‘The Blonde Brigade plus one’

When a new waitress recently joined the highly-efficient staff in the historic Rainy Lake Hotel dining room, a certain coincidence became remarkable! Now three of the four ladies there are bright blondes and the fourth waitress must appreciate them because all practise the same work ethics.
Alert, attractive, and fast-moving, this crew really commands their floor! Their customers notice now they rarely have to ask even for a glass of water anymore—and there always seems to be a server at their elbow ready to bring whatever.
The new waitress, Debby Emes, whose great-grandad was a local hotelier, George Pidlubny, has two equally fair-haired companions in Leesa Larson and Mary Fehr plus Kathy Cooper, the only non-blonde of this obliging group.
But then, their high standards of service are very reminiscent of conditions during an old era of the Rainy Lake. Two unforgettable Matts—Grynol and later Rogoza—were in charge as chefs with such reputations that many guests would travel hundreds of extra miles to dine in the “old R.L.”
Now the new owner, Larry Syrovy, should be looking to regain all that fame with his “blonde brigade plus one” carrying on so admirably. Meanwhile, patrons say eating there has never been better!
• • •
At least we know how to carry on in our record cold (the record being only for this decade!) But Toronto was reported full of cars that wouldn’t start last weekend and Paul Harvey said Friday that there were schools closed by snowstorms all the way south to Alabama!
• • •
Many here have left Minneonto TV far behind with all the new ideas coming out, but I miss our first TV since it was long since we bought and paid for it—and such dependability!
(Borderites actually pirated it out of Duluth by building towers along the way).
• • •
Get in contact with trucker Ken Hyatt if you want some grim stories concerning pulpwood cutting on Crown land.
Ken is your neighbourhood hard-lucker. His numerous misfortunes included breaking through international bridge.
• • •
Mario Venerus believes our great Italian suppers can be revived annually. He suggests early April, and would welcome assistance on planning. Alternating in both border towns, they were always popular years ago.
• • •
The Bellamys of Devlin can show you some of the oldest vehicles anywhere! A Rio fire truck there is about 70 years of age. Gary Judson of Barwick is a former owner of their Olds.
Richard Bellamy and brothers also are popular musicians associated with Mud Lake City south of Devlin.
• • •
During the potluck supper at the Sister Kennedy Centre last Wednesday, Kim Gushulak spoke on preferred rates for seniors travelling with new currency exchanges available at banks.
• • •
My column last week attracted some interest, including reference to my obituary! But be assured I am still feeling fine, thanks!
• • •
I should have included my biggest all-time thrill was perhaps sitting on the edge atop the Empire State Building roof with a chum just to recall we dangled our legs there!
This was during an air force leave in wartime and it was the highest building in the world at that time!
That New York visit occurred at the start of the race riots when we called on a friend’s mother in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She warned us how easy it was to die in an attack from behind those days!
But we enjoyed ourselves anyway, with lots of free entertainment for visiting servicemen.
• • •
From New Brunswick comes word the Miramichi River is being leased in sections now for salmon fishing. Next, Americans will be wanting to rent parts of our lakes for walleye or bass fishing!
The Miramichi is described as a mile wide and a foot deep!
• • •
If our contractor, George Armstrong, was still here, he would be describing working conditions in minus-60 F many years ago at the family’s gravel pit in Burriss.
It was necessary to keep a pan of burning oil beneath a truck engine overnight in order to start it those cold mornings!
• • •
Willy Toninato is expected to enter hospital at Rochester before recovering fully from a stroke more than two weeks ago. Our old Allan Cupper, now 78, has been at International Falls lately recuperating.
• • •
Two of Willy’s nephews, sons of Walter Christiansen, also noted pucksters all, have become familiar with earthquakes lately.
“Brush” Christiansen reported the heavy tremors around his home in Alaska. And now his brother Kelvin (“Huffer”) has told how he was close to that Mexico quake just a week ago.
• • •
We’re all missing Ricky Pearson, whose recent and untimely death upset our Legion branch. Ricky, although respected for his ability as secretary-manager there, was many years younger than all the war veterans he served so well!
• • •
Union Energy has engaged a hard-nosed collection agency which is threatening to cut off the gas heat at certain homes behind in payments. It’s not asking whether there are very young children or invalids in those homes!
Union would do better to assure its customers of their safety since that recent scare concerning a cracked gas line in the residential neighbourhood north of the Memorial Sports Centre.
Certainly accidents will happen, but there must be precautions in place! Or are we living on a time-bomb since gas came here?

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