WAT’S UP – Adam Sawatsky

From a riot to a kiss

Brian is painting a chair in his driveway when we stop to ask if there’s a story behind it.

He says, ‘No,’ but his tree has one. He points in the direction of a white weeping birch in the front yard. Its delicate branches are bending over the sidewalk to the boulevard. Brian says the tunnel it creates is frequented by locals and photographed by tourists. In his New York accent he proclaims: “Everybody just goes crazy for the tree!”

If you want to understand how Brian personally feels about it, you need to hear about the time he was visiting San Diego. He was attempting to test a new tape recorder while driving and took a wrong turn. He ended up in front of an arena which was surrounded by people waiting for a Rolling Stones concert.

At first it looked like any stop from the band’s 1972 tour, however, after thousands of fans found out they were sold fake tickets, Brian found himself caught in the middle of a riot. He was beaten by a police officer with a baton. The only thing he could protect himself with was that new tape recorder.

The next day, the recording of Brian struggling to ask why he was being hit, was heard on TV and quoted in the paper. The incident was so unsettling, Brian decided to leave the US and move to Canada. He eventually ended up in BC where he befriended a woman named Bonnie. After being friends for years, Brian declared his love. She tells us she’ll never forget their first kiss: “It was sweet beyond belief.”

While the videographer starts taking pictures of their wedding photographs, I notice the bridal party is posed under a tree that looks just like the one in front of this James Bay house they’d eventually move into.

“I love the tree,” Bonnie gushes. “(Every morning) I ask how many kisses have you had today?” She explains they see couples kissing under the tree all the time. Brian and Bonnie themselves enjoy the romance of the tree multiple times a day. “I drag my wife under there and smooch for a while,” he says.

During those embraces, Brian feels gratitude for that tape recorder, wrong turn and riot.

“It changed my entire life.” Because of what happened down there, he spends every day under the kissing tree up here, and Bonnie says, the kisses are still, “sweet beyond belief.”

Adam Sawatsky is a reporter-anchor at CTV News Vancouver Island.

 

 

Just Posted

Bill Gaston, Monique Gray Smith capture Victoria Book Prizes for 2018

Butler Book Prize and Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize winners collect $5,000 each

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read