Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cams and kids...

Wow, busy week, so busy I forgot Sunday was a special day... Father's Day. Jennifer and Neil both called and we had grrrreat chats. Jenn called in the morning as I was rushing out to cover a plane crash. Good thing it was only a minor crash, pilot rescued from the lake, no injuries. But I had to cut Jenn off, wondering "Why is she calling on a Sunday morning?" In Ontario, we are no longer allowed to chat on a cell phone while driving. But it was all good when we connected later in the day. Then Neil called around suppertime and we had a nice chat. Good news is, he is coming back to Ontario for a couple of years. He and Nolene will be settling in Toronto as she continues studies at University of Toronto. So that will be nice. And Jenn and the boys and I will spend time together on Canada Day weekend! So I have lots of housework to catch up on. I finally got my new camera today. It's a nice compact little SONY that I will take on my holidays. I was dreading the thought of lugging my big Nikons around so I figured it was time to get something I can literally tuck into my pocket. So today was summer solstice. Longest day of the year. From this point on, the days get shorter! Ahhhh... I just know that spring is on the way!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Great Porcupine Fire

It will be this time next month that the people of Timmins will stop and remember one of the worst forest fires in Canadian history. It will be the 100th anniversary of the Great Porcupine fire of July 1911. It's called Porcupine because back then, this whole area was known as The Porcupine Gold Camp. It's amazing to think not so much that people endured the fire, but that they continued on in spite of it. Back then, there were no warnings, no special firefighting airplanes, no evacuations. The people who came to Timmins were taking part in one of the great gold rushes ever recorded. Fire devasted the towns, hundreds died, but the people carried on in spite of the great sadness and loss of life. There was even the story of the mine manager who rushed to bring his family down into a mine shaft to escape the flames ... but the firestorm sucked all the oxygen out of the mine. They were found dead days later, without a scratch, without a burn. They had suffocated. There was also the story of the train rushing into town, without knowing of the fire. Sure enough, as the story goes, the train was carrying a shipment of dynamite for the mines. It caught fire and exploded, causing even more death and havoc. Archives Canada has saved many of the photos showing the fire, the people on shore at Porcupine Lake trying to get away, and then days later carrying the bodies out to Deadman's Point, which still exists as a cemetery today. (Photo Credit: Library and Archives Canada)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

I like cookies and prospectors too

Sunday morning, tea and cookies. Yeah, I know it's not the healthiest breakfast, but it will do today. Wow, hard to believe June is here already. I was thinking about that this week as nearly all of my photo assignments have been outdoors. I am okay with that. Well the new computer is all set up to my liking. It is working nicely and very fast. I have removed all the files from the old laptop and will be handing it off to the boys next chance I get. I have a full Rubbermaid box at the front door of all the clothes I did NOT wear this past winter. I will have to drop it off at the church. It's too easy to get too many clothes. I also put my second last suit in the box. I have not worn a suit since Jennifer's wedding, so I figure it is time to get rid of one and keep one. I thought about suits about a month back when I was covering "a gala dinner" for the prospectors association. Sure there were a lot of suits there, but there were just as many guys without suits, wearing dress pants and a checkered shirt! If you've just found a new gold mine, people don't really care whether you're wearing a suit.
That reminds me. It was at that dinner that I met several people from across Canada and we talked about how we all seem to like prospectors. They're some of my favourite people. We agreed that they're a cheerful and optimistic group. I know one fellow well. His name is Dave. He's around 60 and I have known him since his twenties. There were a few times I saw him with a new truck and I knew things were going good. Then one day I saw him walking home from the grocery store, carrying his groceries. He had to sell the truck. So I knew things were hard for him. A couple of weeks ago, I heard Dave had staked some new ground on the big gold play west of Timmins. I sure hope this is "the big one" for him. He's a good guy.