Everyday heroes, usual suspects

Posted on October 13, 2007
Filed Under Commentary | 1 Comment

        Mary Richardson is not a wealthy woman. Normally she might not be considered a powerful woman – one of the heavy hitters in the community.
        Mary has, however, pulled off an impressive, generous and inspiring feat. In one year of wheeling and wheedling, organizing and hustling and the lavish application of personal elbow grease she raised $10,406.53. Like a one-woman service club, she ran bingos, dinners, a concert, sales and a raffle for a cord of firewood.
        She donated the total take to the Miramichi Regional Hospital Foundation digital mammogram project, a $600,000 project.
        Imagine the determination, dogged effort, and tremendous commitment of personal time it took to do that!

Scotty Bernard
        Scotty Bernard disappeared from among us very quickly. Most of us had just recently heard he was ill when he died. The cancer he had been fighting a delaying action against just ran amok in his body.
        He was 61, a city councilor and well known in the city for his good humour. Most conversations with him involved many smiles and a lot of laughter.
        Many and well-deserved tributes were made to his memory and his contributions to the community.
        If I had to define Scotty to you folks who didn’t know him with one story it would be, it is, this.
        For years, every single morning, he presented his wife Donna with a brand new poem he wrote for her that day.
        John Keats’ best known two lines of poetry are:
        “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all
        Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
        I think you now know all you really need to know about Scotty Bernard.

The usual suspects
        Friday night was a night of running into usual suspects.
        One gang of usual suspects, music aficionados, was at Saddler’s for the Morgan Davis performance.
        It’s always a bit mysterious to find oneself so close to such a great talent. My judgment of Davis’s talent is borne out by the fact that he draws many of the best musical talents in the territory to his local shows.
        Owen Murdoch and George Washburn were among his most appreciative fans Friday.
        Davis and his guitars speak as one. He makes everything seem so easy that my eyes and my ears call each other liars. How can he make such beautiful and complex music so easily and smoothly.
        His wicked wit goes over well with Miramichiers too. His ode to his inflatable girlfriend, Polly Urethane, had everyone in stitches.

Ray Fraser
        Another gang of the usual suspects was at Books Inn where Ray Fraser was signing his new book, “When The Earth Was Flat.”
        Fraser, along with his then wife Sharon, David Adams Richards, Jim Stewart, and Leo Ferrari made up a creative, hard-partying, tireless gang of conversationalists who revolved around the brilliant, hilarious, wicked, poet, dramatist and columnist, Alden Nowlan.
        Another lad, name of Richard Hatfield, was an associate member and used Alden’s talents as a speech writer in his marathon 17 years as premier of New Brunswick.
        I’m not sure whether to describe that gang and those times as New Brunswick’s Camelot or New Brunswick’s Algonquin. It was golden like the Kennedy Camelot and literate and ironic like New York’s Algonquin round table of Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross, Robert Benchley, and Alexander Woolcott.
        Leo Ferrari’s main cause was the Flat Earth Society whence Ray’s book takes its name.
        Promoting Jim Stewart as the rightful King of England was Alden’s scheme to help the terribly shy young man meet women. The playful hoax spread and, according to Fraser, actually reached Queen Elizabeth II via Lord Mountbatten.
        Alden’s role in the Flat Earth Society was a junior one. He was the official court fool. When meetings opened with the pronouncement “The earth is flat as any fool can plainly see!” Alden would solemnly rise and say “I can see that,” and sit down.
        I’m just getting into “When The Earth Was Flat” so I may have more to report later.
        I can’t resist leaving the subject of Friday night with the famous hack line, “It was a dark and stormy night!”
        It was bad enough getting to Books Inn. Getting away was worse. The runoff overcame the storm drains and water was running a good foot deep beside my vehicle. I had to borrow two garbage bags for my feet to wade to the door.
                                                                   David Cadogan


One Response to “Everyday heroes, usual suspects”

  1. admin on October 19th, 2007 10:33 am

    Hello David
    I have just received (via Scotty’s daughter) the wonderful tribute you made to my friend Scotty in your October 13 website commentary.
    Your words were beautiful. Scotman would have been touched.
    He was and forever will be – my dearest friend. I wrote him a poem when he was in the hospital and am attaching it. It was my way of saying ‘thank you’ to a precious human being.
    Thank you again for your words.
    Kind regards
    Iva Trevors

    Scotty – My wonderful friend

    It is so very hard to find a way
    to put into words how I feel today;
    So saddened by what I know now must be;
    To comfort the friend who comforted me.

    I must let you know how in so many ways
    You’ve offered me sunshine on very tough days;
    You opened your arms when I needed a friend
    and hugged away teardrops and helped them to mend.

    This place that we visit – that we all just ‘pass through’
    Has been made so much sweeter – because there was ‘you’
    the moments we share here – the memories we knew
    Will forever be kept – in our hearts – strong and true

    I want you to know that I cherish the days
    the laughter, the smiles, I’ll cherish – always
    In all of your life, you have given so much
    and so many people have been blessed by your touch..

    I pray for God’s hand to comfort your pain
    and I light a white candle – every day – once again
    Be strong my dear friend – and when Heaven is near
    I promise an Angel to carry you there.

    I won’t say good-bye – for I’ll see you again
    Until then – remember – I love you, my friend

    With much love, Iva

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