Blaine was massively outgoing and energetic; so much so that we ended up talking on the street for just over 2 hours! He offered up several stories from his adventures that have taken him from British Columbia on the west coast of Canada to Winnipeg, a journey that has taken him 28 years to complete.
Blaine has had many trials and tribulations throughout his nearly 50 years. His family life growing up was somewhat tumultuous. He along with his 5 siblings ended up being separated when put into foster homes at a young age. At 14 years old, Blaine decided to run away and strike out on his own, moving around a lot and getting into trouble along the way. Blaine explained to me that he really learned a great deal about life when he spent several years in prison for drugs. It was a time that taught him many things, mostly about perseverance. He eventually ended up in the small city of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan (the city where I was born) where he would spend the next 18 years, get married and have two children. He loved his kids but admitted they weren’t in his life and it’s been over 6 years since he’s seen either of them.
Throughout the conversation, Blaine brought up several songs that inspired him, with lyrics that touched his heart. His favourite was by the Canadian artist, Johnny Reid, (Today I’m Gonna Try to Change the World) which made him quite emotional as we listened.
One of the things I took away from this encounter was just how happy Blaine was, and how much he tried to make other people happy. He was constantly trying to get people laughing or smiling as they walked by. We talked about how so many people offered him sour expressions even though he was just offering a compliment or making a friendly comment. He said to me “if I can make someone smile, laugh or feel good, it makes my day much better”. Thanks Blaine for the conversation and photos!