October 1, 2019. I was early to Collingwood for a birthday dinner with my son. The weather was ridiculously hot and muggy for any day in the fall, so I drove to Northwinds Beach, a few minutes drive west of Collingwood, on Georgian Bay. I knew the beach and was sure that if I stood in that water that I would cool down quickly. Jeff arrived while I was sitting up on the lawn waiting for the circulation to return to my feet. He had been up a ladder painting the high peak on a house and was glad to be off of it. We began talking about just about everything as you might with a ski pro-environmentalist-teacher-fierce outdoorsman-musician! Nice guy, Jeff! He kept apologizing for his work clothes but I told him not to worry. Thoughtful answers here:
Are you in love?
“Yes and no. Um, I’m in love with the concept of being in love with someone, but it’s fourteen years in and things change, I guess. But we still like each other. Yeah.”
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
“Oh boy. Um, probably my Grandfather Dow. He taught me about the outdoors, about fishing, about ducks, and the outdoors, and appreciation–he was a boat-builder and a farm kid with a grade eight education but extremely smart, and knew a lot about ancient history and history. He was a very intelligent guy.”
How do you feel about the future?
“I’m optimistic. I think there’s trouble with the ultraviolet rays a little bit right now, and the ozone layer, but I think–I don’t believe that much in climate change–and I’m an environmentalist, but I think–I’m hopeful that we can turn the tide and become much better ecologically, and socially, and–justice, etcetera: everything.”