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FALL 2015

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On The Cover

1953 Buick R ­ oadmaster Cover Photo: Anna Sherlock

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

Our cover photo in this issue puts you in the backseat (literally) of Stirling resident Ken Leavens’ prized 1953 Buick Roadmaster as he tours the local countryside. On this day last September Leavens and photographer Anna Sherlock were participating in the ‘Drive & Jive,’ a fundraiser in celebration of the Stirling Curling Club’s 50th Anniversary. The drive portion of the event involved following a five-page map with information and instructions leading to certain local landmarks within a specific timeframe. We can’t think of any better way to spend a September day! Lovingly owned by Leavens for 41 years, everything original to the car still operates and with only 78,000 miles on it don’t be surprised to see it cruising local country roads for many more years to come. Leavens is only the second owner of the car – it was originally purchased by the Foxboro postmaster. The Roadmaster was Buick’s first model with a V8 engine, Leavens says, and he has fond memories of taking it to the drive-in and the charm of the dashboard lit up in the dark. As you look at Sherlock’s photo we’re quite sure you will get the feeling you were there in the backseat that September day taking in all the views. And just in case you’re wondering – the original AM radio was on, but unfortunately we can’t tell you what was playing. That’s okay – we’ll leave that to your imagination. That’s the power of a great photo.


Country Roads

celebrating life in hastings county

Country Roads

Drop In...Shop In...Create In This Beautiful Workshop-Driven Boutique Is A True “Destination” Stop

celebrating life in hastings county

CR Country

CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR Nancy Hopkins 613 968-0499 CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR John Hopkins 613 968-0499

Roads

SALES DEPARTMENT

CENTRAL HASTINGS & AREA

celebrating lifeGibson-Alcock in hastings county Lorraine

lorraine@countryroadshastings.ca 613.902.0462 NORTH HASTINGS & AREA Hope McFall hope@countryroadshastings.ca 613.202.1541 ART DIRECTOR Jozef VanVeenen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Orland French Angela Hawn Sharon Henderson Barry Penhale Lindi Pierce Michelle Annette Tremblay Sarah Vance Shelley Wildgen

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Robert Ferguson Sharon Henderson Anna Sherlock Jozef VanVeenen COUNTRY ROADS, Celebrating Life in Hastings County is published four times a year by PenWord Communications Inc. Copies are distributed to select locations throughout Hastings County including the c­ ommunities of Bancroft, Belleville, Madoc, Marmora, Stirling and Tweed. Copies are also delivered to select homes within southern Ontario.

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SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 1 year: $17.85 2 years: $33.90 3 years: $47.46 All prices include H.S.T. The contents of this publication are ­protected by copyright. Reproduction of this p­ ublication in whole or in part without prior written permission of PenWord C ­ ommunications Inc. is prohibited. The advertising deadline for the Winter 2015/16 issue is November 14, 2015 COVER PHOTO: ANNA SHERLOCK Made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation

HOW TO CONTACT US Telephone: 613-968-0499 E-mail: info@countryroadshastings.ca Website: www.countryroadshastings.ca For written enquiries you can reach us at: PenWord Communications Inc. P.O. Box 423, Stirling, ON K0K 3E0

Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 5


e d i t o r i a l Girl Power

3rd Annual Trent Hills Gallery & Studio Hop Saturday and Sunday

October 3 and 4, 2015 10 am to 5 pm

An out-of-the-ordinary tour visiting the Galleries, Artist Studios and Shops in the scenic countryside and charming downtown communities of Warkworth, Campbellford and Hastings in the Municipality of Trent Hills.

Photo: Haley Ashford

Christopher Thorpe

This issue profiles some inspiring Hastings County women. In her article ‘Rebel With a Cause’ writer Michelle Annette Tremblay describes North Hastings resident Sue Harvey as HARD CORE. Suffice to say this term rings true for each of the women you are about to get to know. Each has followed a dream and more than that, they’ve persevered, conquering challenges such as age, physical trials, financial tests, and perhaps the biggest obstacle of all, doubt. But luckily they didn’t give up. Since you’re reading this magazine we think it’s fair to say you have some familiarity with Hastings County and might be aware of the prevalence of entrepreneurs, and independently owned businesses. Perhaps the inspiring landscape, economic climate and low cost of living (vs. large cities) prompts one to listen a little harder to the call of the ‘lone eagle.’ If it’s time to turn your passion into a business there are numerous resources to help you get started. The County of Hastings provides a central office where entrepreneurs can receive professional advice and assistance. It doesn’t matter if you want to be situated on a main street or on a county side road, they can offer free and confidential business management coaching. Resources such as county information and statistics, business plan development and potential funding options are available and many communities within the county have an economic development office ready to assist. Interestingly the county has identified AgriVentures, Natural Resources, Creative Industries, Tourism, Manufacturing, and Commerce as its major competitive strengths. The initiatives of the women in this issue reinforce this. According to the March 12, 2013 Globe and Mail article ‘The Six Ways Generation Y will transform the workplace’, Generation Y (those born between 1981 and 2000) numbers 12 million and is the demographic that will not only lead the workforce in years to come but is already transforming it. The article notes that there will be more women in leadership roles and the typical cubical office will be a thing of the past. This generation will become masters of the work-life blend. Think about it - where else better than Hastings County? But whether or not tackling your own business is in your future, what we really hope readers take away from these stories is the importance of acknowledging one’s passions and finding a way to make them part of your life. These women have made careers out of theirs but we don’t all have to do that to be true to what is calling us. Hobbies, volunteering, or a part-time venture are also ways of making time in our lives for the things that are calling us and the rewards are equally fulfilling. Nurture those passions and they will pay you back in many ways.

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Nancy & John Hopkins Monica Johnston

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

contributors Barry Penhale, veteran radio/TV broadcaster and publisher has treasured his love of Canada in general, and Ontario in particular. He also believes that recognition should shine on those too frequently unsung women and men who have contributed much to our country. His mission is to bring the stories of extraordinary Canadian people and places to public awareness. Still active in the historic community, Barry and his wife Jane live in an Ontario century farmhouse. Michelle Annette Tremblay writes because she’s interested in everything. Interviewing fascinating people and sharing their wisdom and ideas is one of her favorite things and has led her to writing features for newspapers and magazines. After completing a Creative Writing degree from the University of British Columbia she spent many

years teaching and writing on the west coast of Canada and internationally. But, a country girl at heart, she gave up the city life to return to her roots in Paudash, where she freelances for multiple publications and is the Creative Director of WordBird Media. When she’s not picking remarkable brains, writing or photographing the wonders of rural Ontario, she’s usually in her garden, running after her kids or cooking up something yummy with her husband. Joe VanVeenen, Art Director. With over 25 years experience in graphic design, Joe VanVeenen has garnered an impressive portfolio of achievements in his field. As Art Director for three other quarterly, national and international publications, his creativity and flair are evident in the design awards he has won. Passionate about his work, Joe always endeavours to ensure that his design makes for a visual and pleasurable reading experience.


V O LU M E 8 , I S S U E 3 , FA L L 2 0 1 5

Contents 10

Fun Starts Here! 13 Foot Candy Bar • Real Black Licorice • Black Balls • Retro Candy

• Gifts, Toys & Novelties

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26

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

10 REBEL WITH A CAUSE

6 EDITORIAL

By Michelle Annette Tremblay

16 KEEP ON KNITTING ON

By Michelle Annette Tremblay

18 THE ENTERTAINER

By Angela Hawn

26 ON THE WAY UP

By Angela Hawn

6 CONTRIBUTORS 8 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 15 JUST SAYING

The Walking Tonic

21 ADVERTISER INDEX 22 THE VILLAGE IDIOT

Wild Kingdom

24 REMEMBERING

Small town hero

28 COUNTRY CALENDAR 29 MARKETPLACE 30 BACK ROADS School house in ­Bridgewater, around 1890

Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 7


letters to the editor You certainly caught the mood and emotion of the old cottages and the happy days in the sun and on the lakes. Richard Hughes President, Hastings County Historical Society Cannifton, ON

addition, your publication contributes to the preservation of stories of the past which might otherwise have never been written and shared with so many. Mike and Gail Craigen Dear Country Roads

Dear Country Roads

Dear Country Roads I enjoyed reading your story about cottage life in years gone by (‘The Lake Effect’, Summer 2015). It struck a particular note with me as my wife and I spent many happy days on Stoco Lake in the early 1960s (yes, 50 years ago) at my father-inlaw’s cottage on the north side of the lake. This included many long days fishing on the lake and up the log-filled Clare River and water skiing and swimming in the weedy and usually muddy waters. Some of the happiest memories of our kids (now in their 50s) were of the days in the sun with their grandparents on Stoco Lake.

BANCROF T NORTH HASTINGS

BANCROFT & DISTRICT CHAMBER of COMMERCE

HIGHLANDS EAST NORTH KAWARTHA ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS MADAWASKA VALLEY SOUTH ALGONQUIN

Fall Is The Perfect Time To Experience Bancroft & District Why not take advantage of our spectacular Fall colours on one of thirteen North Hastings Scenic Tour Routes? As well, Ideal conditions for mineral collecting, no bugs, no heat, no sunburn! We also offer unique shops & great dining. Get out and explore on foot, bike, by paddle or ATV. Drop in and see us for ideas, permits, maps and all the tools you’ll need to enjoy what our region has to offer! Arts routes and studio tours on now. Be sure to visit our Artisans’ Junction in the Old Train Station. Don’t miss our Self-Guided Antique Tour Route Thanks for visiting us this summer at the Gemboree! Save the date for next year’s 53nd July 28, 29, 30 & 31, 2016. For more information:

www.bancroftdistrict.com 888-443-9999 8

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

I wanted to say a few words concerning the most excellent article ‘The Lake Effect,’ (Summer 2015) written by Lindi Pierce. Lindi did a very professional and inclusive overview of some long time properties in the area. Her interviewing skills allowed us the opportunity to bring back memories of many happy times while growing up in Tweed and enjoying the aspects of our family cottage just 5km away on the lake during the summers. The tradition of young folks enjoying the water, beach and the older seasoned folks enjoying the many social gatherings with family and friends continues on. As the saying goes, “If you are lucky enough to own a cottage, you are lucky enough.” Having grown up in Hastings County, we always look forward to your varied, well researched and accurate articles. Your magazine always reminds us of the richness of the surroundings and quality of people in this wonderful part of Ontario. In

I am writing about the ‘Land Detectives’ piece in Country Roads magazine (Summer 2015). As I read the “surveying” article, I realized that it is the very best article I have ever seen about my profession. Angela Hawn, thank you so much for taking the time to understand us and to articulate so well what it is surveyors do. I did bring copies of the magazine to one of our Council meetings a couple of weeks ago and I must say that all of Council had the very same positive reaction that I did. In fact one of them ordered additional copies so that he could have it in his office in Guelph. Once again thank you so much for publishing such a great article. Blain Martin, OLS, CLS, PMP, MBA Executive Director Association of Ontario Land Surveyors Toronto, ON

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9


Harvey was unsure if she could handle a hundred-acre homestead on her own when her marriage ended, but things have worked out. “I think it’s important for people to know that single people can do just fine,” she says.

Rebel with a cause Homestead farmer living her dream Story and photos by Michelle Annette Tremblay

S

ue Harvey is hard core. The single mother of four grown children, who works as an educational assistant, doesn’t seem particularly radical at first glance. Oh, but she is. Today she’s giving me a tour of Strawberry Hill Farm, just outside the small hamlet of Gunter. Tucked away on St. Ola Road, Harvey’s farm is everything you picture when you fantasize about running away from that office job in the city in favour of the simple life in the country. There are gently rolling hills, multiple gardens, the secretive remains of a pioneer homestead and even a mystical wooded area with an emerald green canopy above and a soft

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

floor of fern and moss below. I’m not generally one for folk lore, but I wouldn’t be particularly surprised if we came across a fairy or two in these woods. As we walk through the wide open pastures, Genie the Labrador Retriever, and Lucky, the three-month old Jersey calf, both stay glued to our sides, competing for attention. I instantly fall in love with the calf. He’s just so cute, with those giant brown eyes, and still-lanky legs. He reminds me of a very large puppy, affectionately nuzzling, and licking my hand with his sandpaper tongue. When I crouch down to take a photo of the broody silkie hens, which all look as though they’re wearing big furry

Russian hats, Lucky nibbles on my pony tail and makes both Harvey and myself giggle. We walk past gardens overflowing with vegetables and perennials, and Harvey talks about her gardening experiences. She grows her own parsnips, corn, potatoes, kale, zucchini, cucumbers, and peas, as well as various herbs and flowers. “I used to have beautiful begonias over there, until the turkeys wandered over and ate them. I didn’t even know turkeys liked begonias, but I guess they do,” she tells me, with humour in her eyes. She has lots of stories about wandering turkeys. One time, all 22 of them meandered down the road and gave her neighbour a start.


They all came back home though, no worse for wear. So how exactly is this unassuming woman hard core? Well, first off, she’s tough as nails. Not in the guarded, edgy, chip-on-the shoulder way that some people are tough, but rather in the resilient, determined and strong sense. She manages Strawberry Hill Farm, on a nearlyhundred-acre homestead all on her own. And she’s a rebel. As a self-sufficient organic farmer, Harvey is part of a movement that is about as rebellious as you can get in this day and age. She grows her own food without commercial pesticides, fertilizers, or GMO seeds. Her grocery bill is significantly smaller than her

hay bill. She raises her own cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens, and also sells organic meat at her farm-gate. And she’s planning to teach others how to do the same. “When I retire I’d like to give educational tours. One of my sons is a teacher and brought his students over in June to learn about the farm and the animals. I’d like to share my knowledge, and my passion,” she says. Even though the educator has a few years to go before she leaves her job with the school board, Harvey is already open to having school or summer camp groups come to explore the farm. After all, it was during her own childhood that she first fell in love with the idea of

(Clockwise top left) Harvey and her ex-husband purchased the land in the late 1970s and saved for two years to build a house on the property. Even then, they went without hydro for nine years. As a self-sufficient organic farmer, Harvey is part of a movement that is about as rebellious as you can get in this day and age. She grows her own food without commercial pesticides, fertilizers, or GMO seeds. Her grocery bill is significantly smaller than her hay bill. Not all the animals on the farm are for food, and the peacocks have pride of place as they strut around. There is a mutual affection between Harvey and her animals. In this case, three-month-old Jersey calf ‘Lucky’ is the recipient of her attention. Harvey’s turkeys give a new meaning to the term ‘free range’. On one occasion all 22 of them wandered down the road to visit her neighbour! Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 11


(Left) The minimalist guest house is booked most weekends, even in February, despite the fact it has no running water or electricity. Harvey provides drinking water and firewood, and there is easy access to the lake. (Right) Harvey fell in love with the idea of homesteading in childhood, and she hopes to pass on that passion through visits by school groups and summer camps in the future.

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

homesteading. It’s something she’s always wanted to do. Back in the late 1970’s, Harvey and her now ex-husband purchased the farm together. It wasn’t much back then -- just a large piece of property with potential. There was no well, hydro line, septic or home. Just land. They built a stone foundation and lived in the basement for two years while they saved up money to complete the rest of the house. Even after construction was finished they went without electricity for nine years. They lived within their means, only adding to the homestead as they could afford to. They had their children,

worked the land, but then parted as the boys were entering their teens. Harvey readily admits that she had some doubts at that time about whether she could handle the farm on her own. “I think it’s important for people to know that single people can do just fine,” she says. “The boys were teenagers when their father left, and we did fine. I’m happy. The boys are happy. It all worked out.” There’s a gentle matter-of-fact candor to her. An openness and sincerity you don’t often encounter in someone you’ve only just met. I wonder to myself if it’s from years of living ‘in real life,’ or IRL as our digital-addicted youth


Harvey raised her four boys as a single parent from the time they were in their teens. When they visit there is always a list of chores for them to help out with! Photo courtesy Strawberry Hill Farm

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canaries,’ and the peacocks are the darlings of the farm, strutting about with their beautiful tails dusting the ground behind them. “The year I turned 40 I needed a project and decided to build a guest cabin,” Harvey tells me. We leave Lucky with the other cows, and start down the path through the wood toward the cabin. It’s a bit of a hike. Genie comes along, tail wagging, happy to have us all to herself. Harvey tells me about how she rents the cabin out to people wanting to reconnect with nature. It doesn’t have electricity or running water. I don’t suspect she gets that many cabin guests, being so far off the beaten track, but it turns out I’m wrong. “Even in February, sometimes it’s booked every weekend,” she says, just as the cabin comes into view. When I see it, I get it. It’s lovely. Small. Very, very private. And it resembles one of the ‘tiny houses’ that are currently in vogue. The area around the cabin is tidy. The grass is cut, and there’s a sitting area with picnic table, but beyond that it’s nothing but trees. Nothing but nature. The stars must be phenomenal at night. There’s a screened in porch with comfy chairs. Inside, there is just enough room for a kitchenette with a little propane stove and table for two, and a small sitting room with a pull out sofa. Up above there’s a simple but romantic sleeping loft. “I provide drinking water and fire wood,” says Harvey. “And of course there’s the lake just down there.” We walk down to it, and Genie goes in for a little swim, coming out muddy, smelly, and very happy. She rolls on the soft mossy forest floor.

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culture call it, rather then spending time in the fast paced, media-driven, high-tech world that most North Americans exist in today. Harvey owns a TV, but she doesn’t watch it much. She’s too busy living her dream. “There’s always something to do,” says Harvey, smiling, as she leads me around. “I keep busy. I make myself a list and work through it. And when the boys are here they get a list, too.” She gives into Lucky’s nudges and scratches the calf’s long fuzzy ears. One of the boys is here today, but that’s just a coincidence. And, he’s not really a boy anymore. In his thirties now with his own outdoor adventure business in British Columbia, he’s just visiting and will fly home in a few days. But while he’s here Harvey has given him a to-do list, and he flies around the acreage on an ATV, doing chores for his Mom. There is brush to be cleared and pig manure that will need to be spread soon. “ T h e p i g s j u s t w e n t o ff t o s l a u g h t e r yesterday,” Harvey says, disappointed that we missed the opportunity for me to meet them. “I’m a pig person,” she chuckles. “I just love them.” “But you eat them,” I answer. “Is that hard?” “Sure,” she responds. “I miss them when they go off to slaughter. But I focus on giving them the very best life while they’re here.” This is true for all the animals in the farmer’s keep. She loves them. It’s plain to see. And they love her, too. Not all the animals are for food, of course. There are several different fowl species that are around just because Harvey likes them. She calls the various types of quail her ‘farm

~

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(Top) The Strawberry Hill homestead has just about everything, from open fields to lush woods to a refreshing lake. “I feel incredibly grateful to live here,” Harvey admits. (Bottom) Harvey manages Strawberry Hill Farm on her own, growing her own vegetables, flowers and herbs and raising a wide range of animals. All this is in addition to her work as an educational assistant in local schools.

I’m 20 years younger than Harvey, and go to the gym a few times a week, but as we walk back up the forest trail to the homestead I become winded. She’s fine though, and keeps chatting, not out of breath in the slightest. I mention to her that I think she’s in great shape, but she shrugs it off. “I work,” she chuckles. “But I love my work. I couldn’t live here if I didn’t. I couldn’t live here by myself if I didn’t. And I feel incredibly grateful to live here.” It is definitely a certain type of paradise, and I feel grateful myself for having the opportunity

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to meet Harvey and spend time with her on her farm, in her element. Looking around at the greenhouse that she built by hand, the calves she helped her cows birth, the gardens she tends, I think to myself, ‘Wow, this lady is hardcore. She’s bad-ass, in the very best sense of the word. Rock on lady farmer friend. Rock on.’

For more information about Strawberry Hill Farm, visit harvesthastings.ca.


JUST SAYING

BY SHELLEY WILDGEN

C

lattering loudly through life is not fun. It seems to me that most of us need a pause button. Not a vacation, but something we can weave into our noise on a regular basis. Stopping to smell the roses might be a little bit of an overreach for this cynic, but I’ve been thinking lately about that whole ‘journey versus destination’ thing. Did you hear the one about the Belleville schoolteacher who took a walk, daily, for two years? Then there are all those folk who walk the Pacific Coast Trail, while shutting out life’s daily expectations. That’s 2,650 miles. Half a year’s worth of walking. I have a Facebook friend who’s setting out on the Pacific Trail this coming year - while posting, of course. Then there’s the spiritual awakening that Martin Sheen’s character had when walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago in the movie ‘The Way’. Intuitively, we seem to know we need to keep moving in order to slow down. So, what is it about walking? There’s no question it seems to sort us out. If we’re upset, we go for a walk. If we eat too much, we go for a walk. There’s also the proverbial walk and talk… If we’re in love, we go for a walk. Sometimes break ups involve walking, as well. Take a walk! These boots are made for walking, walk on the wild side, walk me walk the walk, walking on air or eggshells, inhome, hastings county three storey walk-up, walking papers, the walk of life and rounding it all out by walking till you drop - the walk-a-thon. When I was a kid, Bellevillians spent an entire day walking around the Bay of Quinte to raise money for the Dick Ellis Arena. It was around

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The Walking Tonic 30 miles and all of us got our names posted and framed at the arena. My mother walked the entire distance. My brother was piggy-backed over the finish line while I washed up along the 25-mile mark, if memory serves. Added (real?) incentive for me was a big plateful of Mrs. Geen’s spaghetti at the end of that community trudge day. Walking is a universal metaphor for taking action. It just plain feels good to put one foot in front of the other and go. It’s purposeful and it can be done almost anywhere or anytime, like now. Fall is the perfect time for gathering together, throwing a turkey in the oven and then taking to the Sager Conservation area, hiking up to the lookout and surveying the bounty of fall foliage spilling over the Oak Hills. Coming home to a roasting dinner just caps it off magnificently. Another food lure, I know. It’s still purposeful. Living where we do, in the middle of Ontario, the onslaught of fall seems to beckon just about everyone to go walking; casting aside summer numbness with just the right amount of vigor coursing through our veins. It doesn’t really matter if the walk takes you through a town or along a country road; that crunch, crunch, crunch of wellworn leaves is the only sound that matters. And here’s another thing about the quiet power of walking. It kickstarts all of our other senses so we seem to absorb more of what’s around us. When in an unfamiliar city, you’ll always get the best sense of your surroundings by walking through them. Visiting Bancroft or Burgundy, the simple act of parking the car and walking forces you to breathe it all in and get a true reading of where you are.

My friend, Jamie, gave me the best coping advice many years ago. She suggested that the rigors of everyday life had de-sensitized me, and she prescribed a sort of weekend boot camp for the senses: Disconnect from phone, computer, and kids, light candles, make soup or a roast, and watch the movie ‘Stakeout’ (“but I don’t like…” “Just watch it,” said Jamie). Mindless comedy was essential to this curative process. Then, borrow a dog, walk for one to two hours in the woods, and be sure to touch tree bark and leaves. Sleep. Repeat. Simple. It worked. So, this need for walking must be as much a part of our soul’s survival as water and fire. No matter what conveniences we invent to sharpen our edges and shorten our distances , we still need to walk whether it’s the Pacific Coast Trail or the daily back and forth of the Bayshore Trail, steady striding feels right. ‘The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah.’ Thing is, the wonders of walking are all well and good, until we aren’t. Knees, hips, back, feet…some body part will eventually betray us and impede those steps, but on we go. Sometimes we take a friend so we can compare afflictions - then, magically, at the end of most walks everything just feels better. Mind, spirit, body aligned. From our first step in life to our last, forward motion gets us where we need to go. Step one. Step two. Step three. On we go. The pace might get slower and the pauses more frequent, but we can adapt. Just slap on the knee braces, slip into the orthotics and move along, because there’s always a good walk just around the corner.

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I 15


‘Knit Hats For Babies’ was the first book of Garrett’s to be published, and came out in 2013. Photo by Christina Anne Photography

Keep on knitting on How one woman turned her hobby into a career By Michelle Annette Tremblay

“I

was ready to give up,” says Lee Ann Garrett. It was Friday, and she was feeling discouraged. She had left a stable day-job six months earlier to pursue her knitting passion. With much encouragement from her husband, Ian Geerkins, she had been knitting up a storm, selling baby hats at the Belleville Farmer’s Market and sending out knitting-pattern book proposals to publishers in North America and the United Kingdom. When the first rejection letter came she was disappointed, but took it like a champ, choosing to focus on the silver lining. “They turned down my proposal, but they provided a good framework and feedback,” she recalls. The Belleville native used this framework as a reference point when she prepared her next couple of proposals. Then she waited. And knitted tea cosies. And waited some more. She remembers that Friday and the days that came after it clearly. “I confessed to Ian that I was

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

losing hope. It had been six months, and I hadn’t gotten any more responses from the publishers.” The registered nurse was considering going back to her old job, even though she wasn’t really enjoying nursing anymore. She had bills to pay, and felt like the responsible thing to do was to go back to work and just knit as a hobby. But two nights later, on Sunday, as she was lying in bed with her laptop, she received an email that changed everything. It was from Leisure Arts Publishing. They were not interested in the book she had pitched about tea cosies; however, they were definitely interested in her pitch to write a book about knitted baby hats. She was thrilled. The email had come at just the right time. It was like a life raft for her hopes and dreams of being self employed, doing what she loved. Then, the very next morning she received another email, this one from Search Press Publishers in England. They weren’t interested in a

book about baby hats, but they were very interested in her idea to pen a book about tea cosies. “I was stunned - talk about serendipity,” says Garrett. She corresponded with the publishers, collected her advance, and got to work measuring, creating patterns, knitting, and writing. Now, four years later, she has had three books published in a span of three years. ‘Knit Hats for Babies’ came out in 2013, ‘Twenty-to-Make: Easy Knitted Tea Cosies’ came out in 2014, and ‘Diaper Cover Sets’ was published earlier this year. Garrett’s books can be found online and in various retail locations across Canada, England and Australia. She attends a few large-scale events throughout the year, such as Belleville’s Mistletoe Magic, and she still sells her baby hats at the Belleville Farmer’s Market, as well as women’s knit fashions such as infinity scarves and felted hats. The creative entrepreneur also sells her knitting online at Etsy, an online platform where


Husband Ian and daughter Sara, the latter shown modeling one of her mother’s women’s knit fashions, have been extremely supportive of Garrett’s pursuits. Photo by Ian Miron

Lee Ann Garrett was at the point of giving up on her publishing dreams when she finally received her first positive response after six months of futility. She barely had to wait two days for her second pitch to be accepted. Photo by Ian Geerkins

artisans from all over the globe can promote, display and sell their wares. “It’s hard to keep up with the demand,” Garrett admits, with a happy chuckle. But these days she has an assistant who helps with the embellishments for her baby hats, and even her husband does some stitch-work for her when the pressure is on to finish designs for customers. “Having the books published has definitely given me some credibility,” she says. A few of the retail shops in Belleville that carry her hats and scarves have put together displays, showcasing her books and letting shoppers know that she’s local. “People really like to buy local,” says the proknitter. But it’s not just locally that she’s having success: ‘Twenty-to-Make: Easy Knitted Tea Cosies’ reached number two on Amazon.UK last year, and she is being featured in Vogue Knitting’s Holiday

issue later this year. Garrett says she couldn’t have made these achievements without her family’s encouragement. “My family has been hugely supportive,” says Garrett. Not only have her husband and adult daughter cheered her on during these last four years since she took the leap of faith to pursue her passion, but it was originally her grandmother who got her interested in knitting in the first place. “My grandmother would knit me Barbie doll clothes, packaged up in a Red Rose Tea box, for Christmas every year. Since this was always my favourite gift I decided to design and knit my own.” She was 10 years old. Garrett describes embellishing her doll clothes with scraps of fur, sequins and beads, to make them stylish and unique. As she got older her knitting skills grew, and by the time she was a teenager she was making

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sweaters for herself and her mother. She occasionally copied other people’s patterns in those early years but over time used her own designs more and more often, becoming increasingly adept and measuring, experimenting, and creating original patterns. It’s a process she still loves today. “My goal, at the moment, is to self-publish some of my single patterns and sell them on-line,” explains Garrett. “I also have another book starting to edge its way into the back of my head, but after having three books published in three years, I want to wait a bit before I start another one.” At the moment, Garrett says she’s happy focusing on selling her knitting and books at various juried shows. “I love designing small interesting pieces, and embellishing them,” says the artisan, whose work has been described as whimsical, fun and funky. Even though she’s been working through a whirlwind over the past four years, Garrett is still inspired, and will sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with a new cool idea for a design. She also likes to share her passion with others. On Wednesday afternoons she teaches a drop-in knitting class in her home. “It’s mostly a fun, social time,” says Garrett, adding, “I’m planning on starting more specific classes in the future.” In the meantime, she is happily preparing for the busy Christmas season just a few months away, uploading more photos to her Etsy page, and of course knitting, experimenting with new patterns and designs, and feeling grateful that she didn’t give up on her passion.

To view or buy Garrett’s knit designs, visit her Etsy page at www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ FarmFreshKnits. She will also be at the Etsy Show in at Grant Hall on the Queen’s University campus in Kingston on Sept. 26. Most of her time this fall will be spent at the Belleville Farmer’s Market until it gets too cold. Her Christmas appearances will be Mistletoe Magic at Belleville’s Albert College on Nov. 14 and at the Quinte Christian High School, also in Belleville, Nov. 20-21.

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Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 17


the entertainer

Emma Bowen has managed to combine her love of her community with her passion for music to promote the Fly Away Home music festival in Madoc. Photo courtesy Dear Wanderer Entertainment Productions

Madoc woman bringing music to the masses By Angela Hawn

A

sk university student Emma Bowen to list a few favourite things and both music and her hometown of Madoc will likely vy for space at the top. No wonder the 21-yearold president of Dear Wanderer Entertainment Productions and artistic director for the Fly Away Home music festival feels passionate about bringing the two together. Flash back a few years when an even younger Bowen wondered about the scarcity of live music available locally. Confident the lovely part of Ontario she calls home brims with musical talent and eager to see performers from across the country, she wondered aloud at the lack of opportunities to enjoy quality concerts in small towns. Was it really asking too much to want to see first-rate performers on a Madoc stage? Unwilling to let things lie and encouraged by her father, Emma decided to take matters into her own hands.

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

“My dad just said, ‘why don’t you go ahead and do it’?” Emma recalls, laughing a little at the innocent bravado and lofty ambitions of her then 16-year-old self. “In Canada and Ontario, there is just so much great music and so many great bands, but I think a lot of people forget about it or just don’t know about it.” And just like that, Bowen’s career as music promoter began. She sent out a slew of emails to various artists and to her surprise, several quickly wrote back. One of the first to get in touch? Manager to one of Emma’s own personal favourite musicians: Toronto singer/songwriter Peter Katz. Hailing from a small town himself, the musician’s manager readily sympathized with Bowen’s desire to bring live events to a rural crowd. To Emma’s delight, Katz soon signed on as the first performer for the Music in Madoc concerts, a series of live musical evenings which ran regularly from 2011 to 2012. Other featured

guests included The Heartbroken and singer Emma-Lee. Along the way, one of Bowen’s music contacts urged her to get in touch with Paquin booking agency and Emma’s doorway into the world of arts and entertainment opened a little bit wider. The musicians just kept coming and the number of concerts grew. Among the artists hired to perform that first season: wellknown Canadian favourites Danny Michel and Royal Wood. Of course, Emma admits she benefited from a little inside knowledge as far as great music venues go. A few years earlier her dad, Chris Magwood, helped create and build Madoc’s impressive Arts Centre Hastings (see sidebar.) Insulated with straw-bales and designed as a model for modern sustainable living, this unique performance space has hosted everything from free summer movie nights to theatre productions. Making it home to a regular concert series just seemed like a natural next step.


BORN TO BE GREEN BY ANGELA HAWN

Blue Sky Miners were among the groups scheduled to feature at September’s Fly Away Home festival. Photo courtesy Blue Sky Miners

The Arts Centre Hastings in Madoc was built in 2008 by students in the sustainable building program at Peterborough’s Fleming College. Emma Bowen’s father Chris Magwood was a co-creator. Photo courtesy Dear Wanderer Entertainment Productions

“I don’t sing at all or play anything, but I’ve loved music my whole life,” exclaims Emma, crediting her family with nourishing her early appreciation for the arts. “Growing up, there was always music playing in the house.” Though assuming the role of music promoter at such a young age must have presented a few challenges, Bowen brushes off any suggestions the job proved difficult. Clearly a dreamer who dreams big, this young woman remains modest about her accomplishments. Feet planted firmly on the ground, she comes across as someone with high goals for herself who doesn’t mind putting nose to grindstone to get where she needs to go. “I basically just went ahead and did it,” she laughs, recalling her first forays into the Canadian music industry. “I studied music management at college in Oshawa for a year and I think that helped.” Pushing herself to overcome some shyness and a genuine dislike for speaking on a public stage, Emma persevered and began to learn how to navigate the music promoters’ network. More comfortable with work behind the scenes than life in the spotlight, she still opts to keep a low profile whenever possible. “Interacting with all of these musicians you really admire was hard at first,” she remembers. “The first time I met Peter Katz, I was shaking.” But getting over it and getting on with things seems central to Emma’s method of operation. Not one to avoid a challenge, she put this same philosophy into play while organizing her latest project, Madoc’s Fly Away Home music festival. From contacting the municipality to inquire about rules and regulations to obtaining approval from the committee responsible for operating the venue, Emma just tackles each task as it comes.

Slated to wow audiences in mid-September 2015, this particular festival embodied the very essence of everything Emma has loved about music from childhood. “I wanted it to be an authentic festival experience, like the festivals my parents took me to when I was a kid,” she explains, her voice bubbling with enthusiasm. “There will be music, food vendors, artists and artisans, representatives from community groups and a focus on the environment – the whole package.” Not surprisingly, one of the festival’s big features was to include a short set by some surprise guests. As a young, up and coming music promoter on the lookout for young, up and coming musical acts, Bowen has a special interest in local youth. “We’ve gotten a lot of submissions for the youth showcase, so it will be hard to narrow it down to just one,” said Emma shortly before the festival, noting all applicants were asked to include at least one original song and describe the genre of their music as much as possible, even when it embraced more than one category. That way of thinking seems to define the type of music audiences can expect from any concert series Emma organizes. Not just catering to one genre, Fly Away Home promised a range of performers, appealing to music tastes far and wide. Though a huge fan of folk and Canadian roots music herself, Emma wanted to create an atmosphere where anything played well could be appreciated. The festival’s concert schedule included a wide variety, from R&B to indierock to country, with a little bit of everything in between. “We have eight fantastic bands, including Blue Sky Miners,” said Bowen. “There’s even a group who sings a capella.”

No matter where she ends up in the future or what venue hosts the concerts she promotes, the Arts Centre Hastings in Madoc will always hold a special place in Emma Bowen’s heart. Scene of Emma’s first concert series, as well as her first music festival, the centre also marks a major accomplishment for Emma’s father, Chris. He was one of the people tasked with building this stunning tribute to functional green living in the first place. Built in 2008 by students in the sustainable building program at Peterborough’s Fleming College, this awesome feat of environmentally conscious architecture first began on the drawing boards of co-creators Chris Magwood and Ingrid Cyrns. Since then, the indoor/outdoor venue has added a unique and welcome feature to a community park which also includes a popular skateboarding area and well-equipped contemporary playground. Comfortably seating audiences of 80 inside and 350 out, the space boasts both indoor and outdoor stages. A bamboo earth sprung floor reminiscent of the grand old “floating” horsehair dance floors found in 1930’s and 40’s music halls makes it the perfect spot to get your groove on. And, of course, there are those wonderful straw-bale facilitated acoustics, helped along by a great P.A. system and the building’s lovely cathedral ceilings. But, perhaps most important to Emma, is the building’s symbolism. She knows the importance of practical, sustainable living. After all, environmental awareness for this young woman started at birth. With local green activist Gary Magwood for a grandfather, she comes from a long line of environmental advocates. “I grew up off the grid in a straw-bale house with wind turbine and solar power,” declares Emma, pride evident in her voice. “You were always aware of the power you used and you always made sure you turned the lights off when you left a room.”

Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 19


Toronto’s Peter Katz was one of the first musicians to reply to Bowen’s request for entertainers, partly because his manager was sympathetic to her small town roots. Photo courtesy Peter Katz

Bowen’s efforts are particularly focused on emerging artists, such as Torontobased Brooklyn Doran, who was slated for Fly Away Home. Photo courtesy Brooklyn Doran

So what’s Emma’s secret in bringing so many great bands to ‘Comfort Country’? After a few years acting as a music promoter, she knows how quickly news spreads by word of mouth among the artists. “Hospitality, finding a place for them to stay,” Emma readily ticks off a comprehensive list of positives she aims to provide visiting musicians. “Just knowing for sure you’re going to get paid at the end of a gig helps, too.” With that in mind, Emma would love to see great musical acts continue to entertain the hometown crowd. Her growing reputation in the field certainly makes the future look bright. Who knows what talented artist might grace a Madoc stage next?

“I’d love to book someone like the folk singer Leif Vollebekk someday,” laughs Emma,” but for now, I think he’s a little out of my budget.” While Emma confirms she has lots of big plans, for now she’s staying quiet about them. And, as far as concerts go, making sure the September festival made a wonderful debut pretty much took up all of her energies. All funds raised roll right back into the not-for-profit Dear Wanderer Entertainment Productions, with an eye to booking future performers. Where to after that? This determined and independent-minded young woman wants to take a year off university to explore her options. What started as a 16-year-old’s dream keeps her pretty

busy. She’d love to pursue a career involving the music business in Ontario or maybe Halifax, where the industry is already well-established. At some point down the road, this ambitious gogetter dreams of building and operating her own music venue, with perhaps a recording studio to go with it. And what kind of construction might she be considering?

“A straw-bale building, of course,” Emma laughs. “They have the best ­acoustics.” •

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Advertiser Index

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Apsley Apsley Autumn Studio Tour Kawartha Docks Bancroft Ashlie’s Books Bancroft & Area District Chamber Of Commerce 9 Bancroft General Mercantile Birchcliff Lodge Designer Kitchens Deuce Tattoos Kathy Tripp, Broker, Royal Lepage Market Café & Fudge Factory Mixin’ Mommas North Hastings Family Pharmacy North Hastings Naturally 2 Old Tin Shed Posies Flowers & Fashions Red Steer Butcher Stone Kitchen Zihua Clothing Boutique Belleville 10 Ruttle Bros. Furniture Scotia Mcleod Campbellford 3rd Annual Trent Hills Gallery & Studio Hop World’s Finest Chocolates Deseronto Deseronto, Town Of Impressions Dental Centres 1 Hastings County Shops & Services Classy Commode Denmar Farms: Christmas Trees-Holiday Spirit Kawartha Dairy Remax Quinte Switzer Construction Tikitweb Waterloo Biofilter Welcome Wagon Madoc Heart Of Hastings Christmas Tour 11 Impressions Dental Centres Renshaw Power Products Marmora PETERBOROUGH BMR Drummond Boutique Inspiration Glen Ellis Heating Ltd. 4 Heart Of Hastings Christmas Tour Jillian’s Antiques & Things Possibilities; Vintage Furniture & Décor Accents Maynooth Gallo-Teck M.G. Daly Funeral Home Ltd. Madawaska Art Shop Madawaska Lodge Sun Run Pantry Ormsby Old Hastings Mercantile & Gallery

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HASTINGS COUNTY SHOPS & SERVICES

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Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 21


THE VILLAGE IDIOT BY JOHN HOPKINS

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like to think of myself as an animal person. I enjoy their company, thrill to seeing how the four-legged, winged or finned that make up our planet survive and thrive. Over the past summer, however, I seem to have made some enemies. I’m not sure how it started, what might have set the wild kingdom against me. But I’m pretty sure the geese were the instigators. Somehow I rubbed them the wrong way and set off the unfortunate series of incidents that was to colour the past few months. Part of the excitement of living on the river has been the connection with nature. Early in the summer we had a beaver that would make evening swims back and forth in front of our place with a metronome-like regularity. A family of ducks, similarly, would make regular appearances near our shore. There were turtles sunning themselves on the rocks. And then there were the geese. They also travelled up and down the river on a regular schedule – up in the morning and back down at night. Generally we would count 15 or 16, it was sometimes hard to distinguish them all. At first we thought it was very cute. We assumed there were probably four adults and then the rest were little goslings; a gaggle of geese, right out of the storybooks. But then I was confronted with what they really were – a gang. They won’t tell you this in the nature books or on those National Geographic documentaries, but these geese sometimes move in gangs and you do not want to meet them under certain circumstances, such as when you’re travelling

Wild kingdom alone, early in the morning or late at night, when help will almost certainly be slow to arrive and they are able to inflict their damage undetected. One morning I was driving along the dirt road not far from our house when I came upon a gang of geese waddling down the road. I slowed down and wanted to give them plenty of room, after all, there were more of them and I was technically on their turf. Just as I was making my way past them one of the bigger adults suddenly charged at the car, wings flapping and beak wide open. He smashed into the driver’s seat window. Fortunately the window was closed, otherwise there would have been an almighty punch up right there in the front seat. Instinctively I accelerated away but another one of them took off and started flying right beside me, dead even with the car, just a few feet off the ground. He stayed with me for half a kilometre or so, then finally veered off to the weeds on the left. I swear he gave me a sarcastic wink as he peeled away, as much to say, “We let you get away this time, but next time…” So then I started worrying about the next time. I travelled that road every day, and they knew it. They were just waiting for me to cross their path again, maybe when it was darker and they would have an advantage over me. Maybe I would get lazy and leave my window down, giving them access inside the car. Then they would be able to really finish the job, dragging my goose-pecked corpse out of the car and into the nearby river, leaving the vehicle empty at the side of the road and my disappearance an enduring mystery.

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Then I started wondering: had I been a random target, simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was this a targeted hit? When they serenely swam past our house each day, were they really casing the place, watching my movements, assessing my habits and routines? And then came the big question: Were they acting alone or did they have accomplices? As the summer wore on I started to wonder just who I could trust outside our door. Were those pinecones dropping from the trees really hitting my head by fluke, or were the squirrels trying to stun me so the geese, hiding in the weeds at the shore, could move in? Were those cute cottontail rabbits outside the window simply hopping by innocently or were they reporting back to someone? And why did the beaver stop swimming by? Had he crossed the wrong goose? I don’t know when, or from where, the next strike may come, which is probably just how these geese like it. They’re no fools. The fear of being attacked is worse than the attack itself. They as much as sent that message when our paths crossed on the gravel road a month or so after the first incident. As I slowed and moved over to pass the gang of them one gave me that ‘look.’ I know that look. I’ve seen it in the TV shows and movies, when the mobster is sitting in a restaurant and pulls back his suit jacket to reveal the gun in its holster, just so you know it’s there. They’re watching me, and waiting. It’s all part of their sick plan. I can hear them cackling right now…

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Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 23


R E M E M B E R I N G

Small town hero Simpler times and the ‘Mayor of Little Places’ BY BARRY PENHALE

Host of a weekend CBC Radio program for eight years, Andy Clarke was reputed to be more popular throughout Ontario than anyone of his generation. Photo courtesy McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited

M

y parents, though city dwellers, had an affinity for the rural way of life. During wartime they discovered the existence of a weekend CBC radio show dubbed “Neighbourly News,” which did much to ease the tensions of a nation at war. Host Andy Clarke was a veteran newspaperman whose forte was ferreting out those little everyday stories that seemingly never changed, come hell or high water. Listeners quickly discovered that Andy was more a journalist than a broadcaster but immediately took to his folksy style when the program debuted in January, 1940. His weekly broadcasts became such a hit with listeners it was said he was more popular throughout Ontario and possibly all of eastern Canada than anyone of his generation. A story that made its way into a memorial book, Andy Clarke and his Neighbourly News, speaks of a brief but revealing conversation between Clarke and his postman. The mailman remarked to Clarke, “I used to like you until you moved up here.” It seems that by this time Clarke’s weekly mail consisted of 260 community newspapers, parcels, letters, and what the mail carrier referred to as “those funny things you get!” Apparently Andy had the largest size mailbox available, but it never was quite big enough! Clarke’s love of rural and small-town Ontario was truly his major interest. He admired those newspaper publishers who reported weekly on the existence of twin colts, two-headed calves, barrel-bellied pumpkins, barnyard trout, and, yes, a cat that played the piano! This humaninterest form of news dealing with down-to-

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

earth life in Ontario from The Tweed News: became the backbone “A l t h o u g h l e g of his programs. end maintains that a Andy’s source of groundhog’s judgment material was gleaned on the 2nd of February by skillfully combing has considerable to do through the many with the shortening or Ontario newspapers the extension of winput out by members ter, Miss Goldie Godof the Canadian frey’s pet chuck simWeekly Newspapers ply refused to move Association. This outside the home on was the heyday of that day, preferring the small independent kitchen stove to the newspaper publishers snowbank. Miss Goldwhen one could enter ie captured Chuck in a an office on the day place called Hungerof publication, plunk ford two years ago, d ow n t h e c o s t o f and after being nursed t h a t d a y ’s p a p e r, to complete recovery and experience the he showed no inclithrill of leaving nation to leave. Wadwith a paper printed dling about the house, that very morning. he got into the usual The practice has mischief of all pets but disappeared in many can assume a sancticommunities but monious air, trying to Such was Clarke’s popularity that a number of his tales fortunately not all lay the blame on the made it into a memorial book. — we still have the cat or the dog. He has Photo courtesy McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited Tweed News and the discovered, much to Bancroft Times. I still his owner’s dismay, treasure a period when I frequently encountered the hiding place of the sugar bowl, and she is a publisher behind the counter on publication day now attempting to convince the ration board that — folks like Sam Curry in Tweed, Ed Loucks she needs additional coupons.” in Frankford, “Happy” Tompkins in Stirling, or Sugar, then a scarce commodity, was rationed the Kingston brothers, Wib and Ken, longtime during the Second World War. proprietors of the Campbellford Herald. The Stirling News Argus often published items It is doubtful if anyone has enjoyed anything that delighted Clarke. One involved a personality close to the standing Clarke had with the press he referred to as his rhyming friend Uncle Hy: in small-town Ontario. He paid visits to almost “February, month of lesser days, we’re glad every locale possessing a newspaper. The you’re here. Our fuel is low, our back is bent, citizenry turned out in droves when the “Mayor our lungs are full of dust content. Yes, Feb, we’re of Little Places” (the title was given to Clarke glad you’re here at last, and that the winter’s by Enid Donahue of Kahshe Lake, Muskoka going fast. February, month of lesser days, if and first appeared in the Gravenhurst Banner) you’re a pal we’d have you know that there are came to visit and it was standing room only in much more pleasant things than going out to town halls whenever he gave one of his talks. All shovel snow. So, please be kind; don’t get too knew he was the real McCoy — an old friend rough. We’ve surely had it hard enough.” who could be trusted. Whenever Andy aired an According to the Napanee Beaver, “Frank excerpt from one’s hometown paper, it was seen Janowski, a Polish war veteran employed as a as a badge of honour. farm worker by Mark Dowling, has trained one Hastings County and area received their share of the farm horses to use a crosscut saw to help of his amusing extracts, such as the following cut heavy logs. The horse grips one handle of


the saw in its teeth, and the workman drags the other end. A snapshot of the operation has convinced the editor that anything can happen.” Under the heading “Peace Offering,” Clarke reported on the receipt of a delightful memento from Hastings County: “three hepatica plants, roots and bloom. They came from a newly graduated nurse, Alison Vanderwater, probably as a peace offering for the part she played in despoiling me of my tonsils. Thanks, lady, for the peace offering. All hard feelings are dismissed, and I find I can get along without the tonsils, anyway.” As reported in the Trenton Courier-Advocate, “at the express office a rabbit had t o b e h e l d ove r n i g h t f o r shipment. Next morning, when the feed man arrived there were no less than eighteen bunnies in place of the one that he had fed and bedded down so attentively the night before.” The Picton Gazette, “is regarded as reliable…, so when it says a motorist driving from the north side of Big Island to the mainland was run into by a carp, it can be taken as gospel. It seems that there was a stretch of roadway covered by water. As the driver was gingerly negotiating this pass, a big carp dived between the spokes of the front wheel, causing him to detour into a fence. He had to go wading to get his vehicle righted. The carp, too, was apparently damaged, for it was seen to go floating away.” From the Colborne Enterprise: “Charles Jarvis of Wooler had an unexpected adventure on Weslemkoon Lake when treed by bears. The number was not determined but they kept a determined vigil and Jarvis only managed to disperse the lot by setting fire to dry leaves in his handkerchief and dropping the blazing bomb in the midst of the convention.” Weekly for eight entertaining years, Andy’s listeners made a point of gathering around their radios each Sunday morning, if not in the kitchen then likely in the barn, as the genial host took to the airwaves with accounts of recordsize puffballs, dancing jackrabbits, a parsnip that looked like a parson, and a pike that had swallowed an alarm clock. His immensely large and dedicated following must have felt they lost a close family member when Clarke passed on.

Clarke gathered his radio show material by scouring the pages of over 200 community newspapers that were mailed to him on a weekly basis. Photos courtesy The Tweed News

A telling story related by two of Canada’s giants of journalism, Greg Clark and Gillis Purcell, speaks volumes and serves as a reminder of just how beloved a personality Clarke had become. When in Quebec on a trout fishing trip, their guide surprised them by saying, “I heard you speak of Andy Clarke. I came home one day and my wife met me at the door. ‘There is no more Andy!’ she told me.”

Extracted stories shown here are from Andy Clarke and his Neighbourly News (Ryerson Press, 1949), with acknowledgements to Bernard Semelhago of McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited. Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 25


On the way up

According to P.A. Miller Surveying’s Kevin Smith, the drone can accomplish in three or four minutes what may take a conventional surveying crew days or weeks. Photo by Anna Sherlock

Surveyors reach for the sky in land work B Y A N G E L A H AW N P.A. Miller’s Dave Parks (left) and Kevin Smith work with their new tool. By using an internet mapping program like Goggle Earth the surveyors can design a flight plan for the drone. Photo by Angela Hawn

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Country Roads • Fall 2015

I

t’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a...well, gee, it looks like a drone. And just what might that drone be up to? Well, surveying of course! Leave it to the profession which first thought to measure large tracts of land using nothing but a few pegs, some rope and a little geometry know-how to come up with yet another ingenious device in the era of high tech. The latest tool in the surveyor’s toolkit, the drone has arrived and it’s got nowhere to go but up. From police analysis of highway collisions to monitoring the health of crops in farmers’ fields, the potential applications for this incredible little flying machine appear limitless. And land surveyors should know. According to a recent article in USA Today, aerial surveys rank among the top uses for drones, second only to property


Made of sturdy Styrofoam and weighing in at 750g, the drone can cruise at speeds of 90km/h for a 50-minute period. Photo by Anna Sherlock

showcasing by realtors. “A job a conventional t w o - p e r s o n s u r v e y c r ew might take days or even weeks to complete can be done in three or four minutes by a drone,” exclaims Kevin Smith, drone enthusiast and land surveyor with Stirling’s P.A. Miller Surveying. “And it’s relatively easy to use.” In fact, getting the drone airborne requires nothing more complex from its handler than a few brisk back and forth movements, not unlike the simple, yet magical motion kids once employed to erase the screen of their etch-a-sketch toys. Shake, release and watch Kevin Smith of Stirling’s P.A. Miller Surveying proudly shows off the latest in land surveying technology. According to USA Today, aerial surveys rank among the top uses for drones. Photo by Angela Hawn

the drone take off, programmed to fly over a specific area and relay the lay of the land in stunning detail. Able to cruise along at speeds up to 90km/h for nearly 50 minutes, this compact styrofoam flying machine packs a punch well above its 750g weight. A standard package includes the drone with fully functioning autopilot, as well as computer software, a customized compact digital camera, a battery charger, the batteries themselves, plus a spare propeller and some rubber bands. Whoa, wait a minute...styrofoam? Rubber bands? “The styrofoam is incredibly sturdy and the rubber bands were one of the selling features,” laughs Smith, making the $40,000 drone package sound a little like a hip cross between a Wright brothers prototype and something McGyver might invent. “Flexible rubber bands connect

the propeller to the motor and they’re relatively cheap and easy to replace as they wear out.” And while the little drone itself might sound impressive, Smith raves even more about the sophisticated software used to make the whole thing tick. In order to prepare for upcoming survey work involving the Madawaska mine clean-up near Bancroft, Kevin will simply access an internet-based mapping program such as Google Earth and upload the appropriate coordinates. The drone’s software takes over from there, automatically generating a flight plan. Hmmm....A clever little craft with the ability to navigate and land all on its own? Worried some surveyor out there might one day implore a drone called “Hal” to open the pod-bay doors? Don’t be. Smith assures he can change any drone instructions from his laptop or tablet, all on the fly if necessary. And it’s the human beings who apply for Special Flight Operating Certificates and make sure drones follow all of the many rules and regulations set out by Transport Canada. Operators of these nifty little gizmos even undergo some flight school training before their drones head skywards. After that, it’s up, up and away!

l o o u c r l s l ? a f e h t e v o l Don’t you just ES

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Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 27


C o u n t r y

C a l e n d a r

Things to see and do in and around Hastings County. To submit your event listing email info@countryroadshastings.ca or call us at 613 968-0499. ART GALLERIES/EXHIBITIONS

THEATRE/LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Art Gallery of Bancroft, 10 Flint Avenue, Bancroft, 613-332-1542 agb@nexicom.net www.artgallerybancroft.ca

Bancroft Summer Theatre at Bancroft Village Playhouse, www.bancroftvillageplayhouse.ca 1 877-322-4682 or www.boxofficebancroft.com

 Sept 30 – Oct. 31 – David McIntosh - Painting the Figure. Sponsored by Ashlie’s Books. Opening reception Friday, Oct 2 at 7:30pm Nov 4 – 28 - Consensual ­Discomfort - Nate Smelle sculptures, Dave Maris – paintings. Sponsored by Pat Cooke in memory of Paul David Cooke. Opening Reception Friday, Nov 6 at 7:30pm D ec 2 – Jan. 4 2016 – ­Patrick Stewart - paintings, Sue Prentice – printmaking and Robin Tinney – sculpture. Sponsored by Ingrid and Hugh Monteith, and Barbara Allport. Opening reception Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30pm Belleville Art Association, 392 Front St., Belleville, Ontario10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday. 613-968-8632 info@bellevilleart.ca www.bellevilleart.ca Sept 14 – Oct 11: Fine Art Show & Sale Artist Choice

 Sept 29 - ‘Croft Talks LIVE - The Bancroft Region is full of stories, characters, beliefs and opinions. Each month, starting Sept, Barb Shaw will host a live, unscripted talk show that will tap into what’s happening across our region. This show will tackle the big stories, the small stories and dive deeper into the local context. 7 to 8:30 pm. Bar and a minimal $5 ticket price. All proceeds support the Bancroft Village Playhouse Repair Fund. O ct 4 - Fall Hike for Hospice and Chili Fest. A hike through the Theatre District while raising funds for Hospice North Hastings. Workup an appetite and then enjoy an all-you-can-eat celebration of home cooked chili. All funds raised support Hospice North Hastings. O ct. 13 - TIFF Tuesday – The North of 7 Film Fest: “Learning to Drive” 4:15 & 7pm – Tickets $10 at the door or online. Come out early for snacks and a chance to visit the Playhouse wine bar.

Stirling Festival Theatre, West Front St., Stirling 613-395-2100 1-877-312-1162 www.stirlingfestivaltheatre.com Sept 30 – 2 & 8 pm - ELVIS! ELVIS! ELVIS! starring GINO MONOPOLI For every minute of every show, Gino Monopoli exudes the look, sound and animal magnetism of Elvis, the world’s most recognizable celebrity! In addition to concert tours and television appearances, he has won top honours at “Elvis festivals” across the continent. Make a night of it and book our delicious Pre-Show Dinner. Oct 2 & 3 – 6 pm - Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre – Mystery on a Film Set! Famed director, Cecil B. DeMillpond is filming his latest blockbuster on location in Stirling. Hollywood superstar, BennyDick Cumbersome stars in the movie, “From Here To Infinity”. Filming is interrupted when a body shows up! O ct 4 – 2 pm Milestones And Memories With The Commodores’ Orchestra. The Commodores Orchestra remembers Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 100th birthday, the end of WW2 and other 20th century musical milestones.

choices made by everyone except you? As English housewife Shirley Valentine prepares chips and egg for dinner she ruminates on her life and tells the wall about her husband, her children, her past, and an invitation from a girlfriend to join her on holiday in Greece to search for romance and adventure! Pre-Show Dinner available. O ct. 22-24, 29-30 @ 7:00 Oct. 25, 31 @ 2:00 – Lurking 9 TO 5! Young Company Halloween Show. Young ghosts, goblins and Halloween creatures get ready to scare on Halloween. While human kids are busy getting their costumes ready, all the other spooky characters work overtime to be at their most ghoulish on the big day. N  ov 20 – Dec 31- Treasure Island PANTO - Ahoy Maties, the SFT Panto is setting sail for Treasure Island, tucked deep in the tropical Bay of Quinte! Shiver me timbers, there’s pirates, mermaids and seas creatures of all kind. Whether you’re a fan of the Family show or the Naughty show, you’ll love our panto-fied version of Treasure Island!

Oct 16 & 17 Shirley Valentine - What can you do when you realize that you’ve hit middle age, and your life has been shaped by

EVENTS Sept 27 & 28 - Tweed and Area Studio Tour, 10-5. Enjoy the beauty Hastings County has to offer. Artists and artisans will be showcasing their talents in venues spread out along beautiful countryside. 2015 will be our 18th year. Look for the “North America’s Smallest Jailhouse” signs to guide you through the tour as well as the following map: http://www. tweedstudiotour.org/map.ht Oct 3 - Relay for Life 2nd Annual Fundraiser – presented by Team Super Dan. Launching and ending in Belleville, in the afternoon/evening allowing plenty of time to travel to selected wineries for complimentary tastings and to collect cards for a poker showdown.” The evening will end with dinner and reading of the hands. A chance to win big while supporting a most worthwhile cause. Helen 905-320-1495 or www,facebook.com/corkjesters Oct. 3, & Nov 7, Saturday Postage Stamp, Coin & Postcard Fairs. Over one million Worldwide Stamps, Postcards & Coins in stock. Stamps, Postcard & Coin Supplies available, many at discounted prices. King Edward Community Centre / Hockey Rink Complex, 75 Elizabeth St. / Hwy # 2, Brighton, Ontario. Free Admission, Free Parking 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

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C o u n t r y

C a l e n d a r

Things to see and do in and around Hastings County. To submit your event listing email info@countryroadshastings.ca or call us at 613 968-0499. Oct 3 & 4 - Aboriginal ArtFest 2015 - exhibit and sale of two-dimensional art by 22 artists from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Works include oils, acrylics, watercolours, photography, fabric art, etc. 10am4pm Mohawk Community Centre 1407 York Road, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, ON. Info Debra Vincent 613-396-2749 vindebra@gmail.com Not-for-profit artists group Oct 10 - Nov 5 - Photo Art 2015 The Napanee Photo Club’s 31st Annual Exhibition and Sale. Free, Daily 9am-8pm. Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, 8 Richmond Park Drive, Napanee, ON Info: Julie Drummond 613-661-1085 http://napaneephotoclub.ca

ing and level access from the rear of the building . Presented by Hastings County Historical Society www.hastingshistory.ca. Oct 24 - Hastings County Historical Society Annual Banquet and Celebration: Guest speaker, Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda whose topic will be “The Hidden Side of The Agenda”. Travelodge, Belleville. Social hour 6 pm; dinner 7:15 pm Tickets$65- available at Quinte Arts Council in Belleville, the Heritage Centre in Cannifton, or by calling R. Hughes (613-961-7772) or M. L. Morgan (613-961-7091). www. hastingshistory.ca

Oct 20 - The History of Albert College - speaker Albert College Archivist, Neil Smith. Established in 1866 it is the oldest co-ed independent school in Canada. This free public presentation takes place at 7.30 PM at Maranatha, 100 College Street West, Belleville. Ample park-

Nov.14 &15 -24th Annual Christmas Craft Show. Picton ArenaCommunity Hall 375Main St., Picton Ont. 9:30 to 4: 00. Admission $2.00 Children free Nov 17- “The Last Day of School: A Final Tour of BCI & VS” with Eugene “Jeep” Lang” – speaker Doug Knutson of Windswept Productions will discuss and show his film . There will also be a display of school artifacts courtesy of John Lowry. This free public presentation takes place at 7.30 PM at Maranatha, 100 College

Street West, Belleville. Ample parking and level access from the rear of the building . Presented by Hastings County Historical Society www.hastingshistory.ca Nov 27-29, 2015 County Festival of Trees - Fri/Sat 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday 10 am to 2 pm. The event includes a silent auction of decorated Christmas trees, bucket draw, Second Time Around Shop Boutique, bake & preserves sale, musical entertainment and more. Isaiah Tubbs Resort, 1642 County Road 12, Picton ON K0K 2T0. Sponsored by the PEC Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. www.qhc.on.ca. Admission free. All proceeds go to support healthcare needs in the community.

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W W W. T I K I T W E B. C O M Fall 2015 • Country Roads

I 29


Back Roads

School house in Bridgewater, around 1890 This photograph shows the school house in the village of Bridgewater (now Actinolite) around 1890. Among the group gathered in front of the building is Billa Flint (the man with the white beard), who was responsible for the development of the village after building a saw mill on the Skootamatta river in 1853. Flint was an entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist who only had six weeks of schooling himself. The school house was built between 1860 and 1864, with local white marble used in its construction. The man with the dark beard has been identified as James Mairs. Credit: Photo by W.G. Barclay, on loan to the Hastings County Historical Society (reference HC00051) courtesy M.A. McNaughton

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Country Roads • Fall 2015


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Profile for COUNTRY ROADS, Celebrating Life in Hastings County

COUNTRY ROADS, Celebrating Life in Hastings County FALL 2015  

A seasonal lifestyle & cultural magazine celebrating life in Hastings County and eastern Ontario. www.countryroadshastings.ca

COUNTRY ROADS, Celebrating Life in Hastings County FALL 2015  

A seasonal lifestyle & cultural magazine celebrating life in Hastings County and eastern Ontario. www.countryroadshastings.ca

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