I’m often mistaken for the North of 60 Actor Tom Jackson. I don’t mind the mixup but I’ve had some pretty scary situations too. One time I was driving home from Edmonton and stopped in Saddle Lake Alberta to buy some rat-root for a toothache. I stopped in the store to ask around when this woman walked right up to me and just slapped me. “You B*&^%$#, how come you never phoned?” “What?” “How come you never called me. Remember, Poundmaker’s Pow-wow. Don’t pretend you don’t remember.” And she cocked her hand to slap me again. But this time I ducked and wrapped my arm around her neck. “Let me go you lying B*&^%%.” “What the hell are you talking about?” Then her girlfriend said four words that saved my life. “He’s not Tom Jackson.” I let her go and she shook herself to composure. Her friend lent her a pair of glasses. She squinted at me and apologized while picking up a box of pampers. “Boy your lucky I was sure gonna beat the hell out of you.” “You better start wearing those glasses cause if you do that to me again I’m gonna beat the hell out of you” I told her.
Another time I was standing at the bar with my buddy in Grande Prairie. This woman was leaning against the bar at the other end. She was puffing out her “mah” (Gwich’in word for breasts) and grinning at me like she had something to offer. She wobbled over and stopped about an inch and a half from my face. “I want to have your baby” she said. “Can you” I asked, backing away from her stale beer breath. She closed one eye and focused real hard before she cackled to herself and covered her mouth. “I thought you were Tom Jackson” she said, more to herself than to me.
The best was when I was driving south one time. I only had enough money for gas so I’d stop along the way and play my guitar and sing for change. I was playing in front of the Northern Store in Fort Nelson one morning when this truck pulled up with about six Indians in the front seat. They all spilled out and this old Indian couple looked at me with great interest. They said something to their daughter in their language. She told me they wanted my autograph. I didn’t know what the hell they wanted my autograph for so I said sure. I scribbled my named on a cigarette pack and gave it back to them. “Is that a D” she asked. I took it back and looked at it. Then it hit me, they think I’m Tom Jackson. “No, that’s a T, sorry.” They were looking at me with the big question across their foreheads “What are you doing playing for change?” “I’m ah, I’m…I’m just making money for poor people. I’m going to give this to Salvation Armey.” Boy a big smile just came over their faces and they said something to their two grandchildren who went and dug under the tarp for something.
They gave me a big bag of drymeat and one whole bannock, plus a ziplock of bone grease. Man I never ate so good. I sat right on the sidewalk and ate half that bag. They were just killing themselves laughing. They’d say something and their daughter would translate. “Is North of 60 a real place?” “Oh yeah, it’s in Saskatchewan.” “I thought it was NWT?” “Oh yeah, sorry, I mean NWT?” I sang them part of the Huron Carole was but was screwing it up so bad I just said I have to go now. I asked them for a couple of smokes for the road and they looked at me really quizzical. “Never mind” I said, not wanting to push my luck. I thanked them for the grub and peeled out before they saw my NWT plates.