Still bragging up our great fall?

So it’s been one vicious chunk of weather, this belated introduction to the sorry side of our calendar.
Our first snowstorm has been a horror and then freezing Sunday, wrecking driving conditions probably for the rest of the week at great cost to you and your insurance companies. It’s all been just a tragic turn of events and now taxpayers must pay for many miles of gravelling.
When you see a 4×4 van swapping ends right in front of you on the West End highway by the cemetery, as if the occupants had booked reservations there, you realize the roads are a tad hazardous!
A young OPP traffic officer finally finding time to grab a bite at Dairy Queen around noon Monday, admitted he’d definitely earned his pay all weekend. The wind was still blowing a thin white veil around, and it was anyone’s guess about survival for all involved.
All those happy remarks about the wonderful fall season we were having are now only an echo—along with the satisfaction in staving off winter an extra month or five weeks.
You might still venture a word or two about how winter used to be a lot longer and much tougher, but nobody’s listening here today. You could expect a rebuke for your shortage of good judgment at this stage of the game!
Yet, listen! We had it so good for so many months, the time may have arrived to pay the piper.
Thinking about that with the fuel bill starting to sink you again—although the war with the Afghans is looking better—why not stop and reflect on all the delight that Atlantis keeps shovelling at us, during most seasons that is.
Attempting to manage an upbeat mood is going okay until we turned the old car along the river. Of course, whenever I remember our happy summers, I’m into Waterworld, taking aim at either the Point Park beach or Bad Vermilion Lake or our downtown waterfront, all among the simple pleasures of long ago.
Those memories do not contain so much papermill expansion that today it’s no longer possible to tell where the town used to meet the mill yard which was confined around the entrance to the international bridge.
Nostalgia takes over here, bringing thoughts of our popular old hotel district and other businesses and homes now swept away in our current haste to make more paper before all the trees disappear.
And it will become more stylish to enter Canada through our new port facilities, also courtesy of our paper company.
Proceed eastward along Church Street and wonder how long that can continue bustling Sunday mornings while the mill keeps on swallowing space and challenging such institutions as the Civic Centre and hospital, and Canadian Legion and Bell buildings.
Staying more with our main topic here, we’re jumping off the riverbank now in July or taking risks on the log booms which once paralleled the bridge into International Falls for the benefit of boys who lacked dimes for bridge fare.
This was one of our favourite playgrounds, including diving off the Crowe Avenue dock, where memories are surprisingly strong and so the great sunburns from Point beach were for those who owned bicycles or fare for Mrs. Nelson’s Jitney service.
These are thoughts you might use today to banish the old sores over the new winter. You need extra excuses to avoid the U.S. southlands and possible bankruptcy next month. I do hear, though, that gasoline has become less expensive over there, helping balance the rising tax on cigarettes.
There may even be rose gardens ahead for us on down the line but meanwhile, remember where you stow that snow shovel. With fuel prices jumping around, you have to appreciate the benefits of winter exercise that can no longer be avoided.
• • •
We were lucky to squeeze in the Christmas parade before the weather turned against us, but I can’t comment because I missed it this year.
But I was happy over a couple of other weekend events—the wedding anniversary of Christine and George Sturdy and the birthday party for Nick Mutz, all among our best-known citizens who had their pictures displayed in the paper last week.
The Sturdys are at Rainycrest, where I’m told Leif Willar is now 93 rather than 90 as claimed here last week.
• • •
One of our youngest arrivals were spotted last Wednesday alongside River Road where Tom Koski’s cows are starting to give birth in nearby Crozier.
This little guy managed to sneak in before wintertime, but his brothers and sister won’t be so lucky.
• • •
Be patient on your telephone calls to the hospital, which has been hooked up for so many services as to make you wonder whether you’ve got the right connection.
Just another modern innovation to help spoil your day.
• • •
As an old country music fan and also owner of a guitar which doesn’t get much attention any more, I am somewhat upset by Garth Brooks being declared the greatest entertainer of all time in that line.
My own opinion is he can’t begin to compare to people like Johnny Horton or Johnny Cash and several others of that era. It’s entirely a matter of current tastes, which keep changing.
• • •
Willie Wilson stopped at my table to report he no longer sells our wild rice in Europe, having relinquished that franchise for seven years to another company.
He didn’t say whether it still carries his “Chief Stoneface” brand name but Willie is still among our local native leaders.
• • •
I knew that the colourful pheasant is no longer a stranger in these parts, having seen one at our farm on River Road, possibly an escapee from a game farm, but one was killed here the other day on Armit Avenue.

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