POETRY READING IN KENSINGTON MARKET, MAY 27, 2018
TENT CATERPILLAS MARSHALLING FORCES
ANDREW AND MEGHAN: “FESTIVUS”… A WEDDING FOR ALL OF US
HERE are a few flashback memories…most centred on Parkdale C. I. … Wrote tis a couple of years ago for no particular reason. …
alan“He’s dead, sir! Shot! Murdered!”by Alan Skeoch, Jan. 29,2014
“Sir! Sir! Someone just shot the President! Someone shot Kennedy in Texas…might be dead!”A student burst into my portable classroom at Parkdale Collegiate with this horrific news. First year I taught. It may have been Conrad Blonski. That assassination was etched into long term storage of people across the world. Now, more than half a century later I can remember the moment so clearly. November 22, 1963. A warm, sunny, late fall afternoon. Beautiful day.
Begin forwarded message:
From: SKEOCH <email@example.com>Subject: WELCOME TO PORT CREDIT: LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL: WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A LOVE IN….PORT CREDITDate: May 9, 2018 at 10:50:29 AM EDTTo: Alan Skeoch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
(speech May 9, Clarke Hall, extolling virtues of Port Credit)
What he have here today is a LOVE IN. At least I hope that is what’d will happen. There is going to be plenty of time for problems…and there
are lots of problems facing Port Credit in future months and years. Our population will swell … some low estimates say 10,000…and one high
estimate is 58,000 new residents will arrive along the whole Mississauga lakefront. People are coming. This is not Fort apache…not the Alamo…not L’Anse aux Meadows. We are not circling the wagons.
We are saying welcome. We want newcomers to love our community as we do.
So, Today we are extolling the virtues of Port Credit. Doing so in the hope…no, in the belief, that our new residents will share and protect our community.
What is worth protecting…what do do we love about our home … our village by the Lake.
“How much do I love thee,
Let me count the ways”
(borrowed from poet Robert Browning)
1) First and foremost is our river…the Credit river…the curving spine that winds through our city and terminates here in Port Credit.
A few years ago I wrote a book extolling the virtues of the Credit River. WHERE THE RIVER SPEAKS But let me be brief
-love watching the fisher people on its banks
-love watching the rowers and paddlers…young people honing olympic skills
-love seeing the power boats in harbour
-love the fishing derbies
-love the fact that not far out in the Lake…200 feet down…there are schools of salmon as there have always been
-love seeing the great snapping turtles emerging to lay their eggs from our railway bridge to the QEW bridge
-love the wildlife…beaver, muskrats, deer, foxes, coyotes, mink, — just above above the railway bridge…a highway of wetland for living things
-love seeing those sleek Go Trains rocketing over our upside down railway bridge
-love the fact we have a large public park along the banks of the river
-love that our library is in that park
-love that we have huge public celebrations annually on the banks of the river
-even love the fact that our last vestige of commercial fishing days lies hidden behind a derelict house on the west bank
-love the fact our public ice arena is close by the river
-love the times when an early freeze up makes our river a mile long skating rink.
2) Love Our Waterfront on Lake Ontario…much of which is publicly accessible
-love the sunrise vista on a summer day
-love the angry waves on a winter day with slabs of ice smashing the shoreline
-love seeing the flights of water birds zipping along in flocks and alone…
-love the occasional discovery of fossils in our tiny shingle beaches…speaks to a time deep in the past when we were at the bottom of a vast inland sea
-love the wind surfers, the stand up paddlers, the sailors, the sleek cigarette boats; the porcupine looking fishing trawlers
-love to reminisce about those days long gone when different boats were on the water…
-Love to think about Lorne Joyce aboard his father’s fishing boat heading for those islands in the middle of Lake Ontario…and returned ice encrusted with a load of whitefish.
-Love the bootleggers who hid their crates of booze in gunny sacks near the old lighthouse in Prohibition days
-Love to imagine that broken down schooner, the Lillian, with its crew levering great slabs of shale as building foundations for Toronto
-love the wreck of the Ridgetown resting immobile where river and lake meet.
3) Love our First Nation connection…Barely visible though it be
-Love to imagine the banks of our river, at the river mouth where for hundreds of years indigenous people gathered…set up tents…gossiped…procreated
-Love to be reminded that Port Credit was native land longer than it has been our land.
-some time ago I wrote a book titled YOUR HOME ON NATIVE LAND that extolled those First Nation years…tragic and betrayed years in many ways
-Love their values especially the concept of ‘sharing”…Canada’s native people had deep trouble understanding the difference between owning and sharing
-Fences in those early years of European settlement were hard for them to understand…as was greed.
(PAUSE: …Consider these two words:
4) Love Our Village…the commercial community…the shops, restaurants…even the place where men smoke big cigars in easy chairs.
-I asked three young 15 year old boys what they loved best about Port Credit … they said three things immediately
– “The winding trails…room for bicycles…and the stores’…they didn’t mention the girls but next day I saw them
socializing with three females….love Port Credit as a meeting place.
-Love the fact that 3 fifteen year old boys loved the village…the streetscape.
-Love the people mixing together on our sidewalks…all ages…all origins…a vertical community
-Love to eat and drink in Port Credit…from a dollar cup of coffee to a $400 dinner for eight…and everything in between.
-Love The Farmers Market
-Love the churches of all denominations…distinctive architecture that breaks the straight line severity of the apartment buildings.
-Love the designated Heritage village on the west bank
-Love the night life when neon replaces the sun and people relax on street benches or inside our bars.
-Love the music of those summer nights
The are the men and the horse that paved Lakeshore Road. No more muddy streets.
5) -Love our public parks
-In many ways we are a community still surrounded by fields on all sides and in our centre
-the Adamson estate on the east
-the rhododendron park on the west
-Love Confederation park in the centre
-Love our huge lakefront park on the west bank
6) Love our Festivals
-Love Busker Days…salespeople of a different sort.
-Love Paint the Town Red parade where thousands gather dressed in Canadian flags
-Love the Waterfront festival where fake Blues Brothers entertain in the midst of blues, jazz, folk, rock bands of all hues
-Love the Fishing Derby even though I never fish.
7) Love our connection to Jane Jacobs…a livable village with a ferment of human activity…on foot…ON FOOT!
-Love our Wide sidewalks with lots of room for diversity as Jane would admire…perhaps even where restaurants seem to usurp the public space.
-Love People watching…Humanity of nosiness…certainly so in Port Credit at all times of day
-Love the architecture that stresses Windows on the Street… facilitates people watching…
WELCOME TO ALL:
And if you are a newcomer to Port Credit, we say welcome…like the Mississauga First Nation people…we want to share
our community with you…and we hope and pray the concept of sharing has equal place with the concept of owning.
Detail: An excellent research paper was done by Frarm Sloker … developers …back in 2006 …draws a profile of
our population a decade ago when Port Credit was converting from a formerly small industrial village into’a high
end residential community.
Sorry to say this but a number of Ontario farms have fallen into this kind neglect as speculators buy