My friend Charles Leblanc was invited to attend a gathering in his honour this morning at the local courthouse. He supposedly "earned" this invite because he crossed onto the lawn of the New Brunswick Legislature in April to document the unfolding demonstration of concerned voters who were protesting against closing MacTaquac Park during the winter months. As with many other protests and rallies, our most famous New Brunswick blogger wanted to capture the emotion, the clashing and the stories behind it all. This is what he does and does WELL. This is what drives some folks CRAZY. My "in your face, ask too many questions, tell it like it is, take a slew of pictures, ADHD" friend attended the rally in April and was promptly arrested for trespassing and breach of whatever. You see, he was banned from the grounds in 2006.
In April 2009, after hundreds of visits to the Legislature and dozens of interviews with politicians and other muckymucks....many of which have been posted on his blogsite and on Youtube, someone decided to arrest him! It made no sense to me then, and it certainly makes no sense to me today. Consequently, Charles Leblanc was invited to a gathering at the courthouse in his honour today..... TODAY was the day. And guess what? His name wasn't on the list. Because of this little glitch....his name could not be called out loud. Did those folks who make the courthouse guest list up not see the big COUNTDOWN clock on Charles' blog?
So, what is that all about? Obviously there must've been some planning discussions behind the big wooden door on that cold day in April that the DAY had come to arrest an unsuspecting Monsieur Leblanc as soon as he arrived with his trusty camera and his effervescent directness to document the event. Wouldn't ya think? Or was it some random decision to cuff the guy and take him away, thereby putting a huge damper on the real story let alone the concerted efforts of the MacTacquac Park supporters? Either way, there must've been at least a little bit of discussion that the act of arresting Charles would automatically prove to be a political hot potato and would hit the media sideways.?? Yes? No? I mean, isn't this the same dude who took on the SJ Police force to argue his credentials as a verified media rep. after they confiscated his camera a while back? Isn't this the same person who made the National news by having the guts (or the craziness) to force the issue thereby moving the role of Blogger up a few notches on the journalism food chain?
Did someone think they could arrest Monsieur Leblanc without no one noticing. If a tree falls in the forest, will anyone notice it? Ah....well....Charles would. He'd be yelling TIMBER in both official languages while taking photos and riding his bike out of there. !!! His voice and his manner....and what he does has taught us to listen and to SEE when a tree falls. We notice now. We notice. And if we DONT notice, Charles barks and bellows until we wake the frig UP!
Action = Reaction.
Cause = Effect.
Confused....this is the word Charles used today as he stepped out of the courthouse when he realized his name wasn't on the docket. I'd be mighty confused too, and a wee bit stirred. He has been left with no direction, no explanation, no closure on the whole debacle. I don't see anything right about this whatsoever. Is he on the list or not? Is he charged with anything or not? Can someone clear this up? Puhlllleeeeze!
As much as he has the balls of a brave warrior and the yappiness of a pitbull, he also has another side to him too. The HUMAN side. As much as Charles has documented and played this story up on his blog (and of course he would.....) he also has other stories he works on too. The HUMAN stories. Hardly a soul pays attention to the other stories unfolding..... Charles does and he has introduced us to many of them....people, places, events, the issues of the marginalized....the joyful and the most sorrowful of them all..... as he learns about them himself. He's not afraid to put it all out there. By so doing, he stirs up hornets nests and forces many to discuss them. It's a good, good thing. He pays attention. And you know what, he reaches out to others more than you will ever know. And all of those people KNOW and are grateful. I know I am. And I know of a few others..... :)
His heart is huge. His heart is what leads him. Charles is truly a person no one forgets....
And yet...someone forgot to put his name on the list for the gathering at the courthouse??
So, my friend..... let me be the one to announce you.....
Hey Crazyman Charles!! Come out to play!! Bring your glove and we'll toss the ball around. I know a great locale...it's across the street from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Know it? Well, of course you do. You pitched a tent there one summer didn't you?
ps.....Hey Charles...You know how you told me all winter long that good things happen to good people? You were right. Now, I pass this message back to you. Good things happen to good people....especially to those like YOU who do good things for others. It's your turn.