In June of 2013, I became a first-time uncle. At the risk of selfishness, it was the perfect gift. An opportunity to assume the loose responsibilities of raising another human without having to commit to the drastic lifestyle change and financial toil. My brother and I joked for years about “Uncle Blake” to the point of developing a script of a renegade character that would show up unannounced in the middle of the night, mildly intoxicated on the front deck, discovered by future nephews and nieces to their joy of a cooler version of their father. Toys in tow. The imparting wisdom of the real world. Uncle Blake does show up unannounced, usually in the middle of the afternoon, tired from a month on the road, with his best attempts at educational gifts, books or toy tractors. My brother’s first-born, Tucker, was quickly followed by a bright-eyed smiley little brother who is more often referred to by his middle name of Pete(y) than his given, Clyde.


Materialism only goes so far. Auntie Mel and I were just as pumped to give Tucker a Slip n’ Slide for his third birthday as he was to receive it but then come attempts to start thinking outside of the toy box.

I was texted in April by my good friend Taron if I would be interested in posing with a toy car as part of a project from an uncle to a nephew. “Yes” has been my attempt to move forward and trust that my path is unfolding, so without thinking the one-word answer was my reply.

Leroy Shultz is a photographer and uncle from Edmonton, Alberta. He also has moved through the lesson of materialism as an uncle and in grandeur effort is giving his nephew tangible proof that we are all connected. The catalyst: a little green car. In a gift from uncle to nephew, Leroy travels the country and photographs strangers from all walks of life with Miguelito’s toy car, accumulating the photos and stories at

Leroy operates with ease. His vision aligns with his demeanour. Taron, Leroy and I met in a park and moved quickly into conversation related to the topic of the project. We are all connected. The discussion veered  towards chit-chat about our day. I spent the morning connecting with a venue in an attempt to find a host for an upcoming performance in Edmonton. Leroy’s friend was opening a new venue in Edmonton and was looking for acts. Taron’s clients (The Steadies) were touring and performing a show that night at this new venue that just opened in Edmonton. As if prearranged, The Needle Vinyl Tavern acted as our morning proof to the worth of Leroy’s project.

Thank you to Taron and Leroy for this opportunity. We are all connected. The smallest of actions have infinite results. A little love can change it all. I can’t wait to see how Miguelito and Leroy come back into my life.

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