US: The New Brunswick Option

For disenchanted Americans, I have an escape plan that keeps with Saint-John New Brunswick-S-L-Tilley-SUE statue King's Squarehistorical tradition – New Brunswick. In case of a Trump win in the US presidential race, Cape Breton has announced its willingness to provide refuge for fleeing Americans. But New Brunswick is closer, and Americans who come here might even reunite with part of their family.

In the American Revolution, many residents of the 13 Colonies thought things were going too far when violent secession from Britain became the objective. Yes, better representation and fairer Tory_Refugees_by Howard_Pyle-wikipediataxation, greater local decision-making and less exploitation by the homeland. But severing all ties because of the erratic rule of King George III? Replacing a stable system of governance with a new one made up of businessmen and self-promoters? The possibility of “mob rule”?

Time to head out, many – white, black and First Nations – decided. Better to await the next king and stay affiliated with a nation where rights and obligations are known and had been worked out over centuries between parliament and monarch. So that would be north, to Canada.

United Empire Loyalist Province

St_John_River_Map-wikipediaNew Brunswick’s border abuts Maine. The refugees followed the Saint John River. Its great valley running the length of New Brunswick provided new homes for many of them. About 33,000 Loyalists fled to Canada. The majority of those came to what is now called New Brunswick, but at that time was part of Nova Scotia.

In 1784 New Brunswick was established as a separate colony, with 14,000 new Loyalist residents, due to problems encountered elsewhere in Nova Henry Sandham painting Coming_of_the_Loyalists-wikiScotia. Many Loyalists settled at the mouth of the river in Saint John. In 1783 it was a village of 145. In 1785 it had grown so much it became Canada’s first incorporated city.

Britain gave the United Empire Loyalists grants of land and start-up resources, money and farming equipment and livestock. The British took that land, however, from the Acadian, Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people resident there. They were pushed to less arable lands to the north and east.

In Saint John, the Loyalist Burial Grounds provides a roll call of UEL names. In it and other old churchyards, I’ve found distant relatives. My Burwell, Lymburner and Mabee ancestors came as Loyalists to New Brunswick and moved on to southwestern Ontario.

Loyalist gravestones-Ford family-Hampton NB
Capt. John Ford “born in the Colony of New Jersey and out of Loyalty to his King in 1777 abandoned all his Possessions and in 1783 Emigrated to this Province”, his wife Alcha, and daughter Mary Munger “relict of the late Wm Munger”. Hampton NB (click to enlarge)

Civil and Vietnam Wars

Eighty years later,  US Civil War draft dodgers settled “Skedaddle Ridge” in Carleton County on the Maine border. A century after that, New Brunswick received its share of Vietnam War resisters and disaffected Americans. So, welcome, those seeking refuge from what is likely to be a very changed America, whomever the next president. Your history, neighbours and family are already here.

Corrie Street Mar. 27/16

Sadie’s Nails

Wednesday, Kylie does a house call for nails. It’s for one of her regular clients, one she hasn’t seen in a while.

freddie and kylie look at coffin, wanted-her-to-look-her-bestSadie’s husband Freddie ushers her in. Sadie is in the living room, in a coffin. A shock, for Kylie and viewers.

Kylie says “I can’t, I’m sorry” and flees the room. Not the best response, but not surprising. Next we see, she’s in the backyard, Freddie beside her. He apologizes. He had explained the situation when he called the salon. Obviously, the significance of words like ‘dead’ and ‘funeral’ had escaped the new trainee who took the booking.

hands-after kylie finishes painting nailsFreddie talked about how, when he was growing up, “we always brought our people home”. Doing so lessened the distance between life and death and allowed you to know your loved one in death. It made death less frightening.

A glass of water, some deep breathing and Kylie says that she has seen a dead body outside a funeral home before this. Freddie presses money in her hand and says it’s ok, Sadie will never know that her kylie-pats-sadie's-handnails weren’t done when she was buried. Kylie said, “But we will,” and went inside.

She carefully polished Sadie’s nails with her usual colour. Then she saw that the lipstick put on by the mortician did not match. “I never saw Sadie without matching nails and lipstick,” she said. “Do you mind?” she asked Freddie, then rooted through a bag to find the right lipstick. And she made up kylie-puts-lipstick-on-sadieSadie’s lips, just a bit, just right.

Of Sadie, we only ever saw her hands. And it was one of the most beautiful and moving scenes ever.

Cuba

In the late 1980s, with one wintry week off, my boyfriend and I decided to go to a resort. We found a last-minute deal in Cuba.

Havana-harbour-D-Stewart-photosOur fellow passengers on the  flight were mostly labour union people. Many had been in Cuba often, on educational tours and seminars as well as vacations at the resort we were going to. The tour company had some kind of link to Ontario unions.

Parasito-D-Stewart-photosThe only one on its bay, the resort was comfortably small and uncrowded. It was between Havana and Varadero. Guests were mainly Canadian and German. Good food, a cottage near the water. The usual things to do. A pool, theme parties, tennis courts, and the ocean. A riding stable was next door. Bus excursions to see the countryside and people.

Havana

We took the local bus to Havana for a day. A woman invited us to eat with her family after she and my boyfriend talked in Spanish outside her house on a down town side street. Her kids wanted to know about North America, we wanted to know about Cuba.

We went to a Hemingway bar – a famous little hole in the wall, the Bodeguita del Medio. Mojitos are the specialty. Decades of drinkers from-Havana-Museum-1988-D-Stewarthave scratched their autographs into the walls. We did also, and bought a t-shirt. We walked along the Malecón, looked at the beautiful crumbling old buildings, the dance clubs and theatres from Havana’s heyday as an American playground. Before Castro, before the embargo. Vehicles filled the streets. But the only newish ones were Russian. The others were from 1950s America, engines rumbling the way only old V-8s do.

At the resort, we saw how the cars were kept running. A man had the hood of his car up, working on it. So we went over to watch. Pretty much everyone with a car knew how to make some parts, he said, or adapt them. Metal fabricators specialized in making engine parts. With string, wire, metal and wood, those cars kept going. They sounded and looked like the pride of Detroit.

Havana-1988-D-Stewart-photos

Americans in Cuba, again

The half-century old embargo likely will be lifted now. American hotel executives are with Obama on his trip to Cuba. Deals are being made. American tourists will join the Canadians and Europeans on the beaches. New cars will be sent. I think it’s been long enough now that everyone knows the museum value of the American cars kept alive in Cuba longer than anywhere except the garages of classic car collectors. The cars are not of intrinsic value as examples of their model, however, having few original parts anywhere in them. Their worth is as works of art, industrial art perhaps. They show the ability of machine and mechanic to stay operational. Adaptation and invention are highly developed skills in Cuba. I hope they survive.

El-Tropico-Cuba-1988-D-Stewart-photosIt’s a long time since I was in Cuba, about half the lifetime of the old cars. I bet the island changed less in those decades than it will in the next year or two.

Corrie Street Mar. 20/16

Que sera sera

erica-comes-from-back-room‘Whatever will be’ is Dev and Erica together. I hope. Tuesday, Erica stopped pussyfooting around and went in for the kill. She was helped by Liz and, especially, Mary.

During a girls’ night out the previous evening, Erica admitted that she had feelings for Dev. Liz and Mary convinced her that Dev felt the same way about her. So do something about it, they urged. Next day, Dev put a monkeywrench in the works by bringing a woman to the shop and arranging to meet her later at the Rovers.

dev-kareen-maryKaren (pronounced Kar-een) was obviously keen on Dev as was he on her. Time for Team Erica to make an assault. Assault and insult they did. Liz was the wheelman, behind the bar checking on timing and notifying parties when it was time to move in. Mary moved in on the table where Dev and Kar-een cozied up and played getting to know you.

kareen-listens-to-maryWhile Dev was getting drinks, Mary expressed her horror at the turnstile that was Dev’s bedroom door, said that the nanny saw much more than she wished to, and got in lovely digs about all that probably being okay with Kar-een. “You look very easy – [harrumph] – going.” And it worked, Kar-een stomped out, telling Dev she wasn’t going to be a notch on his bedpost.

Liz signalled Erica, time to come out. From the back room emerged erica-kisses-surprised-devErica, done up to the nines. Wolf whistles from the guys at the bar and she went straight for Dev. “Que sera sera” she said as she grabbed him. Mary helpfully provided the translation. Liz poked her in the ribs to shut up.

Their night evidently went well, but next day Dev was distant. Erica, having made her stance however, wasn’t about to back off. That evening they again left the Rovers together.

liz-and-mary-delightedI like Dev, and I like Erica. I think they work together well – as actors and as characters. They are plausible together and they, I think, will be fun. Dev has been rattling around far too long without a storyline.

He plays the fool well, but he can do much more than that. We all have seen Dev – the aging playboy who doesn’t want to admit that it all hasn’t been what he’d hoped for and expected, and time is running out. He and Erica have a lot in common. She has enjoyed a que-serafree-spirited, adventurous life. But she also knows that descent into ‘past it’ is not far away. For both of them, it’s time to make time count.

Bear

“A sad Goodbye to Bear, the dog who you may remember that was abandoned at Dalewood, that became a ABCR rescue dog. Bear was Bear-2015-FBadopted by a young man who dearly cherished this sweet boy and lived the rest of his life well fed and very much loved until cancer took his breath from him today. RIP Bear.” Mar. 15/16 ABCR Facebook

St. Thomas people and pets have a lot to thank Bear for. He caused a pet food bank to be set up, and major policy and procedure changes to be made in Animal Control. Below is a post from my St. Thomas Dog Blog that tells his story and, after it, a bit of what happened next. My condolences to Bear’s family.

Dumped and Found (Oct. 2, 2010)

The Dalewood dog is found and at the City animal shelter. His name is Bear. His is a story more of sadness and desperation than thoughtless cruelty. It sounds like a desperate man took what he thought were his only options. For whatever reason, he had to be ‘dogless’ by the next morning (moving? an apartment? I don’t know). But he didn’t have the $50 for the pound surrender fee. So he fed Bear a good meal, and took him to Dalewood and left him. Then he called All Breed Canine Rescue and told them what he’d done. People went looking for Bear, and they found him.

I can’t be angry at this man anymore. I’m saddened and frustrated. I wish he’d phoned ABCR first. But maybe he feared he’d be refused (Bear) pound #233 Sept 29again unless he could pay. Maybe he figured desperate action would get him the result he wanted – a good home for his dog. It’s still Bear who paid the biggest price. He still wandered around alone, looking for his person, wondering how he’d lost him. Bear is a Lab/Shepherd cross. I don’t know much about Labs, but I do know Shepherds will not lose you easily. No matter what they’re doing, they will always do their best to also keep track of you.

Shelter Fails

There has to be a better way of dealing with unwanted and stray animals without making the animals pay the price of abandonment. People are discussing ways of reorganizing the management and operation of the City shelter. The idea, in essence, is to involve the city’s animal rescue groups in the administration of the pound along with the City. What’s needed is a focus on education and actions to reduce the number of animals needing the services of the pound and finding homes instead of euthanasia or refusal to accept animals.

This type of thing is being talked about in City shelters across the country. Calgary has a very good model which has been very successful. I wrote in an earlier post (Giving Shelter) about the manager of the St. John’s Animal Control Shelter who had created a pound environment very different from the usual cages of dogs and cats left essentially alone. Change must be made in our Animal Shelter. It is doable and it’s urgent. With job losses, the number of animals needing the help of the pound and rescue groups will increase. That is on top of the normal levels of strayed and abandoned pets.

Changes Bear made

In early October 2010 a committee was struck to assess and improve operations of the St. Thomas Animal Shelter. Shelter employees, City staff and rescue group members have worked to better reunite lost pets with Charity-Cat-TNRtheir people, started a spay/neuter programme, and held micro-chipping clinics.

After thinking about pets like Bear – dumped maybe only because of lack of money, we in the STDOA decided to try to make a change. We started a pet food bank.

With the Caring Cupboard, the local human food bank, and other businesses in town, pet food was collected and distributed to those in need. In the first 10 weeks, over 1,000 pounds of kibble went through our hands. The programme is still going, and tons of kibble, canned food, litter, leashes and dog beds have been collected and distributed in St. Thomas and Aylmer in those six years. I think it’s helped a lot of people keep their pets during times of financial difficulty. And it’s all thanks to Bear.

Corrie Street Mar. 13/16

Business Negotiations

Maybe I’m missing something in the negotiations over Nick’s sale of bistro-ken-tracy-robert listen to leannethe Bistro. I don’t see what the fuss is about with Leanne’s 11th hour offer. Actually, it is a 12th hour offer, as in too late. She made it after Nick had accepted Robert’s offer and they had made an appointment with a lawyer to draw up the sale papers. Therefore, too bad for her and too bad for Nick if he prefers her as a buyer. Robert’s offer was accepted without conditions, therefore it stands.

Even if Leanne’s offer was higher, for the full asking price, it shouldn’t invalidate the deal agreed upon by Nick and Robert. Nick had carla-nick-leanne talk to robertoriginally told Robert that he wanted to offer the Bistro first to Leanne. Robert asked for first refusal, presumably after Leanne. Nick agreed. Leanne did not make an offer, so Robert did. He offered 90% of Nick’s asking price. Nick asked for time to consider it and await other offers. None came, so Nick accepted Robert’s. He did not add any caveats, say, ‘unless Leanne makes an offer’, ‘unless I get the full asking price’. He simply said yes to Robert. That’s where we were when Leanne came in with her offer also of 90%.

So now Robert is throwing up his hands because he can’t raise the tracy-robert question leannemoney to up his bid. Tracy is scheming to get the extra 10% out of Carla. Nick is saying he needs time to consider the offers. Being identical, what is there to dither about? He would prefer to sell to Leanne, as he made clear at the beginning, but he already agreed to sell to Robert.

I have expected Robert to simply say ‘let’s see what the lawyer says’. Well, I didn’t expect it as such, because I know that the storyline needs the tension between Tracy and Carla. But I don’t like having to stretch my credulity in order to watch another aspect of a storyline – its principal motivation – play out. If Leanne’s offer had been for more carla-nick-leanne-smilemoney, if they got into a bidding war – it still wouldn’t seem legally credible but it might make it a bit easier to go along with. It makes me wonder how any of them have stayed in any business if they pay so much attention to personal feelings and so little to legalities.

William Anger and Emma Nie

William Anger Emma Nie 70th anniversary 110

(William Anger and Emma Nie 1958, text below, click image to enlarge)

Their Wedding 70 Years Ago

Two lifelong residents of this district will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of their wedding day this week.

Mr. and Mrs. William Anger, 19 Buchanan Avenue, who were married 70 years ago on December 6, will be observing the occasion on Christmas day quietly at home surrounded by members of their family.

Both 89 years of age, Mr. and Mrs. Anger were born in South Cayuga, Mrs. Anger being the former Emm Nie, and were married in Dunnville at the home of the Rev. F. L. Wilkinson. They came to Hamilton in 1903 and for many years made their home on Ottawa Street South before moving to their present address.

Mr. Anger, who has done farming most of his life, retired 20 years ago. He still takes an active interest in the chores about the house and spends much of his spare time reading and keeping up on world events.

Of their family, still living are two sons, Harvey and Charles, this city, and five daughters: Mrs. Archie Lickers (Grace) and Mrs. Joseph Smith (Emmeline) both of Buffalo, and Mrs. Charles Alexander (Hazel), Mrs. Wilfred Moore (Myrtle) and Mrs. Lorne Forbes (Florence) Hamilton.

There are 27 grandchildren and 65 great-grandchildren.

Photo caption: “Mr. and Mrs. William Anger look at their framed marriage certificate, dated 1888, Dunnville.” (Newspaper date Dec. 1958)

***My thanks to Barry Patterson for sending me this clipping***

Their Family History

William Charles Anger was the son of Edward Anger and Emaline Bowden. He was born in 1869 in Byng, Dunn Township, Haldimand Co. Ontario and died in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario.  His wife Emma was born in 1871 in Rainham, Haldimand Co. Ontario, and died in 1960 in Hamilton. She was the daughter of Martin Nie (or Nye) and Wilhemina Hausp. Martin was born in 1830 in South Cayuga, Haldimand Co. Ontario. Wilhemina was born in 1852 in the US. They married in 1867 in Wyandott City in Kansas. They raised their family in Haldimand County and Hamilton, Ontario.

Emma Nie and William Anger had nine children, with seven named in the article. Two sons predeceased them. William was the eldest, born Jan 1893 in Dunville, Haldimand County. He married Amy Mildred Chappel Nov. 21st 1917 in Englefield, Saskatchewan. She was born in 1896 in Morden, Manitoba. Their five children were born in Saskatchewan, but the family returned to Ontario. Amy died in 1944 and William in 1953, both in Hamilton. William and Emma’s fourth child, Halton, was born August 1898 in Dunnville.

Corrie Street Mar. 6/16

Her or His Story

Hmm, believe Phelan or Anna? I think Tim is the only one with his phelan-passes-timhead screwed on right. Looking at the damage Anna did to Phelan’s van, Tim tells Kevin that he figures Anna had her reasons. “Well, I know Anna, and she’s a good woman. Whereas him – he’s been on the street five minutes. I know who I’d trust.”

To argue Kevin’s side for a minute, it does seem that Anna went temporarily insane. Bashing the windshield in with an axe, breaking off mirrors, totally destroying the vehicle for apparently no reason. Kevin has dealt with a crazy not long ago, he knows people can do things that hurt others for reasons that make no sense to anyone else.

kev-and-tim-look-at-damage Anna did to vanBut. Anna has given him some of the reason she dislikes and distrusts Phelan. He knows there is more to it. Should he not give her the benefit of the doubt? Or redouble the effort to get the whole story? Maybe she owes him the whole truth. After all, Phelan has seemed to be nothing other than a good worker and friend to Kevin. Anna knows that Phelan has already ripped off Kevin, she even knows how he did it. She just can’t prove that he wrecked the garage wiring so that he could get work fixing it.

been-on-the-street-five-minutesIf she told Kevin the true story of Phelan’s evil, she might save their relationship and might save Kevin’s business. But he might not believe her. He might believe she was a willing participant in the sex for debt trade she made with Phelan. After all, Owen and Katy did not believe her and they benefited from her action.

So she is simply asking Kevin to take her words and actions on faith. But Tim is the only person who does. I guess I’m a little surprised that i-know-who-i-would-truston such a small street, the backstory of Phelan and the Armstrong-Windass family doesn’t resonate for other people.

Why doesn’t Jason remember more about the animosity and difficulties that had to be obvious on the street? Phelan was very much present at that time, as were bailiffs emptying the Armstrong-Windass house, and Owen and Gary shouting and fighting. Even if no one else knows what exactly happened, I think Jason would remember that there were problems and Phelan was in the middle of them.

At the end of Friday’s episode, Kevin maybe is seeing the side of what the hell are you doingPhelan that he hasn’t seen, or wanted to see. With Tim’s words still in his head, I hope, he sees Phelan turning away from a frightened Anna backed against the wall of the café. I hope this time he takes Anna’s story, complete or incomplete as it may be, on faith.

Tony Warren

My hanging out in Manchester buddy died yesterday. Tony Warren, Tony Warren youtube 50th anniversary digital spycreator of Coronation Street and my accidental tour guide, died at the age of 79.

One day, a long time ago, Tony Warren and I walked from Granada Studios to the city centre of Manchester. He took me around his city. It wasn’t planned. We went to a nearby shop for cigarettes and just kept going.

I was interviewing him for a radio documentary on Coronation Street. We sat on a bench in the lobby of Granada House. I had my tape recorder running and he told me about the beginning of the show. It was a tale he’d told before, but he made it fresh-sounding and interesting. Great for radio.

Harry_Elton-6th-right 1963-coronationstreet-wikia
Harry Elton, 6th from right, 1963

As I listened, in my head I was intercutting what he was saying with an earlier interview I’d done with original Coronation Street producer Harry Elton. I knew the two voices, both good at storytelling and telling the same story, would play beautifully off each other. Tony liked that idea, putting together the two founding fathers of a British institution. Both had often told the story of the show’s start in 1960 and both referenced the other, of course. But with one in England and the other in Canada, the two halves were not often in the same telling.

We sat in the lobby way longer than the half hour he had allotted me. Granada closed for the day, with only a security guard there to let us out. We had smoked almost all the cigarettes we had between us, so Rovers_Return_Granada-stuart-jamieson-1987-wikicommonshe said let’s go, there’s a shop just up the road.

Out to the main road and back toward the city. We stopped at a corner store and stocked up on smokes, then kept walking. A pub stop, more walking, then dinner at a Chinese restaurant where signed photos of Coronation Street stars decorated the walls and staff greeted Tony like a long-time family friend.

Talk about the early days of the show, and about the years he spent trying to get away from it. In Amsterdam, turning on the tv and Coronation Street being on. Turning the tv off. On a London bus, overhearing the passengers in front of him talking about what had happened in last night’s episode. Trying to read analyses of Coronation Street that gave it social significance he had not imagined possible. “You’re not doing one of those, are you?” He wouldn’t tell me which books, but I’d hazard a guess at some he was talking about.

Coronation St Oct 2007 Jordan-1972-wikicommonsHe’d moved into novel writing, about Manchester and entertainment. The same topics he’d loved since he was a young man, starting a writing career. He’d also come to terms to being defined by Coronation Street, and he was justifiably proud of the city he’d created within his city. Thank you, Tony Warren.

(See also my Coronation Street 50th 2011 post)