Bring back our pavilion, and soon!

Now that we’re into our centennial year, but still lacking an appealing project, what’s wrong with getting together on a new pavilion at Pither’s Point Park?
Nothing would please our surviving pioneers more than watching their kids jumping around in the style we knew until after the war years—and perhaps doing some do-see-doing themselves out there at the old beach again until after midnight!
I mean, we’ve already given them two artificial ice rinks and everything else they desired, but not yet restored the good times we used to know when the girls used to wear those wide skirts so appropriate to that peppy music.
And we developed so many good accordion players, too, because they knew they would be needed every Saturday night when we could find an experienced caller to sing out the circle two-steps for our fiddlers.
We’d make sure nobody left until sometime after midnight because we were all tireless—and there was no work the next day anyway. You just danced yourselves exhausted, after having previously piled up enough firewood at home for the weekend.
So you could take time to tune up your guitars and fiddles, and maybe enjoy practise with the other musicians to get ready for the next session of “tamarac-’er down!”
Or maybe find another caller because, despite the availability of musicians those days, good callers “didn’t grow on trees” as the old saying went!
So preparations for the next dance went ahead with full assurance there would always be a good crowd out every Saturday night, including visitors by the score.
Sure, we managed to hold dances in other places in wintertime—and long before all the auditoriums and dance halls started downtown.
Dear to our hearts also in this respect was the old Rainy Lake Hotel ballroom, which eventually fell into disuse with the passing years, but most of us never forgot our dear old pavilion and our happiest times.
And we still haven’t yet, as you can detect in so many conversations underlined with yearning for the old days.
Maybe if all our musicians could have stayed here, we wouldn’t be pining every summer for our old pavilion and the memories it held, but the same location is still there and I don’t think our native neighbours would object to the fun we could bring back.
In fact, the local reserve probably could even supply some musicians.
Let a new frame building big enough for a dance floor and a few concessions return to our popular lakefront. Then, the next thing you’ll notice will be how our old friends will be returning full of nostalgia, especially for Saturday nights, then happy times again!
The talk will never die on return of our pavilion. It boils up here every summer, and nothing will replace it until the lumber gets unloaded. The next tap-tapping there should be the hammers, maybe even with volunteers!
So get ready to “Fling that little gal around the hall!” We sure knew how, once!
And in-between the square dance numbers, there were all those dreamy slow dances, too. If you really can’t remember yet, someday it will all come back!
• • •
You probably recognize the Kielczewski name from the east end of Rainy Lake, so it surprised me when one of the younger generation, Leon, seemed on good terms with trucks as well as boats and volunteered to start my truck when my key could not turn in the ignition, probably a cold weather problem.
He merely jiggled the key to get the engine started.
And then I discovered a second problem—my signal lights kept flashing until after I stopped at the Ford garage to see mechanic Tyler Wilson. We learned that somehow my four-way signal had become stuck and this also was easily corrected.
You can’t always blame the weather for everything, but it helps.
• • •
When I learned that “Bud” Hebert, formerly of Bud’s Office Supplies, had taken ill so soon after the death of his sister, Eileen, at International Falls, I saw his son, Brian, and learned Bud was feeling okay again.
I worked with Bud at the old Times office years ago while he was entering newspaper contests and winning cash prizes as well as merchandise.
So one day he won a $12,000 cheque and soon opened his store. We had decided he would begin some line of business that the town lacked before that, and office supplies clicked very well.
Bud’s father, Larry, was once prominent in business at Flanders, I seem to remember.
• • •
While were watching all those huge trucks on our small streets, I wonder about two things: Why don’t we get aerial photos on busy days to show us the magnitude of this problem.
Then maybe persuade the CNR, which capably handles such gargantuan traffic daily, to take over our streets also. Obviously we need expert assistance beyond the ordinary.
• • •
And if the Third World War is coming up with either Iraq or North Korea so soon that the big decision already has been scheduled for Feb. 15, what can we do about it? Just trust that date to be wrong!
• • •
Bob Hamilton is still living in hopes of getting enough snow to make a success of his ski hill near the town landfill site, where he has made a heavy if so far unsuccessful investment for more than six years.
He has shown astonishing patience while waiting for action—but this is fantastic!
• • •
Despite the cold, there have not been many beards sprouted since the local contest was announced. We’ve noticed certain local contestants, including Mayor Witherspoon, Bill Gushulak, and Darryl Allan among them.
Perhaps too many others have seen Willy Anderson’s two-foot-long beard and decided to quit! But Willy has been wearing his beard since long before this contest began.
• • •
My young granddaughters are always very much in the mood for Valentine’s Day because Olivia, soon eight, and Bella Allison, six, will be celebrating birthdays here on the day both before and after that big event!
Older sis Avery will be envious!
• • •
Then there’s the wit who doesn’t live here but has decided to try demeaning us with such lines as “You know you’re from Fort Frances when” . . . vacation means going to Winnipeg for the weekend, driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, and you think lingerie is tube socks and flannel pyjamas.
Sounds like someone is jealous of us, doesn’t it?

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