Monthly Archives: October 2014

It’s My Life, Sort Of: Can’t Wait To Turn Back The Hands On My Watch

It's almost time to turn back the hands of my Disney watch, this weekend. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

It’s almost time to turn back the hands of my Disney watch, this weekend. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

How’s that saying go: spring ahead, fall back.

Good thing we set our clocks back one hour this weekend. At 7 this morning, it was still dark outdoors. And I was out an hour before that, walking our dog. It was pitch black. The adjustment to Eastern Standard Time this weekend will brighten up mornings for a lot of us, particularly early risers like myself.

At home, we’ve a few timepieces that still need to be adjusted manually. A wall clock (but it is broken, for time being), various time tellers on night tables and desks. And of courses watches on our wrists.

Like my Disney watch, as pictured on my wrist. It’s a classic, purchased at Disney World back in the late 1990s.

But no one told me it’s magic.

When you turn this watch back an hour, prepare for something more. Especially if you have an over-active imagination.

This watch takes me back to the late 50s, when the Mickey Mouse Club was on TV. What a joy ride that turns out to be.

Pure escapism.

This watch opens doors on memory lane. This watch brings back the “D.A.” hair style and white bucks (buckskin or suede shoes), the Beaver, the Nelsons and Captain Kangaroo, among a cast of others.

You turn back the clock more than one hour when you turn back the hands on this timepiece. Annette Funicello pops into the picture out of nowhere. So does Lassie. And so does Dick Clark and American Bandstand.

What a trip! I was a kid back in the ’50s when the Mouseketeers were a big thing. Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Goofy and Chip and Dale too. And here they are, down the side of my watch, smiling at me.

Can’t forget those days in my life. But boy, time flies, doesn’t it?

Have fun setting your wristwatch back one hour. Me? I’ll going back more than just an hour. No one told me my Disney watch is magic!

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City. It’s My Life, Sort Of is a recurring feature on the blog)

Soup’sOn! tickets will be on sale next weekend

Some of the students and teachers who participated in Soup'sOn! 2014 gathered for this informal photo prior to the start of the luncheon. (File photo)

Some of the students and teachers who participated in Soup’sOn! 2014 gathered for this informal photo prior to the start of the luncheon. (File photo)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

The only thing hotter than the ticket is the soup.

Tickets for Soup’sOn! go on sale next weekend.

This will be the 13th annual soup fundraiser for the St. Kevin Food Bank Social Justice Scholarship fund.

Tickets will be available in the foyer of St. Kevin church, 303 Niagara St., Welland, starting the weekend of Nov. 8-9 before and after Saturday/Sunday masses and weekdays starting Monday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the parish office.

The weekend Mass schedule is: Saturday, 5 p.m. and Sunday, 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 5 p.m.

Soup’sOn! 2015 will be held Friday, Jan. 30 in the parish hall. Tickets cost $10 per person. Proceeds from the fundraiser are for the social justice scholarship fund.

Soups are prepared by: Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute and Blessed Trinity High School (Grimsby), Confederation Secondary (Welland), Eastdale Secondary (Welland), Lakeshore Catholic (Port Colborne) and Notre Dame (Welland) culinary arts or hospitality programs.

The soup menu for the event will be announced shortly.

Ticket convener Mim Gibbons says Soup’sOn! tickets make great Christmas stocking stuffers and encourages people to purchase them early rather than late.

‘We are indeed our brothers’ keepers’

You can't miss these reminders about Saturday's Welland Food Drive when you are out and about in the city. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

You can’t miss these reminders about Saturday’s Welland Food Drive when you are out and about in the city. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
Saturday is a big day in Welland. It is Welland Food Drive day. This is the 22nd city-wide food drive. Proceeds from this huge initiative go to help stock the shelves at Hope Centre, Open Arms Mission and Salvation Army food banks.
Monique Finley is the food drive chairperson. Busy as she is, she found time to respond by e-mail to a few questions I sent to her this morning.
How many volunteers do you expect for Saturday’s food drive? What has the response been like this year? Are you seeing any indication of waning interest in the community?
There will be about 400-500 volunteers involved on this day.  As far as interest in the community – we are in a position where we have more than enough people at this point and have to find a loving way to say – no more.
How many routes will there be on Saturday?
I don’t know the exact number, Shirley is in charge of this but I believe the city is broken down into about 70 routes.
How many of those street signs have been distributed, just an approximation will suffice. They’re great.
The street signs are the sole responsibility of the Martin family. Cathy and Wayne along with their daughters Samantha (an employee at the Hope Centre), Erin and Tabatha place, collect, clean and store our precious signs. I don’t know what we would do without this family.
How long does it take to: gather up the food and then to sort it for the three recipient food banks?
I only really know the gathering part  – four intense hours and then throughout the afternoon by a skeleton crew.  The food starts coming in as early as 10:30 and most routes are done by 1 p.m.  We will also have about ten teams going out throughout the afternoon to simply drive streets and collect left behind food.
In your conversations with food bank reps, how great is the need this year?
It is always great, eh Joe.  They hang on ’til this day and then they are set for 4-5 months.
What do you want to tell Wellanders about the importance of donating to the Welland Food Drive?
In my opinion giving to a community, to our neighbours is a good thing. I believe like so many, that we are indeed our brothers’ keepers. There is not a resident in Welland who does not know someone who has, at least from time-to-time, fallen on hard times. We know that hunger is not something that any Canadian should have to live with, not in Canada, not when we as a country has so much.  Any act of charity is a good thing so donating to the food drive on Nov. 1, can be one way to extend an all too often required helping hand.
That’s it.That’s my interview by e-mail with the guiding hand behind the city-wide food drive. Short and sweet it is.Thanks, Monique!
(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)

It’s My Life, Sort Of: When Time Is Not A Deadline

This greeted the eye once inside a woodlot off River Road near Auberge Richelieu Monday afternoon. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

This greeted the eye once inside a woodlot off River Road near Auberge Richelieu Monday afternoon. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

This year, I’ve grown outside my rose gardens. I’ve taken interest, and cultivated it, in nature with a broader scope.

Woodlands are an example. My meanderings have been relatively close to home. Strange as it may sound, I didn’t know there was so much to explore until the past year or so, when time became more a friend than a deadline. What you can do when you have time on your hands!

Just today, my curiosity got the better of me while driving along River Road. There’s a woodlot, I think it could be called that, just down from Auberge Richelieu, you know the place, “the barn” as it’s called by some of the locals.

Less than an hour later, that little stretch of road got inside my head and would not get out. I said to my wife: “Let’s go back to River Road and check out the woods beside the barn.”

And so we went. It was mid-afternoon and the sun was shining and the sky was azure. What better time to poke around through trees as thin as pencils (well, some of them) and walk upon fallen leaves that crunch and crackle under foot.

Fallen leaves make those sounds for more than one reason. Apart from the obvious, they are nature’s alarm system in a way. The crackling alerted two rabbits and a few squirrels of this intruder’s presence. The rabbits, fleet of foot, beat it out my sight and squirrels found trees and scurried up and up before stopping to have a look around. Such are the woodlot’s amenities for our furry friends. The fallen leaves are their alarms.

I feel better for the getaway to this sanctuary of sorts. It’s painted in hues of yellow and gentle brown time of year. Yellow can be contagious, I find. It has a way of perking up the spirits. How can you not feel “up” when in the midst of so much leafy mirth?

Time as a friend not a deadline has made the difference in this life, I know now without a doubt. Time to explore, even so close to home, is one of life’s greatest gifts.

The local landmark, Auberge Richelieu, as viewed through adjacent trees.

The local landmark, Auberge Richelieu, as viewed through adjacent trees.

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(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City. It’s My Life, Sort Of, is a recurring feature on the blog.)

City-wide Food Drive In Welland

Those little signs reminding us that Saturday, Nov. 1 is Welland Food Drive day are out and about, on city streets and intersections. Remember to have your bags (or boxes!) of non-perishables at your front door Saturday by 10 a.m. so they can be picked up by volunteers. Wouldn't it be great if, one day, they could be replaced by signs that said: JOB FAIRS SATURDAY!  (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

Those little signs reminding us that Saturday, Nov. 1 is Welland Food Drive day are out and about, on city streets and intersections. Remember to have your bags (or boxes!) of non-perishables at your front door Saturday by 10 a.m. so they can be picked up by volunteers. Wouldn’t it be great if, one day, they could be replaced by signs that said: JOB FAIRS SATURDAY! (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

Waterway Reflections

The old railway swing bridge is an eyesore, but there's no denying it casts a pretty reflection on the recreational waterway when conditions are right. Below: Not far away, this pretty site looks like an ideal place to spend an hour or two on a hot summer day with a good book. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

The old railway swing bridge is an eyesore, but there’s no denying it casts a pretty reflection on the recreational waterway when conditions are right. Below: Not far away, this pretty site looks like an ideal place to spend an hour or two on a hot summer day with a good book. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

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