Can it be?

Along the Trail

The Victoria Standard - - Commentary - CHUCK THOMP­SON

Can it be? Nah, im­pos­si­ble. 2019, good gravy, is it re­ally? It seems only a month or two ago, I stopped scratch­ing out 2017 on my cheques and now here it is, 2019 in all its ra­di­ant glory. 2019, it’s hard to imag­ine. Even though not a lot of things change in Vic­to­ria County (ex­cept for the Mid­dle River road patch), time still seems to fly by at a scary pace. My mother-in-law al­ways said that no mat­ter how long you live, the first twenty years are the long­est. For what seemed like for­ever, I thought she was off her pills. Now I am at an age where I get it in spades. When you are a kid, sum­mer drags on for­ever and a school year took about a light year to pass. Now? Zoom, sum­mer is gone in a flash of mulch and a cloud of bug spray.

I have never been a big fan of New Years, and now that I have two hear­ing aids, I am even less so. As a kid, my dad and I used to as­sem­ble in the back­yard at mid­night on New Year’s Eve and fire off the trusty twelve gauge shot­gun. I would stag­ger around and go in­side to bed. This was in the mid­dle of North Syd­ney! I never did hear of any dam­age to ei­ther per­son or prop­erty. Then again, I didn’t ask a lot. Now my au­di­ol­o­gist asks me, “Do you hunt a lot?”

“No, why,” I ask.

“Be­cause in sim­ple terms, it looks like maybe you blew out your ear drums fir­ing off guns.” In those days, it never oc­curred to ei­ther one of us to wear pro­tec­tive head gear, and now I am des­tined to spend the rest of my life ask­ing, “What?”what did you say?” Every help­ful young per­son be­hind a ser­vice counter sounds ex­actly like the Swedish Chef on the Mup­pets. I lean in like a Blue Heron on a min­now, but it doesn’t help. Chalk one up for stu­pid­ity.

Well, that was then and this is now. What can we ex­pect here in Vic­to­ria County, in 2019? Will the wave of tourists con­tinue to pour into Bad­deck and other des­ti­na­tions around the Trail? Let’s hope so, as there isn’t much else keep­ing the County to­gether. I don’t think you need an MBA to re­al­ize you can’t build an econ­omy on twelve weeks work and EI the rest of the way. It doesn’t look like Miche­lin is go­ing to build a fourth plant here in ru­ral Cape Bre­ton any time soon. So, “hide the tips and get the stamps”, it is. CBRM is still dream­ing big wait­ing for the su­per port and the re­vival of coal as King. Been a long time since coal was King and it is go­ing to be even longer be­fore it comes back. How long is never?

All in all, the sta­tus quo is pretty good here in and around the High­lands. The shell fish­eries are stable, they are still cut­ting sticks on the High­land range, and there is sput­ter­ing talk about “added value” wood prod­ucts. Let’s hope. You can only make so many cut­ting boards at Larche, but it seems in the dim re­cesses of my mind, I have heard this ex­pres­sion be­fore.

Be­fore you know it, spring will come again. The tarps that cover Ma­jor league base­ball fields and Bad­deck will be rolled back, and we will await the in­flux of tourists with ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion. This is a pretty nice cor­ner of Google earth to live in, so en­joy. As they say in New­found­land, “keep a strain on her!”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.