Rainy River still brags about Bud on the bridge

Few ever mention the Rainy River bridge without telling about that area’s greatest daredevil, Gordon T. Hannam, known merely as “Bud” to a host of admirers for his motorcycle feats while younger!
Emmanuel (Manny) Nordin, whom I meet occasionally over coffee in McDonald’s, recalls when Bud jumped his bike over wide-open spans in that bridge where much of Rainy River’s centennial celebration occurred a couple of weeks ago.
I’m sure Bud was there again for that historic event because he still gets around well despite his numerous accidents. I greeted Bud while he visited our hospital last month and had to comment on how well he looked.
Many will say that bridge being dangerous was merely a regular challenge for him as he would simply sail over these spans.
Today, he satisfies his unusual appetite for thrills at Oak Ridge Camp on Lake of the Woods, Manny says, but apparently still keeps a motor bike while stories of his bridge-jumping career keep on coming along!
• • • While our big corn field at the west end of town stands bare this summer while its owners, the Vanderhorsts and Loweys, are forced to be content with their flowers along the highway, our smaller, private vegetable growers also are unhappy with their small returns this summer.
After such a cool and rainy start to our growing season, the cucumbers, tomatoes, and backyard crops generally have been looking few and far between.
Some say this has been the least productive year they’ve ever known.
Now there’s a statement nobody expects in these parts, where the proper mixture of rain and sunshine were always before accepted as normal.
As far back as the 1930s, everyone knew the best return on town lots came from the fertile, sandy soil surrounding almost every home. Parents almost always made sure their kids ate well without needing to run to the stores because all that was needed were a few cents for seeds.
The time required to spade up the backyard meant nothing compared to such dependable returns. Why, our Hallowe’en pumpkins went over 25 pounds similar to our squash for pies in the fall and those juicy watermelons.
Safewaywould be buying from us in many years and returns could be substantial. The Vanderhorsts had their own popular store downtown, too.
And basement shelves were always filled with canned fruit and pickles waiting for winters. My own mother and wife always made sure to “can ahead!” for future winters.
Canning probably is not so popular as years ago, but with all costs constantly rising, this may be the wrong year for poor backyard garden returns.
• • •
A visitor named Gilbert Murrski from Milwaukee, Wis. stopped to question a report that Canadians spent six years overseas during the Second World War while Americans fought for only four years.
It seems war talk is in the air again.
• • •
Two younger doctors have joined our local medical staff recently with similar names. Dr. Diane Haak and Dr. Jason Shack are a very pleasant pair of bedside callers, I discovered during my stay at La Verendrye earlier this summer.
• • •
Genuine barbecued ribs seem to have disappeared completely from our restaurant menu. Although some will dose their ribs with HP sauce, this is not the same.
The former Red Dog Inn cafe had a very popular recipe for ribs, which needs to be brought back.
• • •
My first Canadian beer bottle was enjoyed last weekend after years of complete abstinence! I don’t remember whether we drank much more during the war years merely to be patriotic or because it was so much more economical!
A bottle sold for only 25 cents—and a draft for a dime—in those days.
• • •
Inge Scheibler, our Times correspondent from Stratton years ago, and her husband came into the clinic here Friday. I met him first and hoped I could still recognize her, but saw she had not changed at all in appearance.
• • •
The passing of Leo Noonan, founder of La Place Rendez-Vous here, will cause grief because Leo was among our greatest citizens. Even after he retired, I’ll never forget how he kept on spreading so much goodwill!
Under a lend-lease program, he helped establish restaurants in southern countries where black owners were struggling against racial prejudice. Leo could convince them that white operators like himself would wash dishes and look after kitchens also.
I’m happy he chose to have his remains buried here among his many friends.
• • •
My daughter, Sara Ann, at Sioux City, Iowa, phoned me to tell about her husband’s family reunion lately. Turns out now she is related to someone in every state in the union.
Husband Ted Aarestad, whose family is of Norwegian descent, helped host the event and Sara was very impressed.
• • •
Here, and not only in Florida, Friday the 13th probably will always recall the death and devastation wrought by fantastic Hurricane Charley. Around hard-hit Fort Myers and Orlando, where numerous Canadians hold winter homes, the sorrows and financial losses have to be horrendous.
Up to two million people were reported evacuated from the Tampa Bay area, and total casualties were not yet known as even hotels considered safe refuges were smashed by the worst storm since Hurricane Andrew about a decade ago
Winds were clocked at up to 145-173 m.p.h.
Nearly a dozen insurance companies had to go out of business in the afternmath of Andrew back in August, 1992.

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