Let’s call it ‘Cridland Condo!’

Here only last week I suggested it would take someone with a well-developed gambling spirit to start our local condominium project! But almost immediately there appeared the obituary of a local friend, Herb Cridland.
I should have known his name would suggest itself in connection with our beautiful new condo! Because Herb would have to admit that Las Vegas was his “second home” and gambling was his main game!
The condo became his—and our—great gamble!
All businesses involve gambles and Herb was good at what he did, namely the insurance and real estate business.
He came from the east to enter Gillons’ agency not long before Bert and Jack Gillon passed away, then Gillons’ signs began appearing along the riverfront before the condo went up as a high-class residential riverfront establishment—that astonished us!
Herb liked to travel and take chances, and he frequently volunteered to manage young hockey teams. Also, he never failed to take along his playing cards during a hockey trip.
I joined him once at Cornwall, Ont., where the Boise Midgets were invited. His cards came out night and day in the hotel room to help the players’ fathers kill time.
I tried to keep track of Herb’s sad health condition. While in hospital myself, his old partner, Ed Fitzgerald, occupied the next bed and told me Herb probably did not have much time left.
Had Herb not taken ill, I have no doubt he could have continued to pull the big condo together financially. Instead, he had to abandon it to its fate. Maybe more easterners or his U.S. friends will be buying it (and soon there could be need for a second condominium).
In fact, I can sense there soon may be a trend here towards condos with such operators as Herb Cridland leading the way. Sure, there still are unsold units there, but if Herb had his way, this would be soon in the past because he would have the answers to that extra space.
Even if it was turned into a casino, with profits going to present owners, they probably wouldn’t object as long as the law allowed.
Everyone knows that publicly-operated casinos are forbidden here, but private games of chance have always been popular! Most have attended card games where there was money on the table.
In fact, this went on in Fort Frances regularly years ago without police interference. The operators were popular.
Let’s not start despairing too soon over our condo venture and its slow sales. Somebody, sooner or later, will be making it run profitably. But I’d enjoy giving Herb Cridland the credit. He earned it, I’ll submit.
And will there by any serious objections over use of his name? As in “Cridland Condos.”
• • •
While we’re on the subject of real estate, undoubtedly you are aware that I still own a quarter-mile of river frontage adjacent to the American golf course?
Sure, I’d make it an easy deal for anyone who would insist on creating a new condominium bearing my name! After all, I have paid taxes on my Crozier farm on River Road for nigh onto 50 years!
• • •
Another riverside gardener you know met me on the bank corner with the news that he has now cleared all the vegetables out of his big patch except for the potatoes, and Keith Watson claims he measured a beet 18 inches around.
Yes, we had a tremendous year here for gardening as well as fruit trees!
• • •
Arnold Schwarzenegger, out in California, announced he was sorry to see a lady competitor for governor there drop out of the contest “because she added colour!”
As a body builder and movie actor, Austrian-born Arnold would be hard to beat for colour.
Our own lady candidates deserve much credit for their election efforts.
But my sympathy really goes out to our re-elected NDP member, Howard Hampton, for losing his provincial party this time around. Apparently even his own popularity was not sufficient to carry an official political party into Queen’s Park with him.
The NDP lacked two seats to earn official party status this time around.
• • •
Ah yes! Those dangerous trees are hanging over roofs and threatening residential property with serious damages all over town. I know we’re not allowed to burn firewood in town anymore, or much of that menace would have disappeared.
I loaned my cross-cut saw from the farm to the town once to get rid of the biggest old tree you ever saw here. That was on Portage, corner of First, and posed a serious traffic hazard. Now there are many more.
One I should mention could fall and smash the roof of the old Alf Russell home south of Safeway, where we used to hold senior hockey meetings in preparing for the Allan Cup.
• • •
Albert Carrier, who contracted the disease in the woods years ago and keeps track, says the dreaded blastomycosis ailment has been concentrated in Kenora more than around here lately.
One doctor there has seen 20 cases of it. Albert said he had pneumonia first and that why “blasto” struck him several years ago.
• • •
Instead of the regular jackhammer “serenade” I received last time I used the MRI service in International Falls, I was given earphones for records of my favourite cowboy singer, Gene Autry.
His soothing tones kept me lying quietly, which is a must for this medical service.
So, I’m hoping this examination will lead to surgery for my back at Winnipeg General Hospital before long. Thanks a lot, Gene! For me, you never lost it!
And the courteous treatment of the Falls attendants also requires comment.
• • •
You’d have to be there to appreciate all the wonderful cooking the Devlin ladies put out Sunday evening in their marvelous hall, which must have seated at least 500 diners for a memorable evening.
This was their annual autumn supper and we’ll all try to return there every year!
• • •
The McFees, including Don and brother, Vaughan, should be among our best known area citizens for all their endeavours over many years. This all starts with their old-time barn dances Miscampbell, carries on through the war years, and then into carpentry and whatever other skills they could demonstrate to our complete satisfaction.
Don became the gun owners’ friend for many years with his repair work before he started building airplanes. Now I have photos of the six planes he has built and hope to have them all appear in the Times for this centennial year.

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