They're the people you might pass by every day . You see them in the grocery store, at the coffee shop, in church and at local events. You may be able to call them by name, but you don't much about them. They all have a story. SaltWire reporters from across Atlantic Canada decided to seek out these ordinary people, have a conversation and tell their stories — in 300 words. Welcome to 2 Minutes With, stories of the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.
Keep a sense of humour
He’s had hardships.
When Steve Weatherby was five, he was struck by a car in Salmon River.
Severe brain damage.
Doctors figured he wouldn’t live.
They were wrong.
Steve Weatherby is often seen out on his scooter or at the Pictou Road Tim Hortons location. He’s known to many for his friendly greetings and cheerful smile. LYNN CURWIN PHOTO
He pulled through, but his family was told he wouldn’t walk or talk again.
He proved them wrong again, surprised everyone.
Fifty years on and he’s a familiar face in his hometown of Truro, N.S.
Usually he can be spotted on his scooter, or at Tim Hortons on Pictou Road where he’s well known to staff and customers. His friendly greeting is a trademark.
“I keep going and I keep busy.
He keeps a positive attitude.
“The main thing is to have a good sense of humour. I go to Tim Hortons two or three times a day if I don’t get too busy. I like to joke with the girls and get them laughing.”
The 60-year-old is always up for a good chat.
Steve Weatherby. LYNN CURWIN PHOTO
“I talk to people everywhere. I love everybody, and I love talking. I’m happy all the time.”
Although he has an uneven gait, he’s able to walk. When he was younger he even skied.
Growing older, arthritis slowed him down and he started using an electric scooter.
Weatherby was devastated when it was stolen from his shed in 2012.
Thankfully, an anonymous donor provided him with a new set of wheels.
“I can go pretty far in it when it’s warm, but cold is hard on the battery.
“It gives me a lot of freedom.”
In good weather Weatherby sometimes heads to the Airport Ball Fields to pick up recyclables.
At his home on Bible Hill – when he’s there, that is – he likes watching television, especially when wrestling’s on.
“Hi Steve!” is a common refrain wherever he goes.
He doesn’t complain.
“Nobody will listen anyway.”
Chuckles. Moves on.
Mastering the art of transformation
A dab of burnt ember, mixed with dessert sand. A dollop of taupe, a touch of beige.
Blend mixture on hand.
Line by line, a steady hand adds shaded colours to help create depth, contours.
Nose appears wider, jawline more pronounced.
Pencil in thicker eyebrows.
Lilly Ashdown applies a heavy foundation, then adds contours, exaggerating them for a more manly face. Eyebrows get coloured in for a thicker appearance on stage. CAROLE MORRIS-UNDERHILL PHOTO
Then, three spritzes of Medusa’s Magical Makeup Setting Spray.
Tighten the tie. Slick back the hair. Add a black bolo hat to the ensemble.
Within 30 minutes, a transformation has taken place.
Lilly Ashdown is no more.
Woman becomes man.
Makeup can transform people into whoever — and whatever — they want to be, something that Lilly Ashdown thoroughly enjoys. CAROLE MORRIS-UNDERHILL PHOTO
Meet Dr. Watson.
“It’s not about covering flaws. It’s about making something new and exciting to look at,” Ashdown says.
The preparations are for the latest production of Quick As A Wink Theatre in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Sometimes she’s working behind the scenes.
Sometimes on stage.
This time she’s doing both.
Lilly Ashdown starred as Dr. John Watson in Quick As A Wink Theatre’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. CAROLE MORRIS-UNDERHILL PHOTO
No matter the role — backstage or up front and centre — Ashdown knows the art of making a character stand out.
“I think there’s something to be said about makeup being able to transform people from whatever gender they may be or what they want to present as.”
Through QAAW, she’s transformed people into dragons and birds, made them younger, aged them and turned two into ghosts.
CAROLE MORRIS-UNDERHILL PHOTO
Ashdown, originally from Windsor but now living in Kentville, grew up experimenting with makeup — but not in the traditional sense. It was never about being pretty.
“I was a big fan of Alice Cooper and Marilyn Mason back in the day. And KISS.
“So I did ridiculous black eyeliner and writing lyrics on my face. I was a glam goth.”
She loves watching Rupaul’s Drag Race — and is inspired by how makeup can open new worlds and create alternate identities.
Ashdown takes one more look in the mirror.
Makeup perfect. Voice clear. Nerves intact.
A ship shaping life
He pushes the hand plane over the wooden plank.
Curled shavings fall to the floor. Timber whittles away.
Eric Bourden searches for the perfect edge.
The tools and knowledge of his forefathers still in use.
“This plane is about 150 years old.”
Eric Bourden, 83, uses the traditional ways of boat building. The 150-year old hand plane was passed down to him from his grandfather. ADAM RANDELL PHOTO
The 83-year-old learned to build boats with his father. He was 16 at the time.
They built a few together. Done a few himself. Bourden eventually drifted away from the craft.
It was a life decision. Didn’t want to get into it. Would rather talk boats.
The odd speed boat here and there, started up again with a 13-foot punt in 1982.
“The year the Ocean Ranger sank,” he adds.
Rowed it around New-World-Island in 2009. Eighty-six kilometres.
In total, he’s built eight boats from the keel up. Putting in the ribs. Attaching the planks. Shaping the bow, gunnels and risers.
No oakum. Re-spun thread and marine caulking compound for the seams. Fiberglass too.
No sure what dad would think of it.
Eric Bourden. ADAM RANDELL PHOTO
“I don’t know if they would use it. I’d say they’d stick with the old stuff.”
He embraces the new. There’s even an electric planer.
The greatest, on his own, a 20-foot motorboat in 2013. Powered by a four-horsepower Atlantic make and break engine. Built over the winter in his Bayview shed. Kept it a few years. Sold it to someone in Rocky Harbour.
The latest, a power dory in 2018. Bottom up across the yard, in storage until spring.
“That one has a square stern to hold a motor.
“I think it’s the only one of its kind for this area.”
There could be more to come.
A sense of passion.
Another one to start, perhaps.
“If I can get the other one sold I will. I’ve got money tied up in it.”
The power dory, built in 2018, was Eric Bourden’s latest project.
He just takes his time
Terry Hyson keeps going.
He plods down Commercial, grocery bags in hand. Cuts across to School Street.
Looks like he’ll never get there but he does.
He’s 74. A bit deaf. He’s never heard the word quit.
He sits outside the railway museum. It’s locked.
Terry Hyson moved from Bridgetown in 1984. He was taken in by Ron Johnson who created businesses for the disadvantaged. Terry worked at the railway museum in Middleton for 27 years. LAWRENCE POWELL PHOTO
He was stationmaster here for 27 years. Greeted visitors.
New people are doing new things he doesn’t understand.
His key doesn’t work anymore.
An old cat walks across the tracks.
Terry was told he was slow. He missed some grades.
“I just didn’t pass. It takes me a while.”
The late Ron Johnson believed in him. He worked with people like Terry at the old DAR station.
He was ‘Saint Ron’ for all the work he did with Terry and the guys. They were different.
Highlights, like the time Wayne Rostad featured Terry and the guys in his CBC show ‘On the Road Again.’
“That was something only fairy tales are made of.”
Now he just stays around home.
“Just not do much of anything.”
The cat twines through his legs.
He hopes the railway station reopens. He used to dress up as the conductor.
“I’m not allowed to now.”
Terry Hyson. LAWRENCE POWELL PHOTO
He has dreams though.
“What I’d like to do is to go in the winter and get a job and be able to earn some money.
“Or even volunteer.
“If I leave this place, no one’s gonna say that I’ve retired.”
He trudges across to his apartment. Up 20-something stairs.
The cat slips in.
“I’ve read a lot of them.”
This is where he writes poetry. Hundreds of neatly typed pages. Stories like ‘My Friend Crow.’
His most important goal, just to be a “good, strong-headed Christian.”
Tell the writer, “You can put in there.”
The cat jumps up, settles onto his lap.
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