Now a new library?

Surprisingly perhaps, I’m not favouring the idea of any new library. I have a sentimental attachment from my early boyhood with the old one.
Also, I have not taken any interest in whatever preceded the idea to go ahead with a new building—and I expect I won’t be easily convinced. The present building still looks great to me!
And there is a conviction hereabouts that we’ve already turned our backs on too many long appreciated institutions. We’ve already destroyed so much here of such historic interest that we seem to be blundering on and on without any clear idea on direction.
Such as our old town hall, where there was an upstairs auditorium for those memorable Sunday concerts by our town band.
Such as the Pither’s Point Park and the popular pavilion there, the artifacts, Fort St. Pierre (which was a reminder of our famous discoverer, La Verendrye), and alongside it, our first school that also went down.
And eventually, the adjacent Hallett and forestry tower also will be disappearing. We just keep on losing!
A local senior, Matt (Scotty) Fairnington, is wondering whether the old town bus service will ever be revived for our elderly and infirm. But forget this also, Matt!
The list of our recent regrets gets longer as you think about so much thoughtlessness being allowed in the recent past.
What we’ve already created suddenly loses importance. And down the drain goes an awful lot of money—not to mention the blood, sweat, and tears of our forebears!
So much is being wasted these days. We probably will never be satisfied again. There seems constant agitation to undo the best of our past, including the present attractive library.
I wasn’t over eight years old when I first entered our library. This was on a dare from another boy. Boldly I had marched in and picked up an important looking book, then realized the white-haired lady behind the desk was watching me.
When I took her the book, she was very understanding. “You won’t like this book,” she told me. “But I’ll get you one you will like!”
Those who would lead us into building always bigger and better should know that many oldtimers won’t enter the new Townshend Theatre in the new Fort Frances High School!
That includes me with my walking problem because the aisle between the seats lacks handrails. Even the old arena is easier to go up and down between the seats because they are high enough to hold on to.
While I was in college at Ottawa, I had to visit the parliamentary library—huge and lifeless. I was doing a thesis on Canadian Crime and Punishment.
I much preferred our own cozy, smalltown library to those distinguished confines where you could get lost among the shelves and needed a guide around.
Among the crimes that never get mentioned is never letting well enough alone! So many of our needs appear to be fictitious, but what’s the good of raising taxes if you can’t indulge in excuses to spend the money?
The heart of any library has to be the people on duty there, and Pearl Campbell was all heart when it came to helping us get started into her world of books.
I made a point of attending our library every Thursday evening for years after I came home to stay, and hope to climb those steps again, but I’m perfectly satisfied with our present well-built facility and all the modern improvements being suggested will never really replace it.
I’m sure the staff there is still doing a great job, from all I hear! Unfortunately, it’s television and not reading that has captured us in this era. Even as a newspaperman, I am forced to concede this!
Beyond magazine subscriptions, as I believe a survey has already indicated, the heaviest or most educational reading is away over most of our heads (we just don’t seem to possess the necessary patience anymore!)
But then in our constant onward and upward struggle for improvements, let’s take a more serious look at our bumpy roads first!
• • •
Shirley Morrish from Burriss, undoubtedly a queen of our young 4-H’ers after many years service (although she doesn’t show it), stopped to say hello in Safeway whence I extract much of my inspiration.
Nothing turned me on better than foodstuff and here’s Shirley’s chance to say that I do show it.
So I asked her how their Galloway cattle herd is doing and she reports the greys that Tom introduced so many years ago now number 200 head!
But the Morrishes, like everyone else into beef production, are holding on to their confidence that the U.S. market soon will turn around and accept our great beef again.
• • •
Everyone’s pulling for Herb Cridland to recover from his present health difficulty because he’s always been among our more stalwart citizens—even if he can’t leave the cards along!
You’ve never met a more enthusiastic player and it’s expected Las Vegas has not seen the last of him!
• • •
The Laycox family visiting from Cochrane, Ont. includes Grandma, a retired Red Lake teacher who is now 90 and enjoys travelling.
• • •
Wayne Cross, who helped make hay at my River Road farm for several summers, is returning as a veterinarian now to spell off the Lakehead area vet for two months.
He will see a great improvement in the condition of his father, Bert, who gets out for coffee occasionally again. Bert is the last of the family of our old district auctioneer, Herb Cross.
• • •
Don’t tell Gerald Lambert to remove his glasses or you won’t recognize him, I realized after sitting near him without saying hello! But close by was George Melynchuk, the pilot, who has gone into disguise also with his white hair.
• • •
Congratulations to the popular Harbourage cafe on its newly-paved parking lot. Other certain businesses should take note. But then, owner Don Hammond has the advantage of lots of extra space.
• • •
We don’t get any talk at all on the future of the Red Dog Inn, one of our smartest looking establishments, which has been on the blocks for months.
• • •
Bill Nastiuk, an old schoolmate from my Robert Moore days, has been visiting from his present home in Oregon. Bill has been active in the clothing business.

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