Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 30 — “…wait…is that A BRUCE WILLIS RECORD ALBUM?!?!”

For the first time in the history of this trip, fate might actually be working on our side! If you are reading this, please knock on wood immediately to help prevent the imminent jinxing. So, contrary to the weather trends of this entire trip, yesterday was a beautiful day, followed by a rainy day here in Cobourg, which is suppose to be followed by a reasonable day tomorrow for our drive to Brighton. Holy smokes, you mean I won’t get rained on?! The weather man has been calling for rain on Wednesday for the past week but miraculously it all changed this morning, bringing the rains in today and supposedly getting less than 1mm of rain tomorrow morning and afternoon. Cross every finger you have for me because I really don’t want to drive through torrential rain tomorrow!

This morning began with a presentation at Howard Jordan Public School and it went over quite nicely. For whatever reason, my wireless microphone decided to be a poor sport and stop working, but it was a nice and small gym and I had no problem projecting to the kids in the back. After the presentation, I was once again inundated with fun and interesting questions from the kids: it’s always so interesting to hear what kids want to know about living in a wheelchair…it’s never quite what you expect to be asked about.

After the school presentation we decided to kick “Operation: Shoulder Repair” into overdrive and spent most of the afternoon laying around or soaking my arm in the bath. Luckily, I’ve gotten pretty good at multitasking from a prone position and was able to get some work done despite my horizontal state. After doing an in depth interview with a journalism student it was time to get back into the groove and head off to the Port Hope city council meeting.

To celebrate the federal disability awareness week, Port Hope City Council was awarding students and business owners in the community who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to promote accessibility. It was really cool to be there and hear about what has happened over the past year in Port Hope to increase accessibility and some of the personal stories about how these changes have affected people. I also had the opportunity to meet a really cool guy named Zack, a student here with CP (I think, sorry if I’m wrong…I’m forgetful) who has raised over $20,000 in the past year to build an accessible playground beside City Hall. He was a pretty incredible young man and I’m excited to see what he takes on after finishing up this playground–it sounds like he’s basically got this project nipped in the bud after a year of hard work.

Before I go, I just want to share one moment of amazing that happened to us tonight. It was shortly after returning from the City Hall meeting that we were all struck with a sudden late-night hunger. We decided to pack up and head down the road to a pub we had seen on our way in and sample some of their delicious bar grub. The place was really nice (accessible, wahoo!) and unbelievably quiet (we were basically the only ones there) so it was the perfect venue for some late night snacking before getting to bed. Shortly after sitting down I noticed Sam became unresponsive and her eyes suddenly glazed over. Concerned she was under some kind of alien mind control device, I asked her what was wrong and with a slack jaw she mumbled out “…wa…wait….is….is that a bruce willis album on the wall?!?”

So trying to look inconspicuous in an empty bar, Pete and I both attempted to turn and take a peak. Sure enough, it was indeed a Bruce Willis record. Now I know what you’re thinking and no, we didn’t know Bruce Willis was a singer either, or that he ever produced a vinyl, or who Bruno is (although apparently he’s returned). All we know is that we need this album. Desperately.

Anyway, tomorrow is going to be a really busy day so I should probably head off. We’re up early for another school presentation, followed by a special disability awareness week celebration here in Cobourg, which runs until we head off for Brighton just after lunch. I’m definitely going to be tired tomorrow but I honestly couldn’t be more excited.

Bring it on! I’m ready for more!

– Jeff

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.