Summer slowly sneaking in

Sunshine returning Sunday found it again necessary to bring along a cool morning breeze. But okay, summer cannot be far behind now as the youngsters romp around outside amid the dandelions and blossoming trees. And, would you believe it after all the setbacks, the lawns needed cutting finally! Sure, the homework interferes with your lake travel, but no need to swear about it because fishing can wait. But for a while there, it seemed only two days of hot weather might be all for this summer. • • • After never meeting him for years, I caught Glenn Witherspoon doing a nice job describing our downtown businesses while on TV the other day. He reminded me how busy his father, Jim, stayed in so many ways. The Witherspoons never let any grass grow under their feet and if you needed any help, you went to the right place. • • • White Otter Castle was one place around here I had never seen and Bruce Murray sympathized with my ignorance by handing over a pamphlet on that landmark! • • • Please do not come running to rescue residents of Aspen House if you hear our fire alarm, which has been introduced by caretakers as a precaution. Testing began this week but don’t panic because Aspen is a hot place to live and fires are unknown in the 36-suite residence. • • • When “Nutty” met “Bridey” on a Tuesday morning after the first heavy rain, I could see he was questioning her and when she answered with four nods of her head, it made sense to me. Because she was reassuring him their family had survived the first storm all right in their hollow tree. She nodded four times, and from my experience with squirrel talk, I understood she was saying her four young (“Eenie,” “Meenie,” “Miney,” and “Moe”) were all okay in their cozy shelter. So along came the fellow she hates, the squirrel I call “Outlaw,” apparently expressing contempt for their family arrangement. Bridey has no use for this fellow while Nutty and Outlaw sometimes chum together—much to Bridey’s annoyance! Outlaw never liked kids and shows it. He would chase them away if she’d allow it. • • • Son-in-law Dave Allison’s American Hockey League team was going along very well in their playoffs, last I heard. • • • Hopefully you have heard more than I have about vicious hail damage between Devlin and Rainy River early last week. The hailstones reportedly were larger than golf balls. That would mean a heavy insurance toll to repair vehicles and roofs! • • • Legion 50/50 winners someday should remember to erect a statue for super salesman Joe Gray, or at least cut him for a percentage of their winnings (frequently large). Joe’s regular pay is one free book for six books sold (from which Joe is never a winner yet). He has sold up to 105 books in a month and reports he does well at the Emo Fair annually. • • • For Jean Bolen’s 80th birthday dinner coming up on June 1, upstairs at the Legion, she reports Pat Porter is bringing his popular musicians over from International Falls among other great bands, and more and more this event is growing larger. Jean had more than 40 guests to go there over a week ago and wonders how many that room can hold! • • • Finally, I have connected with a Readman—a fundamental name in this Fort Frances. Like others I knew many years ago, this was a working woman, a well-known babysitter who had four young children out for lunch. When I stopped to compliment her for her “family,” I learned she was a Readman and I thought immediately of the much earlier Readmans who came in off our lakes and probably from the Maritimes earlier. Bob Readman, for many years our fire chief, was a brother of Cap Readman, who rented a small home at 248 Third St. E. to my parents back in the 1930s when I started school here. I forget most of the other Readmans except for “Bo,” who moved to Mine Centre long after we had returned here to build a home north of the railroad. The railroad near our local home is now undergoing an improvement on its underpass, or “subway,” and that too is part of my family history because my mother would have to crouch below the boxcar couplings to bring home her groceries before the subway was installed. • • • When Evelyn Bowes’ grandson arrived from the west after a three-year absence, grandmother got busy with baking because he had not tasted any home cooking in that entire period. Sometimes grandmothers can find time for such events when mothers are too busy. • • • Kelly Sigurdson is always available for housekeeping and now has a newly-grateful apartment owner in June Smith. Kelly already had won my respect. • • • Harvey Hudson, who has owned and operated the Little Bear Marina on Rainy Lake at Windy Point, reports new owners as his niece and her husband, Valerie and Jack Webster from Birds Hill, Man.

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