chance to see their men’s team in action live at home.
Saturday’s match (Jan. 09) vs PUR will be live on CBC TV, check your local listings.