George makes a historic move!

I was only about half awake when the telephone rang. Then the caller almost sent me into shock with this statement:
“Hello. Sorry to phone so late, but this is the White House calling. The president wants to tell you about something that just came up.”
Next, “Hello Scoop!” came the well-known voice as if we were old friends.
“You know about my new $85 billion budget, of course! The whole world is talking!
“And I want you to be among the first to have it confirmed because you are connected with a small newspaper on the Canadian border and I’d prefer to have you learn about my plan before it gets plastered in huge headlines around the world, which I’m sure it will!”
Finally, I got in a word with my question: “What will that much money do for the world?”
“Well, I’ve been watching the History Channel a lot, you know, especially that series on the barbarians of history! And I realized those old big shots like Genghis Khan were smarter than us because they used horses instead of throwing so many millions into our kind of war.
“But, of course, they did not have gunpowder and cannons for their wars, and didn’t need gasoline and oil for their war machines!
“So, I figure a lot of my new budget will be used to develop bullet-proof horses for our battles in future. They will have protection in the best of light armour and run all day on high-grade oats instead of using our present fuel.
“Besides bending your ear on this news, I’d like you to circulate quietly around Canadian farms to buy me the toughest and fastest horses you can find.
“Just don’t tell anyone why you want those horses and, in the long run, everyone will be much happier. Especially when we take over the whole world with a minimum of human bloodshed!
“And if our scientists are really on the job, our future bullet-proof horse will carry the day!”
Now I followed the barbarian series on TV myself and there seems good sense in the fresh approach Bush is taking towards future wars.
Yes, by now in our conversation, I have begun calling him George while I’m still simply “Scoop” to him, although I’m not convinced the animal rights people will allow us to develop bullet-proof horses which George believes are the coming thing.
Although I will concede that if the horses used by the Huns and Mongols away back in history had been able to survive against all they faced, the future of the world might have been different.
Anyway, “George” and I finally quit talking about it while I went back to bed and he hustled off to put his plans together and discuss certain scientific details in his multi-billion budget to rule the world.
He managed to make me believe he could do it, too, and so I’m going out to find herds of horses for him to make bullet-proof.
• • •
With the town sending so many citizens to doctors and hospitals by keeping its streets so icy and slippery, it’s easy to tell its main interest lies in that proposed skate park!
Everyone will be well-practised—if too crippled for it!
• • •
Allan Bedard, the union rep who knows so much about our local paper mill, has no memories of the mill making war machines for a while in the 1940, and then displaying them at the mill gate.
Machine gun carriers, I believe.
• • •
It’s so easy to forget, I always realize after mislaying names! I think back to my kindergarten classmates at Robert Moore, where I cannot imagine why the late Johnny Madill and perhaps Calvin Muckle were not mentioned.
And Johnny, whose wife, Gail, lives in Winnipeg, was my brother-in-law.
• • •
This column seems to have become unexpectedly woven into current history. Recently there occurred two incidents that indicate my musings have sometimes been taken seriously.
First, I received a column of mine from the Times of Feb. 7, 1980, headlined: “Politicians in serious trouble” because of their over-pondering to Quebec in so many ways.
It started “My father came here from Italy and yours may have known another overseas country as a boy. All learned to speak English at least as well as Jean Chrétien (our former PM) while striving to speak it better because they wanted to fit in!
Now this has been a sorry subject in Canada and has led to regular disputes. The sender of that lengthy clipping adds a note that “I think it’s time to say these things again!”
That column was somewhat impolite but the French of Quebec have now been put down enough and it’s time to move onto other topics, I say today.
The second incident attacked in my column was posted on the Harbourage bulletin board by the owner, Don Hammond, another former serviceman like myself.
He wondered whatever happened to a town promise to preserve memories of our men in uniform by planting trees along the highway that bear our names.
I know my own mother paid for my name on a tree and there were many others.
But today, many of that line of trees that stretched west into Alberton have failed to survive and sadly there are few replacements. This is a situation we all believe should be corrected before too many other Remembrance Days roll past!
Remember, 2005 is the year of the veteran.
• • •
Having rarely seen many of my former delivery boys and girls since I retired after a quarter-century as local circulation manager for the Winnipeg Tribune, I was delighted to see several of them one noon by coincidence at our favourite diner.
Seated at separate tables, and all great former carriers, were John Hazel, Leonard Larocque, Gordon Sisco, and Dan Livingstone.
Mostly are retired now from adult occupations, John as a millman and Len as a school principal, but Gordon still operates the Rainbow Motel here.
Later, I met Edna Lambert (Hickey), whose brother also delivered.
All this reminded me of incidents during our years together, such as how once a girl carrier, Sharon Ogden, won a Tribune sales trip to Boy’s Town in Iowa.

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