A spanking team of bay trotters pulling a wagon cantered down Second Street East, right through the car traffic, and say didn’t I hear some cheering as if their presence was very welcome and maybe long overdue.

Spectators were rejoicing over this alternative to gasoline which is no longer a popular product at four dollars per gallon or whatever it is at this moment while its price accelerates almost daily.

After you look around and maybe buy the horse for $500 with perhaps a buggy or sleigh thrown in.

Then find a farmer for the hay bales and oats, this alternative transportation idea can and will leave you with money in the bank.

A law officer may say something to you about having a horse or two in your backyard, but maybe if you can turn your garage into a stable quickly enough—and if the neighbours don’t kick too much about having a pleasant horsy odour around—you will soon be just about the most popular neighbour while everyone turns to you for advice.

Put them off with this suggestion: Go ahead and buy a farm somewhere close by while the prices still remain low.

This idea will please everyone when you explain how it beats so much grocery overhead.

Because while moving around to your heart’s content, free as a bird with your horse and buggy, a farm owner can enjoy cash freedoms he never knew before.

And besides his horse feed and grocery savings, he will enjoy surplus acreage for his family’s needs and their future home-building away from the constant strain of urban living.

All this may seem like too much to swallow, but don’t wait while everyone else beats you to it.

Soon you can develop your own herd of horses and maybe add some other livestock such as milk cows, pigs, sheep or chickens, possibly the whole schmozzle including ducks, geese and turkeys, too.

Of course, time means money so if you believe your riding stable and farming have become too demanding and you’d rather not get involved, why just go ahead like other stockmen do and hire someone to help with the chores while you exploit other related possibilities such as horse racing, maybe on your own track, and create an arena now with grandstands.

The western rodeo is always popular remember. All this takes is a herd of horses, but hey that’s what started you into all this, remember?

So now that man’s noble friend, the horse, has not merely saved you thousands of dollars, he also is ensuring you grow at the bank, possibly in several businesses.

So you’re not finished yet because there is still the overseas market and the international financiers will soon be lining up for pieces of your action with their jodpurs and bowler hats, trading their derbies for Stetsons like the rest of the cowboys where you come from.

Now all you have to do is just stay one step or gallop ahead of everyone else–including the car makers and gasoline companies.

You’ll make them all sorry they ever annoyed you to this extent.

Why, with your firm grasp on the fundamentals such as horse travel, agriculture and money making in every direction, you’ll soon have the whole world in your lap.

Read all this carefully if you really want to get ahead and go places.

• • •

Shades of New Orleans. There was no flooding here yet but the town’s power failed twice Monday night. So remember to keep a flashlight at bedside, as I do.

• • •

Oh yes, there’s always the bicycle waiting patiently, if you can still handle one. And through the war years, we got good at hitch-hiking and saw much of eastern Canada and the States that way, although we might be mistaken for tramps today if we tried that again.

But for the kind of short, just-around-the-corner type of outings there’s always “shanks mare,” not to be confused with horsemanship. But we long ago got spoiled by cars, vans and pickups. Always great for shopping.

But say, if you can’t keep a horse and barn in your home yard, especially in town, you can start to pull a hand-wagon for downtown strolls while looking around the stores. Some stores can even offer you an electric cart.

But take your pick and don’t ever say I urged you one way or another. But I still say, if you have the ambition to get along without going broke buying gas, try for a good deal on Dobbing.

And every spring there will be more fertilizer for your fields and garden. Especially if you manage to develop a whole herd of horses for impatient customers.

• • •

But aren’t we fortunate to believing so far from New Orleans and Mississippi where the fast description for over a week now has been “chaos and desperation.”

• • •

Here again, maybe they should be hiring our Hollanders to build dependable dikes to hold back the ocean water and also, some windmills for power.

• • •

As for the horse suggestion in lieu of cars and trucks, you know that’s how your ancestors started and they got along quite well without blowing $40 and more for uncounted gallons of gas. If they had to handle that load too, somebody else would have to handle the pioneering–and we wouldn’t be here to brag about it.

• • •

Carol Livingstone, who acquired an interest in Spanish while wintering in Arizona will conduct lessons in the colourful language at the Salvation Army Citadel on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Marlene Sandoval, another Spanish enthusiast, will also be on hand. Their course will be running for ten weeks.

Carol can also keep an audience entertained with her stories about skunks, one she raised as a kitten and one she managed to save but got sprayed for her trouble when she rescued years ago after it got its head stuck in a jar.

• • •

Many were literally glued to their TV sets during the awful attack on New Orleans by the hurricane which one reporter described as “living in Hell!”

• • •

U.S. President George Busch has slipped seriously in American popularity. Possibly 40 percent, it’s reported, largely because of “that senseless war with Iraq.”

• • •

Sybil Mowe, much admired for her work motive and service to humanitarian causes, has aroused much sympathy for her latest misfortune, the loss of a leg. Confined to a wheelchair for years, she broke a leg and is in danger of other amputations.

Always cheerful, when congratulated on leaving the hospital, she said “yes I did, but not entirely . . . I left a leg behind!”

• • •

First time I recently saw Vernie O’Donnell, our hockey star, was at Pete Makarchuk’s wedding anniversary over a week ago and Vernie was still smiling as always although I believe the little centre has lost weight. We once worked together for Paul Laurence Construction at the mill.