Rick Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Rick Blue
is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Rick Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding West Island Gazette..

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 08.29.15


A perfect day in Maine

MONTREAL | Each summer I go to Maine for a week. The ocean has a Zen-like effect on me. As I say to my American cousins: "First there is a sandbar, then there is no sandbar, then there is." And because they are baby boomers, they get the Donovan reference.

The ocean is a healing place. Just the smell of the air alone is worth the seven-hour drive. I sit and watch the tide come in and then go out, all the time blissfully aware that I am breathing.

Normally, we rent a house near a beach. But this time we were on a spectacular rocky point on Bailey Island. There was sea all around us except for a lobster shack a few hundred feet away and a dock where real lobstermen bring in their catch.

All over the island oceanfront property was selling well in spite of predictions of rising sea levels. Maybe because so far the only thing rising were the prices. This motivated our owner to predict a 20-per-cent increase of next year's cost. Because we rented this year we asked if we would be entitled to the grandfather clause. Or, failing that, the lobster clause.


We had booked an excursion in a small boat to Admiral Perry's home on Eagle Island, but that morning there was a dense fog. I mentioned to my Maine cousin that it was like pea soup. She said Mainers call it "Sea Poop." It might have deterred a lesser group of people, but not us. And because all others had cancelled we had the boat to ourselves.

Our captain was the quintessential old salt. He insisted on pointing out the sights even though we could not see them. "On the right you can see Haskell Island, or rather, you could see it if you could see anything."

It reminded me of the typical Maine directions: "Just go up this road and turn right where the old Sunoco station used to be."

So we were now in the surreal realm of imaginary sightseeing. We could tell we were on the water by that wonderful sea smell, and because every once and a while another invisible fishing boat would pass us, its distinctive inboard sounding like a Harley-Davidson turning over.

Our captain tried to keep us amused by pulling up lobster traps. He showed us the place where they enter the trap, which he called the kitchen, and the next section where they waited, called the parlour. I tried not to think of Jacques Parizeau.

I had noticed that many of the lobstermen wore orange rubber overalls. He told me that orange was the new yellow. I asked him if he realized that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation referred to people like him as a "non-native fisher."

He noted that the local newspapers are full of the fact that Canadians won the international lobster boat races in Bath harbour. The headline was "Canadians steal the show at lobster boat races," so I should be proud.

Then, one cousin looked on the bright side: "By being in the fog, we miss all the beauty but we also miss the ugliness," she said. "So everything is perfect." I said that I imagine there are many people who go through their entire lives like this, probably for that very reason. But I don't judge. It was a perfect day in Maine.

To read Rick Blue's complete column on the West Island Gazette, click here Rick Blue in the West Island Gazette
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