The Victoria Standard - - Obituaries / Announcements -

As hum­bling as it was to be driven from my home, bare­foot, in briefs, and car­ry­ing my golf clubs, I was not pre­pared to be truly hum­bled by the out­pour­ing of com­mu­nity kind­ness and sup­port I re­ceived. I was given items be­fore I re­al­ized I needed them... i thank you all.

The Bad­deck and Mid­dle River Fire De­part­ments saved my home from to­tal de­struc­tion. They did an ex­cel­lent job. The dam­age is ex­ten­sive and will be as­sessed by pro­fes­sion­als af­ter the ini­tial cleanup is com­plete.

A wood stove gives off beau­ti­ful heat but one must main­tain vig­i­lance to en­dure the safety of their sys­tem. I failed to en­sure the safety of that sys­tem. I failed to de­tect a prob­lem and have to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for the dam­age. It worked fine for years, but I now be­lieve it is a good idea to have a sec­ond opin­ion on your sys­tem ev­ery few years to stay safe. I was very lucky.

Merle “Honky the Hero”, my long-haired white cat was a gift from the Rock­inghorse Ranch a cou­ple of years ago. I be­lieve his shriek is what woke me. He is get­ting fat in his glory. I’m thank­ful I didn’t have a cat door.

“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” is very true. I lost my po­etry, art­work, let­ters, pic­tures, Deed’s Sil­ver Dart 100th An­niver­sary stamps, gifts from Mex­ico, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia, my orig­i­nal “Dummy Line Re­port” drafts, tax records of sev­eral peo­ple, mu­sic, wardrobes, cos­tumes, au­to­graph trea­sures and much more.

The fire did not get my sense of hu­mour as I was laugh­ing as I put the golf clubs in my trunk... noth­ing else con­struc­tive I could do. My losses were noth­ing com­pared to the tragic deaths of my friends and neigh­bours just a few days later.

The lo­cal gen­eros­ity, the Le­gion fundraiser, and a Gofundme page have given me a chance to go for­ward, of that there is no doubt. I thank you.

Speak­ing of go­ing for­ward, this April 23rd will mark twenty years since I was hit by a train in Port Hawkes­bury. A party to cel­e­brate this was in the works long be­fore the fire. Please join us at the Le­gion for mu­sic, fun and more. Up­dates to come!

Life goes on... humbly, Ste­mer

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