"This is actually my second time here, I first came up in 2006 right after I graduated from high school. I grew up in Newfoundland, smack dab in the middle of Grand Falls. It's not small compared to the rest of Newfoundland but it’s a dead end.
The first time I moved up to Edmonton to go to bible college because when you grow up in the church in Newfoundland you either become a missionary or a pastor. So, I came up here and went to bible college for a year with my wife.
My wife worked at a call center and I was trying to follow my dream at bible college, but she got pregnant. We decided I can't in good conscious go to college and make her work and try to raise a baby.
I started working on site you know doing that thing. I had the most exciting job in the world as a pump operator. I did that for a year when I first got up here making $32 an hour to sit in a truck and watch a pump. I was like sign me up it was awesome for a couple months but after a while, it was soul-crushing there was no fulfillment in it whatsoever. But I pushed through because I had a kid and was married. I had a family and that's what you’re supposed to do as a man. But I couldn't do it anymore it was just crushing. Most of the time my pump wasn’t even pumping I had one of those emergency pumps. I gained forty pounds, cause what do you do? You just sit there and eat. It was before iPhones I tried to watch movies on a little iPod it was brutal. So, I ended up leaving I had a disagreement with the manager there I was not enjoying it anyway so I decided to take it as my opportunity to leave.
My mother found a brochure for a radio station that was looking for a DJ, I thought well I can't do that I don't have any education or experience. She told me to try it anyway and I talked to a guy Rick Kirschner. He is the nicest guy in the world he always sees the heart behind the person. He said ‘you know what your funny and you have a great personality, so I really think we should give you this job. Don't worry about the skills or the experience we can teach all that.’ That changed everything that turned me into Radio Dave.
I got married really young 18 or 19 we weren't even really finished growing up so we kind of fell apart and got divorced. I did not handle it very well. Rather than do what I was raised and taught to do, turn into my faith and to God when I hit those rocks. I totally spiraled the other way I started drinking, doing drugs all that fun stuff, I got stuck in that pit for seven years.
I came back after we got divorced and I met another girl a few years late while I was in that pit and she was kind of going through the same thing I was. We kind of used each other as a crutch and powered through it together. We moved to Edmonton four years ago because I knew I couldn't get clean here. I was running club envy, everybody gave me everything for free. I knew I had to move out of town or I would never get clean. So, we moved, it worked for a little while but when you're doing things on your own strength sometimes it doesn't work. Eventually, that fell apart and she kicked me out, she just couldn't do it anymore.
After she kicked me out, I moved back up to Fort McMurray with my parents after the evacuation. I pretty much just said, God, I’m going to give this all to you I’m going to put you first for the first time in my life. It worked, I got my life back together, started going to the gym, I came back to the radio station it was a real story of redemption.
My girl and I got back together we got married last August, we had our first wedding anniversary on the twelfth. Everything has been amazing since then. This is my second time back and this time is way better than the first time. Now that I am back, I am not going anywhere I love this town, I love the people here. Fort McMurray is such a boiling pot of the nicest people from every other place."
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