Consider this alternative!

Consider this alternative!
As much as many here in this quiet corner of Canada would prefer to shun gambling, reality is starting to pound on our door with the current downturn of our papermill economy, indicated by that announcement of labour layoffs last week.
The gambling industry is growing rapidly south of here, with Minnesota now boasting at least a score of major casinos—and this may be the time to get with it! All inside the laws, of course.
Our future Bingo hall on McIrvine Road, north of Peterbilt, simply will not suffice as any employment substitute for future layoffs in our main source of employment.
Yet the bottom line being money, this could—and should—be considered first if we all are intending to keep on enjoying our happy and healthy environment, which, after all, depends on steady and growing sources of money.
All this comes to mind while I’ve been wondering about the future use of my farmland along the river close to town, which may hook into our future enterprise. Our casino may someday thrill the world and keep our future generations contented right here!
This idea sprang from a quiet discussion over coffee with some of our better known citizens, all aware of the flood of money heading south across international bridge towards all those Minnesota spots whence our Canadians keep coming and going—and returning there regularly.
Talking to some of those people, it’s easy to sense their “fun breaks” are rarely too disappointing, whether they win or lose below the border.
So, with that trail well-blazed through here and southward, it begins to seem entirely logical that we get going on our own financial recreation right here and now—and put this community on the money map.
So there! I hope for support on this idea, for which already I own a very promising site, as well as time and willingness to promote as a writer. This project will require considerable organization, for which I also will volunteer.
Certainly the church people are expected to become entirely negative on this idea, but we need to face reality also. To start with, if we are not too backward to look beyond our own noses, the future here could be bright and promising rather than complete despair regarding our regular industry.
Advice will be sought from our governments and it will be great to pick up tips from casinos already in successful operation—although probably not possessing just as suitable and desirable locations as I propose here.
While laws, it’s said, are made to be broken, just consider the extra lawmen we could be employing among our spin-off profits. And eventually, this form of employment and anciliary ideas will give our entire area the kind of boost needed for all of us to continue living here!
In addition to the casino buildings, there will be a need for adjacent motel space and probably additional businesses nearby.
This expectation stems from the old proverb—well tested by time—that “money makes money,” so hold back any adverse arguments. Because, as our threatened economy stands today, we simply do not have the time for such arguments.
Right away, there will be a committee needed to contribute ideas on this entire project. Volunteers should step forward and be prepared for a turnaround in our economic status.
Living here any longer soon may be seen this way: It’s becoming too late to linger!
• • •
I am practising my country singing since Johnny Cash left us—and getting some appreciation although not yet ready to take the stage. I made a hit with a certain dog lover with my “Old Shep” song and, becoming braver right along, I have the “Strawberry Roan” by Wilf Carter well-rehearsed, long as it is.
Carter was a Canadian singer from Alberta and considered the greatest in that line, too. He’s no longer around while I steal his stuff, which is too great to be forgotten.
More old cowboy hits include “The Old Chisholm Trail, “Cowboy Jack,” and our “Red River Valley,” and I know railroad and romantic songs by the dozen!
All right, walk away. But you’ll be sorry when I refuse to entertain unpaid!
• • •
Meeting Pinewood residents always brings up memories of my time there while working on a CNR dragline ditching crew long ago. We had been at several eastern ditching locations, where everyone spoke English, but Pinewood certainly was different in those days.
Besides not meeting anyone except French-speaking residents, we quickly learned not to try to become acquainted with girls who would pass our CNR cars on their way to school, when they would simply giggle!
We might as well been located in some foreign country.
The girls all wore school habits or uniforms. Some of us were almost as young, but there was no communication. Apparently, English became more common at Pinewood, but we moved on to friendlier Barwick nearby and soon were away to the Second World War.
The mention of girls brings up the fact I recently have been surrounded by them since the arrival of my daughter, Marion, and her three daughters from Des Moines, Iowa, and a happier crew you never met.
Father, Dave, was left back home with his hockey team.
• • •
Margaret Solomon owns the smallest imaginable safety razor and it’s in the tiniest case you ever saw. Hardly over an inch wide, it once was carried by women to shave their legs!
She has been offered deals on it by antique collectors. She also displays costly Russian plates of interest.
• • •
Meeting Jean and Eloise Camirand always brings up pleasant memories of great personalities that our town enjoyed while runniing our community.
Jean is the younger son of our late great police chief, Louis, whose wife once welcomed us up the lake for dinner. And when I first entered his town hall office, Louis invited me to put my feet up on his old desk just as he did so we could visit comfortably.
Eloise was the daughter of our Public Works superintendent, Buster Saunders, who shared responsibility with George Henry for our streets and water supplies.
Their office was almost directly below the former town water tank on downtown Scott Street. Later, the tower moved west out on the highway.
Both the “cop shop” and town hall fire department were sociable places to visit—full of friends and familiar faces for many years. Everyone in town then knew whom to call in times of trouble of any kind.
There was never a more likeable team of people looking after our needs for years. Their teammates included fire chief Bob Readman, town clerk J.W. Walker, and treasurer Earl Calder, all in neighbouring offices, and usually Mayor B.V. (Bert) Holmes would be available there, too.
A more harmonious or likeable group of people, including Wileana Clark, assistant clerk, could never be imagined.
And here I’ll add that Jean and Eloise Camirand always remind me, as they pass among us, of the ever-cheerful attitude of our old town crew.

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