PAT ASLING Special to The Standard
Staying safe this week was a prime concern for many. After the snow and rain of last week, the plowing and freezing of trucks, cars, footprints, snow plows and other equipment, it was particularly difficult to get around in the yard. Thanks to our snowplow operators, the roads and highways were fine, but people’s yards probably were not. We can only hope the warming trend for the coming week will soften the ice sufficiently to dig away much of those slippery banks which make walking so very dangerous. Getting to the car is an adventure, and feeding my mass of birds is tricky. I wish I had their wings.
Several accidents happened the evening of the rain, several in this area. One of these was particularly bad as it took out the two large gate posts at the Foster, badly damaged the third, and hit the fourth. The iron fencing was also broken and disconnected. This will be a particularly expensive repair job, and we can only hope there is some insurance available, but even so, it will take a lot of fundraising to bring things back to viability. Even today, without weather problems, there was a car in the ditch at the corner of the 6th and Sandford Road. Sandford Road is too often a race track.
Only a few birthdays this week, at least in our area. I have lots each week, but I don’t think you want to hear about my relatives in distant places or my friends in Jamaica and Belize. First up is Donna Barkey, the former Donna Johnson, who was born and raised in Glen Major. Donna is the matriarch of a large number of children and grandchildren, and even the youngest seems to be involved in the farm, showing calves and winning awards at very young ages. She is a very proud grandma, for sure, with good reason. The second is Gord Shreeve. Gord is a husband, father and grandfather, and the pastor of the Zephyr Missionary Church. He is a great supporter of activities in Zephyr, from baseball in the park to “Breakfast with Santa”. And, of course, he is also the councillor for Ward 2. He and the whole family are big supporters of the Green Bay Packers, but he also never misses a basketball game in which his daughter Emily plays. Big birthday wishes also to Kathleen Kennedy. Kathleen is the wife of Don Kennedy, and they live not too far up the road from here. They are also a great singing duo, lovely to hear.
Congratulations to a new business in Zephyr called Mod Trans DPF Inc. From their post, it sounds like they do a lot of work on certain parts of vehicles, maybe not specialized by other auto workers. Welcome to the Community. I understand there will soon be a four-way stop at the intersection of Durham 39 (Concession 3) and Zephyr Road. Of course, I hope Zephyr Road itself soon gets fixed, as it is a real mess. Another item of interest to the villagers is the fate of the library. I understand that on April 20th, there will be a meeting at the hall, with councillors attending, to discuss and answer questions as to the fate of this great little library.
Sometimes, you get drawn back into history when you least expect it. Last Tuesday was the monthly Seniors lunch, and I was fortunate to get seated beside John and Nora Cavers. Of course, we talked about his career as a superman before he took up photography in such a big way. He went on to mention his teaching career, and I said how surprised I was to see him at Epsom not long before the unfortunate closure. This led to me telling him about my gg-grandfather teaching there and my family’s six-generation association with that school. At some point, Nora had mentioned she had been a patient of mine. Now, I haven’t had an office in town for 50 years, so trying to figure out who some people were then is not always easy. Of course, in the middle of the six generations was my father, Don, and Nora said, oh, Don Asling built my parent's house. Another fragment. Later, at home, I put it all together. Dad did indeed do a lot of work for Loretta Corrigan. I don’t think he built the house, but he certainly remodelled it completely. So now, Nora Cavers was Nora Corrigan.
The lunch, of course, was delicious, and Mary’s helpers were the best. There is her sister Nancy and Nancy’s husband, and often two or three other ladies. We were talking about the delicious pies, and Nora asked if her mother was still baking pies. She said yes and it turns out her mother was Doris Bacon. Now, Doris has been baking pies for probably 70 years. Not only that, her children were all patients of mine and this lovely lady was Darlene Bacon, the only girl of Earl and Doris. Another stranger who turned out not to be a stranger at all but a long-lost friend.
Speaking of the Bacon family, there is a Sandford connection. If I remember correctly, Ross Smalley’s mother was a Bacon. Alma? A long time ago. It was nice to read on several Facebook posts a number of people praising Ron Smalley for all the driveways he had cleared in the community following last week’s storm, getting the banks and ends of driveways cleared before they got too hard. Grandma Bacon Smalley would be proud. Thanks, Ron.
Church, on Sunday, was led by the incomparable Dr. Rev. Bill Fritz. That man is amazing. No matter what the topic, he is always making jokes, quizzing the congregation, making a whole message out of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and not a note anywhere. It’s always nice to be able to spend some time with him and Joan. Join us next week when they are with us again. It was also great to have Steve and Sandra Harwood and sister Brenda Moore with us as well.