Ge­orge Wall

WALK­ING AGAINST THE WIND

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - ROSALYN ROY [email protected] Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

The wind is al­ways most harsh near the beach, even in summer.

On a late win­ter morn­ing, it car­ries a whiff of rain and a prom­ise of Spring.

Crouched near a colour­less, salt-stained rail­ing, Ge­orge Wall is bun­dled up in win­ter cloth­ing. He hud­dles with Jesse, a brown and black mutt with a shy dis­po­si­tion.

Pets aren’t per­mit­ted where Ge­orge lives; he bor­rows his son’s dog.

“I’ve been walk­ing this beach three years now.” Man and dog walk this Port aux Basques beach ev­ery day, re­gard­less of weather.

Ge­orge watches Jesse run off ahead to play.

In one hand he car­ries a sturdy branch wrapped with white string; a make-shift walk­ing stick.

“I take that with me in case I slip. I’ve got a bad back all the time, eh?”

In­jured 15 years ago try­ing to lift a car that was stuck.

Then the time he swerved his car to avoid a head-on col­li­sion.

“I got my teeth all drove back.”

The worst was the mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent. Sideswiped by an­other ve­hi­cle. Pitched in a tree­lined ditch filled with boul­ders. Broke his col­lar­bone and ribs.

“I could see my boots come off.”

He chuck­les about it now.

Wounds healed. He con­tin­ued rid­ing.

But the in­juries added up.

The walk­ing helps his back and his breath­ing, which he’s strug­gled with as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dents.

Then there’s Jesse. The dog loves the daily walks; doesn’t like go­ing back home.

“He doesn’t want to get out of the car.”

The trail is hard in win­ter. Sea spray laces the gravel path with ice.

But they don’t hes­i­tate.

Jesse stops run­ning long enough to look back and check for his friend.

Ge­orge waves him on, hunch­ing into the wind, fol­low­ing along in his own time, pick­ing his way care­fully with his trusty stick.

ROSALYN ROY PHOTO

“I’ve been walk­ing this beach three years now,” says Ge­orge Wall.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.