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Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

Jim is the publisher of the Fort Frances Times Ltd. He writes a weekly column and can be contacted at jcumming@fortfrances.com

Trees say a lot about a community

In my youth, I was a paper carrier. My route extended from Central Avenue to the Memorial Arena and included all the avenues between First and Second Street.

Tall American elm trees grew up from the edge of properties and the arching branches from one side of the street met the arching branches from the opposite side.

The canopy of the branches shaded and cooled the sidewalks from the summer sun. I could almost do my entire paper route in the rain with hardly getting wet as the umbrella of trees protected me.

Tourism on rebound

I think that Newfoundland Labrador must have some of the very best television ads promoting travel in its province.

When Marnie and I travelled to Newfoundland in early June, we found it difficult to find accommodations when we started looking in March. The bed and breakfasts were all booked up.

Today Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are experiencing the best tourism growth in almost a decade.

The same can be said of Ontario, the western provinces and British Columbia.

Tournaments develop friendships

The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship came to an exciting conclusion early Saturday evening.

The finalists kept exchanging the “hot seats” as the crowd wound up from the blare of music and the showmanship of the anglers.

I had not volunteered for the tournament in several years, but had kept up an ongoing relationship with the anglers by visiting them at the various motels that housed them from year to year.

Noises seem louder than ever

Why do birds begin singing at 3:30 a.m. before there is even the hint of a sunrise?

Why on nights of high humidity are the sounds of the trains amplified?

All of these questions—and even many more—have crossed my mind this past week as I have awakened from a deep sleep.

We don’t have air conditioning in our home and really only see a need for maybe a week a year. Instead, all of the upstairs rooms have large fans to blow air from open windows across the rooms.

Family visits a cherished time

We have a habit on Sunday evenings. We call our sons shortly after they should have finished supper in Calgary.

It’s been ongoing since they left home for university more than a decade ago.

One might think that with Twitter, Facebook, Facetime, and Skype, the old-fashioned phone call no longer would continue to be used. But it is our preferred way of keeping in touch.

A guilty pleasure

When I was growing up, one of the carrots my mother would use to get us to help when she was baking was the opportunity to lick the beaters or spatulas.

Or sometimes when she was baking cookies, my mom would roll some dough into a small ball and offer it to us to taste the cookies before they were baked.

Chocolate cake batter always was my favourite, although a lemon cake was equally good.

Getting ready for big party

This Friday begins the great countdown to the 150th anniversary of Canada.

On the 149th anniversary of Confederation, we will begin making preparations for the grand celebration one year from now.

This past month, my wife and I were fortunate to visit Newfoundland—the last province on our list of places to see. It has a different history than the rest of Canada having been a colony of Great Britain through to 1948, and has its own customs and special celebrations.

Fishing memories with my father always treasured

Facebook and Twitter were alive with photos and memories of dads on Sunday.

I didn’t post anything, but the number of memories of fathers got me to thinking about the impact my father had on my life. I remember a saying he often used: “If everyone is thinking and saying the same thing, then someone is not thinking.”

He could play the “devil’s advocate,” taking a contrary view to determine how well thought-out your argument or opinion was.

So much to learn about ‘The Rock’

Marnie and I believed it was important for our sons to see and experience all the provinces in Canada, and we travelled to all of them except for Newfoundland.

Well, last week Marnie and I travelled across Newfoundland—from Corner Brook to St. John’s and part of the Avalon Peninsula.

We stayed at B&Bs, where we met interesting travellers along the route. The B&B hosts also are a trove of information about the communities they live in.