Gosselins still generous

The Gosselin family deserves so much credit for helping build and maintain this community, as many of us well remember!
Now I’m fortunate in having a Gosselin neighbour in Joyce, daughter of Ovide, our long-term ice merchant who shouldered the big cakes right into your home and ice-box for years.
Joyce, who picks her blueberries along Eighth Street, now lives just across the hallway from my apartment. And as a welcoming gesture, over she came with her delicious blueberry tarts—and you never tasted better!
Then she mentioned Ovide was her dad and the memories of that great family begin for me. I think of Ovide’s huge ice houses waiting around town to be filled—one opposite the White Pine Inn and also at the CNR.
Ice, stored in tons of sawdust, became necessity for homes and many businesses.
Ovide also provided employment for several men every winter out around Sand Bay. And all summer long, before many families owned refrigerators, he would drive his truck down your street making house-to-house deliveries—with little boys tagging behind for hot weather freebies!
He had ice tongs over his protected shoulder to carry your supply right to your ice-box, as welcome as the milkman! It was a heavy and slippery task, but I never heard of Ovide dropping a single block (and they probably weighed around 50 pounds each).
You could find his brother, Ned, at the fire hall below the old town hall offices, playing cribbage sometimes with Fire Chief Bob Readman and maybe some district truckers weighing their pulpwood loads there. The fire hall was where men went for a sociable chat.
Or maybe resourceful Ned would be smoking suckers in springtime back of his West End home. He would have a steady line of customers who could pay him by giving half of their suckers to Ned for his work!
The rough fish still abound in many creeks every spring, free for the taking and no licence required—and a great treat smoked.
And let’s not forget Fred here, just as popular as his brothers and a memorable bartender in the old Fort Frances Hotel. Nobody ever got sore at Fred—not even when he had to clear out the roistering lumberjacks occasionally, especially when they came down from the bush camps by the scores every spring.
But Fred had nobody showing him anything but respect once they realized he could handle his popular job very well.
All of the Gosselins were good-natured like Joyce and how the town got along without them, I find hard to believe! Their French-Canadian name is not heard so often here any more and that’s a pity!
I’m sure the Gosselin stories and exploits probably could fill a book—and their complete story would be worth it.
• • •
Another worthy old local name that keeps coming on is Godin, as I told young Scott Godin, who is among the McDonald’s busy staff.
The Godins best-known to me, although the family had other branches, were Alice Tinkess and Bob and Wilmot Godin. Their parents were related to Louis Camirand, a former popular police chief who had married a Godin.
• • •
Find out from my son, Earl, how he enjoyed his trip to see the Grey Cup in Vancouver where his son, Jordan, and friends have been seeking employment—both on stage with their guitars and at construction jobs.
Jordan’s uncle, Dale Ward, also is out there working along the coast.
• • •
I started a day all wrong last week when I knew I had mislaid my apartment keys as I went through the door while realizing coming back would prove difficult because without keys, it might be a long wait before I return home.
A quick search of my clothing proving unsuccessful. I was awaiting my ride before I decided to check my wallet, where I had not been keeping keys lately.
But wouldn’t you know, there they were safe and snug! My problem is simply that I cannot always trust myself to do the right thing!
• • •
Something else to worry about. My little morning squirrel friend, Nutty, did not meet me before I departed as he did every day for a week. But Nutty knows his way around very well and I’m sure there’s no reason to notify the police concerning his disappearance.
• • •
Seriously, though, a Meals on Wheels volunteer, Arnold Brown, was worried when one of his regular customers failed to answer his knock. This could be serious for an older lady living alone, but later I learned she was okay.
Incidentally, the meal service, including the generous assortment on the plate you get, would be hard to beat. I’ve been a satisfied customer for more than a year now.
• • •
So rather than getting into polities, I intend to end this column regularly with an old love song, my first offering recently having been well-appreciated. So what about “I’ll Take you Home Again, Kathleen,” a number my late brother-in-law sang surprisingly well.
“The flowers all have left your cheeks, I’ve watched them fade away and die! Your voice is sad whenever you speak, and tears bedim your loving eyes.”
• • •
Further to our space exploration project as suggested here last week, U.S. scientists now are studying dust from an asteroid 27,000 meters above us, expecting to find clues as to the composition of the planets.
Space ideas are popular, so we had better get a hustle going here if we want to see what’s up there.
Every other country also is looking upwards, so why should Fort Frances not get involved, too. Our chances of getting there first are as good as anyone’s—and maybe better once we entice enough support.
• • •
I missed it but some reports said one star in our local Christmas parade was “The Grinch who Stole Christmas”—the well-known character who rivals Scrooge!
• • •
My latest Meals on Wheels delivery lady is the wife of the present owner of Rusty Myers Flying Service and she is good at it. Out at McDonald’s, a supervisor promised to get me that name.

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