Saturday, April 05, 2008

Blogging Winchester: Saturday

I am sitting here close to midnight in the tiny apartment of my sainted parents in a senior housing complex in Winchester, Ontario. I have a martini by my side ... the influence of my roommate and bartender caused me to abandon my previous habit of drinking wine by default. More on that below.

Tomorrow is my birthday ... 55 happy years on the planet ... or half way to one-ten, as I have been saying ... so the day was consumed in the slow build up to a family dinner at the Country Kitchen on Highway 31.

As the day passed, I caught up with sundry events I missed in the blackout of a day of flying Friday. Cal hired Mike Montgomery, late of Stanford ... old Blues like me are damned happy. Poor Ben Braun didn't seem to have the backbone to move to the next level. Meanwhile, things are heading for a nasty pass in the doomed Zimbabwe. Again, I think it is about the army .. if the army turns on him, he is lsot. They ought to assign a little troup of killers to end the misery.

But back to Winchester, the Cheese Capital of the Ottawa Valley. If that is not enough, it is also the birthplace of George Beverly Shea, for those of you who remember who he is. I do, which is saying something.

My paents found WInchester years ago when they took some drives in the countryside surounding Ottawa which is 50 kilmoeters from here. They liked the little town of 2000, appreciated the fact that it had a regional hospital, and also the fact that it did not appear to have been affected very much by suburban sprawl. That is still truw, and it largely dervies from the towns distance from any freeway. Nearby Kempville is another modern hellhole, best as I can tell from slender experience, because it sits astride of a freeway. People get suckered by freeways.

But Winchester is starting to suffer nonetheless. It is an aging town ... the young folks move away once they are adults, and aged stay put. That makes it perfect for Ma and Pa who have a great life in this little complex ... a little sad because Dad had a stroke 6 years ago. And everyone ahs a car, jsut like everywhere else. The businesses downtown compete with the eveil Walmart empires, not withstanding that theya re miles away. The Country Boy clothing store is closing, and that is a blow.

Winchester is small town, though. The last time I was here there was a story in the local paper that the cops had written a parking ticket. One parking ticket.

My brother found this place son after my parents did and he converted himself from city boy to country boy. He works in the city, but he is a happy camper, and I always try to see this little town through his eyes. As I walked around with him and his wife today, they knew absolutely everyone ... a place where everyone knows your name.

Getting fatigued here as we close on 1 a.m., so I will leave it at that. I'll get back to the family gathering, the two dogs, thes earch for a martini in a small town, and all that, tomorrow.

Photos by Arod, today.

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