Yep, we finally made it!

Well, it’s fun and it’s here, and whoever thought of living long enough to enjoy it? Our centennial that is!
They don’t report how many bottles of wine or pounds of cheese were needed to open the celebration Friday evening in Townshend Theatre, but everyone agreed it was high time!
Some of our well-remembered citizens came back from all over the map. It was a pleasure to shake hands with a popular TV clothing model, Larry Richardson, a former public figure, town councillor, and all-around local booster.
Larry is one of six stalwart sons of our former mining recorder, Roscoe Richardson, who helped move our first school—a one-roomer that used to stand behind the old Canadian Bank of Commerce (before it absorbed Imperial into its name).
Related to many here then, Roscoe served on our Historical Society before we began opening museums. He and our noted old photographer, Cecil Howarth, sparked the effort to transplant that old school to Pither’s Point Park, where it eventually was destroyed in the course of progress.
Fort St. Pierre of our early fur-trader, La Verendrye, must miss its companionship!
• • •
For years, I had not met Brian McCoy, a La Valleee cattleman, until Wednesday at lunch and then his name came up from an entirely different direction.
The CBC newscaster introduced a U.S. Army officer by the same name to discuss the Iraq war! Same names keep coming along regularly for me lately, but three Fred Gosselins still catch the most attention.
• • •
I had hoped to see Italy this year but Ernie and Loretta Brunetta, who have been there, say that would be too much walking for me over there. The land of my paternal parents will have to wait.
Larry Syrovy of Rainy Lake Hotel here warned me expenses are pretty high there, also.
• • •
But if you still cling to the old songs, what about our war tunes like “Tipperary” from World War One and “There’ll be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover” and “Lilly Marlene” from World War Two.
The struggle in Iraq produced nothing like those yet, so we are still waiting for “How Sad is Saddam Now?” or “Bush Didn’t Beat Around the Bush!”
• • •
Jerome Cousineau is among our favourite storytellers during dull afternoons at the Sister Kennedy Centre. And for the centennial, he can show you a family photo taken in Pither’s Point Park as his parents took a horse and buggy ride through the trees and along the first road.
This was probably near Calder Drive, where the ancient Calder clan, including relatives from Scotland, plan a huge family gathering for unveiling their plaque and boulder monument July 1.
Jerome is the son of Isadore and Blanche, real pioneers here.
• • •
It was a pleasure to meet one of our part-time residents of Rainy Lake when Dr. John Mather returned for the summer from Knife River, near Two Harbors.
• • •
Ken Munn, who is among our best-known builders, can name and locate so many of the farmers north of Emo, and so quickly, it’s hard to keep up as he rattles them all off.
It sounds as if Ken either delivered their mail at one time, or was very busy in that neighbourhood for other reasons! He mentioned that one of them, well-known Doug Carlson, has now been disabled and in hospital for 15 years.
• • •
Bob Peters has long been recognized as a power in U.S. college hockey with his goaltending record second to none. His goals against record, in fact, has stood unchallenged for many years, and his Fort Frances buddies are ready to spring at you with his figures.
I watched Bobby here and in juvenile hockey playoffs at Thunder Bay years ago. Later, he went on to North Dakota and Bemidji state, throwing consternation into opposing teams everywhere.
Now one of his former teammates here, Wayne McLeod, reports the Phoenix sports pages featured Bobby the other day. Bob’s son is a sportswriter now at Phoenix.
• • •
Here’s a couple more for you lovers of old pop tunes: “Buttermilk Sky” and “Blueberry Hill.” These were phoned in early.
The same caller suggested “Buttons and Bows” wherein the girl sings: “I’ll love you in buckskin, Or in shirts that I’ve homespun. But I’ll love you longer, stronger, Where your friends don’t tote a gun!”
• • •
Wonderful weather this week has us tired out already, those who banged right into repair jobs immediately once the sunshine came along, but most are finding, especially around the farms, that their jobs will take more than one or two days.
Between the coldest winter and golfing seasons will be coming up too soon to allow time for all the jobs the bad weather has left us this year. Which roof do you start with?
• • •
Arrayed outside that school in a well-known photo were schoolmates of many long years ago, including the popular mid-wife, Granny Calder and Barney Kerr, who made a career in our papermill grinding room as well as opposing U.S. prohibition with his rowboat, as he told me once!
The stories are rolling in at a rate that would require much more paper production in our main industry—and before this year ends, you will be hearing lots of almost unbelievable stories!
So let’s get on with it! And hurray for our little community which could not have done all this without you!

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