Thanks again, Fran Marie!

At noon on Easter Sunay, I put your “Amazing Grace” record on again, Fran Marie, opened the door of my apartment in Aspen House here, and let your great singing travel up and down the hallways.
While everyone was busy with dinners on that fine day, there certainly wer no complaints.
Your record was a much-appreciated gift, Fran—just about equal to your memorable lobster feast in which at least half our town participated.
I don’t know whether you and Jack are still located in Saskatchewan, but I’d say it’s high time you blew in here again one fine day soon. And if you want to appear for another lobster feast, it certainly will be successful—providing you dance and sing for us again.
Very few personalities have made such a strong impression on our old community as yourself, Fran, and that is no flattery. Between your first home in the Maritimes, then your stop-over at this point, and then on to the Prairies, I just hope you are much loved wherever you decide to linger.
Get in touch, please, Fran. My phone is at 1-807-274-0883 or else try the Times, where I still sometimes hang my hat.
• • •
I’m hoping to contact someone who knew the late Harry Kilner of Stratton, whose obituary was published in the Times last week. It was almost like reading my own obit because the first name and birthdate all coincided with mine.
I tried to phone around Stratton but could not find anyone who knew him nor his wife. There seemed to be no family.
He was a Stratton farmer for 20 years and formerly a miner.
• • •
My Fort Frances casino suggestion has gone on hold pending the return of everyone’s nerve concerning ever-mounting taxes. While there are a surprising number of brave souls insisting a local casino might benefit the community financially, others would rather wait and see.
While taxation everywhere is beginning to exceed the original cost of homes, maybe the best policy will be to outwait the panic!
• • •
My first trip this spring up near the Noden Causeway was to view the condition of the ice covering last Friday—and there’ll be no more ice travel this year!
In fact, I was surprised to find there still was a partial cover of rotted ice in extremely dangerous condition.
It’s finally just about fishing season and that’s precisely what many live for around here.
My old three-cabin resort with the blue roofs looked tempting but, while close to the highway, was still inaccessible. Even the car traffic was still light because full summer, despite the bright weather of late, is still a ways away.
It’s been a score of years since I listened to my old chum, NHL’er Ed (Sonny) Kryzanowski, now still at Atikokan, I believe, and bought that resort for a fraction of its price today.
He had sold to a town engineer who was leaving for Winnipeg when I made the deal.
This did not quite rival my farm deal more than 20 years earlier. But believe me, both of these real estate ventures together kept me hopping while two different kinds of recreation both became important for this desk jockey!
All spring long I could not tear myself away from farm duties but with May on my hands, it was “Look out lake, here we come!” And my wife, Emily, and her relatives were equally excited.
I’ll still advise anyone finding life becoming boring to, at first, find a farm to feed the family and then add a lake property to fill out their summers.
I’m not saying together those two ideas can make life entirely worth living but they certainly help—and I might not have survived without both of them because, after all, the old saying is true: Life is what you make it!
Towns and cities may be fine for winter enjoyment, but learn for yourself the benefits of fresh air and exercise, neither being in short supply where I spent so much of my time.
My recommendation to take both together is very sincere and well considered.
From a farm, for instance, there usually is no need to rush to a superstore every second day. And what else is wanted in the way of fish or wild game is obtainable right around your lake home.
In fact, enough extra is available to welcome your relatives to eat with you regularly and, in return, probably help with the chores.
Yes, it’s great to go on living in Canada with so little concern for food—providing you have learned to use what you own! This is not entirely a pioneering country any more, but it still offers lots for all.
Of course, I inherited much of my zeal for the outdoors because my parents never wasted opportunities to get next to nature and, despite the Great Depression of their day, made themselves very much at home with whatever nature offered!
• • •
The “Great Canadian Main Street” idea sounds just great for our downtown, especially if it continues out along the highways here, where most all of the fresh businesses are locating. That would add an extra several blocks in-between while impressing all our visitors.
I doubt if many of our Canadian cities have any longer main street than that, and this eventually may come true.
Another 40 new stores just might span that distance—and who’s to say it will never be accomplished, considering what’s been happening to the west end of town over recent years.
• • •
While we wonder whatever happened to all that recent excitement over prospecting for gold in the Mine Centre area, along comes a six-page report, including a map, from Hexagon Gold (Ontario) Ltd.
It’s property outline includes two lakes, Bad Vermilion and Shoal, both south of the railroad.
Apparently this company has taken in most of the known mining properties in that area, where mining started in the 1890s. The Foley mine became the most prominent and busiest camp of several that continued through the 1930s.
While well-acquainted with the Golden Star and Paccito Mines, where my dad was employed for two years before returning to Fort Frances construction work, and I had visited the Foley later, there was no early discussion of either the Hexagon company nor any combination of all those properties.
In fact, the mining men and prospectors I knew as a boy were separately employed, but now it turns out they all were working the same deep veins of gold called the Shoal Lake Intrusion.
A firm called Swastika Laboratories at Swastika, Ont. conducted all the “assays,” or examination of samples. Q-Gold Resources Ltd. reports high grade gold and assay results from the jumbo vein of the Foley mine vein apparently confirmed expectations.
Another $2 million has been approved for further exploration.

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