Turn up the amp …

For a two-night gig this past July in Beaver Creek, Larry Berrio and his band shut the town down! Berrio, from Sudbury, Ontario, travelled 5,000 kilometres with his bandmates to the most westerly community in Canada. With open arms, the town of Beaver Creek welcomed the band. Naturally, the band was encouraged to visit Sid at Bordertown Garage and Museum the day of their first concert.

The band had handwritten lyrics about their experience with Sid at the Bordertown Garage and Museum

Sid, a country music admirer, showed the museum off to Larry, guitarist Chris, bassist Nick, and drummer Ryan. “The band loved the museum so much they asked if they could bring their filming equipment,” Sid recalls adamantly. “They set up outside my General Store and started playing a song. They asked if I’d join them, so I picked up a mouth harp and started playing.” The video that was posted on Facebook immediately reached 4,000 views, of the band playing on Sid’s boardwalk.

Like any passionate collector, Sid encouraged the band to take their time and see as much as possible at Bordertown Garage and Museum. “They took [promotional] photos around the museum and in some of the cars, too, including the MGA [sports car],” Sid proudly admits.

“They looked around some more and Larry spotted a sign your dad made for Beaver Creek Log Homes. [Larry] liked it so much he wanted it for his living room, he said he recently renovated. I called my sons, who used to own the company, and gave it to Larry.” The carved wood sign depicted a beaver, a log and the company’s name.

“I invited them into the house and that’s where Larry saw the amp. He wanted it for his guitarist, Chris Syrie.” The 1940s amplifier had been given to Sid by past Beaver Creek resident, Archie, who, sadly, had passed away last year. Archie had owned the amplifier for many years previous. The art-deco-styled amplifier catches everyone’s eye. Chris tested out the amp and it worked very well. Joyfully, Sid tells me, “I’m happy it has a good home where it will be used.”

In thanks, Larry and his band insisted that Sid and Jill join them at the first concert night, on-the-house. Once in a blue moon, lucky audiences are able to witness my grandpa dancing. Sad to have missed Sid dancing, I travelled to Beaver Creek for the second-night performance. My company and I met Sid in Haines Junction where he boasted about how much the band enjoyed the museum and that they had purchased the amp.

The performance was held at the Rendezvous House, but not before a pig roast dinner. The show drew not only locals, but people from Tok, Alaska; Haines Junction and Whitehorse, as well as American tourists passing through. MLA Wade Istchenko and Mr. and Mrs. Yukon, Carl and Donna, were in attendance as well. In cowboy hats and tight jeans, the crowd was ready to experience the Larry Berrio band presented by the Beaver Creek RV Park & Motel.

I spoke to Chris (the new owner of the art-deco amp) and his wife Angela, midway through the performance, to chat about the amplifier. Ecstatic that I am Sid’s granddaughter, they couldn’t stop saying good things about Sid and how much they appreciated him.

“It’s not the objects that are important; mostly it’s just stuff … but it’s him. He has all the history and stories of the objects—that’s what makes it interesting,” Chris said about Sid. “We wrote him a song. It’s not done but I’d like you to hear it.”

Standing outside the Rendezvous House, near what remained of the roasted pig, I listened to a recording on Chris’s phone and I was shocked. I followed the lyrics they had handwritten and was overwhelmed with gratitude. With a few lyrical rhymes and a slow melodic rhythm, they were able to capture Sid’s spirit (and that of Bordertown Garage and Museum) in song.

A trip to town

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