Everyone appreciates people like ‘Bud’

First I knew Gordon (Bud) Dyrland as a “honeyman,” and there are those he has helped since then who might say he is still a “sweetheart” because of his good works with water pumps in times of crisis like this past week.
I never before, to be honest, expected him to become such an indispensable citizen, which you may agree is an appropriate description for Bud nowadays with his beekeeping days behind him.
Whenever the stores sell out of pumps, for instance, as much of the town and district goes underwater, here comes Bud with maybe the only submersible pump available.
Or when the stores bring in a fresh shipment, usually Bud stands ready to install one right now instead of keeping you waiting as you have come to expect from so many other servicemen.
He jumps into action before any of our homes and institutions show signs of collapsing into the lakes around them. And by now, the town should be thinking of putting Bud on its permanent payroll as a disaster expert.
The thing is, you can’t paint people like Bud in anything but the strongest colours because, if we ever relax or forget about them, there will be some other community grabbing him up—and just don’t expect him to be easily replaced!
Nor do I want to drive Bud out of town in embarrassment, but it’s time we started honouring people like him. So if you want to support this effort, send me some names of other citizens that we can spotlight in future—just so they know we have it in us to appreciate them.
I’m sure there aren’t too many Buds around, but let me know of the others!
• • •
Still with our district flood, I heard of lives lost in it more than a week ago. Sure they weren’t human, but loss of what seems numerous head of cattle seemed significant.
The owners’ names didn’t come up easily until I met Byrtle Kovachenko of North Branch, the father of two of McDonald’s best waitresses.
Byrtle, himself a cattleman, was feeling badly over what he saw as a private disaster for his neighbour, Nelson Brown, whose livestock drowned in the rampaging Piney River.
He didn’t have the figures but Nelson, recognized in that area as deserving of much better luck for his lifetime of struggle, was left with only two small pigs.
He also lost a lot of tree-length poplar logs that swirled away in the current.
Cattle were being threatened by creeks turning into rivers all over the farm district, and there was no sense in trying to work against the rising waters with anything except boats. The Piney river alone rose seven feet—its highest in recorded history.
So, John Vanderbrand took his boat to reach cattle milling around in mid-stream and managed to have them follow him back to shore—even if they were not his cattle.
They belonged on the Wade Dessere farm across the river, where the whole yard was so deeply flooded that basement windows gave in under the pressure.
And so the stories continue, mostly out of reach for most of us, but they will be reaching our ears for months and months to come yet.
• • •
Horsebacking is big in Minnesota around Monticello, we learned from neighbour Gerry Barker of River Road whose daughter, Barbie, is now operating a riding stable there.
He was exchanging comments with Jerry Benshoof of Hopkins Bay here and Bloomington, Mn., who knows about a YMCA campground for riders.
• • •
My recent column on guitar entertainment brings up regular discussions and a report from Mike Elyk that he succeeded in “building” his own guitar, which is almost unheard of.
But Mike and wife are very disillusioned with Nashville for letting down country music so badly of late years. They used to enjoy going there every year.
• • •
Not at all ashamed of coming from Toronto is Gary Rusak, the new Times summer reporter. Now attending journalism at Ryerson, he holds a previous degree from McGill University in Montreal.
Don’t let us get you down, Gary. The rest of us wish we had stayed there when we had the chance years ago, but not often!
• • •
Keith Watson’s well-known garden site alongside the upper river and highway in the east end of town is attracting a great crop of admirers again this early summer as tourists have stopped from Africa, England, and all across the U.S. to leave their autographs and congratulations!
It even survived the storm in good shape.
• • •
Nick Andrusco well remembers when the CN tracks were the dividing line between town and farm country, and there was a very large flock of chickens on Armit Avenue North while nearby Crowe Avenue held a huge barn full of milk cows.
This was long before town council passed a bylaw banning keeping of livestock inside town limits but probably also somewhat later than the law that came in for all sales of milk to conform to pasteurization rules.
These allows few cow owners except our Mabel Flinders to stay in dairying.
• • •
When tourist traffic waiting to return over the international bridge here lined up for hours with hundreds of vehicles stretched across our west end Saturday, we seemed to have forgotten something called common courtesy!
So where were the biffies we used to supply to prevent those folks from perishing while they waited?
Can’t we remember how to look after our paying guests? We’ve never had longer lineups or probably more suffering on view all at once. That long, slow line had to beat all previous records as it inched through interminably!
What’s wrong with the company charging the bridge-fares from supplying a few summer washrooms down the line?

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