Certainly, I have readers

Now, here’s further proof my readership has outgrown the confinements of Frog Creek and Flanders.
This comes in the form of two letters from Sault Ste. Marie and Winnipeg, and I’m always grateful, as well as fond, of renewing old acquaintances, so if I go on writing from this end, I’d hope others can send letters at least to let me know my information is sometimes incorrect.
Bill Gray is son of one of our all-time busiest citizens, the CIBC manager, Jack Gray.
Jack put in so much work in connection with building our hockey rink preceding the Allan Cup contests. It was like he expected we could go all the way to the Dominion title.
Bill included some biographical facts concerning his dad which, along with pictures, he has been collecting for years. His sister-in-law, Greta Eide, sent him my recent column on Jack.
Born at Maple Valley, Ont., he was educated at Weyburn, Sask., started with the Bank of Commerce in 1909, flew for the Royal Flying Corps. until being shot down and interned in five German prison camps, before returning to England and back into banking in 1919.
Bill adds that he was proud of his dad and his ability as a writer.
The other letter hits more on my own early boyhood among the Wolf Cubs of St. John’s Anglican Church. Its Boy Scout leaders included two or three Tierney brothers.
Allan Tierney’s wife, Kaye, writes Allan, who was in Canadian Immigration here for 35 years, is now in the Great Northern Retirement Home.
Kay recalls he also worked for Wells Hardware store. He helped the Baptists and Sunny Cove Camp, and “had lots of stories.” They have been married for 62 years.
• • •
My son, Earl, and wife, Laureen, are back from Cancun, Mexico with praise for its hospitality. Besides offering good food and lodging, all refreshments are free.
• • •
With its vivid recollections of the Second World War, now 60 years in the past, you might get the idea from TV that a Third World War could be threatening.
But I am remembering the First World War veteran sitting down with us as boys and making a remark I’ll never forget. This was “Irish” Walsh, who said something prophetic like, “All you kids soon won’t be wanting to know more about war.”
Irish had a drinking chum at the Legion in Scotty Beath, and I think both were snipers on duty overseas.
TV news reports there were 10,000 Canadians killed in the final two months of World War Two.
• • •
So it’s snowed again! Whatever we’ve done wrong, the devil is determined to punish us for it with this crazy winter!
He has evidently forgotten that following the past month of snowfall resulting hard work and car accidents, we expected to receive a cold snap such as we’ve had, or maybe not lasting so long.
And the tradition here, next comes the thaw which occurs from time to time.
We’ll probably be buried in snowbanks again in March, but by then it’s early spring as the kids start tracking mud around the house.
We’ve always survived, or at least many have. Yet at this stage in the game, I’m beginning to wonder.
But think again! Our faithful old weather cycle we know too well seems to be taking a lot of time. It’s bad habits are expected to be inflicted on us for at least three more months.
April sometimes brings no break at all, with more snow and cold. And is anyone willing to bet we won’t be experiencing a cold summer ahead with excessive precipitation again?
After all we’re going through right now, with our regular weather cycle spoiled so early in the year, what can we expect next? I’m not anticipating any early or wonderful summer, either.
But if this gives you any satisfaction, you can always stick out your chest and brag about all the record-setting changes of weather we have so far managed to live through.
Still I don’t hear about anyone packing to pull out. Certainly, we’re tough for our experiences! And looking back over the good years, we could always claim before all this misery came along, we were here first!
• • •
A huge black bird hovering above us was at least the size of an eagle and later I saw it from a distance tearing into some garbage.
It must have been a buzzard of a kind we rarely see here—about four times larger than any ravens which, in turn, make crows look small.
• • •
I’m making a note here so I won’t forget I promised Albert Carrier to help him look through the Devlin history book for his relatives. The large book, which apparently sold well and still is available at Greensides store I’m told, was printed under the title “Connections.”
I’ll get through it all myself someday because it’s full of familiar names and their histories. The school teacher, Greta Carmody, was one of its editors, having lots of friends in the Devlin townships.
• • •
I managed to contact my mother’s relatives, the Veleys, down east near Kingston after not seeing any in about 60 years. I wanted to catch a cousin, Henry, who has been an OPP officers and visited here years ago.
But I learned he owned the home of a favourite uncle, and my relatives have managed to populate quite a corner of this province and countryside.
• • •
However, my success with telephones is away below par! Maybe I should stick to my favourite TV channel, “Lone Star,” with Matt Dillon, Festus, and Gabby Hayes.
• • •
Canada’s ’flu epidemic peaked in 1918 when there were more deaths from it than occurred in the First World War. In fact, that year of the armistice celebrations spread the ’flu fastest.
A successful vaccine eventually was discovered and now just about everyone can be safe from the ’flu. But it had spread across the oceans before that, as TV’s history program recalled.
Fifty thousand Canadians died , along with 40 million worldwide, in that terrible outbreak.
• • •
Darcy Neufeld is an assistant teacher here who has hit the jackpot with his roof-clearing skills and safely. Darcy rarely needs to climb onto all these heavily snow-covered roofs because he brings a long pole.
Then later, he uses his snowblower on down around the walls.
We found him reasonable, too, as well as very timely in this wild winter.

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