Winston Standfield arrived at The Kelowna Mental Health Center promptly at 7:00 PM on Friday evening. Wally and Garry were waiting eagerly for him and ran out to meet Winston who was inside his 1994 white Ford Tempo. Winston had bought the Ford Tempo at a rather shady looking used car lot two years ago. He managed to buy the car for two thousand dollars. Winston had always liked old Fords but had no idea why. It certainly wasn’t because of their reliability.
He also owned his beloved white 1997 Ford Taurus. This car was constantly in need of repairs but Winston knew had to do most minor repairs himself. He would go to Canadian Tire and pick up the year and model for the car’s repair manual and would figure out the rest from there. Winston opened the back passenger door for the two young men.
“Hi Grandpa this is my friend, Garry Hardy.” “Pleased to meet you Garry.
Are you related to Lionel Hardy, the professor of marine biology?” Winston asked.
“Yes, he’s my father,” Garry answered.
“What a small world. Lionel and I go back a long ways. We’ve known each other since our university days. We’ve kind of lost contact the last few years, but I would certainly like to meet the old boy again. We have a lot of catching up to do.” “How’s your dad doing these days?” Winston inquired.
“I really can’t say,” Garry said. “My dad and I really haven’t been in touch for about two years now. Around this time I foolishly stopped taking my meds and caused my family a great deal of embarrassment in the neighborhood where they live. Since that time my mother has passed away and my father doesn’t want me staying with the family anymore.”
“I’m sorry to hear that son. I also knew your mother. She was an esteemed scholar of English literature.”
“Yes, both my parents were very educated people. I, unfortunately, could not carry on the family tradition when I became ill with my first episode of psychosis.”
“I know something about that illness with Wally being my grandson.”
“Gramps also knows a lot about schizophrenia as he has researched the disease extensively,” Wally interjected.
After about a thirty minute drive Winston Stanfield pulled up his white Ford Tempo in front of his lake side cottage. “Here we are boys, I have a feeling that we’re going to have a lot of fun this weekend. I’ve got plenty of wrestling videos, video games and a great collection of dvds that aren’t about wrestling. We’ll also have some great conversations and I’ll even take you guys out for a ride on my speed boat tomorrow. Does that sound like a plan?”
“It sure does,” Wally said.
“From what Wally’s told me about you, you sound like a pretty cool guy,” Garry said.
“That’s true. I am, come to think of it,” Winston said with a chuckle. “I’m what people call, young at heart and a free spirit. The way I look at it, life should be fun, at least most of the time.”
Winston Standfield was a tall thin man in his early sixties. His hair was snow white, long and tied back in a ponytail. Winston wore a unique pair of glasses with white/silver frames. He was wearing a gray tee shirt that appeared to have some kind of food stain on it. Winston liked to wear old, well- worn Wrangler jeans. He was fortunate to have lost all the extra weight that he carried when he had been a pro wrestler. It was also to his credit that he had stopped using anabolic steroids. By the time Winston had left professional wrestling two wrestlers he had once battled died early deaths related to their use of performing enhancing drugs.
Wally and Garry both carried in their suitcases that were packed with some clothes and toiletries for their weekend stay. “Can I get you guys any coffee or pop?” Winston asked.
“I’d wouldn’t mind a coffee,” Wally said. “What would you like Garry?”
“A coffee would suit me too,” Garry said.
There wasn’t going to be too much room for the boy’s refreshments on Winston’s coffee table. The long wooden table was covered with magazines like WWE Wrestling, The Marine Biologist, National Geographic, Guitar World and Rolling Stone. There were also recent issues of Men’s Health to be found somewhere in the mix. Winston also appeared to be reading at least three novels at the same time. The sofa that they were sitting on was well worn and was usually occupied by Winston’s two dogs who were both lying on the orange carpet by the boys’ feet. They both appeared to be very friendly dogs who were busy sniffing both Wally and Garry’s runners and blue jeans.
In a few minutes Winston Stanfield returned with the boys’ coffees.
“I hope you guys like Tim Horton’s coffee with some International Delight creamer,” Winston said.
Garry was the first one to take a sip of his coffee. “Wow, this is delicious, sir. It’s much better than the coffee they give us at the mental health center.” “What you get there is good old stock institutional coffee. I know. I have some acquaintance with mental health facilities myself. Oh, by the way Garry. You don’t have to call me, ‘sir’. It makes me feel old and much more mature than I actually am. You can call me Winston or just, ‘man’, as far as that goes. We’re pretty informal at my place,” Winston said.
“I kind of invited myself over to your house,” Garry said “When Wally told me about your encounter with Ogopogo I wanted to meet you. He also told me that you’re a very cool guy.”
“Well, I do, indeed have an Ogopogo story to tell. The actual encounter with the animal was more, Cody’s, my assistant. He was diving in the lake after I got a digital image of a large object on my radar. The young man got quite a scare down there. He told me that he got a pretty good look at Ogopogo from a distance that was a little too close for his liking.
Cody told me that he would never go diving in Lake Okanagan again.”
“Wow, Cody’s lucky. He’s probably one of the few people in the world that had a close up look at Ogopogo,” Garry said.
Winston chuckled at this. “Oh, I don’t think Cody considered himself to be that lucky. It was more like he was scared out of his wits. There’s likely a lot more people than we can imagine that have seen the lake monster. They don’t report their sightings because they don’t want to be laughed at.”
“Like what happened to you,” Wally said. “You actually lost your job over it.”
“Oh, it wasn’t the only reason they got rid of me, but I don’t want to talk about it right now. Let’s watch some wrestling. It’s just about time for Friday Night Smackdown.”