Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women (The End Part Deux) **Extra Chapter




Hi George and friends,

Back in 1984, J. Robert Wood was driving me home from the radio station in Toronto somewhere close to midnight. My place in Mississauga was about 45 minutes west of the centre of the universe (otherwise known as Toronto) on the Gardiner Expressway/QEW combo. While we engaged in a wide range of topics during the ride, one comment from Bob stood out in particular. JRW was listing the various poisons in a cigarette and urged me to consider quitting the habit saying in part, “someday those things are gonna kill you.”

“Someday” has arrived. I have been diagnosed recently with lung cancer.

Over the years Bob was not the only one to issue such a wise warning. As I write this, I am nauseous, weak, light-headed, and tired. Fatigue like I’ve never experienced before. Of course I wish I had heeded that warning but I can’t do anything now. The damage is done. Reaching the age of 65 is pretty good as life spans go but it didn’t have to be this way.

Last summer, my Angel spouse Rachel and I moved back to the mountains in Alberta from dreary old Winnipeg. We had all kinds of plans; camping on weekends at Waterton Park, Banff, Lake Louise, babysitting the grandkids in Calgary, doing the annual Stampede—again, seeing the Flames play the Leafs at Saddledome and most especially that planned trip down the Oregon coastal highway this summer. None of it is going to happen. Instead I live day to day hoping the nausea will go away for a few hours. My system is screwed up having to take oxycodone and morphine in large doses. Life sucks when you’re dying.

The message here is quite simple: STOP smoking now. Right now. Flush those damn things down the toilet. If you don’t, you’re going to end up like me.


Rick Hallson





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