Thursday, June 28, 2018

Canada Day 2018

As part of our annual Canada Day devotion to the Dominion, I'm featuring selected excerpts from Canada  by Mike Myers. Roughly the same age, we share similar cultural references and I enjoyed reading his book, detailing his career and his world view. For previous years' Canada Day posts dating back to the first in 2009, click here. I've included photos from my Canadiana collection with the excerpts. Now look up, look way up...

The central conflict of much of our literature is man versus nature. That sort of conflict breeds co-operation more than it breeds rugged individualism. It breeds caution more than it breeds entrepreneneurialism. It's cold here. So cold it can make you cry. It's so cold you want your dad to come pick you up.
In the Canadian acccent, there is a tonal rise a the end of each sentence, until the last sentence, which returns to the Canadian monotone. The rise at the end of each sentence is an indication that the speaker intends to continue. The end of the final sentence has no rise, which tells the listener, "Now it's your turn to speak." Essentially, we Canadians have encoded "after you" into our speech patterns - it's subliminal etiquette.
Milk is sold in plastic bags that require a specially-made pitcher. One places the unopened bag inside the pitcher and then cuts one corner of the milk bag to allow pouring. If you cut the corner too much, you get a milk tsunami. Too little, and it's a dribble.
I love the old Hockey Night in Canada logo, the side-stick one. I always wanted to bet a powder blue HNIC blazer with the side-stick logo embroidered on the pocket. I love Danny Gallivan with his 'cannonading drives', 'scintillating saves' and 'Savardian spin-o-ramas'.
Another CBC show, Coming Up Rosie (1975) starred the great Canadians Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O'Hara, both of whom were not yet famous. [Ed. Note: I haven't found my Coming Up Rosie cast B&W 8x11 photo but when I do, it'll go here]
In 1971, the great Canadian historian Pierre Berton captured the fervour surrounding the Next Great Nation era with his smash hit book, The Last Spike. I used to love hearing him talk about the otherwise dry story of Canada in such an interesting way. He was...caring.
We were all taken to the gym to watch Game 8 of the '72 series on three Canadian-made Electrohome televisions that were on these tall, wheeled stands. The gym was packed.
The Friendly Giant had a one-panel set with a window where he could talk to Jerome the Giraffe, and a bag on the wall where he could talk to Rusty the Rooster. Rusty was a bit of a prick. He was argumentative and contrary, whereas Jerome was affable to a fault.
Canada may not have put a man on the moon, but it's been awfully nice to the man on Earth. And perhaps that will be Canada's greatest legacy.
- Wise sentiments all, from the chamber of sober second thought -
Happy Canada Day! 
- Eric
Running extra...

Nobody is more inspired by Dominion Day, er, Canada Day, than Portage modeller Randy O'Brien. Thanks to Randy for this celebratory Canada Day card linking our two great transportation systems. No, that's not just-in-time legalized cannabis on the left-hand flag, it's a bouquet of beautiful X2F couplers!
Randy is a valued contributor to my Trains & Grains two-volume book project, now entering its second print run. Manitoba's Matt Tolton sent this photo from June 2016 with his maple leaf-red ride and the riotously-red soon-to-slide-to-the-ground Pioneer elevator in Davidson, SK dated June, 2016. Compare and contrast with my more bountiful view of the same location's elevator row in 1986 (below):

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