I retired gradually. My teaching career was becoming less and less my passion, and the generation gap was becoming more and more evident. I went down to a four day week for two years and then down to three days until the pandemic sidelined most of us and my career just petered out. Before the pandemic hit, the school council voted to eliminate music in favour of “Arts Dramatique” which discouraged me. I jokingly asked: “Are you saying I’m irreplaceable?”. They said it is too hard to find a bilingual music teacher, but they did not even attempt to find one. I was always having to deal with “the more important subjects” to get any sort of extra time for rehearsal or for anything that disrupted the status quo. I was feeling kind of bitter, but I realized that change is constant in this world. buildings get re-purposed, roads get re-routed, occupations wither and die, etc.

The caboose has always attracted my attention. I thought “How cool, a fort on wheels” As a child I was always finding cool places to be alone and play at establishing a new home. Putting junk and “treasures” in it and delving deep into my imagination. A caboose represented the acme of all that. I was appalled when in the mid 1980’s the caboose was replaced with an electronic device. No longer needed, they became redundant, scrapped, repurposed and entered into history much like blacksmiths, video stores, journalists, mom and pop stores,etc.

As my relevance waned, I felt more and more like a relic of the past, but coupled with a fierce determination to remain relevant in my art and have produced more music in the past few years than I had in the previous decade.

I recorded this as part of my “just me and a guitar” sessions at Boutique de Son nd the album was almost done when the pandemic hit. Throughout the pandemic I wrote and recorded profusely and my “already in the can” material sat unheard. I released three albums this summer which is kind of an overload, but I see it more as unclogging a drain and letting things flow unimpeded now the music is out there.

I commissioned my friend Jacquie Dinsmore to paint an orphaned caboose.

All the jobs I ever trained for Tend to fade away
They say that I'm Redundant They say I'm In the way

I used to dig the ice out  of the river over there
I'd store it packed in straw  They don't need that anymore

I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
I used to have a function I used to have a use
I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
They left me at the junction When they cut me loose

I used to stoke the engines With my sweat and filthy coal
But technology replaced me  And I've got nowhere to go

I wanna be a classic car an antique shop filled with artifacts
I wanna be a 10 cent chocolate bar, But, they say, there's no going back

I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
Rusting on a rusty spur Waiting for things to occur
I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
They left me at the junction When they cut me loose

I used to sell their products until the products disappeared
Or else they're made overseas They can't afford to make them here

The world is spinning way too fast And I used to ride the Trunk
The treasures of the recent past Now are worthless junk

I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
I used to have a function I used to have a use
I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
They left me at the junction When they cut me loose

I've always been quite attached to trains They always know which way they're going
Now the trains they whistle past, They don't slow down, they move too fast

I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
I used to have a function I used to have a use
I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose
They left me at the junction When they cut me loose
I'm a caboose.


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