Although the summer was pretty much a useless write off, I did mange to find an escape here and there. Every Sunday my friends and I would goto a nice little secret place known as Emerald Lake. Emerald was in a small town called Campbellville, situated between Milton & Guelph Ontario. The Lake was privately owned and admission was $10. Shayne had gone there with his family while growing up, and he was nice enough to share this special place with us.
Emerald Lake was a family ran place, yet it was biker affiliated I believe, as all of the security guards resembled Hell's Angels. You could drink anything anywhere you wanted in the park, as long as you had it in an open container such as a plastic cup. Beer bottles and cans were strictly prohibited, but you cold still drink without question, which was a beautiful thing. They also didn't frown upon marijuana usage either, and it was not uncommon to smell it wafting through the air, despite families and children scattered about the beach. Hell, some of those "families" were partaking in the weed too.
All in all it was always an awesome vibe there. Nice water to swim in, cliffs to dive off of, a beach to lounge on, a kickass snack bar, gorgeous girls in bikinis, and if you felt active enough you could play volleyball, basketball, and mini golf. I never once saw any type of fighting or altercations occur, which to me was worth the price of admission alone.
Sometimes we'd spend Saturday nights getting drunk, and we'd pull all nighters, then head there bright and early in the morning running on no sleep. The only catch was, you had to buy enough alcohol on Friday or Saturday in order to have some left to bring to the lake on Sunday. Thankfully in the early 90s we could goto the Molson Brewery Plant and buy alcohol, then eventually the beer and liquor stores started opening on Sundays. Hallelujah!
Over the years Emerald Lake grew and expanded. Nowadays you can actually camp out there for however long you desire, unlike back when we went the park closed around 6pm. They've also expanded the activities including a water slide for the kids, baseball diamonds, trailer park, campsites, and more. If you've ever been there then you know how amazing the place is, but if you've never been there, then I suggest you check it out should the chance ever arise.
In all honesty, I think Emerald Lake was my saving grace that summer. If I did not have that outlet who knows where the insanity of working midnights would have left my sanity. My friends, my girl, my band, and Emerald Lake were all I had that summer to keep balanced. Unfortunately I wasn't getting much time with any of the above mentioned due to my crazy work schedule, but if it wasn't for them I really don't know where I would of wound up.
After quitting Loeb, I needed some form of income, so I did a few random jobs for Shayne's mother who ran a gas station in Woodbridge. I started off painting the place for her and doing odd things she needed done. Shortly after she was robbed at gunpoint, and was quite traumatized to say the least. After that incident, myself and the other Shane (Foxy Bano) started partaking in stakeouts. We'd just hang out in his car parked in the gas station lot keeping eyes open for any suspicious behavior and/or activities. Eventually she gave me a part time job working midnights on Sundays & Mondays.
Meanwhile on the band front, we had literally done nothing. Due to me working so much, all I could do was write lyrics. We weren't jamming or playing any shows, but that would all change come Halloween...