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And he wonders just in passing, how he ended up this way

Michael Johnson



Those of you who were born in the 1950-60s in Canada may recognize the title as a line from Romping Ronnie Hawkins's 1970 song "Home From the Forest", written by Gordon Lightfoot, about the death of a forgotten veteran.

I fall into that age group.  I've been a militaria collector for 45+ years now.  This Friday, I'm opening a year-long exhibition on Canadian Peacekeeping at the Oakville Ontario Museum.  Apart for occasional presentations to Cub Packs for Remembrance Day, it's about the only use I've made of my collection.

Last November I retired, not by my own choosing.  Given my family situation, which includes the care of my soon-to-be 90 mother-in--law,  to whom we owe our comparative freedom from 1990 to 2005, I probably couldn't have worked much longer.  Our sons have followed us into my wife's and mine respective professions, and are working on establishing themselves, living at home to save money, and helping out.

But when I go on Youtube and play some 1960s music, I'm still that awkward teenager making model cars and airplanes.







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Congratulations on your retirement.  It is wonderful when a song can transport us back to a time of our youth. 

Best Regards,


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Two years down the line.


My mother-in-law passed away this summer, as did one of her sisters-in-law.


My exhibition opened, and we had a marvellous speakers' night with four Peacekeeping veterans, including a Meritorious Service Medal winner.  But Covid closed it down in March 2020, and while still there it hasn't reopened.

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Now it looks like I may see my exhibition for the first time in 19 months.


This year is the 65th Anniversary of the Suez Crisis, which culminated in Lester B. Pearson's invention of Peacekeeping, as opposed to Military Observers.


So the Museum will record a video of me discussing this.

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So sorry for the quick succession losses in your family.  Condolences to you and your family. 


Best Regards,

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I've received word from the Curator that she has permission to re-open this summer.


We're already making plans for a November event at the Museum.



Edited by Michael Johnson
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