Parrywinkle March 3, 2016

Back in Ancient Rome, it was customary for generals - or whatever you called them in those days - returning from a victorious campaign to lead a powerful parade through the Eternal City in a magnificent chariot. Behind him came his legionnaires, the spoils of war, captives, and … well, you get the picture.

Standing even closer behind him, however, was a trusted slave. Holding aloft a simple gold wreath above the victor's head while whispering in his ear, and presumably in Latin, “You are only human. You are only human.” In the vernacular, “don't get a big head and think you are bigger than the gods.”

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MOTHER NATURE ROARS - Was reminded of this fascinating bit of titillating trivia - and yes, it's true - this past week. When over 250,000 Hydro-Quebec customers, including yours truly and about half the population of Hudson as well as almost 3,000 in St. Lazare, were literally powerless. Many of them for well over 24 hours.

I mean, let's be honest. These past few months, we have been patting ourselves on the back with regards the weather. Our winter of content - to parryphrase Shakespeare and excluding frustrated skiers and ice fishers - compared to others in the recent past. No deep snow. Not the sustained biting cold and bitter winds of last year. And seemingly miraculously, the two recent extreme crippling blizzards and stuff wreaking havoc as they worked their way up the East Coast south of the border passed us by with nary a snowflake to hit the Atlantic Provinces.

And then came the night of Wednesday, February 24, when - following a couple of days of wacky weather including snow, high winds and freezing rain - Mother Nature roared in with a vengeance. Perhaps like that slave of yesteryear, reminding us that for all our human hubris and with so many facets of our everyday life irrevocably linked to technology beyond the ken of most of us, we should never get too cocky. For when nature sneezes in winter, we all get cold and are mere playthings of the elements!

Computers and phones - even cells - on the blink. TVs silent. Radios, other than those battery-operated, kaput. Sump pumps crashing. Basements flooding. Fire Departments rushing hither and thither responding to emergency calls. While almost certainly experiencing the very same problems in their own homes. People searching for candles as well as batteries to reboot flashlights. Restaurants still with power or generators trying to cope with the rush.

Friends and families still with Hydro trying to reach friends and relatives to offer whatever help they could. In-home caregivers worried sick about their clients. And, of course, the fear on the part of many - and particularly the elderly in our communities – that it was a harbinger of another Ice Storm that crippled the Province of Quebec back in 1998.

Well, thank heavens it was all over in a few days. But on the part of many Hudsonites I have spoken to since then, a big bravo the Hudson Fire Department that responded so promptly and professionally around town and stayed on duty for a full 24 hours overnight throughout the crisis. Also to Mayor Ed Prévost and Public Security Director Philippe Baron for opening up the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre for those in dire need. The fact that the vast majority of residents affected didn't take advantage of it because their phones, computers and radios were out of action, did not diminish this most positive step on the part of the administration in a town that has come in for a lot of flak recently. Justified or otherwise!

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BROADWAY JIMMY IN TOWN - Speaking of radios, did you know that Hudson and environs has a new station that will begin broadcasting live on Friday, March 11? And no, it’s not The Jewel that first hit the airwaves last year. Well, here's the scoop.

Its call sign is Radio Broadway, its legendary DJ is called Broadway Jimmy, and its format? Well, no prize for guessing folks. That's right, non-stop Broadway hits! All performed live by musicians and singers right there in the studio answering requests from listeners and lovers of Broadway tunes from sea to shining sea.

Oh yes, it will only be on air for 11 performances. For Radio Broadway, you see, is the latest production of the award-winning Hudson Music Club (HMC) being staged at Hudson Village Theatre from March 11 through 26 with proceeds going to support Le Pont/Bridging Food Bank.

Caught up with Jimmy (a.k.a. James Milvain who just happened to write the script for the show) and his on-stage singer-dancer artists during a rehearsal at HVT this past weekend. And I was blown away, positively, by what I saw and heard. Between fielding calls - and the lines were blazing - he told me how much he was looking forward to the upcoming gig and working with HVT at our little theatre down by the tracks.

This despite the fact that things haven't been too rosy for Jimmy lately, apparently. For it seems that his show, originally based out of New York City, has taken a bit of a downturn in recent years due to his 'eccentric' lifestyle and now the alimony payments are catching up. “It's both a means of escape and a generator of much-needed funds,” he explains. “So I'm really hoping a lot of people in your part of the world are going to show up for what I promise will be my best call-in show ever!”

So if you are looking to escape into the brilliant world of Broadway tunes, while helping Jimmy meet those payments and the good folk at our local Food Bank help those in need, give the Box Office a buzz at (450) 458-5361 or go to villagetheatre.ca. It will be music to Jimmy's ears!

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OSCARS COME TO HUDSON - And now from radio to film. Well, the controversy-plagued and way too long Oscars screened on Sunday night have come and gone for another year. But it sure was good for the Hudson Film Society (HFS). For the Hudson Canadian Film Festival which opens this Thursday, March 3, at Hudson Village Theatre, will close on Sunday, March 6 with the Best Actress Oscar performance from Brie Larson in the Canadian/Irish co-production, Room, at 4 p.m.

Says Clint Ward, HVT president, “The best way to get in to see the film is to have a pass and come early. This will also be a great benefit for other popular films in the 9-film festival. Anyone with a pass will get into the theatre first while, 15 minutes before the screening, single seats will be sold to fill any empty seats. So a pass doesn’t guarantee a seat unless arriving early.”

If you still can't get a seat for Room, festival organizers tell me they may schedule a second performance of the film at 7.30 p.m. Sunday night.

Adds Clint, “While the full pass will not be sold after the opening film, The Union, on Thursday, the 3-Film Pass will remain on sale up to the Saturday screening allowing one person to see three different films. However, it can’t be used for more than one person at a time.”

The second good thing about the Oscars for HFS is their season-closing film in April. It will be the Oscar winning movie, Spotlight. Two Oscar performances folks. One to close the festival and the other to close the season. It doesn’t get better than that!

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CALLING ALL CORRIES - And now from film to TV. Fans of Coronation Street will be decked out all in green - in early celebration of St. Patrick's Day - this Sunday, March 6, when the Hudson Coronation Street Appreciation Society hosts its monthly luncheon at the Auberge Willow Inn, 208 Main Road, at noon. With several surprise guests. Who knows? Perhaps even Broadway Jimmy himself will put in an appearance!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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