• James Parry

Parrywinkle June 2, 2016

Lots happening in our little hot and humid hamlet right now dear readers. But let's start off with some news that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart. To be read perhaps with a refreshing gin and tonic with lots of ice!

In last week's column, if you recall, I wrote about the treasured wooden pergola of Hudsonites Mary Jefferies and her late husband, Maurice - who took the photo of me above, incidentally - being smashed, trashed, and chucked by vandals on their high cedar hedge at the corner of Park and Selkirk.

I also ran it up the flagpole, as it were, that if there was anyone out there more skilled than I in woodworking and restoration, perhaps they would like to check out whether it was salvageable and make Mary's day.

Guess what? Mary has her pergola back. Identical in size and shape, albeit it with new wood and obviously a coat of paint to match - as near as darn it - the original colour. In fact, all that remains of the destroyed pergola, made many years ago by fellow Hudsonite, Hans Kaiser, is the distinctive capstone - or should that be woodstone? - on top.


TRUE HUDSON SPIRIT - “When I learned about it, I just had to help,” says former mayor Michael Elliott who - despite his busy personal schedule and on his own time and at his own expense - gathered the shattered pieces, bought new wood, and got to work.

“Whoever did this damage does not reflect the true spirit and the residents of our town,” he told me. “And it was the least I could do to help Mary so that she can enjoy it for many years to come.”

For her part, Lea Durocher of Centre Decor Hudson on Yacht Club Road was only too happy to chip in the paint. Says Lea, “It was so sad what happened. Every morning when I was opening the store, I would see Maurice with his beloved English springer spaniel, Spencer, heading down to Jack Layton Park and we would walk together and chat awhile. It was part of my morning ritual.”

When the pergola was presented to her by Michael and Lea on Tuesday, Mary was literally choked up. “I cannot thank you enough,” she told them. “I know that the people who destroyed it are not what Hudsonites are all about. You both, as well as all the other people who called or dropped by with offers of help in whatever way, are really what our community is all about.” Ain't that the truth Mary?


CLOCK TICKING? - Good news, what! Saddened to learn, however, that late last week vandals struck the garden of another resident - who asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons - in the heart of the village stealing a giant decorative clock mounted on the inside of her fence and not visible from the road.

Fair boggles the mind it does. And can only hope that the clock is ticking down to these miserable miscreants being nabbed and stuck in the stocks that I'm proposing be built on the lawn outside our Town Hall. Yeah, right. As if that's going to happen!


BLAST FROM THE PAST - On a more positive note, if you haven't caught it already and wanna spring back in time for musical memories of the 1960s that will have you bopping up and down in your seat - if not dancing in the aisle - then don't delay. Pick up the phone or the 'puter to reserve for the fabulous 60s Spotlight Show. It's a brilliant blast from the past at Hudson Village Theatre through this Sunday, June 5. Tell you folks, my beautiful Sunshine and I were blown away. And in the most positive way!

Powerhouse singer Cheryl Lescom has to be seen and heard to be believed. And musicians Peter de Sousa, Tim Louis, Adam Bowman, David Rodenberg, Matt Segriff and Brandon Sanders are all stars in their own right. They really rock! The number to call is (450) 458-5361 or contact hvtbox@videotron.ca


ARTS ALIVE FESTIVAL RETURNS - And still on the arts-theatre scene, let's step back in time to last year when the English Language Arts Network in Quebec (ELAN) launched a province-wide Arts Alive Festival with several attractions at HVT here in Hudson and other theatres throughout Quebec. Well, it's back. Albeit with only one celebratory multi-faceted event focusing on film and music on the very same stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 10.

There will be two short film attractions of about 10 minutes at the start of each act. In the first, one feature will be the latest 3-minute film by Rigaud residents, Ben & Sebastien McKinnon - in which I make a brief appearance, incidentally - and the second segment will feature a music video actually produced at HVT.

Following the first-act films, there will be 30 to 35 minutes of music by The Hudson Music Festival Root System, a unique collective of Hudson area musicians performing jazz standards new and old with Tim Walsh, Blair Mackay, Becky Fletcher, Geoff Mitchell, Andrew Skowronski, Stuwart Gunyon and Nic DiLauro on stage.

Following the second-act films, Berlin to Broadway Cabaret will be staged spotlighting the music of Kurt Weill and Kander and Ebb and featuring Brian Jackson, Glen Bowser, Karen Cromar and Carolina Pla.

Sure promises to be a most entertaining evening of music and film for a ticket price of $20. For reservations, check the same coordinates as above.


POWERFUL DRAMA - Meanwhile, still on the theatre scene, I popped over the Île aux Tourtes Bridge to the Casgrain Studio in Ste. Anne de Bellevue earlier this week to catch a final dress rehearsal of the Montreal English language premiere of David Mamet's Race opening tonight, Thursday, June 2. Being staged by the critically-acclaimed Montreal Theatre Ensemble, established in 1991 by students of the John Abbott College Professional Theatre Program as a collaborative bridge between training institutions and the professional world.

Directed by Winston Sutton, this is powerful drama at its best folks. Opening, as it does, with two male lawyers – one black, one white – meeting a potential new client. A wealthy white man accused of raping a young black woman but vehemently denying the charges of rape, insisting that the sex was consensual and that they were both in love.

Says Winston, “It really is an exhilarating piece of theatre that's thoroughly engaging, fearlessly provocative, and brutally real. It will enlighten you, make you angry, and even make you laugh. It will also open up the much-needed dialogue about race and gender politics, conversations we need to have in order to progress as a society. It's also a fascinating examination of human relations and human frailty demonstrating, unfortunately, that even in a post-Obama world, race is still the most incendiary topic in our history.”

Starring Patrick Abellard, Robert Di Loreto, Rachel Mutombo and Adam LeBlanc, Race runs through June 18 and for reservations or more info go to www.mtlte.com or call (514) 515-9140.


CALLING CORRIES – In closing, Mireille Lemelin and I will once again be hosting the next luncheon of the Hudson Coronation Street Appreciation Society this Sunday, June 5, at noon at the beautiful Auberge Willow Inn, 208 Main Road, overlooking the Lake of Two Mountains in Hudson. Colour theme this time around? Everything floral. Cheers, for more info call (450) 458-7154 and hope to see you there!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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