• AND GRACE, TOO.

    The legendary Good Downie has passed.

    I have several early memories of The Tragically Hip- but more of Gord.

    In my early childhood years I befriended a young boy named Jay Gillespie. Our backyards nearly connected- and thus we spent tons of time together. GT snow racers, BMX bikes, and lots of swimming in their backyard pool.

    I don’t think it was too long before I found out that Jay’s uncle (Mom’s brother) was Gord Downie. Lead singer of The Hip.
    We were about 8 years old but it was still pretty cool. Somewhere back at my parents house I’ve got a signed piece of paper that says “Jason, keep your stick on the ice. Gord Downie”

    I remember sleeping over at Jay’s house on his 11th birthday. It was March 1995, and The Hip was on Saturday Night Live that night. After their set, Gord held up his two index fingers side by side to signify “11”.
    THAT was cool.

    Growing up in Kingston in the 90’s, everyone knew The Hip. It wasn’t until I moved away to university that I really appreciated their influence.
    EVERYONE knew these guys. Not just some of their songs…dozens of them.I think what made Gord so special is that he just “did him”. There was nothing fake about anything he did, and some of it was certainly different. His outfits were often wild, he kissed his bandmates on the lips, and he had a tradition of ripping apart a shoe on stage. He was definitely a bit of an odd bird- and that’s what made him so endearing. He was incredibly passionate, and it was easy to see.I think there are a few things we can learn from the life and the unfortunate passing of Gord:-follow your passion
    -love your family
    -find a cause to support
    -be your damn self even if you too, are an odd bird

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