Very pleased that Shabby Motley Handcraft on Queen Street is now carrying my book in its local authors section. Now in its fifth year (I believe) of operation, Shabby Motley is one of many enterprises established by creative and daring young people that are changing the face of Sault Ste. Marie, the downtown in particular. My only regret is that I will probably gain weight through my association with Shabby because I can’t resist their baked goods.
Saultites often complain that the best and brightest of the city’s young people move away because they can’t find work here. There is some truth to that. But there are a lot of exceptions to that rule, young people who are creating new and interesting and financially viable things despite the atmosphere of defeatism that prevails in a depressed local economy. More power to them.
The fast lane on my car radio has become a traffic jam of Eagles songs since SiriusXM added a Hotel California channel to its roster.
The Eagles were already gone from the soundtrack of this boomer’s life, relegated to background music. I’d heard them too darned often in the 45 years since their eponymous album dropped. And their greatest hits remain earworms no matter how quickly I change the channel to avoid them.
Sadly, Sirius temporarily dropped my favourite channel, The Loft, to bring us yet more Eagles.
I say “yet more” because the Eagles already were everywhere on channels that appeal to people of my vintage. I have four such channels programmed into my car radio; it’s not unusual for all four to be playing Eagles tunes at the same time.
This begs a question: even if you absolutely love the Eagles, can’t there be too much of a good thing? And do fans feel cheated when they miss hearing Eagles songs on other stations because they were singing along to the Eagles song on the Eagles station?
I’m old, so I understand nostalgia, the impulse to gather things around us from those happy days when we were younger. And at my age, a bigger chunk of life lies behind me than ahead.
But even songs I really, really like start to sound like It’s a Small World After All if I hear them too often. I’m not the sort of person who orders the same dish every time I dine out.
And as a Python character once said, I’m not dead yet. Despite the damage rap did to modern singing, there are some good songs out there that I’ll never hear if I’m force-fed a steady diet of Eagles.
But I guess Sirius has decided though I can check out any time I like, I can never leave.
Diane Marshall gave me an eye-opening tour of the Christmas Cheer operation in Sault Ste. Marie today. For those who don’t know, Christmas Cheer provides food and gifts for needy families in the Sault area each Christmas, with the cash it requires coming from the Sault Star Santa Fund.
I couldn’t believe the care taken to make sure each basket includes only quality, working toys and matches the wishes of the children. It’s more of a “value-added” operation than merely sorting things into the appropriate piles. But even the sorting itself is a monumental job. And whatever can’t be used by Christmas Cheer is passed along to a social agency that might find it useful.
Dozens of volunteers repair, clean, sort, match, package. I was struck by both how hard-working they all are, how much thoughfulness they bring to the job and how much fun they seem to be having. I think some of their happiness ends up packed in each Christmas Cheer box and passed along to those families who get this little boost at the holiday season.