By Mike Bradley
June 6th, 2019
My cynical friend, who wishes to remain anonymous (Julie), says within every cynical person is a disappointed idealist and a former liberal.
Uncle Clary in Northern Ireland served 30 plus years in the Royal Ulster Constabulary as a Police Officer and is now retired. He is writing his memoirs with the help of his faithful companion Guinness (That’s not the name of his dog). He shared a chapter about being a Traffic Officer targeting speeders. He relates about the time he pulled over a fast driver. Clary said to him “Sorry Wing Commander are you having trouble leaving the ground? (In a related piece of useless information the reason “Air Mustang” has that moniker is because on the speedometer it says “Ground Speed 260km”–nothing about Air Speed.) The driver sarcastically responded “This is the third ticket you have given me. What happens when I get four?” Clary’s response was “Congratulations when you get four tickets, you get a bicycle.”
Another story was about an elderly Irishman, Seamus, who bought a sports car trying to recapture his youth (This is where the story becomes a little unbelievable as what white older Irish male would ever do that?) He flashed by Clary in his squad car on Belfast Road at 140 mph. Clary took after him with the blue lights flashing. Seamus finally pulled over. Clary, approaching Seamus as he rolled down the window said, “Sir, my shift ends in 10 minutes. If you can give me a good reason why you were speeding, I’ll let you go.” Seamus looked at Clary and said “Years ago my wife ran off with a policeman. I thought you were bringing her back”. Clary said “That’ll do, enjoy your evening.”
The adventures of Mayor Man and Mayor Woman. Often receive e-mails with odd requests. Do my best to respond, believing in citizen service no matter where the e-mail is from. On a Saturday morning recently had an e-mail from a Port Huron resident who I will call Ed (because that is his name). He wrote “Our families, like so many on both sides of the river, have intertwined for generations. Summer was Canatara Park, winter was hockey and Lent was the Bridge Tavern.” (The Bridge Tavern was a landmark in Point Edward (Ward 5)–now gone–famous for their fish and chips and dinner rolls.) Ed went on to say “we are planning our annual family reunion at Canatara Park and it would be a great family memory to bring the dinner rolls from those days. I know this is not a question to ask a Mayor, but I can’t think of anyone else who might know. Do you know the baker who made those incredible dinner rolls at the Bridge Tavern? Thanking you in advance as it’s almost embarrassing to ask a Mayor such trivial things”. (Hey Ed you should come to a Council meeting). Not knowing the answer put out a signal on the Mayor-Signal (usually use it to order takeout) just like the Batman’s Bat Signal to the Mayor of the Village People in Point Edward, Bev Hand, where the Bridge Tavern was located. She responded quickly “The rolls at the Bridge Tavern were made in house and not in a bakery. I haven’t seen anything similar since they closed”. Bev did suggest a local bakery that might be a good substitute. Ed was happy that two Mayors got back to him promptly. We were pleased to improve cross border relations and to get a better understanding of our roles (or is that rolls?) as Mayors.
Glad Ed didn’t ask for a substitute baker for the legendary butter tarts at the Bridge Tavern as that would have used up the rest of the day. Or maybe butter tarts are too darn Canadian for an American to ask about. We take them very seriously. CBC Radio once ran a funny bit about butter tarts. It was titled “Canadians Receive Long-Awaited Apology from Person Who First Added Raisins to Butter Tarts.” The story quoted 98-year-old Rosie Vasco, the first person to publish a butter tart recipe inexplicably calling for raisins in them, issuing a long-awaited public apology for desecrating one of Canada’s most beloved baked goods. Rosie’s heartfelt apology read “My sincere apologies to anyone who has ever innocently bitten into a butter tart, unaware that it is filled with raisins.” Vasco said in a press conference from her nursing home “I have spent my life haunted by guilt for the undue anguish my recipe has caused the bake sale community.” Some people take their CBC reports seriously and fell for the joke.
A video was played at the opening of the spectacular new Nova Chemical Health and Research Building at Lambton College. It featured a number of local politicians including this writer as “minor celebrities”. Clip was in reference to the debate at County Council on the request by the College for five million dollars for the building. It was a tense debate. Had taken the position the new building should be downtown and not on the College site. College President, Judy Morris, and Board wanted it on campus. During the debate realized my vote could make the difference (insider political stuff— City representatives have three votes on County Council and if the Mayor of Sarnia (that’s me) was opposed to the location then others would have had a reason to vote no). Have learned in life when you are riding a dead horse to dismount. Decided to support the five million dollar request even if it wasn’t downtown. In the clip said “College President, Judy Morris, was right and I was wrong”. The comment brought laughter and applause and it was true. Told Uncle Festus the story and he said he once did the same thing, apologizing for being wrong, and then had to apologize again because he was wrong about being wrong.
Sharing a Cherokee expression I read recently and fell in love with these beautiful words….“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”
Mayor Bradley, a writer for Sarnia Lambton This Week, shares his thoughts on politics, life, and the like in a series on Blue Water Healthy Living, entitled: Snippets from Sarnia. Often humorous and straight-forward, his accounts on life in general are both witty and fun-hearted.