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A Slice of Bruce

by Nancy Warnica

In Jonquiere Quebec, on April 30/54, a 6 lb something bouncing, bubbly, baby Bruce Murphy came into this world. He was the middle child of parents Theresa and Robert; younger brother to sister Michelle and older brother of, yet to be conceived, Ray. During his younger years, he lived not only in Quebec, but such romantic places as France, PEI and Greenwood NS.

He was an active child, who with his family, spent summers camping. Not for two or three weeks at a time, but entire summers, save for the days that Mom with kids ventured into town to do a wash and shop for food. When Dad had his three-week vacation, they would travel, introducing Brucie and family to some charming places in Europe. At the age of 8, Spotty the dog joined the family.

We know that Bruce is an athletic type, and his passion as a child was hockey. Bruce was also an excellent student, winning top marks in school and earning many awards and prizes - until he entered high school. Although girls were of keen interest to Bruce, DRUGS became a major focus. He was (I quote) “out in hinterland” and he found himself failing academically. However in grade 12, being the resourceful fellow he was, Bruce found a way to balance his drugs and studies and successfully climbed from the bottom of his class to bring his marks up to acceptable standards once again, good enough to get into Dalhousie University.

Bruce’s favourite colour is blue.

His first job was painting – that would be houses not canvasses.

Bruce met his wife Reggie in a Kibbutz in Israel. She was called Rage and he was called Brus. Rage and Brus knew each other for about 16 months before they married in Halifax on Sept 17/78. The ceremony took place in the Civil Court in Halifax above the Canadian Tire Store on Quinpool Rd. The witness to the union was the secretary of the court - your typical “no frills” affair. Bruce and Reggie are the proud parents of two lovely girls, Emily and Sophie.

During their marriage, Bruce told me, that he has only really pissed off his wife twice, however, he added that he is sure she has “lots of opinions about me”.

Most of us know Bruce as a good runner. His fastest 10 km time was 36:43, ˝ marathon 89 mins and change, and full marathon 3hours 40 mins and change. Very respectable.

His favourite sport to watch is soccer; favourite TV show West Wing, and favourite movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He has also read the book.

Bruce is allergic to a myriad of things – cats, dust, horses, and some foods, even to the medicine that you take for allergies. He has, over time, with gradually lengthening his contact with a household cat, managed to tolerate the feline. A testament to his perseverance.

Bruce worked a total of 23 years at Dalhousie University. He told me that if he tried to find a job now, in the field in which he worked at Dal, he would not succeed – his skill set is “toast”.

When asked what model of car would he like to own, his answer was a Jetta TDI.

I asked him if he could buy any bike what would it be. To my surprise he answered “a throw away”. He went on to say that although he likes good quality gear, he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning it. He said, “I like stuff that works, but I don’t want high end stuff cause I’d worry about the stuff”. How eloquent!

Bruce, now retired, is off on a new and exciting adventure. How many of us wouldn’t want to shed the responsibilities of house and family, just let it all go, pack up a knapsack and follow our heart. After visiting with family for a few weeks in Victoria, Bruce begins his WWOOFing career in BC before he moves on to different farms throughout the world. His plan is to get to New Zealand, and I am sure that is just what he will do. This straightforward guy, with a single purpose, a knapsack, good boots, and a G-mail account, is going down his road. Best of luck to you Bruce, take care, your friends will miss you. Keep in touch.

And, just to confirm that Bruce is indeed an individual, he has been circumcised twice. It’s quite the pick up line.

(Check out the Picasa Photo Album link for a Slice of Bruce in pictures.)