I was introduced to Darrell (WindWalker) Scarrett in 1986 on the set of my first TV-show, Kiddie Cabaret, by Frances Arnold, a mutual friend. Darrell’s brother was already a regular attendee to the tapings of my shows, thanks to Frances. That night, Darrell had brought his son and wife to the studio, and little did I know how much my life would change from that point on. After the taping, Darrell offered a few suggestions, including offering his services as writer, on-camera persona/character “Hobo” the clown, and puppeteer for the show. I was impressed and a little cautious by this, after all, we all volunteered our talents towards the show: I couldn’t afford to pay Darrell for his contributions. He refused any form of payment. I agreed to this.
As the years went by, “Hobo” was one of the more popular characters in the “Clown School” and “Dr. Wizo Knock-Knock Jokes” segments. His endearing dragon-puppet (among others) were enjoyed by both kids and adults alike in the “Puppet Theatre” segments as well! The television-show’s fast-paced format became a successful live stage-show presentation, and we did a small tour of rural fairs, exhibitions, schools, and malls. Darrell and I, along with the TV-show’s production crew, became friends, and we all went for coffee after the tapings. I loved performing magic both on and off camera. Growth, however, along with change, was inevitable.
My first wife and I (after 13 years) split up; she was “Jupiter the Clown” on the show, and some of her girlfriends played various clown characters on the show as well. With us breaking apart, so did the show. Darrell was the only one to stay by my side, and one day in July of 1989, (around my birthday time) my TV-show went from one format, (“Kiddie Cabaret”) to a brand-new concept, “Magic Mike’s Castle”! I literally had a week between the old format, and the new one! In order to achieve the castle’s interior backdrop, I had to resort to a technique called “Green-Screen”, (back then it was blue) or “Chroma-Key”. A castle-interior from a children’s book which I altered for copyright reasons was “keyed-in” behind me, creating the effect that I was in a castle; I did this until I eventually painted an actual eight-foot by fifteen-foot castle back-drop which we taped to vertical flats, thus completing the illusion that we were in a castle. It looked great for many years. Darrell became the voices of two very popular puppet characters, “Desmond the Dragon” and “Forgetful Lion”; I played the straight-man to this two characters, and I almost always included them in my live magic-shows, especially at schools, parks and recreation events, (Darrell’s day-job was coordinator for parks and recreation events) hospitals, and malls. Darrell kindly added his voice-talents to a reunion show we did in Winnipeg a few years back for a tribute to VPW (the TV-station our show appeared on) organized by Kelly Hughes. It was great fun and moving for us as well as for the capacity-crowd attendees as I sung and strummed on a guitar my theme-song, and kibitzed with the puppets as I did some magic-tricks. But I digressed. The fast-paced joke-and-magic-and-clowns-and-puppets segments of “Kiddie Cabaret” evolved into myself, (doing magic and singing songs) interacting with Desmond Dragon and Forgetful Lion and the various guests to the castle which included many young magicians and variety-entertainers from the local community. In it’s final years, “Magic Mike’s Castle” was modernized into “Magic Mike & Company”, in which I no longer wear medieval clothes, and also play a regular guitar, as opposed to a lute-like instrument. I did this because of my weekly appearances on a broadcast-television kids’ show, “S’kiddlebits” with Juno-award-winning host, Joey Gregorash, which took place in his modern attic: I couldn’t very well appear in medieval-garb, could I? But I digressed again!
The endearing and enduring characters that Darrell created were extensions of himself, and very personal: the dragon was like a silly young child, while the lion was a cool, “hip” teenager. Our audiences (and target-market) always identified with them. Darrell also had a horse-puppet (“Pony Express”) who delivered the mail to the castle, and a wise old sage-owl, dressed in Buddhist togs and wielding a staff.; the owl always called me “Young Merlin”. Darrell always wanted to include a wheel-chair-bound character, but that never happened.
I’ll never forget how many times Darrell tried to get me to relax and go fishing with him, but all that materialized was a walk in the forest. He tried explaining how various energies felt and looked like, but I certainly wasn’t ready for all that metaphysical and mystical stuff; I couldn’t see the differences between the animals in the forest, and the trees, for example. Years later, I have three Doctorates in metaphysics, and I do energy-healings for my patients, among other metaphysically-based services! I am Dr. Michael Likey, but in my heart I’m Magic Mike Likey!
I developed a great respect and love for indigenous people, thanks to Darrell. One day he and I attended a “peace-in” at Winnipeg’s legislative building; I’ll never forget how the chanting and drumming of the First Nations group caused a bright, sunny Winnipeg day to turn into a giant cloud-burst! Clouds moved in quickly from the horizon, filling the sky with thick, black and grey colors. An explosion of tears from the heavens, and we were showered with the emotions and angst which reflected the sadness of the native people. Their point was made emotionally, and slowly but surely the clouds cleared away, leaving once again a blue Manitoba sky. I was moved and shaken up by the power of the voices of Mother Earth’s creatures, the voices imitated by the Indigenous people. The drumming was like one’s heart-beat; I was never the same again, thanks to Darrell’s people, and I proudly wore the red-badge with white-type which reflected that event, calling for more Native people’s rights.
This is only a small part of how Darrell’s presence in my life changed me and helped me to grow and to evolve my soul more.
Although I moved from the harsh winters of Manitoba in 1994 to the more temperate British Columbia weather, Darrell and I remain friends to this day. He visited us a couple of years in a row to promote and support his “Hope, Dream, and Believe” book-signing tour. His popular books of poems, “A Gift from the Wind”, “Spirit of the Wind”, and “The Wind Speaks” appear in metaphysical shops in British Columbia and Manitoba, providing healing and insight into the human condition.
Needless to say, I was both delighted and honored that Darrell agreed to have me put this book together of his sayings and insights which he posted (and continues to) on social media like Facebook and Twitter. It was my creation of a colorful book of my own memes, (“Higher Thought”) with graphics and photographs by myself, that inspired me to put together Darrell’s latest book.
I hope that you will love and share this book of the WindWalker’s wisdom, “Touched by the Wind”.
Purchase Touched by the Wind on Amazon and Kindle: