Trent Bruner

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THE NEWS FROM BRUNER’S BROOD – AUGUST 22, 2019: MEETING ROD PEDERSEN Print E-mail
trent_and_rod-low_res.jpgHi everyone! As promised August 21st, here is my latest article for Facebook and www.trentbruner.com. This article features background on an original tune I released from my 2019 original fiddle book “All of Mine-Volume 1” and is named for a sports celebrity.

Anyone who knows me realizes I closely follow sports when I’m not working with music, especially the professional teams from home in Saskatchewan. Whether it is the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, the Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League, or the Saskatchewan Rattlers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League, I like to keep ties to home. The internet has allowed me this opportunity since I moved to Norway in 2004, and for that, I’m always thankful.

In the Saskatchewan sports scene, a recognizable name from Regina covers these teams. He served for 20 years as a former radio play-by-play commentator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, as well as with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats and Prince Albert Raiders, and was the host of 620 CKRM’s sports talk show “The Sports Cage.” He now hosts his own sports talk show on Facebook Monday to Friday from 10 AM-12 Noon Central Standard Time from Regina and I stay in touch with home via his internet show when I can. His name is Rod Pedersen. His show is “The Rod Pedersen Show.”

Rod‘s coffee talk style presentation attracts viewers and listeners inside and outside Canada. He’s never afraid to give his opinions, and this honesty shows in his daily show. But in the two times I met him personally (2008 and 2019), he was warm and courteous each time. When I visited The Rider Store at Taylor Field in Regina in November 2008, Rod stood behind me, asked if he could help me with something, and helped me find copies of his 2008 book “Green Magic” that highlighted the 2007 Grey Cup win for the Roughriders. He personally autographed them in the store for me and my sister-in-law’s boyfriend. I left the store with a positive impression of him.

What I will write now is a summary of media reports that were earlier made public on Rod’s life, so what I’m presenting has already been reported.

I was not aware until January 2015 that he had issues with alcohol and mental health. It was when I read an internet article from the Regina Leader Post where he publicly declared that he was giving up alcohol at a noon luncheon in Regina that I became aware of these issues. When the reporter wrote that Rod’s declaration brought a standing ovation from the audience, I was surprised to read it, but at the same time, glad that he came forward to admit he was receiving treatment to deal with his earlier demons. Fellow sports reporters and regulars on “The Sports Cage” later publicly encouraged him on the positive turn of events live on the air. I heard CBC Saskatchewan radio host Sheila Coles interview him afterwards on “The Morning Edition” via the internet with what I found to be a gripping story about his past. Years later, I read an article on Rod’s life from Montreal Gazette sports reporter Herb Zakowsky that acknowledged the support of Rod’s wife Cindy in overcoming these problems, and later on, Rod travelled to New York City to receive training as an interventionist to help various people in sports, entertainment and the military with alcohol and drug abuse issues. Rod has also set up a recovery podcast some of the various contacts he has had through sports that have had similar stories to share about their own recoveries. Rod and his wife were also involved in the restaurant business with Famoso Mediterranean Pizza for a time. When I put these reports together, I saw a story of someone with major life issues doing his absolute best to hold the course and accept the support and love from family, media members and the sports community at large. To me, the story of this couple required some sort of musical tribute. In March 2019, I composed a swing tune for them that made “All of Mine-Volume 1” titled “Rod and Cindy.” I wanted to personally present Rod with the sheet music for this tune, but I was also nervous because it was the first time I had named an original composition for a sports celebrity. Would he be at the game? Would I be able to see him? I wrote an e-mail to his co-host Darren Dupont letting him know about my planned presentation, but got no reply. On August 15th, the Saskatchewan Rattlers basketball team hosted the Guelph Nighthawks at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. I went to the game with a leap of faith and sheet music in hand.

I saw Darren Dupont passing by the Rattlers’ sales table and let him know that I was the Canadian in Norway writing in to the new show on occasion. Little did I know that Rod was standing behind me again! I was so surprised when Darren took his iPhone and started videoing Rod and me in an impromptu interview that I got tongue tied! But I presented Rod with the sheet music of this tune before the game started, and he was pleasantly surprised to be musically honoured. And yes, Darren did read my e-mail after the game and wrote back.

To conclude, I got 2013 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion James Steele from Saskatoon to learn this tune and play it with me. Thanks to James for playing, his father David for shooting the video, and to the Steele family for hosting the video session. Copy and paste the Youtube link in your browser for how the tune sounds at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP-lzJ9khU4&list=PLBvP9Yzm7FupvV45WUZSTbBUYj9T4r885&index=4&t=0s

And thank you to Rod and Cindy for inspiring many people to a better life! Until next time, see you somewhere down the musical trail!

Musically yours, Trent