Thursday, October 1, 2009

2009 Vancouver AIDS Walk

The Vancouver AIDS Walk has long been a regular fixture on my Fall calendar. For most of you reading this blog, where you already know me personally, you likely know that my little brother, Ron, died of AIDS many years back. In fact, it's hard to believe that it's been 15 years already. The Walk reminds me every year of just how devastating AIDS can be to those suffering and to their family and friends.

The Vancouver Walk may no longer have the cachet of one of the big, must attend, events for the gay community. It may not draw the crowds that it once did, when it seemed like a continuation of the night before at The Gandydancer or Odyssey - but the need for resources to fund services and research continues unabated.

I understand that the amount of funds raised was significantly down this year; however, I'd like to thank the many friends and colleagues that sponsored me this time around. We raised just under $3,000 - the largest amount that I've ever raised thus far.

As you can tell from the pictures, it was a gorgeous Fall day in VanCity and it would be impossible not to understand why tourists flock to the Seawall to walk, run and ride to see Vancouver scenery at its best.

Boo and Mr. D. weren't able to walk this year as they were out of town at Boo's mom's property, playing "farm boyz." But, luckily, Elzee was a more than willing companion. Following the big Walk, we re-traced our steps a bit and visited my brother's memorial bench - which is right on the Walk route, by Lost Lagoon at the entrance to Stanley Park. It seemed like a perfect occasion to pull a cork and lift a glass in Ronnie's memory.

Hence the reason I'm actually including this post in the blog.

203. 2006 Glaetzer Wallace (Barossa Valley - Australia)

Glaetzer is one of the more prominent names in Barossa winemaking. Father, Colin, has been in the business for over thirty years and was involved in the creation of one of the iconic Aussie bottles, E&E Black Pepper Shiraz. Son, Ben, is the new turk that took over the family winery and is known for his big, Barossa reds.

Wallace is a Shiraz/Grenache blend (70/30), made of grapes sourced from the well-known Ebenezer sub-region.

The smart looking label is a combination of the Celtic cross, thistle and Celtic knot pattern and celebrates the Wallace heritage of Ben's mother.

I think it's fair to say that "big" is an operative word for describing the wine as well - at least in this setting. Elzee and I both thought that, as nice as the wine was, it was hardly an afternoon sipper on a sunny day. We need to come back to another bottle on a rainy evening with a big rack of lamb on the barbee. And we no doubt will.

Cheers Ron.
PS. The port-a-pottie isn't normally one of the more notable features on view from the bench.

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