Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | June 28, 2013

A Police Officer’s Perspective

Roscoe’s Perspective 

Click on the above link – Roscoe’s Perspective

People wonder why some police officers appear grumpy or cynical. Maybe its the storms of life they have weathered that account for this doing their job as police officers. We are often time to quick to criticize. Never judge till you walk a mile in the other person’s shoes. Roscoe shares his story.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | June 1, 2013

No matter how dark the night the light of hope shines through.

No matter how dark the night the light of hope shines through.

I enjoy seeing metaphors in life that give a strong message. While photographing on Vancouver Island’s West-coast near Long Beach the sun was setting. The lighthouse light became more visible as the curtain of darkness fell. As the beam rotated it sent out its beam to signal sailors that a safe haven is nearby and to avoid the rocks and reefs.  The same is with life. No matter how dark a situation we face it is important to believe the light of hope shines, guiding us to a safe haven.  The light of hope is our will to overcome, friends who stand by us unconditionally, and those that share their journey through darkness. The sad reality when facing depression we are not alone.  If we are aware of the light of hope that shines in all of us we will not fall victims to the reefs of despair. We have to find that safe haven of wellness and good mental health and not fight the storms of depression anymore.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 31, 2013

Alive in Memory

My beautiful picture

Happier Times

During my career I worked with three police officers that had lost their sons. One died as the result of a homicide, myself doing the forensic work on the deceased. The other two were the result of an overdose and meningitis. The officer who lost his son to meningitis wanted pictures of his son so I assisted taking them for him.  The hardest event in a father’s life is to lose a son.  This worst fear became reality in our own life when our son Kyle took his own life at 30.  This coming Sunday is Kyle’s birthday. He would have been 32 years old.  It has left a large hole in our lives and at times just seems like a bad dream that you hope you can wake up from. But you do not. There are the subtle triggers – a movie or a memory that awaken in your consciousness. You continually ask the questions why?, What if? If I  had only known?  You see your friends experience their sons getting married, being successful, and enjoying life. Yet you only think of what could have been.  There is a line in the book, “A River Runs Through It” that echoes in my mind when it comes to relationship with our children. “It is those that we live with and love and should know who elude us.”

It is the visual archaeology of photographs that allows us to dig up an artifact of memory, a moment in time shared that is now priceless.  I now can say I know how those who  have lost children that I have dealt with over the years feel.  My tears of loss at Kyles passing were not just for him, but for all those who mourn.

I dreamed of Kyle the other night. Not much was said, but he did give me that infectious smile.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 27, 2013

Mentorship from Experience

Miah’s Journey

It is said our lives are forged on the anvil of experience.  It is the experience of facing and overcoming challenges that give us wisdom.  When we share our stories, failures and successes, it gives us credibility. Negatives that happen in our lives can become important lessons, especially when sharing with others.  We can only really connect with someone when we have walked a mile in their shoes and experienced the same challenge.  I use digital stories when I teach to compliment what I am saying. This is a story of Miah who failed at everything but was able to turn his life around by listening. Through listening Miah found the solution to his dilemma.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 27, 2013

Forensic Investigator

The Real C.S.I.

The Real C.S.I.

The most demanding position I experienced in policing was that of forensic investigation.  My first time that I served with the section was from 1976 – 1983.  There was a Sgt., myself, and a darkroom technician.  Our call out schedule was to be shared, two weeks at a time.  However due to issues with the Sgt., I wound up being on call 24/7 – weeks and sometime months at a time.  When ever you were called out after normal shift it was always something serious. The ringing of the phone at night you would instinctively grab the phone on the first ring. You would get dressed, drive to the police station, and pick up your gear.  You would then drive to the scene and process it. If you were lucky you might get back home, but in most instances you worked on the case till your shift started. You then had to fingerprint people locked over night, and attend early morning calls. Then work on the case you were called out on.

Murders, suicides, and suspicious deaths you would attend the postmortems to photograph the process and gather body samples that would be taken to the crime lab in Vancouver.  One smell from this process that haunts me to this day is the smell of alcohol on a person after they have been drinking a lot. This was often the case when they opened the body cavity you would smell that pungent, sweet smell. So often crimes of violence are alcohol related. The smell of a decomposing human body is very unique, a sickly, sweet smell.  Years later you will taste something similar in a food and it will cause a flashback.  You are always left with triggers from sounds, smells, and tastes.

Alcohol during these years was the numbing agent and sleeping remedy.  The person I replaced was fired due to alcohol and eventually was killed in a car accident.  The Sgt. I worked with also succumbed to alcoholism.  He often shared with me those haunting memories that stay with you. Each call adds to the container called the subconscious. A trigger will conjure up images in the mind of horrors past.

It was during this period that I drank a lot, especially at home.  It was the start of downward spiral of negativity and isolation.  Despite being in a group, I felt alone and empty.







Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 26, 2013

Impact of Alcohol


One of the ways I deal with issues I have dealt with  is through my ventriloquism. Being able to share your own experience from another character’s point of view. I bring wellness in my classes through the experiences that are shared by Simon the Storyteller and Scruffy the street person. The more we share with others the more we can heal within ourselves.  A major step on the journey towards wellness of spirit is sharing with others. We are all hammered out on the anvil of experience.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 25, 2013

Lessons From The Elders

Samuel Sam, Tsartlip Elder.

Samuel Sam, Tsartlip Elder.

When I talk to students who want to pursue policing I tell them be careful how you judge and stereotype others. Sammy Sam was an elder. I met him during my work as aboriginal liaison officer. I have had many teachings and the opportunity to share many sweat lodges with him.  Sammy at one time was a chronic alcoholic who was arrested several times for drunkenness.  One day Sammy put the drink down and embraced the aboriginal ways to sobriety.  He became an alcohol counselor and worked with the Law Department at the University of Victoria.  For his work Sammy was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law and the Order of Canada.  The greatest miracle is a changed life.  Sammy passed away a few years ago. At his service people from the military, judges, policemen, and lawyers came to honor him.  His teachings live on in others he touched during his life.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 24, 2013

Serenity Through Nature – Walkabouts

001 Gary Marble Meadows


During my years as a forensic identification officer my camera and I absorbed a continual flow of horrendous images of human interaction and desperation.  To counter this negativity I would retreat to the mountains of Vancouver Island with my camera to reconnect with the great healer, nature.  I have never felt comfortable in the confined spaces of churches, finding my serenity in nature.  As I wandered the meadows with my camera I would try to flush the ugly images from my mind with images of the beautiful creations of the natural world. It’s where I could re-connect spiritually reminding my that there was and still is a lot of beauty in the world. It is the only place that I felt really connected.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 23, 2013

Badge of Life Canada

Badge of Life Canada

When I found this site it made me realize how important it is to share my experience as a police officer and what I did to find wellness in my life.  I am glad that the mental health of Canadian police officers is being talked about and police members, active and non-active, are sharing their stories.

Posted by: Ventriloquist Storyteller | May 23, 2013

Rookie Blue

Rookie Blue

January 01, 1973 I started my career as a police officer. I often wonder why I chose this profession. I believe the real deep seated reason was to make a difference and to do something good for the community. It was a harsh awakening as the culture of the time was hard living, hard drinking, and putting on a tough front which was contrary to my personality.



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