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Vol. 3, No. 14

$1.50 ($1.43 +GST)

Grand Bend W W W




Thursday, March 18, 2010

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Charlotte Anderson and other students congregate at South Huron D.H.S. to audition for the pep squad for this summer’s High School Musical at Huron Country Playhouse. COVER PHOTO BY CASEY LESSARD


Take control of your camera Take our survey and save $5 on Casey Lessard’s photo classes. Beginner photography starting March 26, with Photoshop and more classes in the works.

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2 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

We’re all in this together HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL Presented by Drayton Entertainment Huron Country Playhouse May 19 to 30 Tickets: $39 for adults, $20 for under 18 Box office: 1-888-449-4463

Photos and story by Casey Lessard Aiming for fame, more than 100 teenagers joined auditions in Exeter and Guelph for Drayton Entertainment’s summer presentation of Disney’s High School Musical, which runs at the Huron Country Playhouse May 19 to 30. After a weekend of auditions, including a full Sunday at South Huron District High School, 80 actors were chosen to join the P.E.P. Squad, the play’s chorus. “I saw it in the paper and right away I knew that it was something I had to do,” said Alicia Veens, 16, a student at North Lambton Secondary School in Forest. “I love the play a lot, and I love to sing. I love to dance, even though I’m not very good.” Veens and the rest of the teens had to show

their abilities in both areas. Director and choreographer David Connolly and dance captain Michelle Black taught the audition attendees one of the routines those selected will be performing in the play, “We’re All In This Together”. “It was ner ve-wracking,” said Viktor Coletta, a South Huron student from Parkhill. “I was scared out of my mind. I wasn’t expecting what they did. I felt better when we were in groups, but I think I did pretty good.” The Drayton team acknowledges the fear auditionees have. After all, for some, this is their first time trying out for a professional role. “We had kids coming to the door, still not convinced of whether they were going to do it at all,” Michelle Black said. “Still thinking it over and they got here. The fact is, they got the courage to learn the material and present at the end.” The process is not new for Grand Bend’s Meaghan Forrester. She was in the chorus of last season’s Oliver!

Director/choreographer David Connolly and dance captain Michelle Black lead the auditions

“With my Oliver! audition, I screwed up, too, and let my performance suffer,” Forrester said. “This one I screwed up, but I felt my performance was better. You miss a step or have to catch up. “I hope I get in, but if I don’t, I’m applying to university and those auditions need work,” she added. “If I do get in, I plan to work a lot harder than I did on Oliver!, because we had a lot more time and it was less complicated. This will be less time and more complicated.” It seems Forrester impressed Connolly and Black; she was among those chosen to join the squad for eight performances this summer. But Connolly understands the pressure the audition process puts on a new performer. “These kids are making courageous choices to be here,” he said. “For some, it’s an obvious choice; their parents support them and they drove them and it was a no-brainer. There are others who moved mountains to get into that room. When you know what an audition is, it’s scary enough, but they don’t even know what an audition is and they’re walking into a room to put it all on the line.”

Alicia Bradley, 17, of London put it on the line. The Central Secondary School student, who spends summers at a cottage in Grand Bend, has experience at the Grand Theatre in London, where she was a pianist. She was hoping to move from the orchestra pit to the stage. “I love to dance and sing, Bradley said. “I want to go into theatre at university, but I didn’t realize that until last year, so I’m trying to get my show experience now. I have a couple of auditions at Ryerson, York and U of T. I’m a dancer, so I thought this would be a good chance to get on stage.” Unfortunately, Bradley is not among those who will be on the Playhouse stage this summer. Neither will Beth Smallman, a South Huron student new to professional theatre. “I want to go into acting after high school,” Smallman said. “This was my first audition. I’ve been in a lot of drama things through school. I wanted to see what an audition is like and see whether I get it.” No matter, though. It was a worthy experience for the teen.

Strip VIPs

Alicia Bradley of London

Thursday, March 18, 2010 • 3

Viviane Cottle of Stratford

Stephanie Muller and Megan O’Brien

“It went really well,” she said. “I learned a lot. I tried my hardest and it was a lot of fun.” That’s the kind of attitude David Connolly was looking for, even if it didn’t translate into a position with the cast. The overwhelming desire to succeed reminds Connolly of his early theatre years. “My first big audition was for Alan Lund at KitchenerWaterloo Musical Productions. I had done some dancing with dance studios and competed a little, but Alan Lund was standing in front of me with Cynthia Toushan Brnjas, who was his assistant, and I didn’t even know that choreographers had assistants. I remember being in awe of that. I must have been so bad and awkward. But we’re looking for passion, someone who can’t think of anything else they’d rather do, and I must have had that.” It’s all about perspective, Michelle Black said. “If they did it again, it’s less of an audition and more of a workshop on life. Every time I spend time with David, I learn

a little more about myself. Today, if they don’t get the show, the confidence they’ll get from being in the room with him is huge.” And it’s not for everyone. “We had a girl yesterday break down in the middle and say, ‘I can’t do this,’” Black said. “You can see that, for some of them, it’s terrifying.” It wasn’t a problem for Virginia Iredale of Exeter, who earned a spot on the squad. “The hardest part is keeping it all together,” the Grade 10 student said. “I don’t get embarrassed on stage. The easiest part was coming. I just decided, I’m going, my mom will bring me. Then it’s like, I’m here, guess I get to do it now.” Family support is important, and makes the process easier. “My mom made me (audition),” said Viktor Coletta. “I did this in London with Original Kids. I was Zeke Baylor, the cook. It’s a fun show, a lot of energetic people.” (Continued on page 4)



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4 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

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More than 100 teenagers from across southwestern Ontario traveled to Exeter and Guelph February 20 and 21 to try out for the Grand Bend and St. Jacobs’ productions of High School Musical. Eighty teens will join the P.E.P. Squad, or chorus.

Darlene Monsma of Wingham

Alicia Veens of Thedford

Vocal coach Amanda Kind

Strip VIPs

Thursday, March 18, 2010 • 5

Viktor Coletta of Parkhill Alicia Veens came wearing a shirt that reads Born to be Famous. “My grandma bought me this shirt,” Veens said. “She loves what I do and hopes for the best for me. I want to be famous really bad.” And she knows what it takes to get there. “If you have it, you have it. You don’t have to be good looking, as long as you have the talent and believe in yourself.” Words David Connolly might argue were taken right out of his mouth. He hopes some kids discovered this about themselves during the audition process. “You can tell somebody they’re great, but that will never replace them feeling that they did it themselves,” he said. “That moment of doing it for themselves will stay with them.” Veens walked away wanting the moment to last. “I would love to get a letter in the mail saying I’ve made it. I’ve always wanted to be in a play like this.” “I’d like to see all the good people get it,” added Virginia Iredale. “I will definitely go see it now because it looks like fun.” No need to buy a ticket, Virginia, because you and Alicia are in it. Veens and Iredale were both added to the P.E.P. Squad roster. And yes, High School Musical looks like fun. To see it for yourself, visit

These South Huron DHS students made the cut: Charlie Anderson, Grade 11 (cover photo) Viktor Coletta, Grade 10 Taryn Dougall, Grade 11 Morgan Dykstra, Grade 9 Meaghan Forrester, Grade 12 Katie Hartai, Grade 10 Rachel Hearn, Grade 9 Virginia Iredale, Grade 10 Alexandra Mae Jones, Grade 11 Brent McLaughlin, Grade 10 Stephanie Muller, Grade 11 Megan O’Brien, Grade 10 Skylagh Robinson, Grade 9 Sam Zehr, Grade 12

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Paul Pembleton, Facility Manager: 519-238-8387 ext. 50 Photo Credits: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, 2008; Buddy Holly, 2006.

Strip Events

6 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

The swans are back in town Photo and story by Casey Lessard A sight to see, thousands of tundra swans are now back at the Thedford Bog behind the Lambton Heritage Museum. The bog is a natural staging area for the swans, who are on their way from Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, to cooler climates in Canada’s North for the summer. The trip is 6,500 km, so it’s understandable they’d want to stop for a rest and some food. Here, that includes the grains left in the fields from the fall harvest. To celebrate the annual migration, the Lambton Heritage Museum (on Highway 21 south of Greenway Road) hosts the Return of the Swans festival. With displays, videos, and other resources, the museum is a good home base to learn more about North America’s smallest and most abundant swan. For the month of March, the Lambton Heritage Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors/students, $3 for children, and $15 for the family. The best source of updates for people interested in watching the birds is the museum’s website,, which has a migration report that is updated daily with locations where the birds are gathered. If you don’t have internet access, you can also call 1-800-265-0316.

Preview of winning sounds Community members who attended South Huron District High School’s spring concert February 22 got a taste of the quality that led the school’s bands to several winning performances at MusicFest in London this month. The senior percussion band won gold, senior concert band won silver-plus, intermediate concert and senior jazz bands won silver, and intermediate jazz band won bronze at the regional festival March 9 and 10. Among the performers: Mac Wood (above) and Sarah Irons (right). nly


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Accommodation and shuttle packages available

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Dress warmly and bring binoculars. If you plan to take photographs, here are some tips from the publisher: - Assume you will need a long telephoto lens (at least 300mm). The birds are pretty far away, but there are locations where they

fly over a road to move from field to field, and here you need only about 100mm. This is where I stand because you can capture them coming at you, and then over you. Just watch out for small falling objects. - Remember to look behind you. If they fly toward you and over, they will come back later. - Use a fast shutter speed (1/1000 or faster). These birds flap their wings quickly, so if you want sharp images, you need to freeze that motion. I try to get to about 1/4000 if I can. Can’t get that high? You might need to raise your ISO (but if it’s daylight, try to avoid higher than ISO 800) - Use a slow shutter speed with a tripod. Breaking the rules can get some interesting motion photos. This works best in lower light. - Use your burst mode or continuous shooting mode. You’ll want to take a rapid series of shots to get one you like. There are times when you wait five minutes for 20 seconds of action. - If you use continuous shooting, make sure your focus is set to Servo AF, which means the camera continues to focus as long as you hold the shutter button down. Remember that the birds are constantly changing your focal point. - Shoot at your highest resolution. You will have to crop most of these photos later. - Bring lots of memory cards or film. You will shoot a lot, and you might get a couple of good shots from the whole day. It’s worth it, though. - Try to arrive early. The light will give you good texture and colour, and you might be the only one there.

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Strip Events

Thursday, March 18, 2010 • 7

Golden girls and boys Members of the Parkhill Silver Blades Skating Club showed the results of their winter labour at the club’s annual carnival February 28, finishing moments after the puck dropped for the Olympic men’s hockey game. In the spirit of the games, the theme was Proud to be Canadian, Eh? Left: Intermediate Synchro skater Sarah Thompson. Above: Intro to Synchro skaters Alyson Esseltine, Rachel Godts, Lilly McLellan, Lauryn Peters, Makayla Reitknecht, Lillianna Sharrow, and Evelyn Thorpe. Right: JT Scott represents Canada’s fishers with the rest of the CanSkate 4/5 group.

Return of the Swans March 13- April 4 You may see up to 10,000 Tundra Swans, Ducks & Geese

Book your family Easter Dinner now! Pan Fried Pickerel and

Traditional Ham & Scalloped Potatoes


* Paint Ontario Art Competition and Sale * Ipperwash Maple Syrup Festival March 20/21 & 27/28 * Video on swan migration * Activities for children

Lambton Heritage Museum Highway 21 - 8 km south of Grand Bend 519-243-2600

Available Saturday and Sunday The above specials are served with a multi-grain dinner roll, a garden salad or homemade soup and fresh vegetables. Finished with yummy banana split cake. REGULAR MENU AVAILABLE

RESERVE NOW! 519-238-6786 135 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend

ABCA Conservation Dinner Artist

8 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

The nature of her art Fran Roelands is ABCA feature artist 21st annual Conservation Dinner THURSDAY, APRIL 15 South Huron Rec. Centre, Exeter Tickets: $50 Phone: 1-888-286-2610 West McGillivray watercolour painter Fran Roelands is this year’s Ausable Bayf ield Conservation Dinner feature artist, and is offering her painting, Along the Banks of Mud Creek (above), to this year’s auction. The painting depicts a late winter scene at the back of her family farm on Creamery Road, where she has lived for 30 years with her husband, Matt. Casey Lessard visited her home studio and gallery to discuss art and conservation.

As told to Casey Lessard I’m an outdoors type of person. I enjoy the scenery and we’re blessed to have this beautiful climate we live in with all its seasons. I enjoy every kind of weather. We live on the land. We appreciate the beauty that we’re surrounded by. We appreciate the clean water and clean air and try to keep it that way for generations to come. We tap into all the resources we can to do things properly. I was inspired (to pursue art) years ago when I was young. My dad had a lot of books with drawings and I felt someday I could do that.

Along the Banks of Mud Creek, Fran Roelands The artist’s way My approach is very simple. If I’m driving around, I always have my camera with me, and if I see something interesting from a different angle, I like to capture that. I’m also interested in our modern agriculture. As much as I like the older antique nostalgic feeling, I appreciate the newer, more modern ways of farming as well. I’m interested in painting what I see as the way our future generations will be farming. It all starts with the initial drawings, figuring out what lines of direction you’re going to use to get your viewer into the picture and to what you want them to see. You do a light

Approaching Storm, Fran Roelands

and dark value sketch to make sure that image is going to work. You don’t want something that is off-balance or boring. Contrasting colours are huge; everything you do, you try to create conflict. You try to just bring that emotion out in the painting. That’s my goal. I take lots of photographs and sometimes combine different images from different photographs. I’m very particular about the design and composition. I look at what’s important to me in this painting and I do everything I can to get my viewer to know that that’s the focal point. My colour choices come into that. It shows what kind of day it was, or what I was feeling that particular day. Along the Banks of Mud Creek is a painting more of what I was feeling that day than the actual site. I just felt the warmth of the sun and thought, this is the best day to be back here appreciating this winter day. We’re lucky to have that in Ontario. Local details add an emotional feeling that I want my viewer to get. I painted an old barn near Dashwood, and I love the aspects of decaying wood; I have an appreciation for things like that because I know they won’t be here forever that way. As far as animals in pastures, I see changing times. Life is change and I’m trying to capture images of this moment in time as well. Light can give you the mood in the painting. I like to paint something that gives the viewer a positive feeling. It’s not part of the business approach; it’s my outlook on life. I try to be positive and have a good attitude about what I’m doing. I just feel I need to be true to myself when I paint. I enjoy the interaction with people coming and talking about the art, and it’s a really personal decision to

them whether they would like a piece of art. I hope people get a peaceful sense of pleasure looking at it. I did a painting once of a crazy storm in the summer time, and it was the wildest sky. Three quarters of the painting was the sky, and there was a streak of light on a farm. I did this painting and I got it framed. That was the first year of the studio tour, and I hung it up. A couple came in and said, “When we drive to our work in London, there have been so many storms this summer, and we saw that sky. And that is exactly what we felt when we saw that scene.” They bought that painting. When someone buys a painting of mine, they are buying something of me. It’s very personal.

Moving forward I hope to keep growing and never lose enthusiasm about what I’m doing. I’m an independent spirit and I will go where I think I need to go. I hope to venture into more colourful scenes, and this one is part of that journey. I’m having fun with it, so that’s where I’m going now. If you’re not passionate about what you’re going to paint, don’t bother because you won’t enjoy it. You have to know what inside of you drew you to that subject, and do everything you can to make your viewer know that, too.

FRAN ROELANDS CREAMERY ROAD STUDIO AND GALLERY 519-294-6710 Viewings by appointment. Giclee prints available at Baillie’s Framing in Grand Bend and Beside Mom’s café in Parkhill.

Paint Ontario at Lambton Heritage Museum

Thursday, March 18, 2010 • 9

Paint Ontario runs until April 4 at the Lambton Heritage Museum. Left, Josy Britton discusses her Best in Show painting (rear), Reflections. Above, Judy Steeper, Catherine Weber, Fran Roelands, Matt Roelands, Glen Steeper and Teresa Marie enjoy the opening night atmosphere March 12.

Reflecting on Ontario’s beauty Story and photos by Casey Lessard After winning Best in Show at Paint Ontario several years ago, Josy Hilkes Britton used her cash prize to buy a canoe. Her ensuing paddling excursions resulted in Reflections, Britton’s second Paint Ontario Best in Show painting. “That’s how I get inspired in the first place, canoeing,” Hilkes Britton said after winning the prize Friday night. “This year’s painting is what I see when I canoe down the Ausable River, where you see the full reflections of the trees and it makes the water look really deep.” The complexity of the work requires a skilled artist, and a discerning eye. “I like a painting to work from two distances,” she says. “From a distance, I want it to draw you in closer. Then, when you’re close, I think you shouldn’t be disappointed that you took the trouble to get close. In this painting, from a distance, you might think it’s upside down. Then, when you get closer, you see the leaf and it makes sense.” The realism of the painting is pervasive in

much of the work at Paint Ontario, a show that showcases representational work, in other words, paintings that illustrate real things. “When you look at the artwork, you will know what the artist was trying to paint,” says founder Barry Richman. “That doesn’t mean the artist can’t push the boundaries toward abstraction. This isn’t by any means a competition of magic realism, of who can paint the most fur on the fox or feathers on the loon.” Still, that type of work is welcome at the Lambton Heritage Museum hosted show. About 145 artists from across Ontario submitted 288 paintings, and 180 were juried into the exhibition. In its 14th year, Paint Ontario has sold more than 400 paintings over that time, resulting in more than $250,000 in sales for artists. “We will bring in more than 2000 people to the museum in the shoulder season,” Richman says. “It’s a win-win for the artists and the community.” Artists interested in entering work in the 2011 exhibition should contact Richman through




Strip Thoughts

10 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blown away View from the Strip By Casey Lessard This is the time of year, it seems, when good things start happening. We’ve just recovered from the Olympics with its thrilling ending, the snow seems to be gone for good, and our chihuahua can now handle a walk that lasts longer than three minutes. But here at the Strip, we have many more things to celebrate. Our friends at South Huron’s music department continue their MusicFest winning ways, James Eddington took a much needed vacation, and Anjhela is weeks away from finishing her degree. Then there are the awards. Where do I start? It’s a good year, that’s for sure. When I started the Grand Bend Strip, my intention was to make it one of the best newspapers in Ontario, and maybe even

Canada. Each issue, the goal is to give you the best photos and most interesting stories I can find related to your community and interests. This work has paid off with one CCNA win, two OCNA wins, and many top three finishes in the first two years. This year is different, though. Now, the Strip is nominated for best paper in Ontario, and this after only three years of publication. My photography is recognized again, and a variety of photos and writing samples are nominated for two CCNA awards and more OCNA awards than any other paper, large or small, in Ontario. That was a surprise. This is likely one of the smallest publications in Ontario, after all. But the honours are a tribute to you, the people who are reading this column. Without your support, the paper would have folded last summer under the financial strain of making this work every time. So thank you for your continued support. Just one more thing to ask of you: cross your fingers Friday, May 14 that I come home with something that will really make you proud.

After suspending grants for a year because of the global economic downturn, the Grand Bend Community Foundation returned to the business of giving money to support community projects in 2009. The foundation gave four recipients a total of $38,500: The Friends of the Pinery Park, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, and Grand Bend Home and School Association’s Wheelchair Accessible Playground Campaign received a total of $13,500; a bequest from the late Dorothy Child of Grand Cove sent $25,000 to the Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre. “The educational experience of the students at the School has been so enriched by the opportunities created through the grants from the Foundation,” says Grand Bend Public School principal Susan Manz. “It also sets a real example for volunteerism and gifting for our students.” Donors gave $106,000 in 2009, including a major gift from Jean Muma to establish the MJ Muma Endowment Fund and from Nancy Poole to establish the Charlotte Edwards Robinson Memorial Fund for the Arts. The annual fundraising drive brought in $10,000 in individual gifts to support grants for community projects. To make a contribution, visit

Strip leads at OCNA awards The Grand Bend Strip leads all community newspapers in Ontario with eight nominations for this year’s Ontario Community Newspaper Awards, including best overall paper (a first for the paper) and photographer of the year for Casey Lessard, a twotime runner-up for this award. The paper also recently won two national awards, first prize ad design and third for photo essay in the Canadian Community Newspapers Association Better Newspapers Competition. The top three OCNA entrants were announced March 1. The Parry Sound North Star has the second most nominations with seven. Winners will be announced at the OCNA’s annual conference in Toronto May 14. CCNA winners were announced March 15 and will receive their awards May 13 at the CCNA conference. To learn more about the Grand Bend Strip’s history of awards since its first publication in May 2007, visit

Ontario Community Newspapers Association GENERAL EXCELLENCE (BEST OVERALL) Class 1 [under 2,000 circulation] Other nominees: Cobden Sun, Manotick Messenger

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Casey Lessard Other nominees: Belleville EMC and Peterborough This Week

EDUCATION WRITING Chicago! – SHDHS music trip Other nominees: Parry Sound Beacon Star and Richmond Hill/Thornhill Liberal

BEST PHOTO LAYOUT Five days of good, clean fun – Parkhill Five Fun Days Other nominees: Ajax/Pickering News Advertiser and North York Mirror

BEST FEATURE PHOTO (CIRC UNDER 9,999) Best Seat in the House – Dashwood soap box derby cover photo Other nominees: Aylmer Express and Bracebridge Examiner


Canadian Community Newspapers Association

Hockey Night in Zurich – Mark Buruma in dressing room Other nominees: Brampton Guardian and Mount Forest Confederate





1st place – – ad Fields of Gold – Marcus Koenig, promoting website potato farmer Runners-up: The Chief (Squamish, BC), Other nominees: Listowel Banner and New Wainwright Review (Wainwright, AB) Hamburg Independent

3rd place – Five days of good, clean fun – Parkhill Five Fun Days Winner: The Provost News (Provost, AB) – ad promoting website Other nominees: Mount Forest Confederate and Nunavut News/North

The big question: Can humans communicate telepathically with animals? SURVEY RESULTS (ONLINE VOTES):

50% – No (5 votes)

40% – Yes (4 votes)

10% – I don’t know (1 vote)

Are you watching the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games? Tell us at


Grand Bend




Publisher/Editor: Casey Lessard Advertising Sales: Casey Lessard Chief Photographer: Casey Lessard


Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 211 Parkhill, Ontario N0M 2K0 CANADA Phone: (519) 614-3614 Fax: 1 (866) 753-2781

Distribution: Joan McCullough, Rita Lessard and Casey Lessard Contributors: Rita Lessard – my mom Tom Lessard – my dad Anjhela Michielsen – social justice Jenipher Appleton – nature/birding Lance Crossley – national affairs James Eddington – fine dining Lorette Mawson – interior design Yvonne Passmore – pet training

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.

Grand Bend Strip is printed every other Wednesday in the summer and monthly in the winter. For this edition, 1000 were printed with more than 600 sent directly to subscribers in the Grand Bend area, and across North America. To subscribe, use PayPal online or send a cheque: $24/year, $12 July-Oct/Nov-June Alert the Grand Bend Strip of any address changes, and to let us know if you should be but are not receiving your copy of the paper.

Locally owned and operated © Copyright 2010

2nd place Feature Series 3rd place Rural Reporting Business Writing Arts Coverage In House Ad Campaign

1st place Outstanding Reporter Initiative (Circulation up to 9,999)

Strip Thoughts

Thursday, March 18, 2010 • 11

Daylight losing time Why thinking is a bad thing Keeping the Peace

Advice from Mom

By Tom Lessard, C.D.

By Rita Lessard

(Editor’s Note: Please remember that these are memories of a time long ago, and the activities described in the following story are neither condoned nor recommended.)

leave camp by the front gate, we didn’t bother getting passes, which I suppose meant we were AWOL, but we never got caught on any of our excursions. The afternoon was very warm and sunny, and we didn’t get back to the car until after duty at 4 p.m. Our first mistake was opening the doors. The odour and flies were enough to make us throw up, but neither of us did. We had to haul our rears back to the shack and get a bucket, soap, rags and tools. The door panel had to come off, and the glass had to be taken out. With the sun shining on the car all day, it was like an oven inside and Bobbie’s heavings from the night before were caked on the door, glass and floor. I’m sure we didn’t get it all off because the smell lingered for what seemed like forever. It took us until about 10 p.m. to get the car cleaned as best we could and put back together. We were sweaty and smelly, so we we drove down to the beach and cooled off in the lake. We were thirsty and I remembered that I had picked up a six-pack in Port Huron. I don’t know why it hadn’t exploded from the heat, but it was still intact. When I opened a can, the beer shot into the air and left me with about half a can of warm liquid. Undaunted, I drank it up and grabbed another. Bobbie wasn’t interested. I wonder why.

My buddy “Bobbie” and I were walking back to the barracks one summer evening when, out of the blue, he says, “Let’s go to Port Huron.” The canteen was closed and the hotel in town would be closing at midnight. With Ontario being on daylight saving time and Michigan on standard time, the bars were going to be open for a while, especially considering some of them stayed open until 2 a.m. in those days. Away we went. With very few OPP around and the speed limits higher than today, it didn’t take too long to get to our destination. At the bar we went to, there were already a number of Canadian military enjoying some time off. We closed the place. Bobbie was in pretty rough shape as we got to the car and took off. I was able to hold my liquor better than he could, but he still wouldn’t let me drive. About halfway home, he turned his head to barf out the window, and sure enough, t was closed. You can just imagine the mess. Undeterred, we continued home. We pulled into the parking lot at the rear of the camp, Thanks to Gary D. for all the help you gave turned off the motor, and staggered to the barracks. It was about 4 a.m. by this time, and me and Rita during my rehab this winter. You we had to be up at 6 a.m.. Because we didn’t are very much appreciated.

Bach Festival coming to Exeter SUNDAY, MARCH 21 2 to 4 p.m. - Trivitt Anglican Church, Exeter Celebration launch of Bach Music Festival of South Huron and Bach’s 325th birthday. Concert, birthday cake and door prizes. Free to attend. RSVP to or 519-235-2565. A teaser of what’s to come in July 2011, the Bach Music Festival of South Huron’s celebration launch will feature organist Janet Heerema and cellist Christine Newland. A

Daylight saving time: is this a good thing or a bad thing? Whether it started in the First World War or it started the First World War, I don’t know. All I know is that we’re denied an extra hour of sleep. That’s not a pretty thing, especially in respect to my regular Monday morning customers. Most of them are a little cranky first thing anyway, so you should see them when they haven’t had enough sleep. I think it all comes down to a lack of patience. They say the great thinker Socrates had a lot of patience, but I think Rodin’s model for the sculpture, The Thinker, had more. I have a lot of patience, but I don’t think I could pose in that position for too long. Brr! Get me my Snuggie already. Most people today don’t have the patience for people who stand around thinking. For instance, when you come into Tim’s and you’re standing in line waiting to place your order, you’d think you would know what you want by the time you’re in front of me. Not necessarily true! Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fine to be a thinker and stand around contemplating life, but the customers behind you don’t have the same patience as I do. Heck, it’s not as if I’m going anywhere. I guess thinkers are a dying breed. At a stop light, when the light turns green, that’s no time to sit daydreaming or even thinking. When you hear that horn beeping behind you, you’d better get moving, sister! See what I mean? No patience. There are so many places you have to stand in line and practice patience. In the bank and the grocery store, that’s a sure thing. For heaven’s sake, you don’t want to ever hold up the line thinking at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Geez, grab the check and go already. People have no patience when they’re tired or hungry, so quit your thinking and move on before you give yourself a headache.

year of concerts and special events for area residents and visitors from across Ontario will culminate in the first week-long international festival July 11 to 17, 2011. The goal of the series is to attract music aficionados to South Huron as an important and accessible location for concerts, and the caliber of the music is expected to enhance the local economy. For more information, contact executive producer Louise Fagan at St. Patrick’s Day or call 519-851-0393. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, Everyone is welcome to attend the celebra- even though St. Patty himself wasn’t (he tion launch March 21 to get a taste for what was a British missionary). For most Irishis in store for next year’s festival. Americans, this holiday is partly festive and

Happy Sweet 16

Mallory Love, Mom, Pat, Eddie and Ethan XOXO

Happy Birthday Bumpa Love, Mallory, Eddie and Ethan XOXO

Grand Bend

partly religious. Many Irish came to Canada and the United States and brought their saint and traditions with them. In fact, today there are more people of Irish descent than there are in Ireland. St. Patrick’s name is found all over Ireland, where it is used for town names including Kirkpatrick and Kilpatrick, and family names such as Kirkpatrick and Fitzpatrick. That name, Fitzpatrick, was my mother’s maiden name. Mom hated the colour green, and always told me never to buy anything green, but I couldn’t because green is my favourite colour. The Irish, who have the shamrock as their symbol, believe good and bad things come in threes. Three tasks, three wishes, three brothers, three sisters. How odd is that? I come from a family of seven, and have three brothers and three sisters. Then mommy, daddy and baby make three.

O’Casey Getting back to Irish names, sometimes Casey would upset me and I’d say, “Oh, Casey, stop doing that.” Guess I said it enough that some people thought his name was O’Casey, which is a great Irish name.

Inspired by the holiday A man in New Zealand was arrested for setting his underwear on fire and riding through town on a motorized bar stool. The charge? Driving without a license. A snatch-and-grab thief in London decided to see how much he could scoop from the display window of a jewelry store. But first he had to break the window, so he pried a manhole cover off the street and hurled it through the window. He grabbed the jewelry and took off running. He might have gotten away with this crime had he not fallen, you guessed it, down the open manhole. They say you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but what are you going to do with all those flies? Happy 80th birthday to Joan Smith.

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Community/Charity Grand Bend Nursery School is now offering 5 sessions a week of the Early Learning Program…a FREE high quality program designed to help prepare young children for school. If you have children 2.5 to 4 years old and reside in Lambton County call Grand Bend Nursery School at 519-2388514

TUESDAYS 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Port Franks Community Ctr. Kids Matter every Tuesday. Join us as we crochet sleeping mats out of milk bags to send to the children in Africa and South America. Bring your lunch, scissors and a #7 crochet hook. Call Peggy Smith at 519-2965834 for details. 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Bingo

FRIDAYS 5 to 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Meat Draw

UNTIL SUNDAY, APRIL 4 12 p.m. – Greenway Road just east of Highway 21 Return of the Tundra Swans. Bring your binoculars. On weekends naturalists will be

To Do List

12 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

on-site to answer any of your questions. For pool with others in the group to the walk- Circle. Contact Anita at the Youth Centre or more info visit ing trail. With financial support from the call 519-238-8759. Grand Bend Community Foundation, eight annual passes for Pinery have been purTHURSDAY, MARCH 18 7 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. chased for the group. Dunes Duplicate Bridge 1:30 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC If you are interested in attending or Grand Bend Women’s Institute. Topic: the Communit y Living Prog ram in becoming a Volunteer Coordinator please SATURDAY, MARCH 20 call us at 519-243-1521 or email fopp@ Dashwood. 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion for more information. St. Patrick’s Day. Live music by Mike Fagan. Corned beef and cabbage. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24 6:30 p.m. - Grandpa Jimmy’s Scottish 12:30 to 3 p.m. - Colonial Hotel Bakery, Grand Bend Huron Country Playhouse Guild monthly SATURDAY, MARCH 27 Planning meeting for 2010 Grand Bend luncheon. New members and guests are wel3 to 6 p.m. - GB Legion comed. Please call Mary at 519-238-5640 Relay for Life.Team Captains at 6.30 p.m. Horse Races and the general meeting at 7 p.m. Everyone for details. is welcome. The relay date is Friday July 9 T HURSDAY, APRIL 1 MONDAY, MARCH 29 at 7 p.m to Saturday July 10 at 7 a.m. at the 7 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC 7 p.m. – Grand Bend CHC Grand Bend Horticultural Society. Topic: Klondyke Sport Park. Sunset Cinema presents: Bright Star, love Eating your Weedies - edible weeds presentstory of the poet Keats and Fanny Brawne ed by Kerry Hackett. Everyone welcome. FRIDAY, APRIL 9 9:30 p.m. - Aunt Gussie’s SATURDAY, APRIL 3 135 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend SATURDAY, APRIL 3 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Fundraiser for Grand Bend Public School Live Music by DJ Barry Sheppard 11 a.m. - Port Franks Community Ctr Easter Egg Hunt. Presented by Ausable Athletic Department. Presented by Grand Bend Home and School  Association and SATURDAY, APRIL 10 Port Franks Optimists Aunt Gussie’s. Music by Brian Dale and   3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Patrick Powers. Live Music by The Persuaders WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7 Tickets: $20; call Jenn Maguire at 2389:40 a.m. - meet at Lambton Heritage 8687 or Amy Wiseman 238-1116. Some Health & Fitness Museum parking lot Savanna Strollers Pinery Walking Club. tickets may be available at the door, but only Each Wednesday morning, participants will tickets purchased ahead of time will go into MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS meet at the side parking lot at 9:40 and car a draw that night for a dinner theatre pack8 to 9 a.m. - Southcott Clubhouse age for two. Free hors d’oeuvres and door Workout for your Life. To learn more, call prizes. All proceeds go to support athletics Beth Sweeney at 519-238-5555 at the Grand Bend Public School. 8:45 to 10 a.m. (Mon/Fri), (to 9 a.m. Wed.) – Grand Bend Legion Arts & Entertainment TGIF Exercise classes with Elinor Clarke. $3/week - all proceeds to charity. MONDAYS 1 to 3 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Golden Agers Shuffleboard MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS 6 to 7 p.m. - Precious Blood Catholic School gym, Exeter 7 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Workout for your Life. To learn more, call Dunes Duplicate Bridge Shelley Van Osch at 519-234-6253.

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9 a.m. – Port Franks Comm. Centre Healthy Lifestyle Exercise Program. Cost: Free!! Everyone welcome. Register: Cindy Maxfield 519-238-1556 ext 6.

TUESDAY, MARCH 23 THURSDAYS 1 to 4 p.m. - Pt. Franks Comm. Ctr. Shuffleboard

2 to 4 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC Aging at Home. Please bring your questions to our drop in session and meet Occupational Therapist Shawna Palmar.

1 to 3 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Golden Agers Shuffleboard


7:30 p.m. - Pt. Franks Comm. Ctr. Cards

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC Mental Health Support Group. Contact Lise Callahan at 519-238-1556 ext 230.

FRIDAYS Name: Address: Town: Phone: E-mail:


10 a.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Badminton

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC Men Can Cook. Advance your cooking skills and enjoy a tasty healthy lunch for $5. Contact Miranda at 519-238-1556 ext 222.

1 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Bridge 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. - GB Youth Centre Grand Bend Drum

BOB DIETRICH - INCOME TAX - 519-236-4989 17 years gaining knowledge and skill to give you EXPERIENCED SERVICE FOR ANY TAX SITUATION

Strip Outside

Thursday, March 18, 2010 • 13

History is anything but dull Living in Balance By Jenipher Appleton Have you ever met someone who makes you wonder at his or her energy and enthusiasm? Someone who is passionate about something and follows through on this passion with unremitting effort? When these people share their enthusiasm with others, they can really make a positive difference in society. One such individual is Ron Walker of Ailsa Craig. Ron is the founder, past chair, and now manager of operations and collections of the Ailsa Craig and District Historical Society. However, Ron is far more than a history buff. He grew up listening to the stories told by his grandfather, Elmer Walker (1906-1999), a man who genuinely cared about the value of history and the importance of understanding what has gone before. Like Ron, he believed that it is essential to understand your past in order to know where you are going. Ron embraced his grandfather’s stories and made it his business to ask questions of older community members. He has delved into the local community’s past for his entire life. As a result, Ron has become somewhat of an expert in the field of our community history. Since the founding of ACDHS in 1996, the organization has grown to include two properties: the former Trinity Anglican and Ailsa Craig Baptist churches. These buildings house museum artifacts, archives, and the Marg and Leroy Walker Research Room (named for Ron’s benefactor parents). Multiple annual events serve to celebrate our heritage and to educate our young people.

Connecting with youth Ron is the main impetus behind this society. He reaches out to the community by giving historic talks at local schools. Ron has the most amazing old postcard slide presentation; the pictures include everything from buildings and streetscapes, to bridges and other landmarks or landscapes. The kicker is that Ron knows the background of each picture in the greatest of detail and can go off on a tangent, sharing anecdotes about events that occurred 100 years ago and more. It is both fascinating and entertaining. Ron came to East Williams Memorial Public School in Nairn on Wednesday, February 17 to present his slideshow of local history. One of the pictures he showed was of ‘Temperance House’, which later became the Pinewood Restaurant in Ailsa Craig. Coincidentally, two days after the presentation, that historic 1860 structure burned to the ground. The fact that Ron had shown that postcard on his recent visit to the school had a great impact on the students. They were able to understand a link to the town’s heritage far more easily because of that slide presentation. At the end of his talk, Ron made two key suggestions: - talk to your grandparents and elders, and ask them questions before they are no longer here; and, - take pictures of local buildings, bridges and other landmarks

Preserving and losing local history

Ron Walker, left, is committed to preserving Ailsa Craig’s history. As Jenipher (who took his portrait) tells us, Walker encourages young people to take pictures of local buildings before they’re gone. Tony Miller of Bliss Studio in Port Franks captured one last photo of Pinewood Restaurant (above), which went up in flames in mid-February. The structure was an Ailsa Craig landmark since 1860.

One Grade 8 student, Blake, approached Ron following the presentation and said, “Mr. Walker, would you like me to take pictures of some bridges? I have my own camera.” It was clear that Ron’s passion for history had made a difference in this young man’s mind.

Even if Blake was the only student who took the idea of embracing the past seriously, it is likely that he will look at older buildings and structures with new eyes from now on. Ron makes a difference. For some it could be a life-changing experience.

The match game, part one Fido... Come... Sit By Yvonne Passmore Many of you were touched and saddened by my last article about those beautiful, retired female breeding dogs that my friend and I assessed for a potential addition to her home. What seems to have saddened those who contacted me is the fact that what this breeder was doing was not illegal. She provides safe shelter out of the elements. She provides clean water, food and veterinary care. What the breeder didn’t provide was a life of physical and mental stimulation. Unfortunately, that is not a crime. Just as it is not against the law to keep a dog chained to a doghouse 24 hours a day. Obviously, changes need to be

made in how the law looks at dog ownership, which is why I occasionally write columns like the last one. I hope those of you who were so appalled at the fate of those dogs will help educate others you know who are on a puppy search. So, how did this story end for my friend on the mission to find a new best friend? She continued to search with her head and not her heart. Mind you, she did have some criteria that considered her heart, such as breed type and size. Most of us want to like what we’re looking at and with that her heart stayed true. After more searching and with that sensible head in place, the criteria list grew. In her perfect world she wanted a dog that was fairly easygoing. A dog that had shed its puppy habits and had a level of mental maturity. She wanted a dog that was experienced with young children. She wanted a dog

that came from a loving home with owners looking to rehome a dog with that dog’s best interests in mind. This girl really wanted a lot! There were wasted calls dealing with people who knew nothing about the dogs they were trying to place. There were other calls made to people who were looking only to profit. Paying for a dog wasn’t the issue. I think it’s legitimate for people to ask for a small financial investment to ensure that the new potential owners feel committed to a dog in more ways than one. It’s a way of weeding out the insincere. After all, if you can’t afford a hundred dollars for a dog, can you afford to feed it and vet it if need be? What hurts is when someone that says they love their dog, wants only a good and loving home for that dog, but need $600 to make sure that happens. You know that their interest isn’t really about the dog. Could you sell a family member that

you can no longer keep because of unforeseen circumstances? Though my friend’s list of wants was long, it wasn’t insurmountable. Along came Chloe, a beautiful red Golden Retriever. What more could she ask for? She was a house pet. She was raised with a baby. She wasn’t a puppy. She didn’t chew or go potty in the house. She was loved by her owners but they didn’t have the option of keeping her. My friend took her children to meet Chloe and based on her temperament, all the boxes in her head were checked. Based on her good looks and her affection, all the boxes in her heart were checked. A match was made. Was it a match made in heaven? Stay tuned. Contact me through for column suggestions, training help and book info.

To Do List

14 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

Show a Playhouse professional Huron hospitality this summer Story by Casey Lessard Drayton Entertainment is gearing up for the summer season at the Huron Country Playhouse, but needs your help finding accommodations for its cast and crew. More than 100 people will need a place to stay for their time here, which can range from five weeks to the whole summer. “It’s a great way to bring in some extra money if you have an empty room or two in your home, or a private apartment, basement apartment, or empty cottage that would be available

during the summer,” facility manager Paul Pembleton said in a release. “Some of our accommodation partners open their homes to several actors for the entire season while others choose to house an actor for just one five-week period.” Proximity to the Playhouse is important, but some performers will have access to vehicles, so communities other than Grand Bend are an option for them. Pembleton says the average accommodation rate is about $100 per week – with certain amenities that must be included, such as cooking and washroom facilities. Most produc-

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Strip Events

Thursday, March 18, 2010 • 15


Inspired by a desire to help raise money for residents of Haiti recovering from January’s earthquake, Ashlan Hollingsworth, 4, of Parkhill (left) had her first ever hair cut at the hands of Rachel Michielsen of Beauty ‘n’ the Beach salon in Grand Bend. The $560 she raised went to support The House that Jack Built, a charity named in Rachel’s father Jack’s honour. Her sister, Jessica Michielsen (above), also got a cut; she raised $12450 by cutting her dreadlocks, growing since Jack’s death in 2005. The money goes to Baptist Haiti Mission’s fund to rebuild Haiti.

Photos by Casey Lessard Watch video of the decisive moment:

Linked fundraisers result in first hair cuts since birth, father’s death

16 • Thursday, March 18, 2010

Strip in the Kitchen

The sweet heat of Shanghai noodles Recipe by James Eddington Eddington’s of Exeter 527 Main Street, Exeter 519-235-3030

Photo by Casey Lessard For more of James’s recipes, look for In The Kitchen under Lifestyle at: This is always a fun dish, and it has a little sweet and a little heat to get you going. Note: Three of the ingredients are available at Foodies in Grand Bend. I found the combination of the 3 sauces make for a truly unique flavor. I normally don’t recommend where to get your ingredients, but Foodies has a great selection of high quality and unique products. All other ingredients will be available at your local grocery store. If Shanghai noodles are not available, chow mien noodles work just as well. Enjoy!

Shanghai Noodle Stir Fry Serves six 3 1 lb 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 2 oz 2 oz 2 oz 2 oz 1/2 tsp 1/2 tbsp 2 tbsp 1 bunch

6 oz chicken breast Stonewall Kitchen Thai Marinade (available at Foodies in Grand Bend) cooked Shanghai noodles diced celery diced red peppers (long thin strips) sliced red onion julienned carrots sugar snap peas bean sprouts julienned green cabbage diced broccoli crowns sesame oil soya sauce Rootham’s Teriyaki Orange sauce (available at Foodies) Rootham’s Thai dipping sauce (available at Foodies) chopped garlic chopped ginger sesame seeds fresh cilantro

Directions: Marinate chicken overnight in Thai marinade. Bake in oven at 350°F for approximately 18 minutes. Let slightly cool and dice into medium/long strips. In wok on medium heat, add sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Once slightly brown, add remaining vegetables and turn heat to high. As a rule of thumb, the harder or more dense vegetables should be added first; add carrots first, wait 20 seconds and add celery, then cabbage, etc. until you get to the bean sprouts at the end. Once vegetables have started to soften, toss in all sauces and cooked Shanghai noodles until hot while mixing well. Plate in bowls. Once plated keeping wok hot (residual of sauces should still remain), add diced chicken to quickly reheat. Once hot, add sesame seeds to chicken and glaze. Serve immediately on top of stir-fry. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Enjoy.

Vol. 3 #14 - March 18, 2010 Grand Bend Strip  

Award winning journalism from Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada. Inside: High School Musical auditions for Huron Country Playhouse, Paint Ontario,...

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