True Blue Podcast

Matt Waterman

Go behind the scenes with members from the Victoria City Police Union (VCPU).

A long format podcast giving you an in depth glimpse into lives of police officers working in Esquimalt and Victoria.

All Episodes

Mike is the President of Citified Media which tracks the real estate construction industry in Greater Victoria.  He  joins us to chat about development in downtown Victoria.  The potential for new development is about to burst!  At times it seems amazing that developers would spend money in a downtown that isn't always that friendly or safe but the almighty dollar talks.  It's hard to dispute that a new building with amenities in the neighbourhood for the residents will help improve our community.  Mike also talks about his positive personal experiences of the Esquimalt Police officers he got to know as a teen in Esquimalt High School.https://victoria.citified.ca/

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Dec 1

43 min 47 sec

For generations, Canadians have dedicated their lives to preserve peace and freedom.  To honour those who have served and continue to serve, we pause for 2 minutes of silence on Remembrance Day.  Make November 11th the most unforgettable day of the year.Sgt. Sean Cowperthwaite served 20 years in Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and as part of Canada's peacekeeping missions to Cypress and to Bosnia on four separate occasions.http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/lord-strathconas-horse/index.pagehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Strathcona%27s_Horse_(Royal_Canadians)Three members of the LSH (RC) have been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) - the highest military honour for "conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy".

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Nov 11

44 min 44 sec

Canadians often take freedom for granted.  We have the right to exist and move about our country without threat, we are able to freely express ourselves, and we enjoy so many other freedoms that are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.This certainty has been threatened before; those who serve or have served in our armed forces for the good of Canada and their fellow Canadians deserve our respect.Wear a poppy and reflect on November 11th every year and remember how lucky you are!Rick Anthony (retired VCPU member) talks to us about some of VicPD's men who gave their lives in the protection of Canada and our freedoms.  He also talks about his own Peacekeeping mission to Kosovo while serving as a police officer.

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Nov 9

36 min 33 sec

The True Blue Podcast introduces you to 2 more of the 6 new recruits from Class #166 being trained at the Police Academy in New Westminster in the Fall of 2021.   Cst. Chris McMahon and Cst. Matthew Wesley hadn't even been on the road at the time of this interview but you will hear from both of them about their own path to become a VicPD member.   Cst. McMahon is a 22 yr veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, a father of 6 children and has served overseas on 4 different occasions.  Cst. Wesley is a trained US Marine Corps member, a huge fan of Formula 1 racing and has also served overseas in Afghanistan.  Anyone wanting to become a police officer should listen to this episode for advice and to understand what it takes to be employed with VicPD.https://joinvicpd.ca/https://thercr.ca/https://www.marines.com/

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Oct 30

34 min 54 sec

Union President Len Hollingsworth joins us in the studio to set up these Bonus Episodes where we hear about the effects of the lack of resources and the increased hostility against our Union sisters and brothers.  In Part 1 of the Bonus Episode, you will hear from Cst. Jenny LeQuesne who was injured two years ago while apprehending a disturbed male in need of hospitalization.  The details of the assault on her are scary and violent.Jenny is a 14 year veteran of the police department, a mother of two children and now so severely injured she will never be able to return to operational policing.  She has been diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder, the kick to her head has left her with a serious neuro-cognitive disorder which has changed her life.  Jenny has written a "break-up letter" to policing and tells us about how hard it was to write that letter.Later in this episode, Jenny talks about her volunteer work where she walks dogs at the local animal shelter as part of her recovery therapy.  Unfortunately, Jenny was assaulted by another disturbed person recently further highlighting the violence in our streets.

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Oct 18

34 min 52 sec

In Part 2, we have two more guests who will tell us about the violence police face everyday.  Cst. Jenna Carver and her partner Cst. Lisa Forcier were both assaulted in the course of their duties; Jenna was punched in the face and she can't get the images out of her head watching Lisa being assaulted.  Jenna describes the feeling of waiting, seemingly forever,  for help to arrive and how satisfying it is to have her colleagues come to her aid.Cst. Kris Greffard then talks about watching her close friend and our podcast team member Todd Mason be struck by a stolen vehicle while on duty in the 900 Block of Pandora Avenue.  Todd Mason is well known amongst the street population and by those who help manage them, he is a caring individual and he will be off work for months now.  Kris  shares her thoughts with us and how terrible this event was.  Both of these events further highlight the violence being brought onto police officers while serving a protecting.  This episode also serves as evidence that our mental health system is broken and not accountable for the random violence that police and others suffer when clients are turned back out in the community without real treatment and care.  We need to do better.

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Oct 18

34 min 11 sec

The True Blue Podcast introduces you to 2 of the 6 new recruits from Class #166 being trained at the Police Academy in New Westminster in the Fall of 2021.   Cst. Lee Jackson and Cst. Lyndon Jarvis hadn't even been on the road at the time of this interview but you will hear from both of them about their own path to become a VicPD member.   Anyone wanting to become a police officer should listen to this episode for advice and to understand what it takes to be employed with VicPD.https://joinvicpd.ca/@JIBCnews

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Oct 10

41 min

Meet Bruce Williams, the CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and hear him talk about the state of business in Victoria and area.  We discuss the need for a swift financial recovery as the pandemic restrictions are lifted.  Bruce talks about reducing crime and diversifying the economy to help get Victoria back on track.  The 1340 members of the Chamber have selected an excellent representative to advocate for enhanced relationships, strong partnerships and good Chamber policy that supports commercial vitality.https://twitter.com/ChamberVictoriahttps://www.victoriachamber.ca/

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Sep 30

51 min 54 sec

Guest host Daryl Baswick talks with Detective Bratzer who currently works in the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit and is well known for his successful BC Human Rights Tribunal case against the Victoria Police Department in 2013 - case heard in 2015 and decision released on 4/20/2016.  He served as President of L.E.A.P.  (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and has given evidence in front of the Senate to advocate for changes to drug laws.Dave tells the world he learned to drive during his Block II training and over the following couple years as a patrol officer.  Great story about working with Murray Bayles.Detective Bratzer talks about suffering an OSI (Operational Stress Injury) while investigating a file in the homicide unit.   He highlights the need for officers to feel supported by the employer, your family and your colleagues.The VCPU is thankful to Dave for standing up for everyone's right to express their political beliefs!

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Sep 20

1 hr 2 min

Join us on this episode and hear Jeff Bray talk about his vision for a vibrant and diverse downtown core in Victoria.  Jeff is the Executive Director at the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and has great insight on street disorder problems and his opinion on decentralizing services that support the homeless population should be heard.  The DVBA  wants the BC Provincial Government to move quickly on implementing complex care  supports for the addicted and mentally ill people living in a toxic environment.  Downtown Victoria should not be a scary place to work or visit.  The DVBA  continues to work with the police on initiatives like "Block Watch for Business" and deploys their "Clean Team" throughout the downtown core to promote safety and cleanliness.  The VCPU wants to thank the over 1300 members of the DVBA for their support.

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Sep 10

46 min 1 sec

This is an excellent interview with Tom Woods, Committee Chair of the Esquimalt Ribfest which occurs 10-12 September 2021 at Bullen Park in Esquimalt.https://www.esquimaltribfest.com/welcome/https://www.facebook.com/EsquimaltRibfestEsquimalt Ribfest (@EsqRibFest) | TwitterRibfest supports the Esquimalt Firefighters Charitable Foundation and partners with SD61 with a goal of putting in a turf field facility at Esquimalt High School.  https://www.esquimaltribfest.com/es-whoy-malth-community-field-collaboration/Special thanks to these sponsors of the Esquimalt Ribfest.  https://www.onni.com/https://farmer-ltd.com/https://brewiselectric.com/Tom is a long time Esquimalt resident and former Esquimalt Police/Fire member who served his community throughout a long and distinguished career.  Tom was a member of the VCPU in 2003 during the police amalgamation of Victoria and Esquimalt.  Tom's dedication to supporting youth sports and giving back to his community is second to none.  His efforts as a founding member of Rock Solid and the WITS Program have garnered national recognition and focusses on preventing youth violence and anti-bullying. https://witsprogram.ca/about-us/Plan to visit Esquimalt Ribfest for great food and to support these great causes.  On Saturday night hear the headliner band "Bad Moon Riders" and enjoy recognition efforts for frontline nurses and Emma Entzminger, from Canada's Bronze Medal Softball Team.

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Aug 31

34 min 33 sec

The Executive Director of Restorative Justice (RJ) Victoria drops into the podcast studio to talk about this important alternative measures program.  Gillian Lindquist has been working with Restorative Justice since 2009.  http://www.rjvictoria.com/"Restorative Justice is a set of principles and values about how to deal with a harm or wrongdoing."  There is an opportunity for the people involved in the offense to sit down and talk about what happened, but the offender must have already committed to accepting responsibility for their actions and this is an opportunity to make things right.The VCPU wants the provincial government to properly fund these programs and provide suitable training to the police to properly prepare our members for the RJ process.https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/bcs-criminal-justice-system/understanding-criminal-justice/restorative-justicePolice play an important role in determining which offenders or events are referred through for an RJ resolution.

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Aug 20

53 min 9 sec

Guest host Daryl Baswick interviews retired Sergeant Shannon Perkins and current Manager of By-Law and Licensing Services for the City of Victoria.    Shannon has 30 years policing experience with London (Ontario) Police, Esquimalt Police and Fire and VicPD.  She talks about her memories of investigating the Reena Virk (14 year old teen) homicide file, managing the High Risk Offender program at VicPD and finishing her career as the Traffic Section Sergeant.  Her career in policing prepared her for her current role managing By-Law Services for the City of Victoria; she has been at the helm throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and managed all the related challenges.    Shannon loves her motorcycle and laughing with friends away from work; we wish continued success and safety to Shannon and her By-Law Services staff.

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Aug 10

53 min 2 sec

Sgt. Calvin Ewer is the NCO in charge of the newly formed Integrated Canine Section (ICS).  The K-9 handlers and their police service dogs are valuable resources to Patrol Officers in both VicPD and Saanich PD.  Everyone likes to talk about dogs!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm4qHBTBek8https://twitter.com/ics_k9

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Jul 30

56 min 16 sec

We talk with Peter Ciceri, a psychotherapist and trauma counsellor certified in the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) to manage trauma and PTSD.  His practice is generally used by first responders and he's really beginning to understand the struggles Police Officers are dealing with on a daily basis.  He says the brain can't distinguish between a psychical injury or an emotional injury, so get treatment or help for that injury.He knows the goal for every police department is "to have a high functioning police force not suffering from PTSD or trauma" and he can help meet that goal.  His website is: http://www.ciceri.com/Peter also wants to remind police officers that "getting mental health assistance is not a weakness".  

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Jul 21

59 min 38 sec

**Update**On Tuesday October 5th 2021, the BC Government agreed to fund Trikafta as new medication for many people living with Cystic Fibrosis.    The VCPU is happy to see this announcement.Sgt. Dale Sleightholme is passionate about a new miracle medication for those living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and the reason is that his son has been living with CF his whole life and he wants him to be able to  live a long life.  Dale is advocating to have Provincial Governments approve the distribution of Trikafta; this new medication has recently been approved by Health Canada.  You will hear Dale describe what kids/adults with CF have to struggle with; a severely reduced lung capacity and how they will die without this new medication.  We are also joined by serving Winnipeg Police officer Jeremy Vosbourgh who lives with CF - we want Jeremy to be able to complete his police career and enjoy a healthy retirement and see him get access to Trikafta.  Go to this page to sign the petition to approve Trikafta:https://action.cysticfibrosis.ca/page/81341/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=webbanner&_ga=2.127899211.779444189.1621289247-627863890.1621289247 Talk to your local MLA to voice your support to have this medication available to save lives!https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/news/health-canada-approval-of-transformational-cystic-fibrosis-medication-brings-hope-to-cf-community?p=1

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Jul 14

31 min 14 sec

We talk with Tanya Silletta from E-Comm 9-1-1 and a long time VicPD Communications Centre employee.  Tanya gives her views on what a call-taker or dispatcher has to deal with in today's busy 9-1-1 world.  The job done within that field is critical to the success of any first responder attending calls for service.    VCPU members are thankful for the dedicated employees at E-Comm for the great job they do 24/7.Remember don't call 9-1-1 to ask when the next earthquake will be!https://twitter.com/EComm911_infohttps://www.instagram.com/ecomm911_info/https://www.facebook.com/EComm911infohttps://www.ecomm911.ca/

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Jul 10

57 min 41 sec

Hear from Special Constable Eric Hinrichsen on the difficult job he and other guards have in caring for prisoners in the VicPD cells.  Working in the cells environment is often  an under appreciated roll within the VCPU.  Eric's stories about growing up on Vancouver Island playing basketball at UVIC and for Team Canada in the Olympics are pretty cool.  

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Jun 30

45 min 28 sec

Cst. Mike Jarosz is a recently trained as a Police Explosives Technician and serves as a tactical member of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT).  Mike has 5 years experience at Victoria Police, his interests before policing included completing his degree at the University of Victoria in Chemistry and a couple of summers fighting fires in BC's forests.  Mike and his wife have both committed years of their time towards youth development in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet organization, specifically teaching Cadets to sail.

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Jun 20

44 min 6 sec

In this episode, get to know  Jen Gilroy and her path to becoming a police officer.  She has completed 2 years service in the Patrol Division and loves being a street cop.  She has a background that includes service as a Corrections Officer and was a long time catcher for Team Canada in Women's Baseball.  Jen was previously mentioned in episode #9 when she and her partner saved the life of a male who suffered a knife wound to his carotid artery.  Believe us when we say "you will be thankful if Cst. Gilroy is the cop who comes to investigate your criminal incident".  Jen is a proud lesbian working as a police officer and an inspiration to other young women thinking about a career in policing.#Pride

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Jun 11

44 min 19 sec

Meet VicPD's only openly gay male police officer and hear him talk about the process of getting hired as a police officer and achieving his life-long goal!  Tom is currently posted to the mountain bike squad and is in his 6th year of policing.  Tom also provides some sage advice for young gay males thinking about becoming a police officer.  #Pride

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May 30

1 hr 5 min

He drove from Victoria to Edmonton in his 77 Camaro to join the Edmonton Police Service in November 1987.  Staff Sergeant Craig Harper has been a Major Crimes Detective for half his career and was well-known for his affiant writing on homicide files.  We wish a happy retirement to Craig after a long and satisfying career.https://twitter.com/YEGPA

May 20

47 min 7 sec

As one of our newest Union members Allie gives you some insight into becoming a police officer.   She has less than 1 year experience but her background has prepared her for taking on the role and she's willing to learn.    Born and raised in the Victoria area Allie is committed to her community and to serve as a police officer in a respectful manner.   She is a graduate of the University of Washington and competed on their rowing team.  We wish Allie a safe and long career!

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May 10

39 min 35 sec

In January 1978, Clark was almost hired by the Victoria Police but he was deemed "too tall"; so a short time later he was hired by Esquimalt Police & Fire.  He continued as both a Police Officer and Firefighter until 2003 when the Provincial government ordered the amalgamation of Victoria and Esquimalt Police.Clark talks about some of the things that were part of why the amalgamation was necessary, including the Gijon ship fire in the Esquimalt Graving Dock which lasted a couple of days.    Clark's career carried on successfully with VicPD for another 10 years - many Union members enjoyed working for Clark!

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Apr 30

44 min 20 sec

The podcast team talks about the frequency of guns on the street that VCPU members are having to deal with.  Real or replica weapons are a disaster waiting to happen.  Gun violence is no joke and will impact our community in the worst way - offenders must be held accountable.

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Apr 24

16 min 16 sec

You have probably seen Cst. Cam MacIntyre on television but this podcast episode will provide you with much more insight into his life past and present.He grew up in Sooke, BC, he played hockey in the BJCHL, he is a Princeton University graduate, he was an NHL prospect, he enjoys being the media liaison officer and he's a new father!

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Apr 15

37 min 38 sec

Recent hate motivated incidents in the Victoria area have been occurring at places of worship and this is becoming a very disturbing trend.  Hear Detective Rob Horne (VicPD Hate Crimes Coordinator) talk about the difficulty of prosecuting hate motivated offences.  Breaking the cycle of hate needs to a priority in our community.

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Apr 13

36 min 13 sec

Ross and Rae are two senior members of the Union with a great background and lots of life experience to pass on to young WHL hockey players.  Ross and Rae have been volunteering with the Victoria Royals for the past 10 years helping to make Victoria a great place to live and play hockey.  Numerous VCPU officers contribute to their local community by volunteering.@victoriaroyalshttp://www.victoriaroyals.com/

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Mar 31

54 min 36 sec

The True Blue Podcast team talks about a recent officer involved shooting in the Royal Jubilee Hospital emergency room.  The VCPU has recently expressed concerns in the media about the level of violence in the community and some of the gaps in the services provided to people with mental health issues, people dealing with addictions and persons experiencing homelessness.  This episode highlights our belief that further discussion needs to occur regarding potential solutions that might help avoid incidents like this in our community.  

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Mar 28

27 min 42 sec

This is your chance to hear directly from the True Blue Podcast production team.  They will introduce themselves and talk a little bit about how busy members of the VCPU can be and how many different hats we wear outside of our regular policing duties.  

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Mar 25

31 min 17 sec

Both guests had no intention of being police officers until they experienced a ride-a-long!  Fiona and Angela were hired by Vancouver Police where they started busy and challenging careers but found they wanted to explore options that might give them a better work/life balance.   Vancouver Island became an attractive option and the Victoria Police was recruiting  exempt (fully trained and experienced) police officers.   These members have energy and will entertain the listener with some good stories and fun memories.  Anyone considering a career with Victoria Police should take the time to listen to this episode. Fiona and Angela tell their spur of the moment marriage proposal story that took place on a Lanikai Pillbox hike.*Update* Angela Van Eerd becomes the first ever female elected to an Executive position in the VCPU.  Congratulations!

Mar 20

54 min 45 sec

With only 1 year experience on the road get to know Jaclyn and what she went through to get into  a policing career.  Jaclyn was part of the first JIBC Police Academy class to graduate during the COVID-19 pandemic.  She ran the POPAT wearing a medical mask and rubber gloves but as a competitive cross-fit athlete that was not much of a challenge!

Mar 10

49 min 19 sec

Hear this compelling story from one of our Manager's getting out on the road to witness the hard work and commitment of VCPU members.   Inspector Brown is a practicing lawyer, husband and father of two children, his family has a long history of policing in Victoria and Esquimalt.

Feb 28

1 hr 3 min

These two young Constables from small town BC are full of energy and living out their dreams of being a police officer.  Citizens of Victoria and Esquimalt may think they're seeing double in 2021 when both Mack and Morgan get deployed to the Beat Section.

Feb 14

40 min 1 sec

Chief Doug Richardson is a well respected former leader of the Victoria Police Department.  He talks about his policing career and how things have changed so much since he started with VicPD in 1967!  He has a great story about chasing a track and field champion from a crime scene.Doug lead the way and helped bring the Victoria Police Department into the future throughout his 8 year term as Chief Constable.

Jan 30

42 min 40 sec

Listen to S/Sgt. Conor King describe his experience with people addicted to opioids and his view on the future of Drug Laws in Canada.   Conor is qualified to present evidence in BC Courts as an "expert".  He has years of experience as a drug enforcement officer.

Jan 20

1 hr

Sgt. Jan Malinosky is the NCO in charge of the Special Victims Unit and will be talking about her experiences and the difficult files her Unit works on.  She is also on the Executive of the Vancouver Island Association of Women Police (VIAWP), a new organization working to support, promote and empower the personal and professional development of women in law enforcement. https://instagram.com/viawomenpolice?igshid=10782i461m3g6 https://www.facebook.com/viawomenpolice  

Jan 10

38 min 15 sec

Sgt. Fairburn is an experienced Patrol supervisor with varied experiences in his policing career.   He completed the "toughest foot race on earth" the Marathon des Sables on his 40th birthday!  Darrell is considered a pioneer when it comes to saving lives during the Opioid Crisis in Victoria - he estimates saving over 50 lives.  Awesome!

Dec 2020

47 min 33 sec

Guest host Sergeant Daryl Baswick talks to Kerrilee Jones about the variety of things she's been able to accomplish in her career.  The details of her work in an undercover role is a very compelling story.  The operation was conducted in support of a Victoria homicide file.  This interview provides good insight into how in depth police investigations can be and the effort officers make to get a resolution.  Hear Kerrilee talk about the complications related to the cycle of domestic violence and her experience as a crisis negotiator with the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team.

Dec 2020

1 hr

Sgt. Jonathan Sheldan is currently the NCO in charge of the Forensic Identification Section (FIS) and has been integrally involved in the Victoria Police Historical Society throughout his career.  Sgt. Sheldan talks about conducting police patrols in the downtown core on horseback!

Dec 2020

54 min 24 sec

Meet the President of the Victoria City Police Union (2006-2020) and hear from Sean Plater to learn more about his policing career.  Sean was a K-9 handler with his partner "Alf".  He talks about taking rounds from career criminal and heroin addict Stephen Reid of The Stopwatch Gang during a bank robbery!  Sean served half of his career as the Union President.https://truebluevic.ca/ https://www.facebook.com/truebluevictoria/?ref=page_internal https://twitter.com/VicPD_Union https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEzbit-cePS3z8pe11l8Jyw 

Nov 2020

39 min 30 sec