The good and the bad


Back in 1966, Peter Carver and I, still wet behind the ears, arrived in town to begin our high school teaching careers.

That year, we each taught every Grade 9 student in the school.

Sunday afternoon, that group held a class reunion and Carver and I were invited to attend.
Many of those students stayed in town, but quite a few went elsewhere following their graduation.
They were good people back in 1966 and they still are today.

We enjoyed seeing them again and I believe Sunday afternoon was the highlight of the reunion for Carver and yours truly.

Everywhere I went (I didn't go near the tents), everyone seemed to be having a good time - from the high school reunion Saturday to the volleyball competition Sunday.

And it would be hard not to - we have a beautiful town and the weather just made it even better.

However, there were a few sour notes to this old boys.

The flaunting of the law over the weekend could spell the end of such events.
In the past, police usually turned a blind eye to the odd person caught with beer in a glass.
But on the weekend, too many people were boldly walking around at anytime of day with open bottles of beer, making no attempt to be discreet. I believe the drunks ended the party at Queen and Lambton earlier than expected Friday because they made other people uncomfortable.
I don't know how many times I saw kids who looked to be in high school lugging huge coolers of booze down the main street.

The shirt-tail parade Sunday evening took an hour to pass and again, booze was everywhere. After it passed, the main street was littered with garbage. So was Connaught Park Monday morning.
So much for the "green" reunion.

From the numbers at the shirt-tail parade, people with no connection to the community have obviously heard you can get away with anything you please in Kincardine during a reunion weekend and paid a visit.

I don't believe that kind of advertising does the community much good.

One of our letter writers took a bit of heat for suggesting months ago that reunions are just a big drunk. If he saw the alcohol-impaired (time to throw in a politically-correct word) weaving around town on the weekend, he would no doubt feel vindicated.

It's not hard to see why police didn't want the shirt-tail parade this reunion. It must have been a "fun" reunion for cops.

The members of the Reunion Committee put in a lot of work and most of the events were enjoyable and went smoothly.

However, those who decided to flaunt the law took away some of the lustre of what was, for the most part, a good reunion weekend.

Sam and Kibby Brooks, owners of the Dew Drop Inn cottage on Saugeen, are good sports.
For some reason, one of our reporters called them the "Browns" throughout a story on their cottage's 100th anniversary.

They got ribbed by their friends, and I got ribbed by people who know the Brooks.
On the up side, now I know two more people with a sense of humour.

Dana and I were fortunate to be invited to a special Scottish experience last Tuesday evening.
But first, a small digression. I was a member of the Paddy Walker Heritage Society until two or three years ago. At that time, the exterior of the Walker House was secure and a couple of the rooms had been restored, but there was a ton of work left to finish the interior.

If you haven't dropped into the Walker House since last fall when it closed for interior work, you should. The restoration is finally done and we have a building and grounds of which the community can be proud. Most of the work, since the beginning of the project, has been done by volunteer labour.

The restoration is impressive and so is the fact that Dr. David Forsyth, head curator of immigration and diaspora, National Museums of Scotland, was in Kincardine, because of the Walker House, for five days last week. One of his exhibits is also on display at the Walker House.
Tuesday evening he gave a slide show, Presenting Scotland to the World. There are 4.9 million Canadians of Scottish ancestry - almost the same number of people who live in Scotland. One of the slides showed a neck ring, dated in the early 1700s, which identified the wearer as being in servitude. Life obviously wasn't too rosy for some of the Scots.

Following Forsyth's presentation, Ed Patrick, president of the Companions of the Quaich, conducted a single malt scotch tasting. Ed is a wit and he puts on a good show, explaining how each malt should smell and taste.

Since each taste is 46 per cent alcohol, I don't imagine you have to imbibe many single malts before taste and smell go out the window.

Anyway, now I know what a single malt scotch is. And I also know it gives a burning sensation on the way down the hatch.

The Companions of the Quaich actually hold dinner meetings in Kincardine. If you're interested in attending such an event, contact the Kincardine convenor, Gordon Rodgers at 396-8138.

Interesting to see senior citizens addressing the crowd at the base of the hospital hill Thursday morning. One wonders where members of council are on this issue.