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Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

Jim is the former publisher of the Fort Frances Times Ltd. He writes a weekly column and can be contacted at jcumming@fortfrances.com

Publisher - Sept 23

The season is changing. The hot sunny days of July and August have cooled into more moderate temperatures that have brought us almost through September. Having spent the last week at the lake, I woke each sunny day to see a different picture-perfect shoreline view. The paper birch leaves were turning from forest green to brilliant yellow. Each day the shoreline became more golden.

Growing a green thumb

I planted a garden this year just like many others in this pandemic year. It was not a large garden measuring a scant three feet by eight feet. It was a raised garden so that I didn’t have to bend over to weed or pick vegetables. The rows of radishes, beets, lettuce, carrots, spinach, swiss chard and kale were probably all planted too close together. To protect the garden from the deer that frequent our yard, we installed chicken wire that rose to seven feet above the ground.

Bassin' For Bucks coming

Bassin’ For Bucks will take place this coming weekend in Sioux Narrows. I had forgotten about the tournament until I was remined in a blog by Bryan Gustafson who was presenting several ideas on lures on his Facebook page. It is one of the few tournaments that will have run this year. The majority across the Rainy River and Kenora Districts have been cancelled. This tournament is much different than other fishing competitions in the region in that it focusses on family and fun.

Paying tribute to the history of labour

Labour Day has been celebrated in Canada as a national holiday since 1894 on the first Monday in September. Prior to then, workers were taken for granted. The first Labour action actually took place almost two decades earlier when 2000 members of the Toronto Printers Union marched together demanding a shorter work week, reducing their time to a nine-hour workday.

As the parade moved through the Streets in Toronto, the parade grew to 10,000 people - one tenth the population of Toronto. At that time unions were illegal in Canada.

Election fever during a pandemic

Just as the morning radio and television anchors were crawling out of bed Monday, Canadians received news that a new opposition leader Erin O’Toole had been elected on the third ballot. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prorogued parliament on August 18 and the next session of parliament will not begin until September 23. Will everyone begin gearing up for an election?

Parliament will begin with a throne speech immediately laying out the governing party’s plans for the coming year. The minority led parliament will then be called on in a vote of confidence.

More questions than answers

There was a Facebook posting that said, “Could we have a 2020 do-over?” I chuckled. Yes, a 2020 do-over would be nice. Always in the backs of our minds is the question, “Can we do this activity safely and can our family and children be protected from the Coronavirus?” A do-over would eliminate this question. So many questions would be eliminated.

Our new Normal

Everyone keeps talking about the new normal. What is it?

Nine months ago I retired and began working on the new normal for a retired person. My wife and I created a routine. Breakfast, then a long walk and then we began pursuing our hobbies. I would head out for coffee. Lots of woodworking projects were completed for Christmas.

Delivering memories

It was a cold day on January 23, 1962 when my brother Don and I took over our paper route from the Burrell sisters. The route had 123 customers and ran from Central Avenue to the arena. We had one day to learn the route and then we were on our own.

My mother had dressed us in lined corduroy pants and we had long underwear on. My father had insisted on buying the two of us felt boots that we wore underneath rubber zippered galoshes. Each of us had a new paper bag to carry our papers.

In tune with nature

Friday night my brother in law walk out of the front door of the cabin and watched a lightning light show surrounding him. The lights flashed, colours blossomed in the clouds and no rumble could be heard coming across the lake. Sunday morning around three, the light shows reappeared. The winds made this light show feel more dangerous.

Publisher

I grew up watching a black and white television. We had two channels CBS and NBC. Saturday morning, we watched Roy Rogers and Dale Evans chase down bandits who wore face masks. The William Tell Overture announced that the mask man was protecting people of the west. All the villains of those western dusters wore masks.