Does ‘Charley’ have cousins here

Watching Hurricane Charley toppling and smashing huge trees in that $15-billion Florida disaster, and then driving across Fort Frances and seeing so many trees here the same size (and many on town properties alongside our streets) brought up the question: How much damage could we expect from any serious winds?
Well, that strong blow last Wednesday morning tried to show us! A thick old poplar next to the river in the east end fell on a truck to give several men and machines a busy time.
That tree was only one in a row of five or six that also could have fallen. So don’t say we couldn’t be hit hard here, as well.
It’s probably time the townspeople noticed our local vulnerability from big trees next to our roads and sidewalks.
• • •
Remember the old Hub restaurant which stood next to the paper mill entrance? Ken McFayden asked me if I could recall the name of the lady there who owned a very colourful parrot.
I said her name was McGawley, but later Claude DeBenedet changed it to McColley.
Ken’s wife remembered something else about that parrot. When she spoke to the bird one time, it told her rudely, “Shut your mouth.”
• • •
I am hereby apologizing to the family of one of our Scott Street pioneers who had lost both legs and yet managed to walk on pegs. Sadly, I wrote recently that Mr. Breckon, while seated, was sometimes scoffed at.
And yet no better respected businessman ever came along. He operated a bake shop and confectionery next to our Royal Theatre, and could be found many evenings handing out free bags of popcorn to kids there in the ’30s who would not be able to pay him.
He also raised four children here, where he lived since 1896.
• • •
When 80 guests arrived to congratulate Theresa Kaun on a milestone birthday on Sunday, Aug. 15, they dined on a whole pig cooked on a spit at the home of a son and his wife, Ed and Jeanne Kaun.
Some guests and relatives came from as far away as Seattle, Wash., Grand Prairie, Alta., and Winnipeg for the event.
This was a culinary treat tendered by popular Roman Hosiuk of town, who is applauded for his very careful preparations. The pig was purchased in Devlin.
(I hope to get my own name on his list very shortly because I have long been a BBQ fan).
• • •
Reports vary on district blueberry crops. I’m told that my family’s favourite spot around Turtle Tank, near Mine Centre, has not been producing well, nor have the town’s popular old garbage grounds on Frog Creek Road or even Devlin’s Wasaw Road.
Now hungry bears have begun visiting town yards in search of food and there being few other edibles available, they are attracted to garbage barrels!
• • •
One local driver not wearing his seatbelt was glad for that because he managed to move quickly enough to avoid injury when two curling rocks piled in his truck cab missed him in falling!
• • •
Lake of the Woods was featured on TV’s History Channel last week, but there were serious inaccuracies. Adult sturgeon in that lake regularly grow to more than 200 pounds rather than the reported 100 pounds.
And the infamous Chicagoan, Al Capone, had much further to take his homemade whiskey than 30 miles from the northern side of that lake (Kenora) down to the U.S. boundary.
Kenora is about 140 miles from the American border here.
This was a fascinating story, though, and the Titanic loss was incredibly well photographed. The latter event undoubtedly involved great computer work.
• • •
The reported “stealth patrol” by OPP officers around town has been catching attention while the cops prowl the alleyways by bicycle after dark, I’m told.
• • •
I’ve been saddened by passing of several local oldsters since I served hospital time with them this past month. Deaths here lately of popular citizens keep on occurring in such startling numbers, I can barely believe it.
As I enter that age group myself, maybe these make more impression, especially with those I lived and ate with for weeks.
• • •
Faith Adair, apparently responding to my earlier question wondering about our oldest home here, brought a photo into the Times office. It showed her grandfather in front of the home where she lives and where he was born 100 years ago.
That’s on Victoria Avenue close to the Salvation Army and Presbyterian churches.
Incidentally, Faith was a Dennis and related to the Mine Centre merchants who merged with the local Readmans of my column lately.
• • •
After initially being told his winter home in Florida had survived a narrow miss by Hurricane Charley, Nick Andrusco received bad news in a second phone call from Florida the following day.
When his caller had checked inside Nick’s house, he discovered its roof and ceiling were heavily-damaged.
Nick’s place is at North Port, near Warm Mineral Springs.

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