Vol. 3, No. 15
2010 OCNA NOMINEE FOR ONTARIO’S BEST SMALL PAPER
Thursday, April 15, 2010
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Beach weather gives new meaning to Good Friday. More photos inside. COVER PHOTO BY CASEY LESSARD
ADVICE FROM MOM & KEEPING THE PEACE P.13 – LIVING IN BALANCE P.13 – FIDO... COME... SIT P.14 – JAMES EDDINGTON P. 16
Photography by Casey Lessard On display during the Grand Bend Studio Tour May 1 & 2. Pick up your copy of the tour map at Baillie’s Picture Framing, beside the post ofﬁce in Grand Bend.
For more info, call 519-614-3614 or visit www.casey365.com
2 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
The ballad of Slim Some of you may recognize the name Murray “Slim” Gordon Lewis from his long and storied career as a musician in Ontario and across North America. For others, like the editor’s parents, he was your insurance salesman. Slim Gordon, as he was called, was born in 1926 in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Today, he lives alone in an apartment in Exeter. In December, he was diagnosed with cancer. A fellow reader, Diane Lovie thought you might like to hear his story.
As told to Casey Lessard Portraits by Casey Lessard WSM images courtesy Slim Gordon I had my own radio program when I was six years old in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. I had been performing with other kids on a children’s program every Saturday afternoon, and the Rawleigh man came to the house one day. He was so used to our place that he just walked in. My mother played the pump organ and she was teaching me a new song I was going to learn for the program on Saturday. When we were done, my brother came into the parlour room to tell us that he was out there, so we went into the kitchen. He had been listening to the rehearsal. I was a boy soprano and he said to my mother, “The radio station is looking for someone to star in a program, and my wife plays piano for them.” He said, “Why don’t you bring your son down some evening and let my wife hear him?” She took me down and I got the program. I did that for two years. The announcer was also the announcer for the show with the children. He retired to Newfoundland, so they didn’t have an announcer to do the kid’s shows. He was very good at it. I remember they didn’t have an adjustable microphone. It was a set height. If they stood me on a chair, I was too tall. If they didn’t stand me on a chair, I was too short. They had to sit me on the announcer’s lap to do the program. He was adjustable.
Boston-bound When I was 15, I decided to start my own band. I rented a country hall for $5 per night, and we made our own posters. We had a full house. We charged 25 cents admission, and made $7 each. Farmer’s helpers were working a whole month for $10. This was 1941. We didn’t have electric instruments. Everything was acoustic. It was a rousing success. When I was 17, we had a dairy farm and a milk route and delivered milk by the bottle. I met a customer one Sunday, and his wife told him I sang cowboy music. There was no such thing as country music at the time. John lived in Boston, Massachusetts. He said I ought to go to the radio station and get a program on the radio. I stayed with my uncle, who lived in Boston. While there, John took me to a country outfitters. My father gave me $100 to buy western pants, a western shirt, belt and boots, and a new guitar. John took me to a photographer and I had my picture taken. He took my picture around to the different nightclubs and tried to book me. Damned if he didn’t! I played a different nightclub every night. I was 17 and too young to drink, but that didn’t matter. He took me to WMEX radio, and a fellow named Gene LaVerne had a country band and did a country show every day at noon. He listened to me sing and told me he didn’t have any work for me, but he got me some bookings. John got me booked on the Boston Barn Dance, which was broadcast from the Armories every Wednesday night. I did one show and then the next week. We were leaving to come back to the house, and there were three girls standing in the lobby. (continued on page 3)
Thursday, April 15, 2010 • 3
Slim Gordon appeared on WSM Nashville with Eddie Hill in 1954, and was named Mr. DJ USA by the station in 1962. Slim Gordon was the only Canadian to ever earn the title. He later performed at the Grand Ole Opry. By request, Slim Gordon recorded a demo for Sun Records. A planned deal went bust; the next contract went to Elvis Presley. Above right, Slim Gordon and the Drifting Cowboys play Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop in Nashville.
One girl came over, shook my hand, and said her name was Betty Lee. “I’m going to be doing a tour of Nova Scotia,” she said. “We’re going to be doing a radio show there and we’re looking for a boy who can sing, play guitar and act as straight man for our comedian.” How much do you pay?, I asked. “You get $25 a week, even if you don’t work the whole six days. And you won’t have to worry about the fare back to Yarmouth because we have our own car.” So I had a job. The next year, she was planning a U.S. tour, but I couldn’t get a work permit to work in the U.S. because they were still under wartime rules. The company I was working for offered me a position in Hamilton, and I took the chance. I worked for Cosmos Imperial Mills and I ran a loom that wove felt that was 40’ wide by 200’. It was used in paper mills.
The move to Ontario I came to Hamilton in 1948 and started my band in 1949. We were doing a Saturday night show with three other bands at CKPC radio in Brantford. The Cockshutt plow com-
pany was hosting a show and they wanted a country band. The plowing match was coming up in Paris, and the announcer thought it would be fair to run a contest for the four bands to do the job. The audience chose. We got the job. We had sporadic work. We rehearsed in case something came up. Then the band started pestering me. “We’ve been rehearsing two to three nights a week for two years. Are we ever going to go out and get jobs working nightclubs or something?” So I thought, well, we have a big enough repertoire – I could do 500 songs myself – maybe I should go see what I can do. We had an audition at Hanrahan’s Tavern, and we got our first job. I told him what our price was and he accepted it. We didn’t have an argument. We had a two-week gig, which was normal. The first week, I noticed a guy came in and sat at the bar. He looked like a businessman. He came again the next night. He said, “I’m Harold Kudlutz, I book bands.” He became our agent. He booked us for quite a long time.
I had a good paying job because not a lot of people can weave felt. Now I had a problem. Halfway through the second week at Hanrahan’s, I was bushed. I went to my factory manager and explained the situation. I asked for Wednesday mornings off to get a day that I could sleep in and catch up. I didn’t want to quit what I was doing because I had been working toward it for a long time. He agreed to it. Then, by golly, we started getting bookings in Toronto. So I went back to him. “Now what do you need,” he says. “Well,” I told him, “I’ll make it short and to the point. Can I get a six-month leave of absence?” It’s quite a question to ask someone. He said, “I suppose if I don’t give it to you, you’re going to quit.” I told him, “I guess you’re right.” He gave it to me. That was the end of working in a factory. I never went back. By this point, I had been married a long time. Since 1950. We met when I was trying
to start a show in Hamilton at a supper club with a dance floor. I was hoping it would be a success, but it bombed. We ran it for four nights. My best friend was putting up the money for it, and he wasn’t a rich man. Rita Muir was a girlfriend of my competitor, Mike Patoma. He came to one of the shows, and brought her and her girlfriend. (continued on page 4)
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4 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
“I thought, I don’t think I’m ever going to be a big star. Just a little star.”
He took me down and introduced me to her. It was a mistake on his part, if he was serious. But then, it was a big mistake on my part because I married her. We were married for 12 years. Twelve years of pure hell. We had three daughters, but the last one, Leslie, wasn’t mine. That was the end of the marriage. That didn’t stop me from loving the little girl. She had nothing to do with it. When we broke up, Rita took Leslie with her. - Slim Gordon Last January, one of my daughters died of cancer. The night of her memorial, some of the family came and Leslie came, too. I said, “The last time I saw you, you were 10 years old.” She said, “I remember the last time I saw you.” I asked how old she was, and she said 52. I said, “I haven’t seen you for 40 years.” She looked the same. I couldn’t believe it. Forty years. And she still felt like my daughter. She threw her arms around my neck and stood there and cried. It had to be 20 minutes. I haven’t seen her since.
Hit the road, Slim
http://www.GrandBendStrip.com told him that would suit me just dandy. His wife stood there gritting her teeth. We wound up in Hearst, the last jumping off point in Ontario. You either have to turn east or west; you can’t go north, no highway. I met a guy who came and asked if he could play banjo on my show. His name was Smiley Bates. Not too many guys running around playing the five-string banjo. Hard to play. He said, “I play everything. If it’s got strings on it, I play it.” And he did. He played them all equally well. I needed a smaller band to play nightclubs, so I thought I’d hire him. Before I left Hearst, I had a booking at the Franklin Hotel in Kirkland Lake. I had two weeks off and I was in Oshawa. My agent called and said the band playing the Queen’s Hotel in Seaforth was from the United States and their banjo player ruptured his appendix. They can’t play a show without him. He asked if we would fill in. And here I thought we’d have two weeks off. We had a ball. The second night we were there, Smiley said to me, “Did you see the blonde that came in here?” I said, “I’m not bothered with women, I just came through a bad marriage.” He said, “She’s really something. She’s got blonde hair she can sit on.” And she did. I like long hair. He said he’d take me down and introduce me during the break. That was his mistake. I sat and talked to her until my break was over. She had a good head, and she was real pretty. Her name was Lydia Roelofs. Dutch. She was a dandy. When we got married, she was 20 and I was 40. They told me I was robbing the cradle. We were married for 34 years. Had two kids that made us proud. Their mother, I give the credit for that because I was on the road all the time. I took three weeks off, and thought, I can’t subject Lydia to life on the road. If I take her to Oshawa and dump her in my apartment, I don’t know when I’m going to get back and that wouldn’t be fair to her. I thought if she could stay in Exeter, that would work out because she has friends here, went to high school here.
(After my marriage ended,) I did a tour with George Jones and one with Hank Snow, each for a month. I’m still playing nightclubs, but now I play Toronto a lot. We didn’t have a holiday for two years, so I went back to Oshawa, where I bought a house. I gave Rita the house in Hamilton to take care of the girls. I used to run Saturday night shows in the Red Barn. In the fall of ’64, a fellow came who owned a dude ranch north of Kirkland Lake. He wanted to know whether the band and I would do a TV show from the ranch as a form of advertising. We settled on a price for Sunday night. The guy was going to try to pull a fast one on me. If you’re in this business long enough, you get wise to this stuff. He wrote me a cheque that night when the show was finished. I was up the next morning when the bank opened and I went into the bank. The teller told me they couldn’t honour any more cheques from him. I could see his idea of the TV show, but not with my money. Back to the ranch. I pull into the yard of the ranch, and he’d just come out of the ranch house with a metal cash box in his hand, heading for the bank. He said, “Where’ve you been?” I said, “To the End of the line bank, they wouldn’t honour your cheque.” He told me to come In 1970, I got booked in Vietnam, so I took it. The money back into the ranch house and he’d give me cash. All smiles, I was damn good. I was going to be entertaining American troops.
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http://www.GrandBendStrip.com It was busy. You flew somewhere every day of the week. If you couldn’t fly, you took a train or a van. I was by myself, no road band. A lot of clubs had house bands. You want to talk about bands? Get a Japanese or Filipino country band; as good as anything in Nashville. Couldn’t speak a word of English. Well, there was always one guy who could speak enough that you could get by, but other than that, no. Did that for 17 weeks. The closest I came to being in danger that I know of, I was flying from Manila in the Philippines to Taipei, Taiwan. When we got there, my road manager came running as I came down the gangplank. He said, “We were really worried. We didn’t know if you were going to get here or not.” I said, why? He said, “What time did you leave Manila?” Quarter past twelve. He said, “Well, they blew up the airport at 12:30.” I was over there in 1970 over Christmas, New Year’s, and my birthday, December 30. I missed my family, and I thought this is a stupid damn job. I’m 10,000 miles away from my family at Christmastime. I should start doing something else. I don’t think I’m ever going to be a big star. Just a little star. This is after 31 years in the business. I came home and didn’t do anything for a month. I told my wife I wasn’t going to do anything for a year. I was going back to college for woodworking. I’ve always loved woodworking all my life. I took a course in fine carpentry and cabinet making. I loved it. Made loads of stuff. I built my own house. I knew how to do that because we did it at school. I worked in insurance for 18 years until I retired. I lived in that house for 25 years.
A sudden change In 1999, Lydia died. Heart stopped. She hadn’t been sick. Doctor didn’t know there was anything wrong with her. It was two days before Christmas. Twenty-third of December. She was laying out her pies because we were going to have both of the children with their families. She said to me, “When you have your sandwich, could you go uptown and get the Christmas turkey?” Holtzmann’s had called and told us our fresh turkey had arrived from Hayter’s. It was 2:20 because I looked at my watch. I went uptown, got the turkey, came back home, and my wife was dead on the floor. That’s all the warning we had. The end of a happy marriage. I couldn’t believe it. It was days before I could think it wasn’t happening. A bad dream; I couldn’t wake up. Phoned the kids and told them. Thursday. Thursday afternoon. Couldn’t believe it. Thought I was safe. I’m going to die first, for sure, because there’s 20 years between us. I lived eight years in the house by myself. I was lonely there. The house had everything we wanted. Took me six and a half years to build it because I was working in the insurance office. All beams in the ceiling. A huge backyard. Four thousand square feet. Five bedrooms, pool room, a bar with more booze than some of the clubs I played in. But it became too much for me. I never thought I’d wind up like this (living in an apartment). I thought my wife and I would live in our house.
A new battle In December, I wasn’t feeling that well. I had trouble with my throat, and I went to the doctor. They decided to run some tests.
Strip VIPs First, they did an ultrasound. Then they found something. They did an x-ray and a CAT scan. The CAT scan nailed it down. She said, “You’ve got cancer.” In my kidney. I thought, you can haul one out and leave the other one. I went to the surgeon in London, Dr. Chin. He’s the top surgeon in London. I told him I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, so I don’t take blood. He said, “Just a moment. You don’t have to worry about the blood because I’m not going to operate. You’re 83 years old. Most people don’t realize how complex a kidney operation is. It’s a hell of a shock to your system. I think the shock would kill you.” Shit. So here I sit. I’m looking at alternative medicine. Conventional medicine won’t look at that at all. It’s a hell of an attitude. They’re killing people doing that. It’s a pain in the ass, no, the kidney. When it comes to alternative health, you can control it through what you eat. The guy I’m dealing with now is Dr. Julian Whittaker in California. He’s been using this system for 30 years and never had a failure yet. I could be number one. I’m not cryin’. I’m a Jehovah’s Witness. I’m not afraid of dying anymore. I was apprehensive before, but I’m not afraid now. There’s no such thing as hell. I’ve got nothing to complain about. I’m happy I lived in the time that I lived. From 1926 to 2010, that’s a hell of a long time. Look at the changes I’ve seen. I think I’m pretty lucky.
Pinnacle of a career In 1962, I was running shows at the Red Barn in Oshawa Sunday nights in the wintertime. I was bringing in talent from Nashville and Wheeling; both had 50,000-Watt stations. I had booked Skeeter Davis, who had about five gold hits by then. She was going to be flying in Saturday evening. I couldn’t go pick her up because I was doing the radio show, so I sent my wife down to pick her up at the airport. She brought her up to the station, so she was there when I signed off. I had written and rewritten the signoff about five or six times. “Mama, put the kettle on, I’m coming home.” Thanked the people for listening. Skeeter is listening to this, and when I got finished, I looked at her and she had tears in her eyes. She said, “That’s the most beautiful close I’d ever heard. Could you do that again on a tape not going out on the air?” I did it. She took it home to Ralph, her husband, an all-night DJ at WSM Nashville. She played it for the board of directors. They said, that’s our next DJ. I got a telegram from WSM at the end of October asking me to come to Nashville September 2, 1962. Nashville voted me Mr. DJ USA. I’m the only Canadian that ever got that award. I did a one-hour broadcast as a DJ from Nashville. We had five or six Opry stars lined up for my show. Later, I walked out on the stage to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. In the floor of the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, there’s a circle there about 8’ to 10’ in diameter, where it’s new wood. That’s where all the stars perform because that’s centre stage. Walking out there, when you see that circle and you know you’re going to stand there, it gives me teardrops. You feel about two inches high. Really humble. I did a song, “I’ll Pretend There Was No Yesterday”. That was the pinnacle.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010 • 5
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6 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
Vision of the future Being a trillionaire isn’t I’ll admit that I don’t spend a lot of time in downtown Grand Bend in the winter. My home base is in Parkhill, and I am usually heading in the other direction, to Toronto, during the school year. That’s why it was interesting to visit the strip April 2. The day was too beautiful not to see whether others would be soaking up the sun and getting sand stuck between their toes. They sure were. It felt like July. More interesting, though, was seeing the main street construction that will be done by the time most people expected summer to start (i.e. not April). Regardless of what you think of the width of the road, the remake looks promising. The facelift was a long time coming. I can understand why some people are nonplussed about the process. It makes life tougher if the road’s not wide enough. But
let’s be honest. This construction is not to make life easier for drivers. It is for the walkers, and those using wheelchairs. In other words, it’s for the shoppers. Someday, that may even be you. That will be some time from now, though, if you won’t go downtown while visitors run amok. If a town can’t sustain its downtown economy year-round solely on its residents, what do you expect? Businesses are going to continue to plan for the summer economy, and had people known it was going to be so beautiful Easter weekend, more businesses would have opened to serve the influx. There’s no turning back on this downtown project, and we may have the best infrastructure around by this summer. With the new look, we may even be able to attract a few more downtown businesses that cater to locals, as most people say they want. But it will take some more vision, like that of a select few (including Kazwear, which is finishing its own intriguing renovation), to get us to the point where the majority make a living off the residents instead of the visitors. Is that right for Grand Bend? You tell me.
The Legion Ontario Provincial Command Branches and Ladies Auxiliary Charitable Foundation awarded $1026 to the Grand Bend Community Health Centre to buy a dermoscope, which can look through various layers of skin.
Sun Life recently awarded Godbolt, Ciufo Insurance & Financial Services $6,000 for long-term business excellence; they in turn donated the money to Grand Bend Home & School, the ABCA Foundation, and South Huron Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
View from the Strip By Casey Lessard
The big question: Are you watching the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games? SURVEY RESULTS (ONLINE VOTES): 50% – Yes (7 votes) 50% – No (7 votes)
all it’s cracked up to be Alternative View By Lance Crossley
Your faithful editor, Mr. Casey Lessard, recently gave me 100 trillion dollars. Seriously. Following a dinner we had a few weeks ago in Toronto’s Bloor West neighbourhood, in which I proposed that the United States is firmly on the road to hyperinflation, Casey kindly sent me a rather fitting gift: an authentic 100 trillion dollar bill from Zimbabwe’s bout of hyperinflation in the 2000s. (Ed.: This was the second largest bill ever printed until the Z$ was suspended in April 2009; government transactions are now performed in US$.) Zimbabwe is one of the worst examples of hyperinflation in history. It is also the first example of hyperinflation in the 21st century (though, dare I say, it won’t be the last. More on that later). The road to hyperinflation for Zimbabwe started with a sputtering economy, enormous government deficits, and the inability to borrow due to poor credit ratings. The Robert Mugabe government, which desperately wanted to avoid creating the civil strife that results from harsh austerity measures, resorted to what most governments do in this situation: printing money. Since Mugabe couldn’t find buyers for Zimbabwe bonds, he rolled the printing presses. At its peak in 2008, inflation in Zimbabwe was increasing at an exponential rate. Put in a more tangible way, the cost of grocery shopping would double every 24 hours. Hyperinflation brings cruel consequences for the average citizen. If you’re on a fixed income and your pension is $3000 a month, and the price of everything around you increases 50 to 100 times that amount, you can imagine the hopelessness of the situation. Basically, hyperinflation is an instantaneous
way to wipe out all your savings and wealth. During my conversation with Casey a few weeks ago, I suggested that the United States is highly vulnerable to hyperinflation. Like Zimbabwe, they have a struggling economy and gigantic government deficits. The only difference is that other countries are still willing to buy U.S. treasuries (i.e. U.S. debt). However, that may be changing. In 2009, the U.S. had to auction a record $1.49 trillion in treasury bills to pay its deficit. And that was only freshly minted debt. If you count the debt the U.S. had to “roll over” from previous auctions, it totalled over $8 trillion. That is a massive amount of debt to sell. Remember, somebody at the other end has to assume this debt. To me, it is astounding that anyone would buy a U.S. treasury security in light of all the money printing talking place south of the border. John Williams, an American economist who calculates statistics based on how the government used to calculate these things (before various administrations started cooking the stats), says the real inflation rate in the United States is at least twice as much than is reported by the government. In other words, people are buying U.S. treasuries to lose money at this point. This can only go on for so long. Recently, some well-informed analysts have also noticed some “funny business” in the way the U.S. reports the results of its treasury auctions. Without getting too technical, it appears that part of the treasury auctions are being bought by the Federal Reserve itself. This would indicate that there is already not enough demand for the massive supply of U.S. debt that must be met. If you wrote yourself a cheque and cashed it in to meet your monthly obligations, you would be put in jail for fraud. The U.S. government, on the other hand, can get away with it. But not forever. Will we ever see a million, billion or trillion dollar American bill? As incredible as it may sound, this is not a ludicrous proposition anymore.
Is April’s Easter hot spell a sign of global warming? Tell us at grandbendstrip.com
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G R A N D B E N D S T R I P
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 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.grandbendstrip.com
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.
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Open door policy
The Grand Bend Studio Tour runs May 1 and 2 in studios and galleries across the area. This year’s roster includes: Adelaide Glass (Linda Rupp), Anne Luxton, Barb McKnight, Barry Richman, Bill Nieuwland, Bliss Studio, Casey Lessard (I’ll be at Pine Dale and Sunset Arts), Christopher Grimes, David Bannister, Debra Bailey, Fran Roelands, Gallery Algo, Helga Otton, Jack Winn, Josy Britton, Kristyn Watterworth, Laura Jones Wright, Mary Lynn Fluter, Michael Billett, Patricia Downie, Sunset Arts, and Teresa Marie. Admission is free to all. The best place to start is at Baillie’s Framing, where you can find maps to the various locations, including the River Road strip of galleries, Pine Dale Motor Inn, Bliss Studio in Port Franks, and various home studios. Top: a scene from Nova Scotia by David Bannister Right: a post-mortem painting of Michael Jackson by Kristyn Watterworth. Top right: a vignette from the Mamadada series by Jack Winn. For more info, visit: grandbendstudiotour.com
Grand Bend’s Best Kept Secret
All Welcome! JOIN US SATURDAYS 3-6 PM Hall Rentals for all occasions Call Sharon 519 238 6865
20 Municipal Dr., Grand Bend (Behind Bank of Montreal)
April 24 – Yeager May 1 – Horse Races May 8 – Ben Shane and Bobby K
Fun Darts Mondays @ 7 p.m. Bingo Tuesdays @ 7 p.m. Meat Draws Fridays @ 5 p.m.
Look for our
NEW MENU IN MAY FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL:
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Thursday, April 15, 2010 • 7
8 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
Strip at the Beach
HOT! HOT! HOT! Photos by Casey Lessard It was a very Good Friday, with temperatures peaking one degree shy of a record. One day later, the record high fell. This is April? Wait until summer.
Brianna Binder and Dan Versloot bask in the sand after Dan played volleyball. It was Binder’s first visit to the Bend. “It’s a really nice view,” she said. “I could spend all day here.”
Left: Sonya Chan of Vancouver vowed to brag to her parents about the weather. “They said it would be single digit temperatures and pouring rain (there)”, she said. Above, the Plommer family tests very chilly water to see who can last the longest.
Strip at the Beach
Thursday, April 15, 2010 • 9
Amanda Hodgins-Babin, Curtis Thompson, Mike Daoust, Jessica Zimmer, Kyle Crichton, Amanda Wolterbeek and Kory Puklicz – all of London – leap to catch a football.
Above: Amanda Wolterbeek and Kory Puklicz Right: Maher Khanafer and Moudi Soufan.
Above: Amanda Hodgins-Babin evades Jessica Zimmer. “Feels like summer already,” Zimmer said.
10 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
Good game: Jolene Unwin’s legacy Jolene Unwin of Crediton died October 9, 2007 after the car she was driving rolled on the gravel road near her home. She was a month shy of her 20th birthday. To remember Jolene, Jim and Donna Unwin organize an annual hockey game involving family, friends and the London Devilettes, a team she was about to start playing hockey with before her death. This year’s game was held March 27 at the South Huron Recreation Centre in Exeter. Funds raised this year go to the Critical Care Unit at the London Health Sciences Centre, where Jolene spent her last moments.
Dealing with the Devilettes
Below: Vanessa Wnek of the London Devilettes tries to slip one past Ryan Towle of Team Unwin. Right: Jeff Unwin fights it out with Shandelle Wells behind the Devilettes net.
As told to Casey Lessard Game photos by Casey Lessard Donna: She was almost born on Friday the 13th. She would stay up late at night, wouldn’t go to bed even when she was a baby. She’d be up in the morning at six o’clock when Jim would go to work. She just never wanted to miss anything. Before she played hockey, she was a member of the Exeter Starlights Baton for two or three years, and she also played baseball. When she was in Grade 8, that summer she said, “I’m going to play hockey next year and I’m going to be a goalie.” Sure enough, they didn’t have one, so that’s when she started playing hockey and went into net. Jim: I coached her for three years. I liked to see her play hockey because she always played road hockey out here with the boys, and she was the goalie. I tried to get her to use her glove hand a lot. I’d fire tennis balls at her all the time. The first year she played goal, she was voted to go to the all-star game. Donna: With the hockey, because of her size, the first time she was skating around against Parkhill, the girls commented that the net was taller than the goalie. But she surprised them all.
As she was going through school, she was an artist right from the start. She was always drawing stuff or making stuff. She made her own doll outfits. As she got older, I don’t think she ever went anywhere without her sketchpad. That’s why we’ve got all these pictures here. If she got depressed, she would draw a picture and that would help her out.
Donna: She had just got her license in June, just before she started her course at Fanshawe College. She had taken a year off school and was here all the time. When we were away, she did a lot of cutting grass and taking care of the house. She’d help the boys with their homework if they needed it. It was weird to have her out of the house.
grand bend studio May 1 & 2, 2010
Finding her way
Jim: It still hurts. I go talk to her every day They wouldn’t say anything about her condition. The police told us they don’t condone at the cemetery in Crediton. Every day. Donna: We still struggle with it, even now. speeding, but we should get there as fast as we could. You have a feeling when they say that, It’s going to take us a long time to get over it. You just go a day at a time. That’s why we that there’s something terribly wrong. do this game to keep her memory going. Her Jim drove and I was calling everyone so my friends have been a good support. I don’t mind wasn’t dwelling on what was going on. really remember a lot of it because you go When we got to the hospital and they told us, through on autopilot. It gets a little easier, but not much. There’s always things you know it was very, very hard. They were asking us to do organ donations. you’re not going to be able to do. I don’t think she would want us to dwell on We decided to do that, and at about 11:30, they tested her and her brain was still alive, so it. She would want us to get over it. But that’s they kept her on life support. Then at about not the way things are. I know she wouldn’t three o’clock, she had no blood pressure and I want us to be upset about it all the time. But heard one of the nurses in back say that if that it’s not that easy. keeps up, the organs won’t be any good. So This year’s game raised about $6,000 for the we decided then to shut the machine off and there was no use to put her through any more. LHSC Critical Care Unit. Jim would like to see the game grow to include a match with former It was hard to do. We turned the machine off and watched NHL players. In addition to this fundraiser, Jim’s As soon as the police called us, all they said her pass away. I spent a little time with her employer donates money for a scholarship in Jolene’s was we had to get to London. The hospital and we came home. One of the longest days memory to help students interested in art or sports who need financial assistance to attend school. called and said we had to get there right away. of our lives. Jim: I didn’t want her moving to London, but it was nice for her to move on. Donna: And she moved in with friends, two of them her best friends. It wasn’t like she was going off to be with people she didn’t know. She came home on Thanksgiving Saturday and picked up Jacob to bring him up to Kincardine, to our place up there. My mom and dad, and aunt and uncle were there and we had Thanksgiving there. Jacob had a project, so she brought him home on Sunday and took him into town to a friend’s place. For some reason, she came back here rather than going straight back to London. She lost control of the car on the gravel road. It was freshly laid gravel. They had just done it the past week. When Jacob come home from where he was doing his homework, that’s when we found out about it.
You’re invited to Hessenland’s
9th Annual Wedding Fair
Thursday, April 15, 2010 • 11
Far left: Jacob Unwin drives to the net. Middle: Brodee Cole snaps the puck past Allen Shoemaker of Team Unwin. Above: Team Unwin gets its 5th goal past Andrea Polgar. Team Unwin won the game.
Salentyn, (Pieter) Michael In loving memory of our precious Michael February 27, 1983 - April 11, 2006 “...
Saturday April 24th & Sunday April 25th ~ 12 to 4 p.m. An opportunity to “visualise” your Wedding Day at Hessenland Country Inn Tour our gardens, ceremony and picture sites as well as our Historic Coach House & Garden Room Reception Hall! View the Coach House Suites & newly renovated Guest Accommodations
Wedding vendors on display:
This is how we feel without our Michael in our lives. There are no words to describe the emptiness in our hearts and souls.
Décor Services, Fashion Display, Flowers, Ice Sculpture, DJ Services, and Photographers Wedding Cake, Wine and Delectable Samplings
We love you and miss you so incredibly much. Papa, Mama and your little sis, Bianca
Don’t forget to tell friends, work colleagues & family - All are Welcome!
1-866-543-7736 ~ 519-236-7707 email@example.com 10% discount on wedding packages for bookings on Fridays and Sundays
We are extremely proud to announce that Jessica Stubbs received Pinery Provincial Park`s 2009 Michael Salentyn Achievement Award and on Saturday, April 10th at the UWO 2010 CAM`s (Commercial Aviation Management) Banquet, Bianca presented the P. Michael Salentyn Memorial Award to fourth year graduate Colin Brown. Congratulations Jessica and Colin.
To Do List
12 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
All members of the community are invited to attend South Huron District High School’s Music Department 2010 Cabaret concerts. The concerts will take place in the large gym on Saturday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 18 at 2:00 p.m. Each day will be a totally different program. This informal, relaxed environment will feature a variety of bands who will perform popular selections for you to enjoy. Audience members are seated at tables and are encouraged to get up, move around during the concert, visit the refreshment tables, and participate in draws for many amazing prizes donated graciously by the South Huron community, and much more. Refreshments are complimentary with the purchase of your $5.00 ticket. Also, the SHDHS Senior Band will be premiering “The Seal Lullaby” by Los Angeles-based composer, Eric Whitacre. South Huron is lucky to be one of only twenty-five schools in North America premiering the piece! You can buy your ticket today from any South Huron music student, or in the office at the school. For more information call Mr. Isaac Moore at the school at 519-235-0880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds from the Cabaret will go to the Music Department.
7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Bingo
FRIDAYS 5 to 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Meat Draw
Arts & Entertainment MONDAYS
SATURDAY, MAY 1 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Horse Races
1 to 3 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Golden Agers Shuffleboard
THURSDAY, MAY 6
7 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Dunes Duplicate Bridge
7 p.m. – Grand Bend CHC Sunset Cinema presents: An Education, award winning comedy/drama
TUESDAY, APRIL 20 8:30 a.m. TUESDAYS Grand Bend Men’s Probus Bus Trip to St. 1 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Thomas Bridge
SATURDAY, MAY 8
10 a.m. – Port Franks Community WEDNESDAYS Centre 7 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Euchre-Rama. Games start 10 a.m. sharp. Dunes Duplicate Bridge Cost is $6 per person and includes lunch. Contact the Port Franks Seniors for details T HURSDAYS 519-243-2297 1 to 4 p.m. - Pt. Franks Comm. Ctr. Shuffleboard
Health & Fitness
THURSDAY, APRIL 22
MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS
11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. – Exeter Day Centre at South Huron Hospital Community Lunch. Homemade Chili, Roll, Relishes, Squares and Beverage. $6 per person. Dine in or Take Out. Call Tammy at 519-235-4600
1 to 3 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Golden Agers Shuffleboard 7:30 p.m. - Pt. Franks Comm. Ctr. Cards
MONDAY, APRIL 26 7 p.m. – Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Hor ticultural Society Meeting. Topic Organic Gardening. Guest speakers Ken and Martha Laing, Orchard Hill Farm.
3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music by Ben Shane & Bobby K
MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS 8 to 9 a.m. - Southcott Clubhouse Workout for your Life. To learn more, call Beth Sweeney at 519-238-5555. 8:45 to 10 a.m. (Mon/Fri), (to 9 a.m. Wed.) – Grand Bend Legion TGIF Exercise classes with Elinor Clarke. $3/week - all proceeds to charity.
MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS FRIDAYS 10 a.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Badminton 1 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Bridge
6 to 7 p.m. - Precious Blood gym Workout for your Life. To learn more, call Shelley Van Osch at 519-234-6253.
TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS 9 a.m. – Port Franks Comm. Centre Healthy Lifestyle Exercise Program. Cost: Free. Everyone welcome. Contact Cindy Maxfield at 519-238-1556 ext 6 to register.
1:30 to 3:30 p.m. - Grand Bend Youth Centre Grand Bend Drum Circle. Contact Anita 12:30 p.m. – Aunt Gussie’s Huron Country Playhouse Guild month- at the Youth Centre or call 519-238-8759. THURSDAY, APRIL 22 ly luncheon meeting. New members and 2 to 4 p.m. – Grand Bend CHC guests are welcome. Please call Mary at 5197 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Home Safety and Falls Prevention. Join 238-5640 for details. Dunes Duplicate Bridge Occupational Therapists Shawna Palmar and Kate Mason.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28
Grand Bend Nurser y School is now offering five 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 T HURSDAY, APRIL 29 519-238-8514 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Women’s Institute 2nd TUESDAYS Annual S pr ing Awakening. Topics: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Port Franks Container planting , Tai Chi, Summer Community Ctr. Kids Matter every Tuesday. Join us as we entertaining, beauty and skin care. Lunch crochet sleeping mats out of milk bags to included, door prizes. Motivational guest send to the children in Africa and South speaker Eleanor Woods, Fashion Show and America. Bring your lunch, scissors and a #7 more! Tickets $20. Call Barb 519-243-1163 crochet hook. Call Peggy Smith at 519-296- or Cassie 519-238-2727 5834 for details.
BOB DIETRICH - INCOME TAX - 519-236-4989 17 years gaining knowledge and skill to give you EXPERIENCED SERVICE FOR ANY TAX SITUATION
Yes, please send me the Grand Bend Strip! My cheque for $24 (16 issues) is enclosed. [Visa/MC/PayPal accepted online]
Name: Address: Town: Phone: E-mail:
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Send to Grand Bend Strip, P.O. Box 211 Parkhill, ON N0M 2K0. Rates listed are for Canadian addresses only, for 16 issues. Your information is safe with us. It will be used exclusively for subscription purposes. For U.S. and international rates, call 519-614-3614 or visit http://www.grandbendstrip.com.
SATURDAY, APRIL 24 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music by Yeager
FRIDAY, APRIL 30
4:30 to 8:30 p.m. - South Huron Rec Centre, Exeter Bump2Family. The Greener Expo. Help to celebrate Earth Day. Natural pregnancy services and products, greener products for babies and the family. Participate in ‘Bunz on the Run’ Diaper Derby and a ‘Proud Parent Contest’, a baby contest. Adults: $2 (donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron). Children: free with a canned good donation. 519-527-1948
9:30pm - Aunt Gussie’s restaurant Fundraiser music night with Mike Monaghan and Patrick Powers. Proceeds go to South Huron ‘Cobras’ U16 regional girls soccer team. $20/ticket - all tickets purchased ahead of time will go into a draw for a dinner/theatre package for two. Tickets can be purchased through LeeAnn Powers at 238-1765 or email@example.com. T HURSDAY, APRIL 29 Door prizes throughout the night and free 2 to 4 p.m. – Grand Bend CHC hors d’oeuvres. Blood Pressure Clinic. Free. Prevention and early detection can save a life!
Your affordable advertising solution. Visit www.grandbendstrip.com/advertising or call 519-614-3614.
Thursday, April 15, 2010 • 13
The Grand Tour Fashion’s faux pas Advice from Mom
Keeping the Peace
By Rita Lessard
By Tom Lessard, C.D. My military career of 18 years took me to many places I probably would never have gone on my own. When I joined the RCOC in 1953 at the age of 16, I was sent to Montreal, where the ordnance corps school was located. For a kid that young who had never been away from home, it was quite an exciting experience. One of the best times was when we had to do our qualifying on the rifle. We had to take a bus to Mt. Bruno off the island and into the Gatineau hills. Beautiful country. After completing my training, which took almost two years, my first posting was to 27 COD on Highbury Avenue in London. For the first two months, I was living in Wolseley Barracks, but was told that I had to move out and find a place on the economy (in other words, an apartment or a rooming house). One of the older guys showed me a rooming house on Hale Street, just a ten-minute walk from work. The lady who ran the place had two small children and 21 boarders whom she fed and housed. She found room for me on the third floor (at one time the attic) with seven other tenants, all army. We ate and lived – and caroused – together. It was a very interesting time. They certainly taught me a lot, about half of which they shouldn’t have. A little more than a year later, the Suez Crisis occurred. Up on the notice board, a request for volunteers was posted. The first name to be entered was yours truly. Off I went to Egypt for the better part of a year. Six months after I returned, there was a request on the board for a storeman to go out to
Wainwright, Alberta, as increment attached to the RCEME workshop for a three month summer exercise. I got the job, but when I reported in, I was told that I would be the C.O.’s batman-driver. That was a pretty cushy duty. It was a surprise for me to find out that my brother-in-law Sam was stationed in Calgary with the Queen’s Own Rifles, at whose camp we bunked before heading north to Wainwright. I didn’t realize until then that my sister was living there; they showed me a great time. Back to London. The next year I was back to Alberta again. Another good summer. I wanted to go to Germany and the only way to get there was to get posted to the 1st battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment stationed at Ipperwash. I didn’t even know where that was. I soon found out and was pleasantly surprised to experience one of the best camps I was ever to live in. The other in consideration was Lizard Flats in Cyprus. While with the battalion, I had three years in Germany, two tours in Cyprus, two summers in Petawawa, one in Gagetown, winter exercises up north, and a month in Jamaica. If not for the army, I wouldn’t have gone on an upgrading course in Montreal, where I met my future wife. She travelled with me to Germany, where we married and had our first two boys. Rita turned 69 earlier this month (happy birthday). Happy birthday this month to Bob and Jessica. I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful spring weather. It’s nice to be alive.
What’s with this weather already? A couple of nice, sunny days, and then it’s spoiled with cold and frost. Twice this past week I had to scrape the ice off my windshield. It’s half a wonder why people get sick when one day we’re wearing shorts and the next it’s back to the sweaters and winter jackets. Well, we have to wear clothes anyway, but do you ever wonder why we do it to ourselves? Generation after generation of women has willingly exposed themselves to the high risk of pantyhose strangulation, girdle-induced respiratory arrest and turtleneck gagging. What kind of sick people punish themselves like this? Men, too, continue to punish themselves. Just look at the necktie. Where did that idea come from? Perhaps from watching too many westerns? Some bright eyed designer must have been watching a hanging one day and thought, “Now there’s an idea that could really catch on!” At least it stays tight. Contrast that with pantyhose, a nylon half-body suit that fits like a tourniquet but gradually loosens throughout the day until it folds at the ankle like ribbon candy? Not pretty, but we love it. Spandex is another thing. I’ve seen both sexes wearing it, and believe me, I honestly think some people wearing it these days are seriously violating the spandex rules of engagement. You know who I’m talking about. High-heeled shoes are another bad fashion idea. Backaches, bunions, sore feet, fall-
en arches, etc. Come on, people. Give it up! Sweats, socks, running shoes and sensible walking shoes are our reward for enduring decades of fashion abuse. Embrace them. Bottom line is, clothes and other apparel shouldn’t punish us. I may be showing my age, but considering I just celebrated my 69th birthday, I feel I’ve earned that privilege. Even though people say I don’t look a day over 68, I am what I am. Thanks for the thought anyway. Thank you to my husband, sons and daughters-in-law, my sister Joan, brother Peter and brothers Bill and Richard, as well as my friends Deb and Roy for the cards and gifts for my April 5th birthday. Your kindness is overwhelming.
Lighter notes Someone once told me to marry a man your own age. As your beauty fades, so does his eyesight. Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.
Overheard at Tim’s? A woman walked up to the manager. “Are you hiring any help?”, she asked. “No,” he replied, “we already have all the staff we need.” “Okay,” she said, “then would you mind getting someone to wait on me?” Touché.
Horned Lark: resident of the open country Living in Balance By Jenipher Appleton In early March, while visiting Fort Rose Maple Company, I spied a horned lark from my perch on the hay wagon. It was skittering across the expanse of diamond-crusted snow, and at first glance the bird’s black collar suggested it might be a meadowlark. This idea was quickly dismissed when I realized it was sparrow-sized; too small for the meadowlark, which isn’t even a lark. Editor Casey Lessard had recently mentioned some sightings of horned larks in the Grand Bend area, and so this species has become the topic of the April column. The horned lark (Eremophila alpestris) is one of the most widespread birds in North
America. It is a brown ground bird, seven to eight inches in length, with black sideburns and two small black horns on the top of its head. These, of course, are feathered tufts and only resemble horns. It spor ts a blac k bill, black bib, and pale yellow to white throat. The bac k and rump are tawny Photo by Alan Vernon brown, and the tail is black with white outer feathers. All features combine to create a most handsome appearance. The female appears similar but is duller and lacks the black crown. The white underparts of both genders are noticeable in flight. The feet are black and the rear toe is quite elongated.
Behaviours The horned lark forages on the ground, preferring open fields, golf courses, prairies, and tundra, etc. They sometimes group with snow buntings on graveled shoulders of the roadside. The lark walks and runs, as opposed to hopping, and is often found in agricultural areas. Food mainly consists of seeds, grains, insects and small mollusks. The song of the horned lark, given from high circling flight, is a series of bell-like tones (tsee-tete, or zeet). The nest is a shallow depression in a grassy meadow, either natural, or dug by the female and lined with feathers and other soft materi-
als, and is often near clumps of dirt or animal manure. The female lays two to five gray or greenish eggs dotted with brown. The young stay in the nest nine to 12 days, brooded by the female and fed by both sexes. These young are classed as altricial, which means they are born naked and helpless, like most of our songbirds. This contrasts with another ground nester, the killdeer, whose young are precocial; this means baby killdeer are born fully feathered and ready to run off within a few hours. The population of the horned lark is common and the eastern range has expanded because of agricultural development. Keep your eyes sharp for the black collar and the little black horns of this most attractive songbird in our area.
Recent Sightings: – A bald eagle (just north of Ailsa Craig) – Red-bellied woodpecker (both at the feeder and on roadside trees)
14 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
The match game, part two
is truly to be a member of a family, it needs to be with that family. It needs to go for walks with the family. It needs to live in the house with the family. It needs to be incorporated dog as a member of a family. She now deals into and be part of the family unit. It’s much with curiosity, insensitivity, unruliness, noise, easier to crate or tie out the dog and tend to exhaustion, running around, fear and clingiBy Yvonne Passmore it after the family’s needs, but then it doesn’t ness. All of this applies to both the dog and http://www.FidoComeSit.com become the family dog. That dog will become her children. a whiny and uncontrollable annoyance. Gone are the quiet mornings of sneaking Bringing any dog into a family, whether an It’s been a few weeks now and my friend, a coffee before the children are out of bed. older re-homed dog or a puppy, requires much her children, and Chloe are settling in. Of Chloe likes to greet her first morning outing thought. 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Lookin’ F.I.N.E., ladies
It was a full house for two nights at F.I.N.E. A Restaurant for its annual ladies’ night fundraiser for breast cancer support services. The event raised $5560 for the Canadian Cancer Society’s services in Lambton County. Top left: Jackie Stenhouse shows off one of the auction items to Kathy Ash and friends. Top right: Men serve the women at this event; John Gielen, Matt Tuckey and Paul Pittao navigate the throngs. Above: Shannon Ryan and Steph Weber ham it up with some of the treats. Far right: Marlena Whiting and her daughter BobiJo VanMeenen react to a gift, a pair of underwear that comes with a surprising set of pearls attached.
Photos by Casey Lessard
Thursday, April 15, 2010 • 15
16 • Thursday, April 15, 2010
Strip in the Kitchen
http ht tp:/ ://w /www ww.Gra Grand ndBe Bend ndSt Stri rip p.co com m http://www.GrandBendStrip.com
Seasonal rhubarb chutney with baked brie The great thing about a chutney is that is can be used in so many applications. It makes a fantastic topping for chicken, pork tenderloin, fresh fish, etc. Once you’ve established your chutney base, you can also “pear” your fruits to each season.
Ingredients 1 round 1 clove 1/2 1 1 4 stalks 2 ounces 4 tbsp 1/4 cup 3 tsp
Brie cheese garlic, minced red onion, diced small carrot, julienned red pepper, julienned rhubarb, diced balsamic vinegar brown sugar white wine butter
Note: These measurements are a guideline for the wine and vinegar. At start, add less liquid than listed above and increase as necessary. Water content in each fruit varies and must be considered before adding wet ingredients. Mix butter, onions and garlic in a medium stock pot on low heat. Once softened, add carrots and peppers, stirring periodically until just about soft. Now add diced rhubarb and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Turn heat up between medium and high and add remaining ingredients. Bring to quick boil and reduce heat, letting liquids reduce. Now you be the judge. Taste chutney and make sure it suits your palate. Not too sweet, not too sour. Never overcook the chutney. The entire process should not take more than 10-12 minutes. Texture is key to final product. Enjoy!
Recipe by James Eddington Eddington’s of Exeter 527 Main Street, Exeter 519-235-3030 http://www.eddingtons.ca
Photo by Casey Lessard For more of James’s recipes, look for In The Kitchen under Lifestyle at: http://www.grandbendstrip.com
Published on Apr 20, 2010
Award winning journalism from Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada. Inside: Slim Gordon, beach life in April, and Jolene Unwin remembered.