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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

A day without electricity

There was no Internet. There was no Sunday afternoon opening weekend NFL football. There was no lazy Sunday morning breakfast.

There was no “Sunday Morning” television and CBC was absent from the airwaves. My cellphone became intermittent and our land lines at the lake were silent.

We almost were pulled back into the 19th century.

Across the district, gassing up your car was almost impossible. The traffic control lights throughout the community went black. Stores that normally open on Sundays gave their staff a day off. The streets were almost deserted.

Fishing friendships treasured

From Wikipedia: “Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of friendship.

“Such characteristics include affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other’s company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.”

Fun being the sidewalk super

Since the first week of July, I’ve been a sidewalk superintendent.

I began learning to be a sidewalk superintendent watching homes being built on Third Street when I was four. There were no sidewalks on that street back then.

My wife likes to kid me that I have outgrown “Tonka” toys but that my enjoyment of big machines remains fast.

I watched as Makkinga Contracting ripped up Second Street East from Central Avenue to Mowat, and then Mowat from Second to Third Street East.

Where are those planes going?

Have you ever wondered, when you see the vapour trails left by a jet in the sky, where it is going?

Or have heard the distant sound from a jet, without seeing it, and wondered where the sound was coming from and where the jet was headed?

Our imaginations allow us to run wild and imagine being on one of the those jets that are heading north or coming south across Rainy Lake, heading to or from a magical place.

The collecting of news is not free

Newspapers across North America are grappling with a decline in revenue and all major daily newspapers are suffering from a decline in the number of readers they reach. It is a troubling problem in the industry.

At the same time, studies are showing that more North American people are following news than ever before. They are choosing to use the web to gather their facts.

The issue for newspapers and magazines is how to keep those readers reading hard copy editions or get them to pay to read their information online.

Enjoying the simple pleasures

Sometimes you don’t realize how fortunate you are until someone shows you.

As I sat by our chimera on Sunday evening and the logs burned to red-hot coals, I had forgotten the pleasure a fire can bring in the waning daylight hours.

For those gathered around the fire, our next step was to slowly roast marshmallows and then squeeze them between two graham wafer crackers with a piece of milk chocolate wedged under the marshmallow.

“S’mores” are the perfect campfire snack. And one is never enough.

Lake level hard to control

Our dock at the cabin sits high and water only has flowed over the top once in my lifetime.

My father had eyeballed the high water mark to build the dock and reckoned he never would have to worry about putting barrels on it to keep it from floating away in high water.

We certainly have experienced low water, when we could walk under the stringers out to the far crib without getting wet.

‘KidPro’ alive and well

Households across the district tune in almost nightly to watch the NHL in action. And when it comes to the Stanley Cup, everyone takes notice.

It is no different with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. And the future of the tournament lies in developing new, young talent to fill the vacancies left as older anglers retire from the competition.

Stumped by ‘simple’ password

I have a lot of passwords for my computer to access various sites that we receive advertising and e-mail from.

I’ve been able to memorize a great many of them, but for my memory’s sake, and for other people to use at some future time, I have them stored safely away.

Some are as simple as a four-digit number much like you have for your bank access card. Others combine numbers, the alphabet, and keyboard characters.

Some are as many as 16 digits long for added security.

Harvest of crops now in full swing

It is amazing how much a week can change the look of a community.

Two weeks prior to the opening of the Calgary Stampede, the city and the Stampede grounds were awash in water and mud. Yet through the perseverance of the city, its people and its friends, the community is now pulling off the “The World’s Greatest Outdoor Show.”

In little more than two weeks, the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship will be unveiling the best bass tournament in Canada through the support and efforts of countless volunteers. Fort Frances will be transformed.