Doug Ford as leader of the Ontario PC probably means that Kathleen Wynne will be re-elected as premier in May. Or he gets elected premier. Either way, it’s a disaster for Ontario. I’m sure there’s still a leader of the NDP but I’d have to google to find out who it is. And I have no real faith that she or he would be all that much of an improvement on either of the other two. Just mess up the province in new and different ways.
I am very glad I am no longer living there. Living under the Liberal flag of first Dalton McGuinty and then Kathleen Wynne was an endless nightmare of trying to survive under their endless, non-essential ‘improvements’. And also an endless source of amazement of what stupidity they could dream up next. Kind of like what living in Donald Trump’s USA must be like.
But I have another reason for being glad I have been well clear since long before this latest move to crazy-land in Ontario politics. A friend once told me that when I moved to a place, it tanked.
He was speaking about my move to St. Thomas, Ontario, years ago. When I moved there, a Ford assembly plant had been in operation for four decades. Then it shut down and over 1,000 people lost their jobs. It was the largest employer in town.
I moved to Sussex, New Brunswick, where PotashCorp had operated a mine for four decades. Then it shut down and over 400 people lost their jobs. It was the largest employer in town.
So, superstitious or not, I’m glad I am far away from Ontario. I do not have to feel any responsibility for this newest shit show. Doug Ford and Kathleen Wynne could be the dictionary definition of ‘between a rock and a hard place’. Good luck, Ontario!
In this gallery are newspaper clippings from my mother’s scrapbooks. Their dates are from the 1940s on. They are about family and our towns as well as random people and events that struck her. And, of the many clippings in her scrapbooks, these are the ones that also particularly struck me.
Hover over an image to see its caption. To see a particular article, click or tap it. After doing that, you can click the small magnifying glass under the image title for a larger view. I will add more as I scan them, so check back.
Belmont Clubs, late 1940s
Oddfellows photo with my dad George Anger, granddad Austin Anger and uncle Wallace Jackson. The Mary Hastings’ Bluebirds (below) with my mother Ruby Anger.
Belmont Arena 1949
The parents of Jake Bradburn (top photo, left) were Flo and Wes Bradburn. A few years later, when my parents moved to the big old house at the corner of Main and Odell, Flo and Wes lived in the front apartment.
Uncle Floyd, horseradish king of Tillsonburg, was my mother’s uncle. He married Marguerite Lymburner, sister of Minnie Lymburner Burwell. They lived near Tillsonburg with their eight children.
The top clipping is from 1950 and tells the story of a young Port Burwell teacher, Mary Anne MacMath, a century earlier. The next is about the 1960 historical plaque for Col. Mahlon Burwell. Below that are stories about a faith healer in Port Burwell in 1951. I can’t find any information on the Rev. Orland Bailey but I found Harvey Vaughan’s 2013 obituary.
My mother was quick to send off a letter to the editor if need be.
Obituary for Mom’s uncle Eddie Lymburner, 1948
Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings
In this 1951 story of Woodstock cat Herkimer, the writer mentions “the wealthy” Rhubarb. Googling told me that Rhubarb is a 1951 movie about a stray cat who hits the jackpot when he is given a home. It is based on a 1946 novel by H. Allen Smith. You can watch it on YouTube (for a fee).
I don’t often agree with Peter Worthington, but I did with what he wrote (March 14, 2012) about Pit Bulls and Ontario’s Breed Specific Legislation. He calls BSL a “Ku Klux Klan law”, “akin to deciding guilt based on appearance, not behaviour.” Like him, I applaud Cons. Randy Hillier, NDP Cheri DiNova and Lib. Kim Craitor for bringing forward a private members’ bill to rescind it. No law should apply to a specific breed and dogs who look “substantially similar” to that breed.
Fashion of fear
A lot of dogs have been in fashion as “feared” dogs. German Shepherds had their time. Someone I know found his beautiful Shepherd poisoned, most likely by a neighbour who disliked “that German police dog”. Then came Doberman Pinschers as the “feared” breed. There is reason to be fearful of them and most dogs– if you’re not on the side of the fence you belong on, as I heard the owner of an auto wrecker business once say.
But I don’t remember Shepherds or Dobes being the fashion accessory for young men that Rottweilers and Pitties became in the past two decades. Now, it seems to me, Mastiffs and Cane Corsos have supplanted them.
These are all very powerful breeds used for herding and protecting. They are intelligent and strong-willed. You have to be their match in order for the relationship to work out well, and just wanting to be isn’t enough. I would never have a Rottie or Pit Bull. Dog trainers have told me that I don’t make myself the dog’s boss. “You’re more a litter mate than alpha dog,” one said.
Fashion of image-making
These powerful breeds of fashion can scare me. But it’s not the dogs, it’s the owners. I don’t mean huge, tattooed drug dealers or nasty pimps. I mean teenagers who cannot have had much experience handling any dog except the family pet because they are just not old enough. The caution the Westminster dog show announcer gives about some breeds, “not for first-time dog owners”? Shep, who let you pull his ears when you were two, does not qualify you as an experienced dog owner.
I also have concerns for these dogs of youthful fashion: are they being fed right, exercised enough, socialized and trained properly? You might well be concerned about the same things for their owners. However, if either of them wig out, the owner won’t be sentenced to death but the dog will.
Myth-making and Pit Bulls
A well looked after, happy Pit Bull is a joy. A neglected or abused, frightened or aggressive one is not. Just like any other dog. The reality is that there have been vicious attacks by Pit Bulls that have killed and seriously maimed people and animals. But presuming therefore that Pit Bulls are all crazed killers is itself, well, crazy.
Lovers of the breed have tried to counteract the “fighting dog” label by pointing out the breed’s protector instincts. However, the “Nanny dog” image may be equally damaging to the poor Pittie. The photo at left has circulated the internet, and it’s lovely. And maybe back then, the Pit Bull was your first choice of baby minder. But there’s been a hundred years of selective breeding, good and bad, since then and that has an effect on all aspects of a creature.
Gross generalizations on either side are neither accurate nor fair to Pit Bulls. They deserve to be treated like other dogs without bearing the burden of vilification or sainthood. To paraphrase Tammy Wynette “after all, he’s just a dog.” So stand by him and be proud of him – for what he is, not the angel or ogre you want him to be.
From my St. Thomas Dog Blog Mar. 22, 2012. 4 comments below.
This was first posted on my St. Thomas Dog Blog, May 10, 2012. This Saturday, May 7th, 2016, it’s Derby Day again. It feels different this year – it’s the first anniversary of the beginning of American Pharoah’s successful run for the Triple Crown. It’s also the 10th anniversary of Barbaro’s Kentucky Derby win. Sadly, he was injured in the Preakness and he died Jan. 29th 2007.
The 1st Saturday in May, this is the mug I pour my first cup of coffee into. Last Saturday, the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another came from the middle of the pack and passed the frontrunner. At 15-1 odds and in the 19th position, he wasn’t considered a serious contender.
His jockey, Mario Gutierrez, raced at Hastings Raceway in Vancouver, or as the announcer put it, “the small-time circuit up in Canada.” It was Gutierrez’ first Derby ride. The owner of I’ll Have Another, J. Paul Reddam, is originally from Windsor, Ont. As a university student, he got interested in racing by hanging around Windsor Raceway. Two racing lives honoured in the winner’s circle of the most prestigious race in North America, both nurtured on Canadian tracks.
Tracks that, at least in Ontario, face closure. Premier McGuinty’s government decided that the long-standing profit-sharing agreement between tracks and the OLG would not be renewed. Until now, OLG and the track shared the profits, with OLG getting the lion’s share. Still, the 10% that the tracks get is crucial to their economic survival. Slot machines and rooms that house them cost far less to maintain than do barns, tracks and horses.
Another side of tracks: history and tourism
All racetracks, including Churchill Downs, rely on slot machines and other forms of gambling for income. When we toured Churchill Downs, our guide said the only day of the year on which the track actually makes money from racing is Derby Day.
But the pride, prestige and history of Churchill Downs is in the racetrack and barns. It is a tourism draw, with tours, gift shops and a museum. Restaurants, motels and stores in Louisville also benefit from the dollars that come with these tourists who come to Horse Mecca and buy a commemorative mug. Do non-gamblers make a special trip to tour a casino, other than in Las Vegas?
A racetrack is a huge operation, employing many in track and horse maintenance. Also the breeders and trainers who spend years refining bloodlines and preparing juveniles for the track. The stars are the horses and they are expensive to maintain.
Meanwhile in Ontario, racehorses are being sent for slaughter. If the tracks don’t have the slot machines, they likely will close. There will be nowhere to race horses so breeders are getting out of the business. That means getting rid of living horses. It is said that newborn foals are being killed before they stand up – that way insurance will cover their “loss”. Many of those thoroughbred foals and their mothers and fathers have the blood of the great Canadian Northern Dancer in their veins.
Thoroughbred and harness racing are part of our national history. If profit sharing with slot machines keeps tracks alive, that also keeps alive our horses and our presence in the sport of kings. McGuinty’s tinkering with what worked just fine for long before he became premier is now costing the lives of horses and livelihoods of horse people.
There is a Burwell family in southwestern Ontario and one in Virginia. No one is sure if they’re related. I wonder if the link might be through Burwells in Connecticut.
The Ontario Burwells are United Empire Loyalists. Fighting for the losing side in the American Revolution, they fled New Jersey north to still-British Canada. The Virginia Burwells fought on the American side. In the War of 1812, the two again fought on opposite sides. In the American Civil War, the Virginia Burwells, plantation owners, fought on the Confederate side.
An obituary of James Burwell of Fingal says he was grandson to John Burwell “who removed from James Town, Virginia, in the year 1721, a relative of the extensive family of Burwells in that county.” A relative. Speculation has been that John Burwell was the son of Lewis Burwell Jr. and Martha Lear.
I suggest that John and Lewis Jr. were 3rd cousins twice removed, related through two cousins in England. One cousin, John’s great-great-grandfather, came to Connecticut. The other died in England but his widow and son Lewis (Sr.) moved to Virginia. Molly’s Burwell Family webpage has Samuel Burwell of Connecticut as John’s father. From this, I found what seems like a feasible line back to England and thus to the Virginia line.
The story of the Virginia Burwells is like Gone with the Wind with spin-offs. There are two Burwells I will write more about. They are on the bottom right side of my chart.
Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell Puller is descended from Lewis Burwell V. Nicknamed Chesty, he was the most-decorated Marine in US history. Wikipedia says he is a distant cousin of Gen. George S. Patton. I haven’t looked into that, but it sounds like they were spiritual kin if not actual. A quote attributed to Lt. Gen. Chesty is: “We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies the problem.” The Marine Corps Bulldog mascot is named after him.
George “William” Kirkland is a descendant of Armistead Burwell, Lewis’ brother. First known as “Garland’s George,” he enlisted as “William Kirkland” in the Union Army during the Civil War. He died in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri. He was born into slavery, son of Elizabeth Keckley. She was owned and fathered by Armistead Burwell. She was later given to Anne, Armistead’s legitimate daughter, who married Hugh Garland of North Carolina. Andrew Kirkland, friend of the Garlands, fathered Elizabeth’s son George. Elizabeth bought emancipation for herself and her son. She then set up a dressmaking business in Washington DC and became friends with Mary Todd Lincoln. She wrote a memoir entitled Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in The White House.
Comments, corrections and additional information are welcome.
This election I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. When the electioneering machine started cranking up, so did the recorded messages. You know, the taped messages that lazy and/or cheap telemarketers seem to like. Saves them paying real people in India or Moncton to annoy householders at dinnertime. This election, it seems to me, there’s been more of these recorded calls coming from candidates and pollsters.
“Hi, I’m blahblah for the blahblah party and I want your vote October 6th.” Not bloody likely, I say to the recording and hang up. I’ve waited through the spiel for the option to press a key to get taken off the calling list. It isn’t there. So I made a vow: I will not vote for any party that phones me with a recorded message.
The Liberals were first out of the gate, no problem. I wouldn’t vote for Dalton McGuinty if he came to my house and made my dinner. Second was the Conservatives, a recording for Tim Hudak at 5:45 pm. No danger I was going to vote Conservative anyway, but what are they thinking? What are most people doing at that time? Either making dinner or eating it.
So I thought it was clear sailing. Whether because they don’t have sufficient resources or that they have the sense to know how alienating such calls are, I hadn’t had a recorded message from the NDP. Hadn’t had any live NDP calls either. Then, last Friday evening, 6:30, making dinner – phone rings. “Hi, I’m Kathy Cornish … NDP candidate…” No, it wasn’t really her. I’d have talked to the real Kathy Cornish. Wouldn’t have been thrilled with her timing, but was even less thrilled with it being a recording.
One election call from a human
The only actual human who has called campaigning was a lady on behalf of our Conservative candidate Jeff Yurek. I told her I wouldn’t be voting for his party under any circumstances, but I appreciated having a real person doing the calling. She said many people prefer the recorded calls. I asked why and she said she didn’t know. I cannot imagine. Maybe easier to hang up on?
And pollsters – I don’t mind them usually. They have a job to do and I’m usually willing to help them. But not an automated one. For pollsters and candidates alike, if you can’t be bothered actually having a human call me, I can’t believe my opinion or vote would have much sway with you.
So this election, I’m voting with my phone. Right now, the choices left to me in my riding are the Freedom Party or the Greens. They are the only ones who have not bothered me with phone calls, either recorded or live.