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The Beginning: Boreal Premonition
A Significant Premonition
It all began after I started my college education at Lakehead University.Towards the end of my first year at Lakehead (freshman) I applied for four summer positions in Northern Ontario. Several companies were interviewing for timber cruisers and road surveyors. I submitted my resume at our college placement office and waited patiently. Finally my name was listed for an interview with K.C. and one other company, as usual it was misspelled, John Conner, UGH! it is spelled Conn-o-r, not e-r; oh well, no big deal, after all I have my interview!
This was great! My father had “schooled” me on how to be prepared for interviews and how to act (he was a manager for Dunham – Bush Inc.). I was ecstatic! I researched the company and on the day of the interview (remembering my father’s advice) I arrived ½ hour before the interview in my drab-grey and pin-striped suit. I was met by Bob (Forbes) and Dave (Wright). Dave, head of personnel was wearing the same suit as I had on (all I could think was, Oh my God – not daring to say anything). Dave informed me (just after I got there) that they were ahead of schedule and they were ready to interview me (little did I know that they were trying to finish early so they could get out of there and back to their hotel – that is, according to Bob, told to me several years later), I was somewhat out-of-place; however, I was not going to say no; so I walked in to the interview room and had an excellent interview; although I noticed the resume they had did not appear to be the one I submitted. After leaving the Interview room, I met a second - year student named John M. Conner! He was sitting and waiting for his interview. Approximately one month later I was offered a summer job at K.C. That summer I worked in the K.C. Engineering Office and chatted quite frequently with Bob Forbes; he informed me that they didn’t usually hire freshman and that my interview – slot was meant for the other John Conner! Although he did add that after interviewing me; Dave Wright (the man with the same suit) wanted to hire me and shared that Dave thought I was of “good character and taste!”).
Kathleen would have one more year until she would graduate with her teaching degree. Upon her graduation we would get married in her hometown, Altamonte Springs, Florida (Church of the Annunciation) and I would travel with my bride back to Longlac, Ontario, Canada. The journey back to Longlac would constitute our honeymoon. This is exactly what happened. However, realizing that I wanted my future children to grow up like my wife I gladly converted to the Catholic Faith (this was also interesting because as of 2009 we have 3 daughters (and in there own way they are all wonderful and similar to their mother, Kathleen Mary). So, we were married in front of the Alter and received the Sacrament of Marriage. After our marriage, and arrival back to Longlac, Ontario Canada; Kathleen applied for a teaching position (secondary science) however, because she was not bilingual (neither am I, nor are the vast majority of Canadians) she could not obtain a teaching position in Longlac, Ontario. The “good-hearted” Kimberly-Clark hired her as a Shipping Clerk out of concern for her and to assist in retaining me; however, deep in Kathleen’s heart and mine I knew she wanted to teach (she did not complain; she accepted the clerk position and pretended to be content). Again, God was speaking (would I listen?).
We had made friends with many other KC employees and a few people in the town. However, kathleen and I really only had 3 close friends Mike Riva (I helped him build a log cabin), John McMahon (Chief Forester and bald eagle finder) and Jan Dunn (KC cost accountant extraordinaire)...
It began with Ms. Dunn. Jan became our closest friend over time. Kate bonded with her significantly and I enjoyed her company also. We had significantly similar backgrounds growing up in Southern Ontario and the more I learned about her parents the more similarities we discovered. Mike was more of my friend then Kate's... and John was a close friend to both of us; however, it was more fatherly in nature. Jan was close to both of us and was close to our age. She filled the void that Kate had since all of her close friends were still in the U.S. Jan felt like a sister to me.
Have you ever had a dream that was so vibrant that your emotions were caught up in it; almost to the point of exhaustion. One that was so vivid that it felt like you physically experienced much of it. One where you were projected in it observing from a safe; however, close distance (much like perhaps an angel looking down/in. A dream where when you wake up it feels like you just got back from a long and exhausting trip. That is what this dream was like. It occured in the Spring (March) of 1986. I have yet to experience anything like this since. It involved all of the senses not just one or two. There were memories of odors, temperature changes, sounds and visuals. Every other dream only involved 1 or perhaps 2 senses, It was a complete immersion of emotion and senses. When I awoke that morn I knew I had to tell my wife about it. After telling her we agreed that this was so unique and it did involve tragedy; therefore, we should at least tell one close friend. I/we would tell Jan all of the details inclusive of the physical description of the lake and forest area where the helicopter crashed, an exact discription of the chopper details, shoreline where it hit, information about the two people in the chopper...I could not discern a complete discription of the two passengers. There was significant ambiguity; although I knew both of our company pilots well (i flew with them for approximately 80% of their flights) therefore I could elliminate Dave Cruikshank from memories of his physical experience. Although I could not conclude that one of the passengers was indeed Barry, there were significant similaries (height, weight, age and demeanor). If one had to come to a conclusion I would say it looked significantly like Barry. I could not recognize the other passenger other then the few facts that it was indeed a male similar in age ( a little younger then the other person and quite neat in appearance.