Category: Ken David Stewart’s Greatest Hits

The Crayfish Episode 8 by Ken David Stewart


Episode Eight Mr. Holmes:

Caleb Jacobson adored his grade seven science teacher, Mr. Holmes. Caleb liked Jeffrey Holmes so much that he volunteered to help his teacher clean up and organize the science lab after school three times per week. Mr. Holmes was old, very old to a thirteen year- old boy. The junior high science teacher was a thin built widower who had suffered from almost unbearable pain from his arthritis and comorbid fibromyalgia for over ten years now. The only thing that made his life bearable now was medical marijuana.

Jeffery Holmes stumbled upon the efficacy of marijuana for pain management by way of his neighbour’s son Jordan, or Jordy as his friends referred to him. Jeff was just returning from a boy’s night out at The St. Vital Hotel. While enjoying shooting the breeze with his friends Jeffrey managed to put away a few brews. Feeling a little happy, Jeff heard a loud party going on in Jordy’s back yard and leaned over the fence to investigate what all the excitement was about. He noticed a young teenage girl wearing only her skimpy, red underwear bouncing on a trampoline. Although she was likely quite impaired she still got to demonstrate her athleticism. The young beauty was somehow able to smoke a cigarette and drink a can of Budweiser while simultaneously bouncing on the trampoline.

Jordy took his eyes off the girl just long enough to see Mr. Holmes appearing to be mesmerized by what he was witnessing.

“She sure is a looker. Now ain’t she Mr. Holmes?”

A somewhat startled Jeffrey Holmes responded by saying, “Now that’s not fair Jordy to ask an old man that. Now, if I was about forty years younger I’d feel more qualified to render my opinion. She sure has great balance. I can say that much. Is that a joint that you have in your hand Jordy?”

“Sure is. You want a hit?”

“I haven’t smoked pot since I was your age. Oh. what the hell. Give the old man a couple of tokes.”

“Way to go Mr. Holmes. Why don’t you take the rest of the joint? Feel free to join the party. My folks won’t be back from their trip until tomorrow evening,” Jordy said.

“Ill tell you what. I’ll gratefully accept your offer of the remainder of the joint, but I’ll have to pass on joining your party. I’m very tired and my fibro and arthritis are killing me. I think I’ll just finish the joint and head to bed.”

“I’ll bet you’ll get a great night’s sleep and will wake up with less pain in the morning. See you tomorrow Mr. Holmes.”

Jeffrey Holmes thanked Jordy and sat down on his back door steps to smoke his joint. He inhaled deeply with each hit off the joint. He remembered the proper technique for getting the maximum results from smoking weed from his youth.

When Mr. Holmes awoke he glanced at his alarm clock and saw that the clock read 11:12 AM. Thank God it was Saturday and he wouldn’t have to go to work. Jeffrey had slept for almost twelve hours! He usually only got four to five hours of unrefreshing sleep because of being woken up several times a night from the pain., Mr. Holmes got out of his bed slowly and carefully but did not experience the jolt of pain that he was used to. He walked towards the bathroom with relative ease. “I don’t believe it. Could this be the result of smoking marijuana before I went to bed?”

Being the scientist that he was, Jeffrey asked Jordy if he could procure some more grass for him. The grade seven science teacher had to find out whether he would get similar results if he were to try the cannabis again. Jordy laughed and said, “I thought you’d like it. Yeah, I can get you some more weed today.”

Mr. Holmes gratefully thanked Jordy and assured his young friend that he would pay him generously for his product and services.weed 1

Episode 7 of Crayfish a Novel by Ken David Stewart


Episode Seven:

Isiah Jacobson had a famous relative known to the world by the moniker of ‘Dr. Feelgood’, a name that the media people of his era had stuck him with. Dr. Feelgood, whose real name was Dr. Max Jacobson, was the great grandfather of Isiah Jacobson. Isiah’s family rarely talked about their famous or infamous relative, contingent upon one’s approval or disdain for the deceased doctor’s controversial medical treatment protocol. Dr. Max soon became known as the ‘doctor of the celebrities’. Following his death it became public knowledge that Max treated an array of famous people including baseball star Mickey Mantle, actress Marilyn Monroe, and President John F. Kennedy.

Dr. Max Jacobson was known for administering to his patients ‘miracle tissue regenerator shots’ that consisted of painkillers, animal hormones, steroids, enzymes, bone marrow, human placenta, and methamphetamine. He refused to reveal the exact details of his medicinal cocktail to anyone. The physician’s ‘miracle tissue regenerator shots’ proved to be extremely addictive and most, if not all, of Dr. Max’s patients became very dependent on their injections and consequently, the doctor himself. This was due to the injection’s exclusivity. The fact was that Dr. Jacobson was the ‘only game in town’ when a patient was seeking his controversial, unorthodox treatment protocol.

The physician of the celebrities was about to suffer a devastating blow to his professional career. The Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs seized Jacobson’s massive supply of amphetamines. Consequently, ‘Dr. Feelgood’s  medical license was revoked on April 25, 1975 by The New York State Board of Regents.

 

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Eulogy for a Dearly Loved Brother by Ken David Stewart


Eulogy for a Dearly Loved Brother (Part Two)

My brother, Allan Duncan Stewart was a very special person. He made giving generously to charity a priority in both his life and his death. Allan is probably the most courageous man I have ever known.

He struggled with a chronic progressive disease known as myotonic dystrophy. Allan also had to live most of his life with a severe visual impairment. He had been declared  legally blind.

Although Allan was by nature a quiet reserved man, he was very appreciative of the visitors he received while residing in St. Boniface Hospital, Concordia Hospital and Deer Lodge Centre.

My brother Neil, my wife Martha, Allan’s wife Cora and my goddaughter Shandy all visited Allan at these medical facilities.

Up until his last week on earth Allan’s oral communication was very good. Allan enjoyed a lively conversation and especially liked to talk about sports. He was an ardent fan of both the Winnipeg Jets and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. While he was at Deer Lodge Centre Allan liked to watch all the games on television.wd-23

The Monkey Speedway by Ken David Stewart


“Do you know how this container got in my study?” Isiah asked his little brother.

“Yeah, me and Rob and the rest of the gang went cray-fishing last night and caught a bucket full of these critters. I figured that I’d take one of them home with me,” Caleb answered.

Excerpt 6:

Friday evening had finally arrived and it was crayfish season. Caleb walked to the family’s refrigerator and broke off a small slice of bacon and tied it on to a thread of string that was seven feet long. This was really all the equipment that he needed for a fun night of cray-fishing on the banks of the Red River.

Caleb heard a knock on his front door and as soon as he opened it he could see that Terrence, Aaron and Greg had their owns strings of bacon in their hands and were ready to roll.

“Let’s go Caleb. Ronny and Peter are going to meet us at the opening to the Monkey Speedway. The Monkey Speedway was a man- made or should I say a kid -made trail of trampled down mud, grass and brush that covered an area of the river bank.

Nobody remembers who originally named this terrain as The Monkey Speedway, but the derivation of its name likely belongs to a variety of boys who had tried to ride their bikes at top speed down this challenging path of brush. The ride itself could probably be compared to a smaller version of The Wild Mouse, a popular and scary roller coasting ride at the Red River Exhibition that arrived in Winnipeg every June.

Many of the boys who originally went for a test ride on the Monkey Speedway ended up being suddenly and violently ejected from their bicycles. When they shook off the temporary sense of disorientation resulting from their fall, they could cast their eyes upward only to see their partially mangled bicycles dangling from the branches of the nearby trees.

Some mischievous boys were not above setting potentially disabling and possibility fatally designed traps along the Monkey Speedway. Some adventurous children did indeed suffer injury resulting from these traps, but it was seldom worse than a bloodied and bruised elbow, a scraped knee requiring a few sutures at the local emergency ward or a fractured wrist.

Just let it be said, that the boys of the Norwood Flats were tough. I should more correctly say the boys and a certain girl, as there was a young lass named Tammy who was known to ask the boys if she could join them for a game of tackle football, one of their potentially life altering bike rides or a wild evening of Friday night cray-fishing.crayfish 9

Spirituality and Depression by Ken David Stewart


Episode Five

What is the relevance of spiritual faith to a depressed person?

My short answer would be that it absolutely necessary for recovery, but that it is also a two- edged sword.

The purpose of this chapter I will be primarily talking about Christianity. I will also talk about the role of twelve step groups a little later in the chapter.

I must point out that I am a Christian and have been so for the greater part of my adult life. I was not brought up in a church going Christian family, although I think that my father believed in God. In some sense, I might have been a Christian as a young boy, although I didn’t verbalize the prayer of salvation because I had never heard it and wouldn’t have known what it meant. As kids growing up the nineteen fifties and early sixties, we were blessed that the public school system was favourable towards prayer and the daily reading of Bible stories. As all my elementary school teachers included these two routines following the playing of Oh Canada, the Canadian national anthem, I assumed that it was mandatory for my elementary grade teachers to lead us in the Lord’s prayer and to read to us from a book containing Bible stories.

I now think that because of these two spiritual exercises practised by the public school system I came to believe in God. In reality, I cannot remember a time where I doubted God’s existence. I was probably not a saved, born again Christian, but could definitely be considered to be a believer. This does not mean that I always tried to walk out the Christian lifestyle. There were many times in my life when I didn’t.

I didn’t officially get ‘saved’ as it is termed in Christianity until I was twenty-seven years old. This occurred only because an ardent local minister came to my mobile home to witness to me. Ironically, this was not the first occasion would someone tried to lead me to the Lord.

Around two years earlier, a young Christian couple came to my apartment to share the Good News of the Gospel with me. During this occasion I was not receptive at all to hearing about Jesus. I only recall that the man who tried to witness to be me was called Hugh and for years after I felt sorry for the way I treated these young evangelists.

Hugh, if by some miracle, you have been reading this blog post or listen to my podcast show, I want to sincerely apologize for my behavior that evening. I just want you to know that you planted a seed and that I became a born-again Christian two years after you witnessed to me.

This has entirely nothing to do with today’s topic, but I just looked up at the calendar on my desktop computer to see that I am writing my first draft of this blog on July 14, 2017. On this day or date, I should say, that in 1966, I was at the Winnipeg Arena watching the Rolling Stones in concert. I can recall that my ticket cost fourteen dollars, the Rolling Stones only played for twenty-five minutes, with sound transmission coming through  their woefully inadequate Vox amplifiers and that the girls screaming from the audience almost drowned out The Rolling Stones’s music.

Now back to my original topic, depression and spirituality. My whole thesis is that the depressed person has to one degree or another lost hope. The answer, of course, is to regain the lost hope or possibly experience hope for the first time. That’s where Christianity comes in. The Gospel message offers the guarantee that if we have truly given our life to the Lord, when we get to heaven we will enjoy an eternal and wonderful life.

There are certain theological streams that seem to contend that this is about the only promise that Christians can count upon and that this only occurs after physical death and the end of our earthly life.

Although this hope can be very comforting, I was also looking for hope during my earthly lifetime. I was never quite satisfied with a Christian theology that implies that our life on earth was just to be tolerated as we attempted to live a holy life, but that for the real reward, we would have to wait for heaven.

 

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Living With Depression by Ken David Stewart Introduction


Living with Depression by Ken David Stewart

I have had to live with major depressive disorder for most of my adult life. I would estimate that this disease has consumed about forty percent of my productive years.

A few of the symptoms of depression are much more disabling than others. One of the most frustrating symptoms in my life is the severe and chronic fatigue that is commonly found in persons with this disorder. The chronic fatigue may be significantly prevalent for weeks and even months. Sometimes, I find that the fatigue and heaviness appears to go into remission for part of the year.

Why this happens, I am not sure. I am just extremely grateful to get these short seasons of relief. I tend to perk up a bit when the summer season comes along. This could indicate that I also have seasonal affective disorder.

The chronic fatigue that often accompanies depression may cause financial distress. Unless you have good group insurance benefits at work, you may find that your household income can be significantly depleted for parts of the year. When this occurs, worry and fear will usually appear.

I should state at this point that all chronic fatigue may not be attributable to the disease of depression. I have often found that a severe lack of energy may ensue after I have a serious viral or bacterial infection. When my cold and flu symptoms dissipate I have often found that my debilitating fatigue will continue for weeks or even months after. It is quite likely that I suffer from another illness known as CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome.2017-06-19 09.04.03