PAGE NINE: RAT RACE
CANADA: facing he was blacklisted on both sides of the Atlantic Heinz returned he lived with Karen, she supported them, Heinz was a house husband, he resumed self-employment as a carpenter
Later on his own again he injured a tendon. While recovering he was on welfare. The welfare workers suggested he remain on the system as in a few years he would retire. Heinz declined. Soon after retiring he received a phone call informing him his apartment was ready. The welfare workers had signed him up for rent geared to income housing. There was a pattern; some people could be very helpful, others were very hurtful. A roller coaster balance, Heinz lived for 25 years in the Aboriginal Seniors' building in Toronto's Annex. Urban planner, Jane Jacobs, chose to live in that area. A good location; interesting for the right reasons. Six stories high, made of orange brick with red trim; this was home.
In his 60s, Heinz went to Nicaragua to help during the 1984 labour shortage. First he worked with a German group . Later he joined a group of Canadians. He met people he would know for the rest of his life. Volunteers worked twelve hour days seven days a week picking cotton and coffee. One egg per person each week. Young Germans kept him awake at night asking questions no one else would answer. Eventually, Heinz walked to the cemetery and slept between the graves so he could work the next morning.
In his 70s, Heinz travelled to Brazil to research making a documentary about groundbreaking work with the poor. He decided to not make this project when he learned the church would only be allowed to do this work as long as it did not become more widely known. Part of a group dressed in general clothing, Heinz was introduced to an archbishop who addressed him as "Father Heinz". Everyone else present was a bishop.
Heinz felt guilty that he could not give Carol children. Their divorce was more successful than their marriage. They still drove each other a little crazy. Neither one stopped trying to care for the other. Carol thanked me for taking care of Heinz many times as he grew older. Into his mid 80s, Heinz worked for ten dollars an hour at Carol's house a five minute cycle away. When a neighbour of hers, a carpenter, saw some of Heinz's work he remarked, he wouldn't do that good a job even for himself.
The work of growing old and dying. Heinz had a head start in coping and understanding the aging transition by being crippled most of his adult life. It meant he was experienced in walking as if any step could be on thin ice. He travelled abroad to the age of 84 and cycled until he was 89. Many people could not face that Heinz would decline. His living of life was something special to behold.