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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

Plenty to cheer

There wasn’t a dry eye in our household when we watched the Dufour-Lapointe sisters receive their gold and silver medals as the Canadian flags rose above their heads.

On Saturday, we watched how excited 19-year-old Justine was when she nudged out her sister, Chloe, to capture the gold. And when she realized she had won, she let out a shriek of excitement as she danced across the snow.

Her tears of happiness flowed down her cheeks as they did in our household.

Snowbanks can pose danger

Give a child a mountain of dirt or snow and a group of children can be amused for months.

In climbing to the top of a dirt pile, the only one disappointed is the washerwoman who has to clean ground-in dirt.

When climbing to the top of snow piles, even when the temperature rises above freezing, the only one worried is mom, who is concerned about you being chilled and wet.

Just like cardboard boxes, piles and dirt have proven to be great kid attractors.

We loved building forts as kids

My childhood home was the second one built on the 800 block of Third Street East in Fort Frances.

Art Debenedet had built the first home, which stood at the corner of Third and Frenette Avenue. There was another home at the corner of Third and Shevlin without any between.

Third Street soon developed as a “baby-boomer” subdivision.

No roads ran north of Third Street east of Phair Avenue. Everything north was grown-up bush with lots of willow bushes sprouting up, where once large piles of sawn woods dried from the Shevlin Clark saw mill.

Look to create fresh start for district

The steam continues to rise from the Resolute kraft mill in Fort Frances. The steam still pours through the vents above the paper machines today.

But most workers still employed in the Resolute mill at Fort Frances have received termination notices.

The company has committed to keeping the heat in the buildings through this winter at a significant cost to corporate profits. Resolute has said it hopes to reposition this mill and be able to bring back workers.

Learn to use computer power

I sometimes wonder where the world of computers is headed.

In high school in my day for math and physics, we had to learn to master the slide rule. We had to be able to multiply, divide, find square roots, and many other functions on either that straight stick or the circular one.

Adding machines could add but were big and bulky.

See highways for yourselves

This past week, I was called upon to drive into Winnipeg for medical tests.

We left early Friday morning and travelled along Highway 11 to Rainy River, then across northern Minnesota from Baudette to Warroad, and then north on Highway 12 to the Trans-Canada.

The area was under a severe blizzard warning that stretched across southern Manitoba, northern Minnesota, and Northwestern Ontario. Listening to the radio, one would have thought twice about travelling but medical tests necessitated travel.

Timeless messsage carries on

In this edition of the Fort Frances Times, we will publish the “Message of Glad Tidings” taken from the New Testament Book of Luke, Chapter 2 verses 8-11.

Published for the 80th time with this Christmas edition, it is a tradition that was begun by my grandfather and his partner in 1934, which was carried on through 20-some years when he was the publisher.

The selection taken from the Bible is a message of hope for everyone.

Success can create failure

Sometimes success creates failure.

Here in Fort Frances, as more people have turned to filling blue boxes, the volume of garbage at the landfill site declined. Revenue, in turn, declined.

In order to maintain the site, Fort Frances has had to increase tipping fees. The success of the blue box program has created funding problems for the landfill site.

Wishing for a short winter

The blue-white cold of Saturday and Sunday mornings heralded that winter was in its full delightful white dress.

Hoar frost clung to the trees. Ice crystals hanging in the air created giant rainbows. The sidewalk snow squealed under the crunch of footsteps.

Winter cold was penetrating everywhere.

Winter has come fast to our area of the world. But it has come with equal speed and ferocity to most of North America.