• James Parry

Parrywinkle Nov. 26, 2015

My eyesight and patience is rapidly failing, dear readers. So I must be brief. Suffice to say that, in a dramatic departure from the norm, I am writing this column by touch and flickering candlelight putting quill to parchment exactly one week before the day when I trust - thanks to technology that is beyond my comprehension and once input into my new Apple Mac - it will appear in print in Your Local Journal as usual.

It is 5:45 p.m., Thursday, November 19, and the blinking power is out in our sector of Hudson. And it got me thinking. How the hell did people manage before the advent of the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb invented- together with the first phonograph and motion picture camera, incidentally - by Thomas Alva Edison? Guess at this time of year, here in Hudson and indeed throughout North America, they went to bed early and big families were born.

Or sat around the fireplace perhaps reading by oil lamp before arising at the crack of dawn to start a new day. I mean, my ‘puter is down. So is the sump pump. The oven is not working. Nor the freaking clocks that will have to be reset. Not that I know how to actually do it, unlike my beautiful Sunshine, thank heavens. Guess it’s a guy thing. Ditto for the TV, VCR and, with the exception of my antiquated landline model, the phones. Speaking of which, I later learned that the one at the Viviry Restaurant, which was jam packed, was ringing off the hook for the duration of the one-hour outage with urgent calls for pizza delivery!

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LEST WE FORGET - And speaking of deliveries, some 320 veterans of World War II and the Korean War - currently residing at the Ste. Anne’s Veteran’s Hospital - as well as several younger veterans of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP who are receiving rehabilitation treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) there following active duty, will once again be receiving a very special one this Christmas courtesy of the Royal Canadian Legion, Hudson Branch #115.

And the generosity of all those who contribute to this wonderful iniative. Learned from The Legion’s Linda Eames this week that the residents at the hospital come from all over Canada. And that while some have relatives close by, and all are able to Skype with their loved ones, Christmas is an emotional and difficult time of year for them to be apart from family. Says Linda, “Even with cell phones and laptops, the generosity of the local community goes a very long way.” Items that would be most appreciated, she adds, include mittens, gloves, hats, and short winter coats - as the residents often walk outside - as well as housecoats, pajamas, cardigans, T-shirts, suspenders and jogging suits.

Sizes should be large, extra-large, and 2x large. All items do need to be new, however, and the Hospital thanks donors in advance for their understanding in this matter. In terms of toiletries, the list includes toothpaste, Kleenex, brushes, combs and unscented hand lotion such as Aveeno. Cookies and chocolates, of course, are always welcome!

So if you would like to support our veterans - both young and old - at this time of year, you can drop off your unwrapped gifts at one of the following three locations.

  • Hudson Legion, 56 Beach Road, (450) 458-4882.

  • SPCA, 3658 Boulevard de la Cite-des-Jeunes in Vaudreuil-Dorion, attention Susan Martin (514) 425-1470.

  • Ste-Anne’s Hospital itself, attention Johanne Grenier, Volunteer Services (514) 457-3440, ext. 2399.

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LAWRENCE LEGACY - And the number three is also first and foremost in the title of a new book written - or should I say completed after a span of 91 years? - by long-time Como resident and auctioneer extraordinaire, Michael Lawrence. Namely, The Third Voice published in Canada by Kudo Communications Inc. in Montreal with Stephen Schettino as creative director and with all the proceeds going to support the Greenwood Centre for Living History and the Hudson Village Theatre for which he served as founding president.

Says Michael, “Shortly after the turn of the millennium, inspired by my grandfather’s and my father’s autobiographies, I decided to follow in their footsteps and set pen to paper. My motivation was neither gain nor fame, but posterity. Few members of my family had read my grandfather’s story and I found this a sad state of affairs. My father had similarly written down the story of his life, and in his later years had further recaptured the early days in another medium: dozens of pastel drawings, both whimsical and evocative.

“I decided to connect his record to my grandfather’s, and top it off with my own account, bringing the whole story into the modern day. My own contribution is less a narrative than a collection of memories and various writings over time. They’re simply things that happened that were important enough to me at the time that I set them down. I dedicate this work to our progeny in the hope that the Lawrences will prosper in the sure knowledge of their origins.”

On a personal note, I have known Michael for many years but not too much about his origins. I didn’t know, for example, that his middle name is Bowman. Nor that he was born in Winnipeg,

Manitoba, in 1937. And that after building Canada’s largest automobile auctioneering business he retired to Como and would set about contributing to the artistic life of the community for which he has raised millions of dollars through charitable auctions.

Copies, by the way are available from Carolyn Flower at carolyn@carolynflower.com. And must say I loved the foreword to his book. “When you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Ain’t that the truth Michael as I discover every week when writing this column!

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IN CLOSING - Well, Main was the road I was on this past Saturday when I visited three - there’s that number again - church halls along with many other folk from throughout the region.

First stop in the morning, St. Mary’s for their perennially popular Christmas Bazaar organized and hosted by the ladies of the church’s Sewing Circle. Then in the afternoon over to its sister church, St. James, for the highly creative and most edifying Christmas Decorating Party hosted by the Hudson Garden Club. And last, but certainly not least, Wyman United, where some 200 local residents of all ages tucked in to a terrific turkey dinner with all the trimmings in two sittings in the evening. And to think. Christmas is still a month away. And not yet a snow flake in sight!

And that’s a wrap!

E-mail: creation@vidiotron.ca

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