My Gal Pal, Betty

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We met a couple of years ago when I volunteered at the cancer center in Surrey, BC.  My buddy Norm, (who was also a volunteer) and I used to walk over to the adjoining Surrey Memorial Hospital and buy a $10 Big Lottery ticket from the smiling ‘ticket lady.’

On our first visit to the booth, we introduced ourselves.  Norm or I probably started the introductions with a funny statement,  such as “He’s my older brother,” or “We only want to buy a winning ticket!” but always with the hope of making our new friend smile.

“My name is Betty,” she answered.

“Betty, I’m very bold by asking you this, because men should never ask a woman her age or weight, but…” I asked, but got cut off by her quick reply:

“I’m eighty-nine years old!”

So, Norm and I would drop by the lottery booth to buy our ticket from Betty every Wednesday.  She was going to bring us luck.  When Norm and his much younger wife, Dorean, are away on holiday, I would buy our ticket.  And Betty would always ask why Norm wasn’t with me?  Norm is the older brother that I never had and we still meet every Friday morning for coffee at the Whitby House.

Norm and I have been sharing the cost of buying a lottery ticket ($5/weekly) for several years.  But Norm and I haven’t been volunteering at the cancer center for three years, and we both live too far from the hospital to continue buying our ticket from our gal pal, Betty.  But anytime that I’m at the cancer center on a Wednesday morning, visiting my friends, I’ll drop by to say hello to Betty.

On a few occasions, Betty wasn’t at the lottery booth when I dropped by, so I’d ask the clerk why Betty wasn’t there?  And I was always relieved to know her absence wasn’t due to illness.

Sometimes, I’d see Betty at the booth on a different day – like last week, when I was there on Friday morning.  I had bumped into my friend Howard, who works at the hospital and asked him how Betty was doing.

Howard said that Betty now volunteers on Wednesday and Friday mornings.  He also told me that he was recently robbed of all of his DJ equipment and his digital karaoke music library.  Howard estimates that it cost him over $4,000 and a lot of grief.  Why is it that only good people get stiffed?

One of these nights I’m going to go to the pub where he does the karaoke/DJ but I probably won’t get up and sing – it would surely drive the customers away.

Anyway, on my way to the cancer center, I dropped by the lottery booth to say hello to Betty.  She recognized me right away.  We had a nice chat and then I asked a passerby to take a short video clip of Betty and me.

Here is a short video clip of our visit:  Gal Pal Betty

As I’ve explained many times before – ‘gal pal’ is my way of expressing my friendship with a woman.  I can’t say she’s my girlfriend – if she’s not (except for a few of my nurse friends).

But before I left the lottery booth, I told Betty I wanted to purchase a $10 Big Lottery ticket – even though Norm had already bought our tickets for the month.  But when Betty inputted the transaction – she touched the wrong key, and the ticket printed was a $20 lottery ticket!

“Oh, dear, I’m sorry.  I’ll cancel the ticket.”

“No, Betty – that might be the winning numbers!” I shouted, “and if I win, I’m going to take you on a trip with me to somewhere in the tropics!”

Betty is a hero.  She loves her community and gives her time to charity.  We need more Bettys in the world.

If you’re ever in the Surrey Hospital or Fraser Valley Cancer Center, on either a Wednesday or Friday morning, please drop by and say hello to Betty.  Better still, buy a ticket from her – it’s for a good cause!

UPDATE:  My ticket didn’t win anything, so I’ll have to tell Betty to unpack her suitcase.  (Just kidding!)

Dedicated to my gal pal, Betty

Hugs,

Danny

 

Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):

My Back Pages – lyrics

Crimson flames tied through my ears, rollin’ high and mighty traps
Countless fires on flaming roads using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I, proud ‘neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth, “Rip down all hate,” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white spoke from my skull, I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

Girls’ faces formed the forward path from phony jealousy
To memorizing politics of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists, unthought of, though somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

A self-ordained professor’s tongue too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty is equality in school
“Equality, ” I spoke the word as if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy in the instant that I preach
My existence led by confusion boats, mutiny from stern to bow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now

Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now

Songwriters: Bob Dylan
My Back Pages lyrics  Audiam, Inc

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About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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2 thoughts on “My Gal Pal, Betty

  1. I’ll definitely do that Dan. The ladies at the Tim Hortons’ counter by the cafeteria are always sweet to Mikey and Billy. One gave him his very own timbit.

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