“Pop Goes the Weasel”, Day 3, June 14th

It was a light day today.  Since the concert choir was booked to sing in Winnipeg again tonight, there wasn’t much traveling to be done. It was still an early morning though, as we had an appointment at Lower Fort Garry for sightseeing.  The weather for the trip was overcast yet comfortable.  On the way there the boys were singing show tunes and playing their games. They were happy; evidence of being well taken care of.


Upon arrival at the Fort, there were people dressed in period garb outside in front of the entrance. When the boys got out of the bus, they were greeted by Miss Fox (dressed in First Nation attire) and Mr. LaRon (donning apparel from 1850’s Metis people). Miss Fox and Mr. LaRon began the tour of Lower Fort Garry teaching the boys about the three main people groups of Canada in 1851: First Nation, Europeans, and the Metis (meaning “mixed”.). They were then split into two groups, and introduced to all the historical buildings of the 19th century compound.  In every building, including the teepee, there was a person or two costumed to fit their trade: farmers, blacksmiths, housemaids, etc.

Our young gentlemen learned a lot and asked many questions…very good questions.  One thing they learned at the farm house was yarn spinning.  After watching a demonstration on creating yarn, they noticed a machine set off to the side.  They found out the machine was called a weasel. When the wool was spun to a certain length the weasel would make a “pop” sound to indicate the prescribed length was finished.  Miss Fox told the boys “that’s where ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ comes from”.  Miss Fox was good tour guide, and was so grateful for the group she led.  She said they were one of the best groups she’s worked with.  I’m sure it didn’t hurt that they sang for her and Mr. LaRon at the beginning of the tour.

We had lunch at the Lockport Provincial Heritage Park on the Red River.  The boys enjoyed their meals and learned the park featured a pelican conservation area in the river next to it.  There had been rain this morning but by the time we got to the park for lunch and some playtime, the sky opened up with some nice sunshine.

On our way back to Winnipeg proper, the boys got their mail (thank you, parents and families), heard from the Officer of the Day Isaac Stokes, and were entertained  by Chris Hess’ bus trivia.  I also got to interview another “first year” boy: Steven Jordan.




Steven is 11 yrs, and just turned 11 on the day we left for tour.  I asked him about what he though of tour, and he said it’s different that what he expected.  He thought there’d be more driving.  He also questioned why they had to stay with host families on tour, but after experiencing them he felt very welcome.  Here are some other questions I asked Steven…

What do you want to be when you grow up?  An ER doctor. They get paid a lot and save people’s lives.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?  The ability to have ALL super powers.

If you could be anyone in the world for a day, who would it be and why?  A dead person because you get to see heaven.

If you could time-travel, where and when would you go?  Germany, 1980’s, that’s when my dad was growing up.

Thanks, Steven, for letting us get to know you a bit.  Have a great tour!

Well, it didn’t stay dry for long.  It started raining again by the time we got to Westminster United Church.  The people at Westminster were ready to greet the boys as they arrived a bit soggy.  Dinner was delicious.  Tour jobs were done.  Then to rehearsal.  About this time in the tour is when Aaron reminds the boys of their stage presence.  They rehearsed a bit but also spent time talking about how to carry one’s self while on stage: decorum.  The boys reminded each other to stand up straight, avoid yawning, and communicate with their faces.  (Although someone can sing very well, they also need to learn to SHOW their music in their bodies.)  The boys learned well, because after tonight’s performance the staff commented on how they were much better at it than previous concerts.  

We have an early morning tomorrow, but before I sign off I wanted to share with you one of the weirdest answers I’ve heard during the Q&A section of all our concerts.  Tonight someone asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  While most of the boys answered with conventional responses like “a veterinarian”, “a singer”, “a teacher”, one of the boys (I don’t know who it was) answered “a sea eel.”  I think we were a bit perplexed as we chuckled at the odd answer.

Tomorrow we travel to a long 8 hours to Thunder Bay. Think of us as we find creative ways to keep the boys engaged, eh?

Good night.






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