This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Big in the North
I read this morning about Ethan Lavallee, a 12 year old pee wee hockey player in Nickel Center just west of here in Sudbury. He is 6' 5 1/2", 192 pounds, tall towering above all other players his age. I got real folksy alone here and exclaimed out loud to myself, "We grows them big here in God's Rugged Country." You can read a about young Ethan and his ambition to be an professional hockey player like his idol Eric Lindros. He well on his way with such wonderful physical assets. If he was an American he would more likely be playing basketball.
There was a time, a a couple of generations back, when playing hockey was the best way for a northern kid to escape the fate of following his father into the bush or down in the mines for a hard life of backbreaking work. For this reason, and the fact we have winter cold enough to maintain a long season of outdoor skating, many professional players came from rural northern Quebec and Ontario. These days it takes dedicated parents and money to develop players in the North as well as the South.
Ethan Lavallee playing against another boy his age.
I got to think about Paul Bunyan as a metaphor but I realized the Americans has taken him as their own in spite of him being modeled on a French Canadian.. How about a real French Canadian giant, lesser known, lumberjack from around these parts . Below is a carving Big Joe Mufferaw over at Mattawa on the Ottawa River.
Ottawa, Mattawa, Mufferaw. .Why one could write a song using those words!! And someone did. Stompin' Tom Conners, himself a folk hero, who is a unique country singer who refused to go south to the US to make his fortune. Instead he write and sings about Canada and in doing so has shaped Canada's image of itself.. He got his professional star in the gold mining town of Timmins, north of here. Timmins years later also spawned Shania Twain, a country singer of a different strip.
Note: I had hoped to meet Stompin' Tom. I thought he might visit here when Dave LaChapelle lived with me. Dave was his former father in law. Sadly, Dave died before that might have happened.although Stompin' Tom's son came back occasionally.
I invite you to listen to Stompin' Tom sing of Big Joe Mufferaw
It is great stuff, authentic all Canadian country singing.. He has written about Canada and Canadians from coast to coast. I invite you to go and You Tube and enjoy all his tunes.
Here is another song for the road for about the the Mining City of Sudbury, Ontario just west of here.