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Labour Day weekend

Dear Editor;    

On the Labour Day weekend over 150 people walked the Bruce Trail through the Noisy River valley. This would not be extraordinary except that the bridge over the river has been closed for months for replacement. The individual hikers, groups, families, athletes, and end-to-enders had no idea the new bridge was only open due to the community spirit that Elmvale so consistently demonstrates.     

The Blue Mountains Club of the Bruce Trail Conservancy is responsiblefor the bridge. It has a span of forty-five feet, short enough that hydro poles can be used as stringers. However, it is difficult to purchase individual hydro poles and poles of a sufficient diameter are elusive. Peter Minnings of Minnings Electric was contacted. He ordered the poles and even arranged for their delivery. The result? The trail is now open for its entire length of over 900 kilometers.     

We would like to publicly thank Mr. Minnings for the time and effort he invested in helping us re-open the trail at the Noisy River. His involvement expedited this difficult project and it is much appreciated.

Dave Shepherd, Trail Captain, Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club  

Life is all about stories. This one is from a while ago.

On Saturday, 2-12-2017, while taking my daily walk the last section I covered was the lower part of Simcoe Str., and around the parking lot of the Portuguese Centre in Bradford. There is a huge dumpster standing at the south-west corner in their lot, which is used by the construction people building the new bridge across the Marsh canal. In passing it, my ever-roving eyes spotted a beer can in the almost empty dumpster. So, in I jump and retrieve the ten-cent treasure (early childhood Calvinist training?). While I was in the dumpster, I spotted a suspicious bag and like a well-trained dumpster diver, I kicked the bag to see what would spill. In kicking it, the bag broke as hoped for and revealed a green lanyard poking its head out among some garbage. Gently, like a calf sliding down a cow’s birth canal, I pulled out the lanyard to find that it is attached to a set of keys. The keys are for a GM product and come complete with a tag giving a license plate number, the name Boothby, and a car-dealership’s name in Huntsville. Once home I phoned the dealership, but they do not respond. They do not yet have a functioning answering service or have it shut off. I am unwilling to take the time to phone the 40 or more Boothbys, who live between Barrie and Huntsville according to the 411-reverse look up, so I decide to wait until Monday before I, once more, try to find the rightful owner.

The following Sunday morning, 3-12-2017, Stephanie (an ex-student of mine), her son Grayson, and her fiancé, Matt (also an ex-student), are visiting us at coffee time as we had arranged earlier in that week.

Somewhere in the conversation Matt tells me that his family has a cottage in Huntsville. That fact leads to talk about the car dealership and my find of the keys, as well as the name Boothby. Matt says he knows a salesman at the car dealership and knows a Boothby from there, who is a heavy equipment operator. Matt also works as a heavy equipment operator. He is currently working on Hwy 400 removing the contaminated earth from a big accident that occurred a couple of weeks ago on the 400 that had burning fuel trucks and had three people killed.  Matt subsequently phones this Boothby (he has the guy’s number in his phone file being a fellow equipment operator) and tells him what his friend, me, has told him. Surprise, surprise, this Boothby is the guy who has lost the keys and he identifies the green lanyard. He happens to be one of the guys working on the bridge and as it turns out he is the owner of the vehicle.

On Monday, 4-12-2017, I meet this Boothby in Bradford by the bridge and naturally my first question deals with how he got home. The answer is simple. It turns out the keys were his spare set, and he did not even know he had lost them until Matt phoned him. By custom on Fridays the workers clean the shelter they have, where they eat and have coffee and store stuff, and somehow in the cleaning the keys must have fallen off their peg and into the bag, which was thrown with all the week’s refuse in the dumpster.

We often hear about related or knowing people through six degrees of separation. This story proves that sometimes these lines can be shortened considerably.

And my walks to regain/maintain health continue to produce interesting subject matter.


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