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I asked a friend for the identity of the person I should contact for historical information on a church he had pastored. He gave me the name of a women who had a wealth of information. I then asked if she had "e-mail." "E-mail!" he exclaimed. "She doesn't even have a "He-mail." Her husband died many years ago!
The American Colonel
Air Traffic Control Centre operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That means that some have to work during the wee hours of the morning. Some people do strange things on mid-night shifts - particularly near Christmas. When some people work from twelve at night to eight the next morning, something gets loose in their cranium; and, well, do you remember the comedian who used to use the line "the devil made me do it"? It's something like him! It usually happened around 5 a.m. The following incident happened in the Gander Area Control Centre in the early 1960s when the Centre was located in the present Terminal Building. It was the low point of the night with regard to traffic. Everyone had been "flat out" and by now were getting a chance to get a coffee. The overlapping crew that had been in for the busy period of 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. were gone home. Somebody would tell a story - usually lies. Some other guy would tell about the size of the salmon he almost caught last summer - more lies. Well, we had one controller who liked to put on a bit of a show - especially if we had a new chap join our crew, and more especially if he was a mainlander. As a matter of fact, there may be former crew members who will read this and discover for the first time that this chap wasn't the "real thing." For the sake of this article and to protect his identity, I'll call him "Wilbur." On the particular nights when he would decide to put on a performance, he would wait until he was cleared for a coffee break. He would then get "dressed up." His usual and funniest garb consisted of things that only he could think of. There were purple drapes that surrounded the "black" radar to shade it from the light of other parts of the Operations Room. He'd get a section of this down and wrap it around himself so that it resembled a long flowing robe. Teletype paper came with round tin metal pieces about one inch in diameter that were placed at the end of the spools to keep the paper from being bent under the pressure of other rolls in the case. He'd take two of these and fit them in his eye sockets. There was a small hole in the centre large enough to enable him to see where he was going. He'd then get a piece of teletype paper, fashioned it in a circle, tape it together and place in on his head in the shape of a bishop's mitre. Lastly, he'd take a coat stand, turn it upside down and carry it over his shoulder. The coat stand with its four curved legs was much more impressive upside down than right-side-up. It was getting close to Christmas; we had this brand spanking young trainee from Moncton who had just arrived from the training school. It was just too much for Wilbur - he sprang into action! His preparation, of course, was all done out of sight of the other staff, and he would always wait for an opportune moment to make his grand appearance. Normally he would wait until there was no one on the phones or transmitting to aircraft. The timing of when to come back into the Operations Room was co-ordinated with a cohort who would sneak out in the hall and give him a wave that the timing was right. He'd then proceed through the Operations Room making various crossing signs with his hand and uttering "Latin" phrases. The inevitable happened, of course. Just before his grand appearance, a U.S. Air Force Colonel came in unannounced. He must have brought an aircraft in the day before and decided that he was going to get away at this ungodly hour of the morning. No one knew he was handy to the place until he marched unceremoniously in. Not much security then - not that it would have mattered to this fellow, I suppose, because he seemed pretty important. We always had a few war vets on shift who would eventually put those "important" fellows in their place. The chap who was co-ordinating the appearance of Wilbur made a dash out to give him a "red alert". Wilbur, stationed by the other door in the hall, spotted his buddy coming out of the other door, saw him silently waving, mistook the meaning and marched in the Operations Room. He started his routine, "Dominos Scantify-ess, Lassey puddin' Chrmosos, Diddlewicks ..." - He was half way through the Operations Room - you could say at the point of no return - when he spotted the U.S. Colonel. He was likewise through his usual spiel of Dominos Santifiyess Lassey Puddin, so a panicky "Oh my Blessed Jayus!" was immediately injected into that point of his nonsensical babblings. There was nothing left for him to do but to continue on through the room. He didn't miss a beat! The Colonel had been bent over a desk and going over his Flight Plan with the supervisor when he first heard our friend uttering his spiel. He quickly turned to see what was happening. He spotted what looked something like a Greek Orthodox Archbishop. His jaw dropped, he quickly looked at the supervisor (the supervisor was determined he wasn't going to look at either Wilbur or the Colonel). He then looked back at the "Bishop", dropping his jaw farther. Unable to get the supervisor's eye, he jerked his head around at the other controllers. In every case the controllers were intently studying non-existent aircraft strips or shoving a telephone to their ear making believe they had important calls to make or listen to. All except our mainland friend - who was looking just as perplexed as the Colonel felt! Not a sound was made as Wilbur exited the room from the other end and escaped in the hall where he ran to a nearby closet to get rid of the now embarrassing costume. Our mainland buddy, for whom the show had been planned, probably saved the day. He, of course, was just as amazed as the Colonel and didn't have a clue that this was going to happen. As Wilbur walked out the door, he turned to the supervisor and said, "What the hell was that?" Our supervisor had not gone through six years of war in the RAF for nothing. He looked at the young fellow from Moncton and said, "My son go out and see if that fellow is all right. That's two or three times he's been in here this year. I think he gets lost. Lock the door, too, when you come back, will you. You never know who'll come in here if you don't keep it locked." The young trainee looked at the supervisor, "Er "yes, sir!" The supervisor turned to the Colonel and calmly said, "You were saying something about your flight plan?" The Colonel's jaw dropped back in place and he took another strange look around. He finished his flight plan and walked to the door. He hesitated as if he wanted to ask a question, shook his head, and went on. He's probably still telling the story to unbelieving audiences. I think Wilbur put his "costume" into "cold-storage" after that incident.
Out of the mouths of babes
One day, when my daughter, Alyssa, was three years old, we were playing with her Fisher Price farm, complete with the animals, farmer, hay and sounds. She loved her farm and was starting to show love and affection for animals and making the connection from farm to table. During our playtime Alyssa started talking.
"Mom", said Alyssa, "Milk comes from cows".
"Yes, it does", I said. "Very good".
A few seconds later, "Mom, eggs come from chickens".
"Very good", I said.
Another few seconds later, "Mom, bacon comes from pigs".
"Yes, it does Alyssa", I said. ```You are so smart``.
"And Mom, said Alyssa, "Water comes from hills".
I was taken aback by this comment. &"Well", I said, "Water comes from the ocean, lakes, ponds and rivers", I said. "And it comes out of our taps in the kitchen and bathrooms".
"No", said Alyssa, "Water comes from hills!".
Hmm, I was pondering how to answer this one. "Alyssa, when I pour you some water to drink, it comes from our kitchen tap". We go swimming in swimming pools and lakes and I took you to the ocean last summer. Water comes from all those places".
"NO, NO, NO!", said Alyssa. "WATER COMES FROM HILLS!"
Quite perplexed by now, I said, "Okay, Alyssa", I said. "Why does water comes from hills"?
Very determinedly, Alyssa said, "Because, that`s where Jack and Jill get their water!"
My 8 year old granddaughter Amelia always loved to visit Lester's Farm on Brookfield Road to feed the animals, and of course to buy ice cream. When she was 3 1/2 years old it was her poppy's and my turn to spend Christmas with her family. The house was nicely decorated for Christmas and her mom had a nativity scene on the hearth. Amelia and I sat by the fireplace and I began to tell her the real meaning of Christmas. I picked up each piece of the nativity scene and explained to her the meaning of each piece. When I picked up the baby Jesus, I told her that he was born in a manager where the animals were. She quickly replied, "Yes, up on Lester's Farm."
what goes around comes around
I reminisce with a chuckle being put in my place and told to stay there by my eleven year old grandson, Liam. On a recent visit I went out for breakfast with him and his mom. After we finished our meal my daughter allowed him to pay his bill as a learning experience. She went to the ladies room and I stayed behind with him. Feeling a little overheated I said, "Liam, I am going outside for some fresh air." He said, "No nana, you stay right here, I don't want you wandering off somewhere."
Ties are cheap
Soon after our minister returned from a visit to Thailand, our missionary in that country spoke in our church. She began her presentation by asking, âWhat has your pastor already told you about Thailand?â Several people answered. Then, a young woman said, âHe told us that ties are cheap there.â The missionaryâs mouth dropped open as she responded, âThais are cheap?â An uncomfortable silence followed, until understanding finally dawned on her. âOh, yes,â she exclaimed, her face creasing into a smile, âties are cheap in Thailand!â
Foot in Mouth
I thought I'd share a story with you about a time my husband put his "foot in his mouth." One day we were visiting a parishioner in hospital, as she had just had her leg amputated below the knee. During the visit my husband prayed with her and as he was concluding his prayer he said, "And God we pray that it won't be long until she is back on her feet again...doing the things she loves." As soon as the words "back on her feet" were out of his mouth, there was an awkward pause, when he realized what he'd just said. There was nothing he could say to correct it, but just continue on with the prayer. It was a prayer we will never forget. Major Dena Hepditch Corps Officer (Pastor) Bermuda Division The Salvation Army
A few years ago when my mom was still alive she came to visit me in Dartmouth NS back then we only had a Costco store in Halifax so off to Halifax we went also my husband was with us . My husband never likes to get wet but on this day it was a very warm July day when we went into the store and it was raining a bit when we went in so we left our coats in the car but when we came out it was raining really hard my husband said to me now he is the one I always said doesn't like to get his feathers wet so he told me to run to the car and get our rain coats so I run to get them and came back with the raincoats and then he said why didn't you bring the car so I looked at my mom and we both started laughing and I said to him you didn't ask for the car your asked for the coats . Sometimes my elevator doesn't always go to the top . Mom and I never laughed so hard in our lives .
During the summer of 2011 my husband Mark and I travelled through Labrador from Lab City to the ferry that took us to Newfoundland. I won't mention the long drive from Baie Comeau to Lab city as that is a tale all on its own.
I love my home province of Ontario but we have visited Newfoundland and Labrador five times over the past several years and have enjoyed every moment we have been fortunate enough to spend in this incredible province. But it is the hospitality of the Labrador people we met on our adventure through Labrador that prompts me to write this story.
We experienced many kind and generous people on our travels and I want to share one in particular that stands out in our memory. We arrived in St. Lewis on July 8 and toured the Loder Point Premises Museum which houses many artifacts from the fishing industry and includes three buildings including a former general store. Two local high school students were our tour guides and they suggested the best place to camp would be at Fisherman's Gazebo (no campgrounds are available throughout most of Newfoundland but everyone has a suggestion about where to pull up for a night). At the end of the road in St. Lewis in Fisherman's Point and the last house on the road belonged to a wonderful lady, Emily Holley, to whom we introduced ourselves (and asked her if she minded having neighbours for the night!) The Point has a spectacular view of the ocean and we enjoyed the trail that follows the shore past the gazebo where we were treated to sightings of whales and icebergs.
The following morning we had a knock on the trailer door and there was Emily! She invited us in for a delicious breakfast of eggs, coffee, and home-made bread with her own preserves of partridgeberry jam! What a treat! Her grandson, Dylan Poole, was living with his grandmother for the summer and he gave us a beautiful pencil sketch that he had drawn of the St. Lewis Academy Wildcats. We so enjoyed our visit with Emily and Dylan "what wonderful people! As we were leaving Emily, after everything she had already done for us, gave us two jars of her homemade preserves, a jar of partridgeberry jam and a jar of pickled carrots " both of which we enjoyed during the remainder of our trip.
Emily did say that when she gave preserves she expected the jars back with something in them but, she said with a smile on her face and twinkle in her eye, "I don't expect I will be seeing these jars again". And although I hope to visit Emily again I donâÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t think I could match the wonderful flavours that Emily managed to bottle in her preserves!
Wherever we traveled in Labrador people welcomed us with kindness and generosity. If you have an opportunity to tour the underground hydroelectric plant in Churchill Falls, visit Northwest River, or enjoy the many trails the eastern coast of Labrador has to offer every stop will be a memorable one because of the people you will meet along the way!
My Most Embarrassing Moment
I decided to check out the end-of-winter sales at our local mall. My favourite store was brimming with jam-packed aisles of blouses, skirts, pants and sweaters. I combed carefully through the racks, squeezing between them. Finding nothing to my liking, I headed toward the door. A saleswoman called out, "Would you like to purchase that?" Puzzled, I saw that she was pointing to my right side. Looking down I saw a white blouse on a hanger hooked to the belt of my coat! I blushed and returned it to her. She did not smile.
My wife and I had just returned from a vacation in Cuba. A few days later I had a dental appointment and knowing most of the staff quite well I said Hola! (O-la), the Cuban expression for hello. The new young dentist looked at me and asked how I knew her name, which turned out to be Dr. Ola. We had a great chuckle and she added that when she was very young and had vacationed in Cuba she thought that everyone was calling her by name!
Recently an RCMP officer came to my home to discuss a personal matter. When we had finished our business I walked him to our back door and was about to say goodbye when a knock came on our front door. I asked him to wait a minute and went to answer the knock. I opened the door and a lady friend of ours walked in and said "how much do I owe you for the dope?" My wife had picked up some fly repellent called "Bug Off" from a local pharmacy earlier that day as she had requested. The young RCMP officer and I had a great laugh. If it had been an officer from out of the province, it might have been a different story!
A COME FROM AWAY STORY
I am originally from Toronto so that should explain everything.
I married a girl from NL back in 1982 in Ontario.Having been away from her family for so many years... I decided it was time for my wife to have some years here in with her mom and dad...so in 2004 we did. That summer on a most beautiful sunny day we decided to have our first BBQ. As I cooked enjoying the sunshine...I happened to glance down the river and froze in horror. I ran in to the house yelling at the top of my lungs ,RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! IT'S ALL ABLAZE OUT THERE! FOREST FIRE!
My wife bolted out to the bridge, looked down the river,looked at me, and doubled over in fits of laughter..."THATS NOT SMOKE THAT'S THE FOG ROLLING IN YA SILLY FOOL!" we still laugh at that. I don't think I will ever live that one down.
Bless this couple
Years ago, when I was a pastor, my wife and I were invited to the wedding reception of friends of ours. Later, I was unexpectedly asked to conclude the event with prayer. Without putting a lot of thought into it, I prayed a routine prayer, then added, "God, we ask that you would bless this fine couple as they go their separate ways." Thankfully, despite my prayer, they are still together!
Last November, my friend and I were at Wallmart helping with the Poppy Campaign. I'm was in a wheelchair and had decided not to wear my prosthetic leg. However, I sat on a chair behind the table. Everything was great. My friend and I were all dressed up in our legion uniforms. The poppies were in trays and a few large poppies, pins, etc. were on display.
When it was time for us to leave, the poppy chairman and his wife came by to change the trays and two male legionnaires were there to relieve us. A Wallmart employee was also there to help with the wheelchair.
As I went to go from the chair to the wheelchair I made a hop on my right (and only) leg and as I did, my slacks fell right to the floor and I could not let go to pull them up. Embarrassing? Yes, but we did have a great laugh!
No Movies This Week
When we were kids growing up in Grand Falls in the 1950-60s, we considered ourselves the luckiest family in town. Why? Our mother was the ticket seller at the old Popular Theatre. And we got to see all the latest movies for free. One day Mom told us we weren't allowed to go to the "show" (movies) that week. She explained that the risque movie, Peyton Place was playing. And it was suitable only for adults. I knew that my younger brother had misunderstood Mom's explanation when I overheard him tell one of his pals, "We can't go to the show this week. They're Paintin' the Place."