A Miracle in Victoria with Ina and Jan

In the early hours of Dec. 21st, Jan and Ina were scheduled to fly to Edmonton but their flight was cancelled. Feeling low and realizing their hummingbird feeders were completely frozen, Ina ventured out the back door in order to exchange it with a thawed one. 

Meanwhile Jan was doing the same with a feeder hanging outside the upstairs bedroom window. Unfortunately the back door locked itself when Ina went out so as to not let their two kittens escape. Pounding on the back door was futile because Jan couldn’t hear, and so Ina trudged around to the front through two feet of snow. With frozen feeder in hand, she rang the front doorbell. Proceeding to the kitchen she set the feeder down on the counter and spotted for the first time a small frozen hummingbird clinging on for dear life. 

With tears and disbelief, they thought the poor thing was close to death. Not quite sure what to do Ina put the kittens in the laundry room while Jan fetched the cat carrier to contain the hummingbird whose little heart was still visibly beating. Suddenly the hummingbird came to life and started flying around the kitchen. Jan turned the lights out and lured the poor little thing into the front music studio where Ina kept a small Christmas tree on the piano. With a feeder on the top bookshelf, he/she settled down eventually, had a little drink and then landed on the big star on top of the tree. Looking around, the next stop was the top of the bust of Beethoven as if to start singing Ode to Joy. Unbelievable!

Then Hummy saw the big mosaic Jan’s mother had spent a year making hanging on the wall. Quickly flying over to it and landing on the top of the frame, yet another metaphor for love and joy came to life. Ina and Jan left the room to figure out what to do next. 

The plan was to open the window and provide an exit. When they returned, Hummy was content to be a living Christmas ornament on the little tree. After letting them take a picture to share with friends, the little miracle flew out to join the other hummingbirds gathered outside the wide open window. Then Jan realized he could heat the back deck by turning on the barbeque and create a little refuge to help them get through the sub zero temperatures. It was a long night, but in the morning all was well. Ina and Jan now believe they were meant to take a flight a few days later in order to save the hummingbirds! 

Ina Dykstra and Jan Randall live in Victoria composing, teaching and performing their music.

Be Seein’ You

About 35 yrs ago I was hired to write some music for a television show about a young girl and her horse- it was called Letting Go and it was produced and broadcast as a regional prairie drama back when CBC did such things. A week after the broadcast they passed a letter from a fellow in Montreal who wrote in to say how much he liked this theme. With that as encouragement, I wrote some lyrics for it, and a little while ago performed it for the first time at a concert in Duncan.

Here is the video from that event- I hope you like it. It’s an old fashioned country waltz called Be Seein’ You

B3’s, Zorbas, and Bob

1967 and I’m a busboy at Zorba’s standing behind a keyboard player, entranced. Various bands would haul Hammond B3’s and Leslies down 2 flights of stairs for a gig that likely paid them about the same as what I was making- and why?

1967 and I’m a busboy at Zorba’s standing behind a keyboard player, entranced. Various bands would haul Hammond B3’s and Leslies down 2 flights of stairs for a gig that likely paid them about the same as what I was making- and why? Because it was magic. I had a $50 organ then, and a band too- so it was a big deal to me. Not long after that I was at a street dance in Garneau standing behind a musician I had not met yet, also playing a big Hammond with Hot Cottage. Bob Derkach and I have been brothers for over 50 years now. It was my fault that he left his gig as composer for the planetarium in Edmonton(which eventually led to his CD actually flying to Mars) and left for Toronto to have a career with Second City. He was my understudy, and when I quit- he made history by staying with it for longer than anyone, truly defining the art of improvising live music for theatre, and influencing MANY who came after. We are still connected at the hip, brothers forever. This is a recent photo from his current tour. Pure genius and a truly enlightened soul.

Bob Derkach (center) on tour with some fairly famous comedians
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