So long, and thanks for all the fish(ing)

Before we embark on the final installment of “A Reuben with A View,” I’d like to list a few things I’ve wanted to lay down in the printed word.
Things which simply placate my own ego and probably won’t be allowed to do when my run as junior sports reporter at the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal begins next week (I have to admit having section autonomy here has been a ball).
Plus, if this whole reporting thing doesn’t pan out, I’m planning on joining the Wawa comedy club circuit. From what I’ve heard, the bingo tour has “mucho grande´” benefits.
So here goes:
•The L.A. Lakers will win their fourth-straight NBA championship next spring;
•For the last time, there is no such thing as “Reality TV.” Reality ceases to be when cameras start rolling complete with a script, producer, and bevy of attractive people.
•I suggest everyone rent the movie, “Amelie”;
•Even though I’m moving, I think this new Centennial $3 coin should be legal tender across the country for those who used to live in Fort Frances. We’ll just tattoo our hand with that nifty “100 years” logo.
•The Beatles are the greatest band of all-time (followed closely by Huey Lewis and the News, of course);
•I am a Hulkamaniac;
•‘Pop’ quiz: How many number one hits do you need to be considered a “diva?” and . . .
•I don’t care what anyone says, I’m going to have smallmouth bass for dinner one of these days.
Thanks. Anyway, I thought I had my final column topic figured out. I was going to dazzle you with my knowledge of big business in sports (mainly stuff I learned from reading the August issue of Report on Business: the Sports Issue) then somehow stress how sports is an important glue that holds a community’s spirit together.
Then I was thinking about a cheesy ending involving a quote from a French poet, kiss a few babies, shake a few hands, and be on my merry way.
I’m not going to do that. Rather as we near the end, I’d like to share a few things during my final week at the Times which proved to me what I’ve known all along: when it comes to sports and the community, this town has “it” figured out.
By “it,” I mean interviewing Mirel Bica, the new gymnastics coach from Romania, on Monday and hearing him tell me how he felt at home in Fort Frances, how perfect this setting was for he and his wife to raise their young daughter, and how he already was eager to take his second boat ride on Rainy Lake.
The kicker: He only moved here on July 16.
By “it,” I mean watching Muskie football assistant coach Rob Tysz fire questions at a Grade 9 student signing up for fall camp in the style of a straight-shooting drill sergeant.
The kid looked pretty nervous until Tysz ended with, “It’ll be OK. You’ll have fun.”
By “it,” I mean being very impressed whenever John Pierce—someone I’ve called upon as a close confidant during my time here—seemed to know every nook and cranny of his community. (John, I looking forward to seeing you at a hockey tournament in Thunder Bay this winter. You won’t be a stranger.)
Simply put, this town has “it” and I can only hope some of it has rubbed off on me as I move on.
With that, farewell, Rainy River District.
Darn it. I fell for the cheesy ending, didn’t I?

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