Opinion Column

A few notes from the departure lounge

Bruce Cameron

By Bruce Cameron

Mike Hensen/The London Free Press/QMI Agency

Mike Hensen/The London Free Press/QMI Agency

Sooner or later, most things head out to their own field of dreams.

This week, a look at some recent departures.

Brian Rodnick, former editor of this newspaper: Last Friday was his last day at the helm. He was comfortable on the street with a notepad and pen in hand but grew into, then ran with, the unenviable task of herding cats so that local readers knew exactly what was happening in their city.

As editor he was stingy with compliments. Which, of course, means that if you ever did receive one, it meant quite a lot.

Patrick Brown's consistency on the issue of the sex-education curriculum in Ontario schools: Has it ever existed? When it comes to maintaining or repealing it, the Ontario PC leader has flipped, he's flopped, he's flopped and he's flipped.

And now, social conservative groups like the Campaign Life Coalition, are calling him on it. Loudly.

In a statement a few days ago, Brown said he's "evolved" in his outlook and that if the groups like the CLC "want a rigid ideologue as premier," they should "vote for someone else."

Maybe they just want a political leader they can believe. (Or - what a concept - believe in.) Meanwhile, it appears the Ontario Liberals once again are charmed with luck.

And don't look now, but Doug Ford is circling high with a vulture's keen eye for possibilities.

The Thinker, (barely) braving the weather 'lo these many years, outside the MacLaren Art Centre: The August Rodin bronze reproduction will at some point in the next several months be replaced, noted a recent Examiner story, by "a more contemporary statue in time for Canada's 150th birthday."

Where will it go? What will it do?

Well, it's not as if it hasn't had the chance to mull these things over.

The USA's odds of winning the World Cup of Hockey: Flat out gone after we beat them on Tuesday night.

Truth be told, this tourney still hasn't grabbed my attention except for seeing how Auston Matthews is doing with the North American young guns. But that only stokes impatience to see the Maple Leafs getting busy in a brand new season.

W.P. Kinsella, the writer who last Friday had a doctor-assisted launching of soul: Kinsella's best-known work has to be "Shoeless Joe," but I prefer "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy."

It's not a novel, it's a Bible spun on old-time baseball, North American native spiritual lore and redemption.

And, as fans of Kinsella's "Fencepost Chronicles" can tell you, his words have the power to make you laugh loud and often.

I've written only one fan letter in my life. That was to Kinsella many years ago.

To my surprise, I got a short thank-you note back from him a few weeks later.

For better or worse, as these things go, it's just jumped in value -- not that you'll ever see it for sale on eBay. No, its permanent home is between two random pages in a book, the title of which I currently forget.

Oh well, it's around here somewhere.

Over $400 that left but then magically returned: Playing last Saturday afternoon at a packed Sticky Fingers -- birthday celebrations for Kevy Harradine; his sister Lisa; and The Fred Grant Squares, who turned 20 -- a 50/50 draw was held to raise money for Hospice Simcoe.

Susan McKendry won the loot. She then handed that thick wad of 20's right back, helping the local hospice do what it does so well. Susan, I officially dub thee Sweetie of the Year.

Bruce Cameron is a Barrie freelance writer.



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