Page 1

Vol. 1, No. 6

G R A N D B E N D ’S L I F E S T Y L E



July 18-31, 2007


Pow-WOW! Diante Shawnoo and fellow native dancers impress at the Kettle and Stoney Point pow-wow - p.12

Also: a world champion, a Main St. sensation, stunning local art, and win tickets to the Playhouse cover photo by Casey Lessard Advice from mom p. - Cardboard Boat Races & Sudoku p. - Savanna Festival p. - Weekend ideas p. - Living in Balance & Golf Tips p.

Test drive a used vehicle online at: 640 Main St. S., Exeter (519) 235-0363

HMP Big enough for the selection, small enough to care!

2 • Grand Bend Strip

To Do: July 18 to 31 WEDNESDAY, JULY 18

Grand Bend Youth Centre Magic Mystery Adventure. Learn about magic with a real magician! Wednesday “travel” to exotic locations like Hawaii. Call (519) 238-1155. - p.m. - Hensall United Church Hensall-By-Design. Art show and sale. Major displays of art, including paintings, sculpture and quilts. Youth category (under 19 years of age). A fabulous summer event. 4th year. Admission $5.00  a.m. -  p.m. - Gill St. Parking Lot, Grand Bend Grand Bend Farmers’ Market Until August  Huron Country Playhouse Miss Saigon: Tickets $36 (previews $29). Contact box office for showtimes and ticket information - (519) 238-6000


Grand Bend Youth Centre Magic Mystery Adventure. Learn about magic with a real magician! Wednesday “travel” to exotic locations like Hawaii. Call (519) 238-1155.

To Do List

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

 p.m. - Mojo’s Bar & Grill (behind the  a.m. to  p.m. - Bayfield, Clan Gables Lakeview Café) Gregor Square Live Music with Big Bang Mine Eyes Smell Onions. Created and All T-Bird owners get-together. T-Bird Performed by aroundtheBend(players). owners and cars gather in the park. Public Oakwood Inn Pub Text by William Shakespeare. Some of invited to view cars. Contact Howard Live Music with Mark Blayney Shakespeare’s most intoxicating passages Scotchmer (519) 565-2596. No admission. slow-roasted in the creative machinery of SATURDAY, JULY 28 aroundtheBend(players) and served over a : a.m. to  p.m. - Pinery Flea  a.m. - Bayfield,  Main St. N. bed of Love, Loss and Labour. Market Heritage walk. (see July 21) Admission: Free (Donations Accepted) Live music with Brian Dale : p.m. to  a.m. - Goderich, Main Bikini Bob’s  -  p.m. on the patio - Christine’s on Beach Live Music with Potentially Wasted the River, Port Franks West Coast Bluesfest. Great music at the Live music with Mark Blayney beach. Food, refreshments, a fabulous day Gables out. Tickets $20 advance and $25 at the gate. Live Music with Lucky 13 TUESDAY, JULY 24 Grand Bend Youth Centre - p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Oakwood Inn Pub Wet & Wild Week. Enjoy loads of fun wet Live Music with Jimmy Vail Live Music with Brian Dale games! Call (519) 238-1155. Grand Bend Motorplex  a.m. sharp (coffee at  a.m.) - Port Big Buck Bonanza Race SATURDAY, JULY 21 Franks Community Centre Grand Bend Main Beach Port Franks Senior EUCHRE-A-RAMA. Not-So-Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament Grand Bend Speedway Cost is $5.00 per person and includes lunch. 1/2 scale racing Call (519) 243-3844 for details. Grand Bend Motorplex Zurich, Bluewater arena  p.m. - Grand Bend Legion IHRA Mopar Canadian Nationals Zurich Fair. Parade, homecraft exhibits, Bingo children games and livestock shows. No admission fee Saturday. Pinery Park Canada Parks Day: Savanna Festival WEDNESDAY, JULY 25 Join park naturalists on a number of hikes  p.m. Grand Bend Youth Centre designed to help you get out and enjoy Star Dust Dinner Theatre, Parkhill Wet & Wild Week. Enjoy loads of fun wet Pinery. Take part in our popular Scavenger games! Wednesday is a trip to Bluewater The Satiniques perform at theatre’ Grand Hunt! Opening. For tickets ($39.95), http://www. Fun Park! Call (519) 238-1155. or call 519-294-1141  a.m. - Ailsa Craig  a.m. -  p.m. - Gill St. Parking Lot, Gala Days (turtle races) contact (519) 293Gables Grand Bend 1044 Live Music with Big Bang Grand Bend Farmers’ Market

- p.m. - Hensall United Church  a.m. - Bayfield,  Main St. N. Oakwood Inn Pub : a.m. -  p.m. - Grand Bend Youth Hensall-By-Design. Art show and sale. Heritage walk. Walking tour of Bayfield’s Live Music with Mark Blayney Centre (see July 18) Admission $5.00 heritage district, through tree-lined streets, Bluewater Fun Park Trip, Grand Bend includes the histor y of homes, hotels, Youth Centre SUNDAY, JULY 29 : p.m. - Ailsa Craig schools and the early settlers complete with Zurich, Bluewater arena Gala Days (turtle races) Teen Dance anecdotes. Also harbour views from Pioneer T HURSDAY, JULY 26 Zurich Fair. Jamboree and speed horse Park and oldest standing log structure. show. Grand Bend Youth Centre FRIDAY, JULY 20 Admission: $5. Contact Elaine Sturgeon Wet & Wild Week. Enjoy loads of fun wet  a.m. -  p.m. - Forest (519) 565-2376 : a.m. to  p.m. games! Call (519) 238-1155. Forest Farmers Market Pinery Flea Market - p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live music with Brian Dale  a.m. - Grand Bend Area CHC,  Grand Bend Main Beach Live Music with Bob Finlay Main St East - in Adult Day wing. Not-So-Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament  p.m. Diabetes Support Group Gables Star Dust Dinner Theatre, Parkhill Please bring a healthy dish to share at our grandbend.htm Music with Lucky 13 The Satiniques (see July 28) potluck lunch. Call Aileen (519) 238-1556 ext 4 for details. Grand Bend Motorplex Oakwood Inn Pub  -  p.m. on the patio - Christine’s on IHRA Mopar Canadian Nationals Live Music with Brian Dale the River, Port Franks FRIDAY, JULY 27 Live music with Mike Clancy  a.m. -  p.m. - Forest  a.m. to  p.m. - Hensall United SUNDAY, JULY 22 Forest Farmers Market Church Ailsa Craig MONDAY, JULY 30 Hensall-By-Design. Art show and sale. Gala Days (turtle races) contact (519) 293Grand Bend & Port Franks. Horticultural Zurich, Bluewater arena (see July 18) Admission $5.00 1044 Zurich Fair. Evening entertainment and Society Bus trip to Wiarton. Call Joan for details (519) 238-2031. dance. - p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Main Beach Meat Draw Not-So-Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament Grand Bend Motorplex TUESDAY, JULY 31 Fastpixs T&T Grand Bend Youth Centre - p.m. - The White House Basketball/Sports Week - Learn how to Live Music with Li’l Audrey (Haugh) Grand Bend Motorplex pass, dribble, shoot, rebound, game rules - p.m. - Grand Bend Legion IHRA Mopar Canadian Nationals and offensive defensive skills by an experiMeat Draw  p.m. - Ailsa Craig enced coach. Call 519-238-1155 for info. Gala Days (turtle races) contact (519) 293Grand Bend Speedway Bikini Bob’s 1044 1/2 scale racing  p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music with Jane’s Rehab Bingo

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Strip VIPs

Grand Bend Strip • 3

Main Street never sounded this good Grand Bend native joins ensemble cast for “best summer job ever”

Lambton Main Street Players Funded by the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation Various venues and times across Lambton county until August  Grand Bend: Farmers’ Market July  and , : to  a.m. On the beach – August ,  a.m. to  p.m. Huron Country Playhouse – August , : to : p.m. The Lambton Main Street Players were formed by Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation’s community economic development officer Mary Alderson, who saw a similar group called Vibe last year in Muskoka. A funding organization called ArtsVest had money for Lambton county arts initiatives, and Alderson applied. Twenty-three young people auditioned and six were chosen to perform throughout Lambton county this summer. Grand Bend native Christine Vandenberk is among the six.

As told to Casey Lessard This is my summer job. It’s probably the best summer job I’m going to ever have. It’s pretty awesome. We are a song and dance group that does mostly 50’s and 60’s music. It’s really high energy and enthusiastic. The group consists of kids between 15 and 20, all from Lambton County. I became interested in theatre when I was about 12, ushering at the Huron Country Playhouse. We got to see shows for free because we had to sit in the back. I probably saw about 30 or 40 shows over the course of four years. That was really where it all started for me because I wasn’t really into it in grade school but as soon as high school hit I went and auditioned for the school show. I got in and it was really great. Some of our music, the Ellie Greenwich music, is from that musical that I did in Grade 9. Ever since it’s just been my thing. I remember going to an audition in February. There were two sets of auditions. Lindsay and I were in the same audition as well as Doug Price, our director, he was in there. I was like, ‘Oh, this guy is really good.’ We were chosen and we got together and practiced for a few weeks. It was about eight hours of practicing a day so it was very intense but it went really well. It’s been a very enjoyable experience. When we first started, we did a show in a restaurant. It was raining that day and we only had three people show up. The second show was not well advertised so we only had five people but ever since we’ve had a least 20 people or more. We did a few shows at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia and for our first one we probably had about 150 people. It went really well. I can’t wait (to perform on the beach and at the Playhouse) because I’m from Grand Bend and there’s a lot of people I know in Grand Bend. I think it will be really fun. I think that this is definitely a big leap of faith kind of career. I’ve heard from the other guys that

Lambton Main Street Players features six young Lambton county residents, including Grand Bendnative Christine Vandenberk (left) and Wyoming’s Nick Visscher (right). The group performs classic tunes that any audience will recognize. photos by Casey Lessard

go to the school already that they teach you a lot about that. It’s all self-promotion and self-advertisement and really getting out there and giving out your résumé. It’s also a lot about the people that you know. This job is really good for that. I know a lot of people in Lambton county so you get to go out and show the people that you know what you love to do. It’s really awesome for me. You get to get out there and all those people from Lambton county get to see you. And you never know who could be watching. It’s all really good publicity for the people involved. I would say that our show is most definitely a family show. Everybody from kids to grandparents can come out. It won’t make anyone uncomfortable. It’s really a lot of fun. We get the audience involved and it’s just fun for everybody to watch. Everybody knows the music. The Lambton Main Street Players are co-directed by Thomas Alderson (grandson of the late Bill and Hazel Blewett of Grand Bend) and Doug Price. “We wanted to create a show that would appeal to everybody,” says Price. “We wanted popular music. We wanted songs that everybody would know. Everybody knows the words. Everybody can sing along. It’s all feel good music.” “The response has been overwhelming,” Mary Alderson says. “I’m getting phone calls and e-mails everyday saying, ‘Can we get them into our town?’ It’s been a wonderful experience and the kids have just been fantastic.”

Strip Thoughts

4 • Grand Bend Strip

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Local talent deserves our support all year View from the Strip By Casey Lessard

It should not be a surprise that our community has a lot of talented people. Some of them are profiled in these pages each week, and I don’t imagine we’ll ever run out of peo-

ple deserving of our attention. We have lots of local musicians, actors, dancers, artists and otherwise creative people in our midst. The real question is: are we wasting the opportunity to keep these talented people here all year by celebrating our arts community three months of the year? Are we doing enough during those three months to develop artists while they’re here so they come back? Grand Bend businesses are experienced in the art of grabbing opportunities when time is of the essence. Let’s use those skills to give the arts community a school for the arts, the-

To the Editor:

Congratulations as publisher/editor; the Strip is a refreshing contribution to the Bend community. I have read it since day one!! The June 27 issue covered the annual Scatcherd charity tournament and maybe many observers don’t realize that the tournament could not be held without an army of volunteers. Next door to Oakwood is Grand Cove Estates (“Wrinkle City”) and about 95 per cent of volunteers live here and are in their 70s and 80s. They have been organized by a few residents every year since day one. The delightful person who has complete control of us “old fogies” is Vera Morrison of the Cove, who makes sure all necessary volunteers are arranged, including the day before, warm-up day for the visitors. There’s an army of us cheerfully supporting this annual charity two-day event. We were there, and a lot of money went to worthwhile charities. I am not alone in Grand Bend wishing you and your family ongoing success with the Grand Bend Strip! Fred G. Tipple Grand Bend

To the Editor:

What a delightful picture on today’s publication’s ( July 4) front cover!! Thank you for the interesting articles and information. Keep it up. Betty Kirk Zurich

To the Editor:

Truly you have done a great job to bring such a fun, informative and interactive paper to the area. My co-workers read your newspaper from cover to cover and they love what you have brought to Grand Bend. You should really be proud of what you’ve accomplished. I know that the community is appreciative as well. Emily Marks Parkhill

To the Editor:

Your wonderful little paper is delivered to my mailbox in Varna, I look forward to each new edition and read it from cover to cover. I am happy to see that you are gaining advertisers with each publication; it must be a great experience to begin from scratch and see that your work is appreciated. Congratulations, keep up the great work. Hope your dad is feeling better very soon and you know what... moms are just great!! Sylvia Louch Varna Publisher: Casey Lessard Editor: Casey Lessard Editorial Assistant: Anjhela Michielsen Advertising Sales & Design: Casey Lessard Chief Photographer: Casey Lessard Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 218 Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0 CANADA Phone: (519) 614-3614 Fax: 1 (866) 753-2781

Contributors: Rita Lessard - my mom Tom Lessard - my dad Jenipher Appleton - nature/birding Cameron Rankin golf pro, Sand Hills, Port Franks James Eddington owner, Eddington’s, Exeter Distribution: Casey Lessard, Rita Lessard

atre programming for kids, teens and young adults, and legislation supporting buskers and street artists. Artists within this community would welcome official support for such programs, but our addiction to making hay while the sun shines means the long-term health of the community will struggle unless more people learn there is money in the arts. Haliburton is a great example of an arts-rooted community that relies heavily on summer visitors. Take a drive down any road and you will find thriving artists’ studios and shops. A fine arts col-

Kids: Slow down this summer Advice from mom By Rita Lessard

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer holidays. I suppose you’re out there swimming and playing different kinds of outdoor games and sports. Not to be a nag, but I truly think it would be a good idea for you to take a break now and then from the physical exercise to get some mental exercise. Grab a favourite book or two and read, even if the books have a lot of pictures. I used to read comic books; I don’t know if they’re that popular today. Regardless, grab anything with the written word and If your friends ask you where to get a copy of the Strip, here’s where you can send them: Grand Bend Chamber of Commerce tourist information booth No Frills Huckleberries Mac’s Grand Bend Convenience (Esso) Bluewater Motel Pine Dale Bonnie Doone Manor Colonial Hotel Back in Time

lege campus opened a few years ago, and their community theatre is heavily supported. Their volunteer community radio station has the most listeners in the county. Tourists come here for entertainment and to get away from their workday worries. Art, in its many forms, is part of the solution. Sunbathing and partying are entertaining, but only in measured doses. The area’s demographic is changing, and if we want to remain relevant, it’s time to shift our focus to a more viable community vision with the arts ranking as a high civic priority. enjoy it. If you’re reading this, you’ve obviously got the idea. You might just find something of interest elsewhere in here for you. Please keep safe and remember safety, especially if you’re around water. Always swim with a friend. If you’re a bike rider, my f riend Alice McNair tells me that kids and adults tend to ride on sidewalks or the wrong side of the road. She’s among many who find this irritating, so if you have access to a bicycle path, please use it. Some older people have a low patience threshold. I think mine has been tested in the last few months, what with the heat, sitting in traffic because of the construction in Crediton, and helping take care of Tom; I may just lose it one of these days! So far, so good, but look out – I may just blow!

Greenway Shady Oaks General Store Port Franks MacPherson’s Grog’s Christine’s on the River Variety Store Zurich Erb’s Country Kitchen Hessenland Zurich Food Market Zurich Variety Dashwood Allen’s The Ol’ Bank

Parkhill Bender’s FoodLand Accentual Salon & Spa The Currant General Store Parkhill Variety Pines Mini Mart Crediton Jordy’s Huron Park Crankshaft’s Exeter Donuts Now Tim Horton’s Curves

Do you have a store and want to distribute The Strip? Call us at 519-614-3614. Grand Bend Strip is printed every two weeks in the summer and 4588 copies are delivered free to all homes and businesses in Grand Bend, Zurich, Dashwood and Port Franks using Canada Post. An additional 1400 copies are available to other residents and visitors at local stores and restaurants.

Subscriptions are available. Contact us for information.

Advertising is accepted on condition that, in the event of an error, the portion of the ad occupied by the error will not be charged for, but the balance will be paid at the usual rate. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to check their ads on first publication, and the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors in multiple insertions. The Grand Bend Strip reserves the right to reject or edit any advertisement likely to offend community standards and/or the law. All material herein, including advertising design, is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form.

© Copyright 2007

Locally owned and operated

Alert Canada Post if you live in one of the towns above and want to receive Grand Bend Strip but are not receiving a copy in the mail.

Strip Outside

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Grand Bend Strip • 5

Rain can’t stop Parkhill from getting wet The Parkhill dam hosted the town’s first ever cardboard boat races on a rainy Saturday. Above: Sisters Kate Waters and Kesia Whelen are right at home in the Waters corn cob boat. “The boat was a lot heavier to pull out than it was to put in,” Waters said. Left: Caleb Willemse, 6, was prepared for the rain. Right: Josiah Linker and Keith Lockhart bring in a boat for a competitor after sinking theirs. Above right: John Mays and Juno award winners Fathead entertained the crowd.

“Medium” Sudoku puzzle ( solution p.

7 8 3 1

photos by Casey Lessard

6 5 1 4


3 7 9

2 7 3 4 8

9 2 4 7 8 2 3 6 5


1 8 2

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Strip: Feature

6 • Grand Bend Strip

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Artists design to impress in Hensall


Clockwise from top left: Beach Scene, by Shirley Owen of Grand Bend; I Bite, by Elizabeth Levesque of Zurich; Ominous, by Helga Otton of Grand Bend; Death Mask, by Paula Letheren of Bayfield; Watching the Race, by William Nieuwland of Grand Bend.

To July  (see pg ) - Hensall United Church Admission . Hensall by Design returns for its th year, with  artists showing  pieces at this juried exhibition.

Grand Bend’s Best Kept Secret (519) 238-2120




LIVE MUSIC! Everyone welcome Saturdays 3-6 p.m. July 21 - Bob Finlay July 28 - Jimmy Vail

Acoustic Pop Duo Bookings: 519-294-6912

Fun Darts Mondays @ 7 p.m. Bingo Tuesdays @ 7 p.m. Meat Draws Fridays @ 5 p.m. Hall rentals - contact Sharon (519) 238-6865

Design, Build & Install: Kitchens, Baths & Mantles Dealer for Olivia Corn/Pellet Stoves

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Strip: Feature

Grand Bend Strip • 7

Celebrate oaks at the Pinery Savanna Festival Pinery Provincial Park July  &  – activities all weekend Cost: day pass is  per vehicle Story and photo by Casey Lessard With half of all the oak savanna in the world, it’s likely the Pinery Provincial Park was named after the wrong tree. One of the world’s rarest ecosystems, the oak savanna once spread from Grand Bend to Texas. It’s a sparsely treed forest, and that’s why forest planners planted 3 million pine trees in the park in the 20th century. “When the park opened in the 1950s, no one really knew about the oak savanna,” says natural heritage education leader Dan Dusto. “The people who were zoning out the park saw it as a sick ecosystem. There weren’t many trees. You could see right through it and you could see sky above you, and that wasn’t right to these people. In attempt to try and restore the ecosystem they prevented fires from coming through the park, which naturally would have happened every 20 years, which would be caused by lightening, or some other natural occurrence. So they prevented fires and planted millions of pine trees here in Pinery Provincial Park.”

Researchers eventually realized that pine trees in the millions do not belong in an oak savanna ecosystem. “They were growing faster. They were actually shading out oak trees. And they were taking nutrients away from those wide lateral roots. They were filling in the forest like they had originally planned for but they were damaging the oak trees and actually destroying the oak savanna. Also with the absence of fire there was nothing to control the pine trees from growing faster than the oaks.” The park management now does prescribed burns to kill the thinner-barked pines, and schoolchildren help cut down smaller pines. The two-day savanna festival coincides with Canada Parks Day Saturday, which means the park has been able to get funding for special events and guest speakers. Among them, a butterfly specialist who will discuss how to attract butterflies to an area. Children’s games, photography workshops, canoe trips, hikes, birdhouse building, a scavenger hunt, and a special CSI Pinery are other highlights.

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Strip This Weekend

8 • Grand Bend Strip

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Three great ways to spend a weekend Spike a ball on the beach

Recall the good old days at Learn relaxation techniques new Parkhill dinner theatre Yoga Workshop With

Not So Pro Beach Volleyball Grand Bend Main Beach July - --NOT-SO-PRO or to register You could be one of the hundreds of volleyball players or spectators at this weekend’s 5th annual Grand Bend Not So Pro beach volleyball tournament. Last year, the tournament hosted 85 teams, with a total of more than 650 players. This year’s roster is expected to be near 100 teams. Each team is guaranteed approximately 18 20-minute games, with more if it advances to playoffs. The tournament also features social events, with music and a food and beverage area on the beach.

Star Dust dinner theatre Grand Opening  Main Street, Parkhill July  -  p.m. and July  -  p.m. () - for tickets (.) Lovers of music from the 50s and 60s have a venue to enjoy tunes and a meal at the Star Dust dinner theatre, which will open at the end of the month in Parkhill. Housed in the former Rodeo bar, the dinner theatre will host tribute bands performing hits by ABBA, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Supremes and other favourites. The opening show will feature the Satiniques, whose repertoire is geared toward a 40-plus audience. Tickets for the show include appetizers, a dinner and dessert buffet, and soft drinks.

Huron Country Playhouse G









Elisabeth Michielsen Om Sweet Om Yoga Studio  Main Street Ailsa Craig Sunday, July th  -  p.m. To register: call Elisabeth at () -, () - after July ), or bodyheartsoul@ Cost: (or sliding scale) -  of the profits go to “The House that Jack Built” charity, which builds homes for needy Haitians.

With 27 years of yoga training, including 20 years as a teacher, Elisabeth Michielsen is offering her knowledge for one weekend at the Om Sweet Om yoga studio in Ailsa Craig. The Parkhill native now lives in Courtenay, BC, where she teaches hatha yoga. Beginners and those with yoga experience are welcome at the workshop, where you will learn how yoga can help you release stress, develop balance, strength, muscle tone, flexibility, and provide a sense of well-being and vitality. Students will explore yoga postures, breath-work and relaxation techniques. You will also learn some somatic techniques that help correct imbalances in different muscle groups.

Rooms for Rent (daily/weekly): 519-238-5081 or 519-238-2203

HOUSE OF FASHIONS Ladies’ Wear and Accessories 15 Sauble Road, Grand Bend (off 81 Crescent)

OPEN A World-Renowned Musical Masterpiece A Musical by ALAIN BOUBLIL & CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHONBERG Music by CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHONBERG Lyrics by RICHARD MALTBY, JR. & ALAIN BOUBLIL Additional Material by RICHARD MALTBY, JR Originally Produced on the stage by CAMERON MACKINTOSH Orchestrations by WILLIAM D. BROHN Directed & Choreographed by DAVID CONNOLLY

From the creators of Les Miserables comes an epic love story that instantly secured its place as one of the most stunning spectacles in the history of contemporary theatre.

July 18 to August 4 Box Office: 519-238-6000 •

Thursdays & Fridays 1030 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Saturdays 1030 A.M. - 2 P.M.

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The Drag Strip

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Grand Bend Strip • 9

Three-time world champion addicted to drag rush MOPAR Canadian Nationals Grand Bend Motorplex July  to  Tickets: -- or As told to Casey Lessard Rob Atchison is a three-time (2003-2005) IHRA world champion alcohol funny-car drag racer. The Londoner placed second last year and is currently ranked third in IHRA standings after four of 12 races. Atchison is one of a handful of Canadians on the North American circuit. To find out more about Rob, visit his website: It’s hard to describe how it feels to do the quarter-mile. It’s thoroughly enjoyable. The car is so fast and unpredictable that it’s all business all the time. I’m always able to play it back in my head. Time stands still because you’re so focused. You can’t enjoy it like a roller coaster or a Sunday drive because it’s so dangerous. The acceleration is so huge that you get blurred vision for the first 150 feet. The human body adapts so well to the G-force that you don’t realize how fast you’re traveling. Sometimes you get out and the crew says you were close to the wall or all over the place. The car beside you is going the same speed so you don’t get a feeling for it until you have to do evasive action or if your chute doesn’t go off. I was 19 when I made my first pass in a drag car. It’s a great rush. You get addicted to it. The first time I did IHRA, I never thought I’d be doing alcohol funny-car full time. We never dreamed I’d win a world championship. You don’t go in thinking that, but it changed our world. I’ve been in accidents and caught on fire. Those things happen. In this sport, there are the guys who have and the guys who will.

I’ve always been into cars. We have a machine shop and my dad drag raced in the 50s and 60s. I just tried it out. It wasn’t my goal when I was growing up. I didn’t live at the racetrack. But it was something I was fortunate to fall in love with and have that enjoyment fulfilled. Grand Bend Motorplex is where I got my first win and where everything started for me. It was the first track I raced on at 19. It’s home. Actually, I met my wife Julie at the Motorplex, actually. She was doing a summer cruiser hit for the TV station ( Julie’s now a weather announcer for London’s A-Channel) at the track. I tried to get her number, but she shot me down. We met later on and it was off and on for a few years. We were both career-focused. Then we came back together. Sometimes you have to sort those things out before you come together. But Julie’s been with me for all the successes I’ve had. There have been failures and trials, too. I’ve always tried to push the envelope. We set the world record in elapsed time (5.685 seconds in Toronto) and miles per hour (249.09 in Epping). I’m really struggling after last year. I’ve torn the envelope. I’m trying to get back into it – we consistently qualify first. I’m very close to solving the puzzle of why I’m not winning. It’s a great privilege for me to be a drag racer, which I am 50 per cent of the time. There’s nothing better than being able to compete and to do it with my family. My parents, cousins, uncles and friends are part of the team. I work at the Atchison machine shop as well, and I’m here (in the race shop) most of the time in the summer. A successful team does everything to per-

fection. You can’t predict what the machine will do, but you if you prepare it, you’ll be successful. Eighty per cent of the car is safety before speed. Everything’s designed for that sort of speed. It’s the same at the track. It’s more dangerous to be on the 401, to be honest. I’m always driving toward help if I need it. It’s tough to get rid of the bad rap our sport gets. If kids are racing on the streets, they refer to it as drag racing. They never call it NASCAR racing. NASCAR has done a good job of making their drivers look like heroes. But tracks have opportunities to try it out, even in a streetcar. Just the simplest form of drag racing gets your heart pumping. We put a lot on the table each time we do a pass. You can win or lose in the blink of an eye.

Gearing up for a fast weekend Three-time world alcohol funny-car champion Rob Atchison is hoping to regain his title after losing it last season. The Londoner calls the Grand Bend Motorplex his home track. It’s the first place he drag raced and it’s also where he met his wife, Julie. You can see Rob race this weekend at the Motorplex for the IHRA MOPAR Canadian Nationals. portrait by Casey Lessard

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Enter to win tickets to July 22 matinees of these shows - (519) 614-3614

10 • Grand Bend Strip

Miss Saigon

July  to August  Huron Country Playhouse () - for tickets () - to win tickets Story/photo by Casey Lessard Lovers brought together by the Vietnam war bring a tragic turn to the Huron Country Playhouse’s next production, Miss Saigon. While most of the fare on display this summer has been upbeat entertainment, the tragic love story of Miss Saigon is a must-see, says director and choreographer David Connolly. “ The cast is extraordinar y,” Connolly says. “I’ve been working here for 25 years and this cast is the most talented group you could hope to ever have. The lead female is former Canadian Idol finalist Elena Juatko and she’s everything that Kim should be: naïve and strong and smart. And Steve who’s playing her lover, the male lead has been on Broadway as Marius in Les Mis and did a national tour of Little Women, so he has this unbelievable résumé too. The rest of the résumés span every festival. I taught Frank Anton Howard (who plays the Engineer) at Sheridan College years ago. I reconnected with him to find out that he had played this role through out America and won an Ovation award for his Los Angeles portrayal of it. He’s for the first time back in Canada to play the part. The tal-

Miss Saigon director David Connolly

ent here in this theatre for these two and half weeks is collectively as good as it would be in any theatre in North America this summer.” Based on the opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon is the story of the foreigner going to a foreign land and falling in love. In this case, the love story involves an American soldier and Vietnamese girl during the Vietnam War. “ There are really interesting and dark and meaningful themes. It deals with these themes that are so close to home on top of this heart wrenching love story. It ’s too thought-provoking for you to not leave having had some kind of catharsis.” The play, considered an epic musical, deals with serious themes but should appeal to any audience that loves theatre and drama. “We have actors that are fully committed to telling it in an authentic way. We have to honour the men who fought in that war. We have to honour the children who are orphaned by that war. All these themes are all the way through it. But at the heart of it is a love story. It doesn’t matter where that love story took place whether it’s Vietnam or the South Pacific or England. The fact is that these two people - desperate people in desperate times - fell in love and got ripped apart so everyone can identify with that. Everyone can identify with having a love that, for whatever reason, couldn’t be. Regardless of who you are, you get to identify with the fact that, ‘Oh yeah, I was in love once and it didn’t work out.’ These two lovers should have been together forever but weren’t and I think we’ve all been there. “I’ve worked with lots of casts and for me this is the one I want to get up and rehearse every morning joyfully with. That’s a testament to the people that put this together and to the support we’re getting from sound, carpentry, lights, costumes. The women have 10 costume changes in the course of this musical, which is kind of unheard of. Everyone has pushed their boundaries to support this size of this show. Come see how they did it.”

Mom’s the Word Until August  Huron Country Playhouse () - for tickets () - to win tickets Story/photo by Casey Lessard Whether you’ve dropped a baby, faced a diaper-pail tidal wave, shot milk from your breast or left your child on the roof of a moving vehicle, you know being a mom is no day at the beach. If none of those things have happened to you, you should see Mom’s the Word to get a better sense of what it took to raise a kid like you. An ensemble version of a onewoman show, the play blends monologues by five women (six in the original show) who are new mothers. “We’d all been working in the theatre in Vancouver,” says director Robin Nichol, who was one of the six women who wrote the play, “and we’d all had babies around the same time and the bottom had dropped out of our careers. We met regularly. We talked a lot. We laughed a lot and whined a lot and laughed a lot but we never wrote anything down. Then finally at the last minute this festival that we were booked into was coming up so we kind of said, ‘You tell that story and you tell that one.’ It just came about in a kind of organic, West Coast kind of way.” Assuming the show would appeal to new moms only, the group was shocked at the overwhelmingly positive response from a diverse audience. After a successful nine-month run in Vancouver, the play traveled the world and has been translated into a dozen languages over the past ten years. “It is the easiest part I’ve ever had to play,” says actor Louise Gauthier, who as Linda, demands understanding from her partner. “My child is five so there wasn’t too much digging or research that needed to happen. Now I just have to wait for my husband to come and see the show to see what he thinks (laughs). I hope he doesn’t feel too bashed.”



Funny mommy

(Left to right) Alex Dallas, Sharon Heldt, Louise Gauthier, Ginette Mohr and Birgitte Solem are the moms in Mom’s the Word, now playing at the Huron Country Playhouse II.

“You’re trying to figure out how to best tell the story,” says Birgitte Solem, whose character’s son is born premature, “how to get people to laugh and how you make sure people understand what you’re talking about. Robin is so good with getting the best out of everybody.” As Deborah, Alex Dallas has to bare all for the audience, and we’re not just talking about her emotions. “The first time I did this show in Thunder Bay,” Dallas says, “they went, ‘By the way, you’re naked.’ I went, ‘Oh. OH!’ It was fine because we worked it out tastefully. Tastefully, Grand Bend. You don’t have to be scared. It’s so funny and it fits in with the concept of the show so well. Anything for comedy! At the bottom line, we’re all just naked human beings that put on clothes and try to deal with jobs and children and marriages and all these things. People love it because they really relate. “I have a fourteen year old daugh-

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ter who’s coming up soon and I’m going to persuade her to see it because I told her about the nudity and she said, ‘What? No, I don’t want to see that.’ I think I will persuade her.” “A lot of people come up to us, namely mothers, and say they felt liberated or ‘I feel like I’m not alone, let me tell you the story about my day from hell,’” says Sharon Heldt, who portrays the role written by the play’s director Robin Nichol. “It’s all supposed to be cuddly and wonderful and it’s not always like that. We all know that. We all gave our parents trouble on the road.” “I find that children are really brilliant,” says Ginette Mohr, who is not a mom herself. “They say the most amazing things. They have fantastic observations. I learned a lot from actually being with kids. I’m looking forward to that.” “It ’s a hard job,” says Dallas. “Moms out there will know. And we should all get credit for it, I think.”


(519) 296-5157 - Thedford

Strip Outside

Grand Bend Strip • 11

Labrador Retriever adds quality to life Living in Balance

By Jenipher Appleton My husband and I are ‘dog people’ and part of our balanced lifestyle is to own a dog. Since we have lived on our country property in Ailsa Craig, we have always had a Labrador Retriever. Molson, a shiny, sleek, black lab, was one of these beloved pets. Even when he was ten years old, people would say he looked like a puppy. His character matched his appearance. In 1999 we temporarily moved from our property to a rented farmhouse. This was so our home could be torn down and transformed into the timber frame structure it is today. We rented the farmhouse for just over sixteen months and during that time, Molson had more than a few adventures. This article recounts one of them. The 1870 farmhouse was equipped with a parlour, which we used as our living room. It was connected to a hallway that led to the ample wooden porch. One autumn Saturday morning I sat contentedly with coffee and newspaper, while our son Andrew lay on the rug with a crossword puzzle. The peaceful start to the day was not to last.

It was a refreshingly cool morning and the wooden door to the porch was open, leaving the aluminum storm door to close the entryway. Out of nowhere a loud volley of crashes and thumps came thundering across the broad wooden porch. Molson, ever the watchdog, responded as one might expect; he leapt to the storm door to see what was approaching. As he lunged at the glass, his black head and forepaws shattered the glass and went through. On the recoil he staggered back onto the hall rug, bleeding and yelping. Meanwhile, multiple screams could be

heard from the porch and disappearing back to the driveway. Andrew took over the first aid of the ‘puppy’ and I went to investigate the rude intrusion. It turned out that a group of Beavers (not the rodent four-legged type, but the Boy Scouts of Canada type) were out on their annual apple drive. Their leaders, who had remained inside their van, allowed these primary-age children to go thundering excitedly across the front porch of a stranger’s house. One never knows what species of watchdog might be waiting either on the porch or within the house. Not everybody has a friendly Labrador. I informed the little group that Molson was harmless, but as a result of his protective nature was now bleeding on the hall rug. I suggested that in future they approach strange houses in a calmer manner. After a weak apology from one of the leaders, I took an apple, gave them a $2 coin and bade them farewell. Andrew and I took Molson immediately to the vet where he received stitches inside his nose as well as inside the pads of his forepaws. $250 did the trick. Molson lived another healthy six years after that event and continued to bring joy and love into our family every day; he passed away last December. Now we have a brand new Yellow Labrador puppy named Fergus to add to our balanced lifestyle. He has a tough act to follow.

The most common faults I see as an instructor are the following. - A grip too weak: one or both hands too far to the grip’s left side. - The takeaway: opening of the club face at the start of the backswing, or closing the clubface on the takeaway then opening the club head through impact. - Left wrist: too cupped at the top of the backswing causing an excessively open clubface. This also tends to force the right elbow to By Cameron Rankin point out and up. - An outside-in swing path: the club head attacking the ball from Sand Hills Golf Pro the outside of the ball, then having to pull the club head inside to There are many reasons golfers slice. The student has to understand make contact with the ball. This causes left to right spin on the ball. that the club head must be delivered to the ball squarely to impact If you are a left-handed golfer, do the opposite. from a slightly inside path. From there the club head moves through Check the above and I’m sure your ball will arrive at the target on a the impact zone to the target and then to the inside path again. straighter flight path.

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Proprietor Erryn Shephard Chef Ben Sandwith

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dinner Tues.-Sun. 5 p.m.

A RESTAURANT 42 Ontario St. S. (Hwy 21) Reservations Recommended

(519) 238-6224

Grand Bend Farmers’ Market Simply in Season Dining Partnership July 18 to 24

Colonial Hotel

Cure that slice!

1 Main Street, Grand Bend features:

Golf Tips

Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken Summer Pesto Pizza

July 25 to 31

The Village Greek 18 Ontario Street N., Grand Bend features:

Hearty Broccoli Soup

Farmers’ Market is open

Wednesdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gill Road Parking Lot

See you there!!!



+ 7000 sq. ft. OF ANTIQUES






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2 9 5 6 1 4 8 7 3

8 1 7 5 4 9 2 3 6

6 5 3 1 2 7 9 4 8

4 2 9 8 3 6 7 1 5

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9 7 6 4 5 1 3 8 2

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12 • Grand Bend Strip

Strip Outside

Kettle and Stoney Point natives celebrate heritage at pow-wow The Chippewas of Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation hosted its annual pow-wow this weekend with dancing, drumming and native culture on display. Left: David Hinojosa, 11, of Walpole Island warms up for his grass dance. “It’s fun to be at Kettle Point,” he said. Hinojosa’s twin Brandon also performed at the pow-wow. Right: Cheryl Jacobs of Six Nations is a jingle dancer. “I haven’t been here in years,” Jacobs said. “It’s relaxed.” Below left: Diante Shawnoo (also on the front page), 2 1/2, of Kettle Point performed in the boys’ grass dancing category. Below right: Chris Whiteye of Moravian Town has been coming to the Kettle Point pow-wow with his family for years. “It’s a good one,” he said. “I like the beach.”

photos by Casey Lessard

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vol. 1 #6 Grand Bend Strip, July 18, 2007  

July 18, 2007 edition of Grand Bend Strip community newspaper

Vol. 1 #6 Grand Bend Strip, July 18, 2007  

July 18, 2007 edition of Grand Bend Strip community newspaper