Now, here comes ‘Hub’

Well! “Hubba, Hubba!”
That’s probably the one and only remark I may remember from my high school days. Translated, it implies a new and attractive girl has just strolled by! It was definitely a compliment!
So, I’ve just received a letter from well-remembered Harlan (Hub) Ballard, about whom I have always wondered whether he originated that remark and, in abbreviation, it stuck to him as a nickname!
Hub writes about enjoying our paper every week, so I don’t expect he will be letting this suggestion pass unnoticed!
A rising star in banking here even before he left us to move to Bonita, Calif., he was a mite older than me and later married a girl from my classroom, Peggy Anderson. She was a sister of Ronny, whose sons still operate their gramma’s store, Betty’s.
Peggy has passed away but apparently Hub is still as chipper as ever.
Ronny and I used to coffee together downtown and one day we joined Hub, who was visiting. I didn’t remember to ask him about “Hubba, hubba” at that time, and I doubt whether it would have offended him to be considered in those terms. I believed he was as popular with the opposite sex, as he was everywhere.
Hub writes about the 1938 fire north of La Vallee that took 10 lives of the LaBelle families. Norman Croome, our veteran Crown Attorney, was in my column concerning that horrifying fire.
Hub wrote that he helped Mrs. Croome settle her husband’s estate while he was going ahead in baking here.
Then Norman Jr. was in Hub’s high school class and, along with Louis Boileau, they were chums.
Murdoch Smith from Burriss went to help fight that fire and when he returned to school, Hub recalls his face was blackened from the smoke!
Thanks for the good words on my columns, Hub (I hear quite regularly from others I knew in school who still enjoy contact with their old hometown).
• • •
I watched a lineup of three huge trucks rolling into town from the east the other day and wondered why the highway by the river was not sinking under all their weight.
First came two van loads hooked together that should have been on the railroad—these vans were just like boxcars. Next was about the biggest pulpwood load I ever saw.
And then two gigantic fuel tankers carrying enough to supply half the town in one double load.
I seem to remember when there were limits on load sizes, but like so many other changes, this has been lost in memory apparently.
And this convoy would be moving straight across town practically bumper to bumper! Our old town police force might have interfered, but I’m sure these monsters came through unmolested!
• • •
I met young Dan Onichuk the other day at McDonald’s and he’s got my vote for mayor this time around. They say a new broom sweeps clean and we’ve had all we want for now from the old guard with every town council report adding more grief, starting with the condominium story.
So now the next mayor and council will have to try to straighten out all that expensive damage, if it can still be done! The advance voting was reported as very heavy, so let’s hope!
I knew Dan’s father, Tommy, and I expect Dan will have some of Tom’s respect for dollars. Tommy managed to salvage enough from our garbage grounds in one year to buy his wife a new car and also recovered hundreds of lost golf balls at Kitchen Creek!
• • •
My former Winnipeg Tribune carriers keep on visiting town and remembering their delivery days with me. Some of them would come down mornings to the CNR for their bundles (that’s well over 20 years ago).
Dr. Bob Georgeson was in town from Ottawa last week and Ross Parry was eating at the next table. I believe Ross won a trip to New York City for salesmanship while with us.
Others also won great trips during Easter holidays those days. A girl carrier, Sharon Ogden, even won a trip to Boys’ Town, Iowa. The Tribune made sure of her having a good visit by sending a lady with her.
Everybody took our old Trib while the Free Press had fewer than half our local subscribers. We would number up to 1,400.
Dr. Wayne Cross stuck by me when I started keeping cattle at my farm. He became a veterinarian through his love for horses.
• • •
Bruce Biddeson wants it known his true age is not 93 as I reported recently because the Biddesons are noted for longevity. Bruce is “only” 89.
• • •
As a war veteran myself, even if my armed services participation never put me in serious danger like some RCAF’ers you can meet here, I don’t think there needs to be any question over having Remembrance Day as a national holiday!
Our personal and national peril was too much in danger for six agonizing years in World War Two and also four years in W.W.I!
• • •
Then Don Hammond at the Harbourage points to our so-called “Avenue of Memories” where forgotten rows of elm trees were planted all the way from town and well into Crozier for our people in uniforms at the time.
He came up with a Times story in which my teacher, Alma Henry, collaborated. It asks why all those trees have now been ignored for scores of years!
Some died like the servicemen they were named for, but others still stand alongside the road with gaps in between. Relatives could pay for a tree to be planted in names of sons and relatives in service. It was never expected those elm trees would be forgotten like so many of our fallen.
There should be a list yet in the Civic Centre of all the names involved.
Although a war veteran, Don never had a tree named for him, but I did and I think it cost my parents $5. Replacements were free, I think, but today so many are missing
• • •
Bud Mallory from Calgary blew in for the weekend and we had a great time reminiscing while Bud recalled his elegant “Captain Robby’s” restaurant that was destroyed by fire on the edge of town.
Bud also discussed his own flying years while his son, Robby, continues as an air passenger pilot with the Wasaya Airlines after years with Bearskin.
While ferrying VIP’s in here for the fishing and whatever, Bud became well acquainted with the U.S. vice-president of the time, Walter Mondale, who made friends of everyone he met here while staying on Rainy Lake.
Mondale was expected to become president soon after, but declined to stand. Bud says there were no less than 55 American security people plus two Canadian Mounties guarding Mondale’s camp here!

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