Fwd: Screenshot 2018-06-05 at 8.57.00 PM

Al,

Do you remember this?

 

Al,
Do you remember this?

Thanks Nick
DUFFERIN RACETRACK: CRUCIBLE  OF LEARNING
alan skeoch
June 2018

Crystal clear memory…terrific  photograph.  Dufferin racetrack…add a couple of  hundred men in battered fedoras rushing through the gates as if their life depended on the horses and hot walkers, now the place is Dufferin Mall. Boring.  

Continue reading “Fwd: Screenshot 2018-06-05 at 8.57.00 PM”

Baby raccoon beside the gravel road:

“LET HIM ALONE, ALAN”  (said a voice  from within)
alan skeoch
June

I caught the flicker of  movement on the gravel fringe of the Fifth Line just below our farm. A little ball of something that looked  alive but barely so. Moving in jerks and starts.    So  I braked  and  backed up.

A baby racoon was  trying to get nourishment from  some scrap of  food.  It was alone and certainly not in the best of  health.  The back  legs were wet…perhaps from wading through the swamp but also perhaps from something more sinister.

PORT CREDIT RHODODENDRON GARDEN….SEE IT NOW IF YOU CAN

DATE  JUNE 3, 2018

PORT CREDIT RHODODENDRON GARDEN:   AND  FIND THE BIG BUJMBLEBEE
“ALAN, I want to take you to see something spectacular.”
“What?”
“Not telling until we get there.”
“Far?”
“No, right on our doorstep.”
And so spent a wonderful afternoon in the Rhododendron garden just a touch  west of Port Credit…on Lakeshore Road…
YOU SHOULD GO THERE NOW READERS!!   BETTER THAN THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS

POETRY READNG IN KENSINGTON MARKET MAY 27, 2018 – AN ADDICTION AND A CHALLENGE

Note:  This exposes much…trying to set an example of which  you are expected to follow with your own blank verse.  Do  not chicken  out on me.
I have taken risks.
alan

POETRY READING IN KENSINGTON MARKET, MAY  27, 2018

(inspired the worst and best in me…as it wlll do to you I hope…with apologies for my own blank and feeble verse)
ALAN SKEOCH
MAY 27, 2018
“Alan, we have been invited to a  poetry reading in Kensington Market on Sunday afternoon”
“Poetry…people  reading poetry in Kensington?”
“Yes, we must go.”
“Who invited us?”
“Keith Gebarian…the writer, art critic…and  poet.”
“I thought he wrote history and  pop fiction.:
‘Also seven books of poetry.”
“What kind?  Like Cr. Zeuss?”
“Don’t be silly…he writes hard edged  poetry…stuff that makes you think.”
“Is Just Keith speaking at the Kensington affair?”
“No there will be six or seven poets.”
“Let’s do it.”
“Maybe Judy will join us while Eric is  convalescing.”
“Good idea.”
“Marjorie this is  a big deal.  All  of Kensington is exploding  with people…a  happening for sure.”
“Hope the car doesn’t get towed away…”

ANDREW AND MEGHAN: ‘FESTIVUS’…A WEDDING FOR ALL OF US

ANDREW AND MEGHAN:  “FESTIVUS”… A WEDDING FOR ALL OF US

I am not a person who follows weddings much.  Better things to do.  But this wedding trumped other weddings big time.
here are a few pictures taken from TV that explain why.  Included is my favourite,  just STAND BY ME.
alan skeoch
May 19, 2018
p.s. Why did I say Andrew …  I always get my Princes mixed up…same about Princesses … stupid…Most readers seemed to have not noticed which is comforting…probably all think I am supped anyway AS YOU KNOW I MEANT HARRY.

TICKS, INFECTION AND OBSOLESENSE alan skeoch May 2018

FEAR STARTED IN OUR RHUBARB PATCH:
(This is not a funny story…a warning story on dangers of infection)
alan skeoch
May 2018
“Marjorie, I love springtime when  our slice of the world  turns green…bursting green in all shades.”
“Rhubarb is in season Alan…in the back field.”
“You pick it while I try to get the tractor started to plow, OK?”
“Is the back field plowed?”
“Nope, couldn’t do the plowing last fall…tractor wouldn’t start…dirt in the sediment bowl.”
“I can get to the rhubarb through the weeds, no problem.”
“Maybe make a Rhubarb pie?  Love that.”
“Depends  on the amount of rhubarb back there.”
And that is how the day began…anticipation of a  rhubarb pie.

Fwd: PARKDALE C.I. FLASHBACK: HE’S DEAD, SIR! MURDERED! SHOT TO DEATH TODAY! (FROM ALAN SKEOCH)

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.

MARY FIXPARK…DEVASTATED MAY 2018 WINDSTORM

TANGLED FOREST:  WHAT 100 MILE PER HOUR WINDS  HAVE DONE   MAY 2018


alan skeoch
may 2018

Marjorie Skeoch is dwarfed by the corpse of this giant tree uprooted in Mary Fix Park by the windstorm of May 2018

TANGLED  FOREST

Gazing with trepidation from our front porch I watched our hundred  year old trees sway and twist as  if dancing to some windy melody.  Would they snap?  Our house in Mississauga is
located  on the last holdout of the Mississauga First Nations  people.  As  a  result the lots  are long and  densely forested because the slash  and  burn farmers did  not have a chance
to level  every living thing.  This sudden storm in May 2018 changed things.

Unseen at the back  of our lot a century old spruce tree was  completely uprooted.  Its corpse fell  across  Mary Fix Creek and nearly took a  slice out of a neighbours house.   The hole
left behind by the roots was  deep enough for me to seem swallowed up.  A grave.

Lucky  Mary Fix is  long gone.  She would  be horrified by the way the wind created havoc in her park.  Mary Fix park is a wilderness park left to the City of Mississauga by Mary when she died on May 2, 1972.
She wanted to be sure her bit of wilderness was saved forever.   And up until May 2018 that seemed to assured.  The forest is the closest to Shangri-La I have experienced.  A year ago I sat absolutely still
on a rotting birch log while a doe and her  fawn sidled past me.  And this  spring and  winter we have a trio of coyotes hiding somewhere in the forest along with the RABBITS  and squirrels that the
coyotes regards as fine food along with the odd  cat that wanders too far from home.

(Mary Fix was born in 1896 in a French/Irish family.  She fought for the right for women vote when she was 16.  In 1918 the became the first woman lawyer in Ottawa.  In 1931 she married a musician named Albert Alphonse Fix 
and they built their house in Toronto Township.  That house stands on the edge of Mary Fix Park…south east quadrant of the junction of Hurontario Road and  the Queen Elizabeth Way.  Being a  female lawyer
was  tough sledding for Mary.  Alphonse died  in 1945 and Mary opened the Cloverleaf Dress Shop.  She expected a  modest life.  Then politics  intervened.  The chaos of  development after World  War II threatened
to disrupt the beauty of Toronto Township, now Mississauga, so she decided to do  something about it and became an elected official determined to bring order to the thirst for monetary gain by unregulated development.
She was  a  founding member of  the  Historical  Society, a helper in setting aside the quaint and fascinating Bradley House Museum,  a member of the Library Board…and  was also determined
to save the trees  in her  neighbourhood.)

Well,  Mary’s beautiful trees…towering white pines, spruce, black cherry, birch…have become a tangled mess.   So clogged with downed trees  that her forest is almost impassable.  It took 
Marjorie and Woody, our Labrador. nearly an hour to cover a stretch of the forest that took five minutes before the storm.  And  there is danger as some of the towering trees  are hanging like 
dark guillotines high above the heads of any urban explorer.  The only good  thing about the storm damage is that Mary Fix Park is no longer passable…it has  become a place that wild animals
must treasure.  

They probably watched us tumbling over windfalls and carefully moving below those wooded Guillotines.

Now do  not get your underwear in too much of a twist.  There are lots of tall trees still standing in Mary Fix Park…and  a  host of  saplings ready  to shoot skyward.  The forest will survive.

alan skeoch
may  2018

P.S.  ONE of the worst results of the storm is sudden decision by neighbours to cut down the towering trees that surround their houses.  Trees that survived those massive winds but cannot 
survive fear.



Mary Fix forest BEFORE THE WINDSTORM OF MAY 2018



MARY FIX FOREST…AFTER THE WINDSTORM

OUR LOT WAS HIT HARD BUT MUCH OF THE LOT REMAINED UNTOUCHED.  THIS DUMP RAKE, CIRCA 1880, WAS  MOVED  HERE FROM THE CRAIGIE FARM.


IT IS A POLICY OF THE MISSISSAUGA FORESTRY PEOPLE TO LEAVE FALLEN TREES ON THE GROUND SO THAT THE NATURAL FORCES  CAN TAKE COMMAND . THESE OLD  LOGS
PROVIDE SUSTENANCE FOR A HOSE SMALL UNSEEN CREATURES.   THAT POLICY WILL PROBABLY BE AMENDED SOMEWHAT FOR THE DEVASTATION IS SO WIDESPREAD THAT MARY
FIX PARK IS NOW IMPENETRABLE.


WHY OUR HUGE SILVER MAPLE SURVIVED WHILE OTHER YOUNGER TREES DID  NOT IS A MYSTERY