This is Christmas Country!

Say either Atlantis or Utopia or anything else that stands for legendary perfection. Then think of Rainy River District at its December best like last weekend when women and youngsters stood laughing and bareheaded on our street corners here while ignoring the fact this usually was one of our coldest weeks.
They revelled in weather not frequently found anywhere even in this wonderful Christmas country.
Meanwhile, despite your need for both extra fuel and more money right now, you can just continue ignoring the oil wealth of Alberta. Out there, they again live in fear of another year of drought coming on!
Such a thought never crosses our own mind in this province. We possess the greatest natural resource known to man—our wealth of clear, pure water.
Let’s call this Christmas Country all year round. Yes, I’m aware there is an American city called Christmas already but, with our 100th birthday coming up in a few days, what an opportune time to keep on celebrating until the whole world realizes how lucky we are here.
What a great gift to ourselves.
There would be benefits galore in our happy new status as “Celebration City.” Our tourist traffic would explode with thousands of visitors and our new commerce know no bounds.
Or if you’d prefer to keep our homey community just as it is, the name of Fort Frances has earned the right to be preserved as a pretty distinguished suburb where our kids could continue playing in our sand and water.
But remember to emphasize our great water in all our brochures. It’s what keeps us here; seemingly for always, and will keep us coming back while so much of the world will continue to wilt away while “Celebration City” continues to flourish.
As everyone here knows too well, our town has been standing still too long. There shouldn’t be any harm in pushing this “Celebration City” idea while remembering our greatest asset—fresh and abundant water—is not likely to fail.
Can anyone remember our cattle threatened like in Alberta, where the rest of Canada had to ship millions of tons of hay?
Those Alberta farmers could have been sending their cattle down here! And our district cattle kept on looking good—fat with abundant hay and water with lots left over.
Why, for many reasons and not just beef, we easily can live up to our new “Celebration City” name with our unbelievable water supply which never fails. Our numerous lakes and rivers constantly are being renewed by our never failing rainfall and that, as the bankers say, is our “bottom line.”
See you next year in “Celebration City” or “Christmas Country.” It all makes sense to me!
• • •
How much of our Christmas shopping goes into what we should have bought, or even into what we wanted? Not much, I’m afraid, but it’s one of the more quaint customs of the season that we can bring home the darndest things and then cry about it as the last of our money disappears with the last days of the year.
And so this adds to incentive to get going again in another year. But don’t we feel rotten about it all before we can begin all over again.
• • •
For instance, Christmas coming on fast and no preparations worth mentioning, darned if I didn’t pick up a box of greeting cards and envelopes just to sort of say I had caught the right spirit.
But for more than 10 bucks, I was holding nothing you would want to send to even your worse-tempered school teacher. So I had to hit out again with nothing to show for it but a dead loss and proof that shopping doesn’t come either easily or cheaply to me.
• • •
Much to everyone’s disappointment in the circles that Tommy Grinsell enjoyed at Sister Kennedy Centre, his departure a week ago ranks among our foremost recent shocks.
Tommy and I became well-acquainted around the time of the Second World War. Then he and Norma took up residence at International Falls, and there never was a better natured border citizen.
• • •
I’m hearing praise for several local doctors, including Dr. Nugent, since a complaint arose that our current physicians lack the compassion of former doctors here who were known to phone and check on their patients after hours.
Well, “Boots” Mosley, for one, will comment that Dr. Nugent is one who still follows that kindly practice, and it’s great to hear about that in these busy times.

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