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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

Many ways to fight cancer

April is Cancer Awareness Month.

The Beta Sigma Phi sorority recently sold daffodils here for the last time. Shortly, daffodil pins will go on sale throughout the community for those to make donations to the Canadian Cancer Society.

The money is well used assisting in research and helping cancer patients.

When the sign-up sheet was posted here at the Times to buy the daffodils, I didn’t hesitate. It was an insignificant amount of money that might make a difference.

Still waiting for spring to start

Last year, I launched my boat on April 13. I was able to get to my cabin on Rainy Lake on April 16 and we had the water running April 21.

It was the earliest we had ever reached and opened our cabin since starting records in 1968. Our hot tub was filled and heated, and we watched the sun set over Sand Bay.

On the other hand, we have been as late as the second weekend in May in travelling to the cabin.

Join in on wearing pink

I have a pink tie and a pink dress shirt—and I’ll be wearing both of them on April 10.

It is “Pink Day,” the international day against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia in schools and communities across our country.

It began as a simple gesture at Central Kings High School in Cambridge, N.S., where a freshman student wore a pink polo shirt to school on his first day of class.

School bullies verbally abused him for his choice of colours.

People must save the town

I attended an interesting meeting last Wednesday, during which one of the people on hand made a very appropriate comment.

“The council of Fort Frances is not going to save the town,” he said. “The people of the community will save the town!”

And when the words had settled at the meeting, I realized how right he was.

Safest place in the world?

Carl Schubring, a former editor of the Fort Frances Times, jokingly told me the following story.

When the community had a sole lawyer, the poor lawyer could barely put food on the table for his family. When a second lawyer appeared on the scene, together they comfortably could feed their families.

When a third came into the community, all made a very good living.

I remembered this story in reading about the fact our community does not have a full-time sitting judge. Back then, there was a magistrate and district judge in Fort Frances.

Week features lots of history

A report in the Falls Journal noted that Borderland already had received 14 more inches of snow this year than is normal—and that was without Saturday’s snowfall.

And we have a higher amount of snow still sitting on the ground than we normally do. As you read this, the official first day of spring is just over a week away.

But before we get there, there is lots of history in the coming week.

Spring is almost upon us

Inside retail businesses, the inventory is changing. There’s still snow on the ground but swimsuits and colorful skirts, tops, and shorts are finding their way into store windows.

In hardware stores, barbecues are popping up right in front of you as you walk through the doors, as are seed stands.

When I go to work shortly before 7 a.m., and the sun is just appearing above the horizon. And in the evening, it doesn’t fall below the western horizon until almost 6 p.m. Daylight at both ends of the day is wonderful.

Will the ‘golden geese’ survive?

Killing the goose that laid the “golden egg” is among the most famous of Aesop’s fairy tales.

It is the story of a cottager and his wife who had a goose that laid a golden egg every day. The couple believed the goose contained a huge lump of gold and they killed the goose to grab it—only to find out that the goose was totally common.

But in killing the goose, they lost their wealth generator and were deprived of all the good things the goose could provide for them in the future.

Must you always be connected?

Did you ever wonder what you did before you had a cellphone? Have you wondered how you possibly could have lived without a smartphone?

Some of you reading this column quickly will think, “I don’t have a smartphone, let alone a cellphone” and so there is no wonderment in the first two questions.

And they have another question: “Why do I need a cellphone?”

Snowblower bliss

I finally broke down and bought a snowblower.

Two weeks ago, after the town had plowed in my driveway for the second time, without even getting my vehicle out of the driveway, I decided that the 30 years of debate on acquiring a mechanical snow shoveller were over.

Now I can readily admit no one buys a snowblower at the end of January. In fact, part of the dilemma is that once you reach the end of January, you realize that winter is almost over.

You only face six more weeks of snow and the days become milder, allowing the snowbanks to slowly recede.