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Saturday, December 13, 2014


I wrote this poem a few years ago but it still stands true.  Each year at the little park near me, the City of Hamilton, Ontario makes a virtual winter wonderland for the children.  Many people come from the mountain and the east end, Dundas, Ancaster and Westdale to see the display.

I, myself, looks forward to seeing this each year.  I hope you see what I see through this little poem.

Christmas at Gore Park

Twinkling lights on Gore Park trees
little children shout with glee
riding in miniature red train
I see them through my windowpane

Parents, grandparents, older siblings
shuffle feet to keep from freezing
as the snow starts to whirl around
the little red train does its round

Faces all aglow from the cold
little children a sight to behold
scarves wrapped around red faces
snowsuits and boots with laces

Fingers tingle in red mittens
hands and feel almost frost-bitten
Santa’s elves in North Pole
two are here playing their role

Gore Park is a wonderland
lights, falling snow – a fairyland.


A comment was left on my email from Linda Marshall.  Here it is.

What a wonderful poem Wilma. I can visualize the setting. Thank you. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014



     It was a normal day on the job for me as I drove my transport truck on Highway #427.  I was nearing Highway #401 when I saw a huge commotion.  It was a sight I hope never to see again.  A flipped over truck and trailer which had landed on the driver’s side.  Scattered on the highway were parts of the truck and its cargo of thousands of small metal stampings spilled from their steel bins.

     I brought my truck under control and pulled over to the left shoulder and dashed over to where the driver was trapped.  I could see him jammed against the steering wheel.  I yelled so he could hear me over the noise of the highway.  “Try and stand and move over to the other side of the seat.”  My heart was in my throat as I realized the danger of an explosion. 

     As I quickly checked the truck, knowing that every second counts in such a dire situation, my eyes fell upon a small gas tank vent afire about to explode.

     “Stand back, it’s about to explode.” I yelled to the many bystanders who had gathered around the truck.  The fear and terror in the eyes of my fellow driver drove me to forget myself and to do everything I could to save him.  It seemed to me as if everything was done in slow motion like I was in a bad dream with no end in sight as I went to my truck and got a long iron bar.  The fire had to be put out before it hit the main fuel tank or else the whole vehicle with the driver inside would go up in flames.

    “Don’t leave me alone” he gasped as his frightened eyes followed my actions in trying to break the window to free him.   I told him to cover his head with his jacket while I tried to smash the other window to get to him. 

    “I won’t leave you” I gasped as I tried to crack the window.  It didn’t work. My mind raced as I tried to figure out what to do next.  Inch by inch, I punched the iron bar through the edge of the windshield and pried it off along the rubber edging seal around the passenger side of the truck until I was able to reach in.  On my stomach amidst broken glass I crawled in and disengaged him from the steering wheel.  Dragging him as fast as I could out of the vehicle and over to the guard rail and it seemed he was weightless as my adrenaline fueled mind overruled motions and physics. 

     As he lay there, I could see in his face the agony which he had gone through.  His physical danger was passed but the trauma would linger with him for the rest of his life.  His terror state and shaking bewilderment prevented him from speaking but his eyes revealed a rebirth and gratitude while shocked. I felt he didn’t think a stranger would take charge and risk certain death to get him out of a truck that was built as strong as a bank vault. Bystanders intervened to console him as his tears of reality began to roll down his cheeks.

My truck was blocking two lanes and traffic was backed up.  I had to move the truck but not before the bystanders told the police what I had done.  As I was leaving the scene, I reported back to 911 that the driver was out of danger and the fire under control.

Another day in my transportation career – one I would never forget.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


New post on Kites Without Strings

A Canadian Poet’s Fascination for Trains

by d78hill
Canadian poet David Brydges was the motivating force behind The Original PoeTrain Express Toronto-Cobalt-Toronto May 2012
Canadian poet David Brydges was the motivating force behind the original PoeTrain Express that transported poets, bloggers, and a film crew from Toronto-Cobalt-Toronto in May 2012
David Brydges likes to talk. Some days, he’s like a runaway train that never stops. Well, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration. Pardon the pun, but he does have a multi-tracked mind when it comes to his love for trains and rail travel.
David Brydges with Cobalt's Poet Laureate Ann Margetson May 11, 2012
David Brydges with Cobalt's Poet Laureate Ann Margetson May 11, 2012
When I first met Brydges over the phone, he was pitching an idea for what he considered to be a new and exciting poetry event: the 2012 PoeTrain Express.  His vision included a poetry festival on a train where poets, musicians, bloggers, and a film crew would climb aboard a passenger train at Union Station in Toronto and then be transported 8 to 9 hours to Cobalt, a small northern Ontario community. Would I go?His enthusiasm kept me on the phone for close to three hours; a conversation that may have lasted longer if the battery in his cell phone hadn’t died. Yes, he signed me up. Yes, the experience left a deep impression on me and yes, I would highly recommend train travel to others.
Not only is David Brydges a great salesman but he’s also a man of action. Once he gets an idea, he becomes that optimistic and determined train character in the childhood story The Little Engine that Could. However, instead of chanting “I think I can, I think I can”, Brydges has no doubts when stating “I know I can do this.” As the organizer behind seven Spring Pulse Poetry Festivals and the first PoeTrain Express to Cobalt, Ontario, he has already proven that dreams and ideas can become a reality.
The Original PoeTrain Express and 2012 Spring Pulse Poetry Festival participants May 12, 2014
The Original PoeTrain Express and 2012 Spring Pulse Poetry Festival participants May 12, 2014
Kent Bowman at the 2014 Spring Pulse Poetry Festival May 30, 2014
Kent Bowman at the 2014 Spring Pulse Poetry Festival May 30, 2014
This year, his dream turned national. He is the current engine behind the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour a special “Poetry in Motion” event being planned for the 2015 April is National Poetry month celebrations. The tour which will begin Wednesday, April 15 in Ottawa and end 10 days later on April 25 in Vancouver will include a variety of poetry events both on and off the train. Registrations are now being accepted by original PoeTrain participant KentBowman. Registration forms may be obtained by contacting:
Will Brydges and his crew succeed in this project? I know they can and will.
If you wish to be part of this historical event, below is additional information being distributed by the organizing committee!
Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour Banner
On The Great Canadian POETrain Tour
An Historic, Once In A Lifetime
ViaRail Poetry Trip
Across Canada
The Original PoeTrain Express left Toronto May 10, 2012
The Original PoeTrain Express left Toronto May 10, 2012
Because we’re poets, we create. Because we’re poets, we seek out other poets.
Because there’s a POETrain, we can now take our poems, our thoughts, and our passions across Canada, writing, speaking, singing, listening to, and rolling in  – you got it – poetry.
Along the way, the gorgeous scenery and personal interactions matched with our own mighty creativity will help us write the world’s longest train poem.
The POETrain is a once in a lifetime chance to celebrate National Poetry Month 2015, while traveling across Canada with a group of other poets of all ages and backgrounds.
This is an historic venture – a poetic `Last Spike.’
Spaces are limited and discounts are only available up toDecember 1, 2014.
The original PoeTrain Express left Cobalt on May 13, 2012
The original PoeTrain Express left Cobalt on May 13, 2012
OTTAWA: Opening Ceremony, Wednesday, April 15, 2015
TORONTO:   Poetry Events from Thursday, April 16 through Saturday April 18 (VIA RAIL Canadian leaves for Edmonton on Saturday evening, April 18, arriving on Tuesday, April 21st)
EDMONTON:  From Tuesday, April 21 through Thursday, April 23, we will participate in the fabulous Edmonton Poetry Festival (leaving for Vancouver on April 24).
VANCOUVER:  Arriving early on Friday, April 25, we will be participating in the closing evening ceremony – a fitting end to National Poetry Month and an incredible journey.
On the PoeTrain Express May 10, 2012
On the PoeTrain Express May 10, 2012
Not only will Poetrainers on this journey experience an amazing literary adventure of writing and reading their work, attending poetry workshops to learn about their passion, hearing others read as well as participate in new book launches and in writing the world’s longest train poem as well as attending the famous Edmonton Poetry Festival as invited guests, but you will also be a part of a remarkable voyage through the incredibly beautiful Canadian Rockies as seen through the vista of the Skyline cars; truly one of the miracles of our marvelous country. This historic tour is a unique destination vacation for those who truly love the art of poetry and the beauty of Canada.
Important deadlines:
December 1, 2014: First deadline for submitting your registration form and $50 fee.
December 15, 2014: Extended deadline for return of registration form if you wish to take advantage of the one Via Rail on board entertainment poet-musician position, Canada Reading Tour Grants (if you are a full member of The League of Canadian Poets) or the PoeTrain laureate  position. (Ask for details.)
January 31, 2015: Deadline for obtaining discounted train tickets for travel April 11 to 25, 2014.
FOR CURRENT INFO:  Also, more info on the website here. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


The Flashlight

     My mother lived alone in a downtown building which was zoned as a commercial and residential edifice. Across the street from her building was the fire station.  On a regular basis she would drop off treats for the firemen and stay and chat for awhile.

     Over time, they became very friendly and the firemen devised a plan to keep an eye on her. Mrs. Woods, would it be all right if one of us would call just to make sure you are fine and don’t need anything?  We’d only do this, if we hadn’t seen you for a few days.”

     “How very kind of you, but you are so busy and that would not be fair to you.  How about a flashlight which I could use to shine on the dispatchers window? The firemen talked among themselves and agreed this should work.  

     As soon as my mother told me about her plan, I immediately went out and bought a very powerful flashlight.  This flashlight would light up the whole wall of the dispatcher’s area.  From time to time, my mother would see a few of them sitting outside for a break and shine the light and wave okay.

     One evening my mother flashed the light towards the sky in a cycle of 5 seconds on-off and waved it across the window ledge. Some firefighters had taken their coffee outside to enjoy the summer weather and noticed this.  They requested the dispatcher call my mother as this may be a distress signal. My mothers reply was “I was signaling to an aircraft above the area."

     He said Mrs. Woods, that’s okay but remember to get us the flashlight must shine onto our windows.”
The following day my mother told me what happened. I asked Mom, did you tell them that I was the one piloting the plane? You remember that I was allowed by the controllers to fly low over the city and angle down towards your apartment and flash the landing light. No, sorry I didn’t think of it at the time.”

     The next time I visited my mother, we went over to the fire station and I told them why she was flashing the flashlight upwards as I piloted a sightseeing tour over this area and said I would activate the landing light on and off to let her know it was my flight. They acknowledged the scenario had a better explanation now and one firefighter called me quietly to the side.

     “Mr. Woods, we really enjoy your Mom’s visits to our station and think she is a real darling.” I mentioned how my mother is a social butterfly always thinking of others before herself and the staff from this station gave her an incentive to go out and buy some goodies for their efforts in keeping our city safe.

     My mother motioned to me that she was starving for a coffee and off we went.

Friday, November 14, 2014


New post on Kites Without Strings

Ottawa: A Poetic Glimpse

by d78hill
“Looking for beavers, mooseand Mounties.”
He laughs. I laugh too, try

to pretend I wasn’t serious.
-Ronnie R. Brown*
Ottawa Sightseeing October 2014 photo 1If you are a travelling poet, a weekend visit to Ottawa is not enough. Yes, in three days you can squeeze in an afternoon poetry reading, visit the National Gallery of Canada and wander across the river to Gatineau, Quebec to marvel at the towering totem poles in the Canadian Museum of History. You might even be fortunate to see wildlife such as beaver or moose venturing across a road or to encounter Mounties also known as members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). However, this glimpse of Canada’s capital city only represents a thin layer of the heightened cultural exchange that permeates the area.
Ottawa Sightseeing October 2014 photo 2
For example, a young poet once told me that after moving from Ottawa, she missed and craved the vibrant, creative literary scene that had become part of her university existence: poetry icons like prolific writer and promoter rob mclennanbywords  (an on-line and print journal that provides a focal point for Ottawa poetry, literary information, and events) and the vast array of readings like the Tree Reading Series which is considered to be one of Canada’s longest running literary events.
Spotlight Reader Henry Beissel shares work from "Fugitive Horizons" (Guernica Press). The book was a finalist for the 2014 Ottawa Book Award: Fiction awarded for outstanding works of fiction including novels, short stories, children's literature and poetry.
Henry Beissel shared work from "Fugitive Horizons" (Guernica Press). The book was a finalist for the 2014 Ottawa Book Award: Fiction awarded for outstanding works of fiction including novels, short stories, children's literature and poetry.
Ottawa is also the home of ARC Poetry magazine, a literary magazine that has shared poetry with readers across Canada and beyond for over 30 years. Twice a year, theOttawa International Writers’ Festival celebrates the diversity of word with presentations by local and international writers. Last week, the Ottawa small press book fair celebrated its twentieth anniversary fall 2014 edition.
There is more: A quick search on the internet reveals a calendar filled with three or four literary events each day. Click here for more information.
Also it’s difficult to think or write about Ottawa now, without reflecting on Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the Canadian soldier who was fatally shot by a gunman at the National War Memorial last month. This horrific news impacted not only Ottawa residents but people across Canada and the world. Perhaps at some point, poetry can heal these emotional wounds but for now the mourning continues and cultural activities can help pull people together.
Spotlight Launch Reader Catina Noble shares work from two new Poetry Friendly Press chapbooks "Pussyfoot" (series #17) and "Clean Up in Aisle 4" (series #20). This year Catina was the 'poetry category' winner of the Canadian Author Association's 2014 National Capital Writing Contest. Congratulations
Catina Noble displays work from two new Poetry Friendly Press chapbooks "Pussyfoot" (series #17) and "Clean Up in Aisle 4" (series #20). This year she was the 'poetry category' winner of the Canadian Author Association's 2014 National Capital Writing Contest.
Earlier in October, The Ontario Poetry Society was in Ottawa for a members' reading and open mic held at Pressed, a Gladstone Street restaurant.  Three spotlight readers Ronnie R. Brown (Un-Deferred: A Draft Dodger's Wife Remembers, Beret Days Press), Catina Noble (Poetry Friendly Press chapbooks Pussyfoot (series #17) and Clean Up in Aisle 4 (series #20) and Henry Beissel (Fugitive Horizons, Guernica Press) stepped onto the stage and introduced new work. Additional readers included: Gill Foss, Carol Stephen, Debbie Okun Hill, Fran Figge, I. B. Iskov, Tom McGregor and J. C. Sulzenko. New members were Helen Johansen, Sylvia Adams and Shery Alexander Heinis.
"What a beautiful day to network, meet new writers and celebrate the poetic gifts of others!"
This Sunday, November 16, The Ontario Poetry Society travels to Oakville where they will host The Winter Warm-up Poetry Gathering, their next members’ reading and open mic. Sign up for readers is at the door. More information can be found here. Admission free. Open to the public.
Spotlight Launch Reader Ronnie R. Brown shares work from "Un-Deferred: A Draft Dodger's Wife Remembers" (Beret Days Press) (winner of The Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award, 2013)
Ronnie R. Brown's "Un-Deferred: A Draft Dodger's Wife Remembers" (Beret Days Press) won The Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award, 2013.
*from the poem “IX. Another Kind of Road Trip”  Un-Deferred: A Draft Dodger’s Wife Remembers (Beret Days Press, 2013) © Ronnie R. Brown
The Ontario Poetry Society
The Ontario Poetry Society
Several members of The Ontario Poetry Society read during a Sunday, October 25, 2014 reading in Ottawa.
Several members of The Ontario Poetry Society read during a Sunday, October 5, 2014 reading in Ottawa.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


New post on Kites Without Strings

A Canadian Poet Profile: Keith Inman and The War Poems

by d78hill

and we fell
to the creeks 
and blowing grass
of hillsides riddled red
with flowers
blooming from the bones
we planted
-Keith Inman* 
Today is Remembrance Day! Red poppies! Red poppies everywhere!
Someone somewhere will recite John McRae’s “In Flanders Field”. Perhaps, a grade school child (with a blonde lock of hair over her eyes and a shoelace untied) will rustle a paper sheet before uttering the poem’s title. Her classmates may sit-wiggle-squirm- cross-legged on a gymnasium floor. Outdoors, across town in the cold damp November air, a uniformed solider may place a wreath at a cenotaph. Silence observed. We try to remember.
PHOTO CUTLINE: The War Poems: Screaming at Heaven (Black Moss Press, 2014) features 67 poems by Canadian award-winning poet Keith Inman. It is Book #11 in the First Line Poetry Series which focuses on writers who are publishing their first book of poetry.
PHOTO CUTLINE: The War Poems: Screaming at Heaven (Black Moss Press, 2014) features 67 poems by Canadian award-winning poet Keith Inman. It is Book #11 in the First Line Poetry Series which focuses on writers who are publishing their first book of poetry.
Thanks to poets and storytellers, the scars of war remain etched on our minds. However, John McRae isn’t the only Canadian poet to write about the atrocities of conflict. This fall, contemporary poet Keith Inman added a fresh viewpoint of history with his first trade book The War Poems: Screaming from Heaven. Published by Black Moss Press, this 104-page collection includes 67 poems categorized into three sections: Wars of Dependence: 1812 to 1887, A Republic Monarchy: 1889 to 1953, and Armed Peace: 1954 to Present.
If it sounds dry, it isn’t. Inman’s work is enriched by strong characters and setting. He often includes dialogue and draws unusual but memorial stories from ordinary men and women living and working in what appears to be ordinary situations.
It’s a winning combination. Several of his poems included in this collection have been previously published in literary journals such as Descant or CV2. Others have placed in contests.
According to his book bio: he has published two chapbooks:Tactile Hunters (Cubicle Press, 2005) and A Stone with Sails, part of Sigil Press’s trilogy of Niagara Poets: Hanging on a Nail (2009).
Last week, I asked Inman to share his thoughts on his writing process. Below are his responses:      
Describe your book. Why did you write it?
War Poems represents the years Canada was at war. However, instead of a traditional war front, I wanted to look at what was going on in the lives of the people who were, basically, funding the war through family and taxes. I also believe that people, generally, rely on reason to form and inform their lives. I also like to delve into what happens when time and circumstance get in their way?
What are you working on?
World peace.
Canadian Poet Keith Inman
Canadian Poet Keith Inman
How does your work differ from others?
I started out as a short story writer, loved developing characters, rather than the internal ‘I’, or, testimonial point of view which is standard fare for poetry. I find it more rewarding creating from, let’s say, ‘what happened on the way to the forum’: a drunk crosses the road. His name is Fred. A war vet. Air force. Trainer, maybe.
Posted east, to train land- loving colonials how to fly above their gods. A separation of religions. Mutilation begets mutilation. Bodies of whole families in the ditch. Their sandals stolen. A drunk crosses the street.
Why do you write the way you do? How does your writing process work?
There comes a point when all the learning and lessons that you’ve absorbed over years becomes automatic - something triggers a thought, you sit down, and write. Editing comes later, although I find much of the process now happens as I am writing. Not sure that’s good or bad, it just is. Also, against most recommendations, I do not write every day. That is not my personality. That does not work for me. I don’t force it.
I remember reading about Nikola Tesla building a machine in his head, ‘then let it run for a few months.’ Later, he’d think about where the bearings showed signs of wear. What wasn’t working, etc… I think of it as periphery intelligence, or periphery sequencing. For me, I allow ideas to work in my brain for a period, see what imagery attaches to the machinery of it, let the gears mesh for a while, let the pressure build in the pipes, then write. It usually works.
Thanks Keith for the interview.
Watch this blog for additional Canadian Poet Profiles.
*from the poem “The Flute and the Rifle” The War Poems: Screaming from Heaven (Black Moss Press, 2014) Reprinted with permission from the author. Copyright ©2014 Keith Inman

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dundas Art Walk November 9,2014

Dundas Art Walk 2014

It was a dry day but chilly.  A small crowd gathered around a man and a woman. Curious onlookers in passing cars might have thought there was some attraction holding the crowd's attention and they were right. Once a year, Tower Poetry Society and Carnegie Gallery artists participate in a joint event, which showcases not only the gorgeous art work available for sale at Carnegie Gallery but also the work of local poets.  The two people were readers who performed the poetry which was displayed in the strong front windows.

It was interesting to observe the reactions of the people walking down the main street of Dundas, curious to know what was going on, but yet hesitant to join in.

After the walk around the down town Dundas street we all trooped into the Carnegie Gallery where wonderful teas and refreshments were set out for us.  It was good to be out of the cold!

Here are some shots of the occasion.

Jennifer Tan

Former President Valerie Nielsen &  current President Fran Figge

Bernadette Rule

This event is free to the public and is held once a year in the Fall.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Don’t tell me the war-dead are heroes!
Wars are dramatic times –
our friends, our relatives,
dying to help save our country.
We put the dead on pedestals,
and call them heroes.
It makes us feel good –
it justifies our deeds.
When men kill and are killed
in blind obedience to men of authority,
searching power and recognition,
where are the heroes?
When we hear stories
of the rich buying their commissions –
asinine men procuring leadership –
and leading men into hopeless battles,
where are the heroes?
When thousands die to defend honor,
to bolster pride,
from revengeful decisions,
where are the heroes?
We have created victims, not heroes,
but that would be admitting fault,
and pride won’t allow that.
We need to call them heroes
to justify our imbecility.

Wonder Eyes

wonder eyes
climbed into bed
with yellow socks
warm tickling soothing
touched my lips
stimulating ecstasy
to my toes
leaving the cold world behind
in an array of images and sensations.

Monday, November 3, 2014



      It was deep in a Prairie winter with howling winds, biting ice pellets and below freezing temperatures.  
Day after day, for ten weeks, we constructed natural gas pipelines.  Many men on our team were in their late teens to mid twenties. There were four co-workers who had either family or business connections to the management staff and they, at times would disappear for a few days.  As if nothing had happened, they would reappear on site.  
One morning, this happened again.  We all thought it was because they had been partying.  It sure did not help our morale that they got away with these actions because they were from a privileged background.  Any other worker would have been terminated with such behaviour.

     On that same morning, a police vehicle pulled up at our site.  We half expected that the four miscreants would be rescued from jail once again, without any consequences to them.  It had happened before, even drunk driving charges had somehow been mysteriously dropped, we thought because of parental influences. Do you have a SUV style vehicle here at the site?” the heavy set policeman said.

     “Yes, but it is missing, and we figure the four kids from our team have taken it.  They probably have abandoned it somewhere.”

     “Sorry to have to break this news to you but we just fished the car out of the Bow River.  It had gone over a high embankment and crashed partially through the frozen river ice cover and the driver is still inside the vehicle.”

     You can imagine our shock when we heard this. It was like a bad movie gone sour - we felt powerless,

     “Oh but there are three others kids with the driver.  Where are they now?”

     The officer went to his vehicle and radioed for more help.  A full scale search was about to begin for the others.

     “We know the terrain, we can help.”  No, that is out of the question.  Thank you anyway but it would contaminate the area with so many footprints and vehicles.”

     His radio phone crackled and a voice spit out what we all had been dreading.

     “A frozen body has been found by a local rancher. We followed the footprints to an embankment downstream and found one more body.  We are assuming that the fourth is still in the iced over water. There was alcohol in the vehicle and by the tire marks; it looks like the kids had been doing spins in the fields.”

     After the shock became less and we accepted that the kids would not be returning, the recriminations started.  It was not pretty as they blamed our foreman for not keeping a tighter reign on them.

     It was too much for the foreman as he vented his frustration to the police. I tried, but each time the kids got in trouble, the darn parents bailed them out.  They got away with blue murder.”

     One body was still missing after an extensive search.  Spring melt would bring it to the surface.  Jim, the one still missing,  was a mischievous boy, always taking life as a joke.  Black hair flopping over his face, sticking up at odd angels, his laughter ringing out while he worked. the river was too fast to send divers in any further along the river.

     This tragedy struck home with us.  Jim's father was a well liked pipeline inspector who earned his title through hard work and dedication that led to his family living a very comfortable life. He respected all employees and treated us as his own sons. It hurt us to see how this tragedy affected him.

      In time he would later say to us I gave Jim too much leeway.  In fact, I gave so much that it killed him.”
Many times I would see him staring endlessly into the horizon at the accident scene.  “Sir, I cannot express how badly I feel for you and your wife.  I wish there was something I could do to help.”

     “Ed, you’re an okay guy.  Please make the best of your life so that you don’t have any regrets.”

     In Spring, as we all had figured it would, the water released him.  Company policy was changed but too late. The elite and especially their children were mandated to follow rules and expectations without exception, as crew safety and procedures must take precedence over management influences. If crew members were to disobey the rules then they were fired regardless of family connections.

     In an ironic twist, at the inquiry, it was found that if the young people had gone in the opposite direction, there was a small heated meter station that may have helped them to survive.  

Too late for them, but perhaps this knowledge can save other kids out partying