May 1 and it is day 413

April 1 started as a cruel April fool’s joke - it was snowing when I woke up. Thankfully it didn’t last and nothing stuck around.

Here is one that my daughter played on the grandsons. When the toilet seat was lifted there was jaws. The seven year old, who was first up, literally jumped.

Toilet Shark

And this has got to be one of the best Covid related pranks. My ten year grandson’s teacher and a few others at St. Lambert Elementary pulled this on all the grade four classes. They pooled resources and bought a bunch of plastic shower caps which were distributed to the students at the beginning of the day. They explained that it had been discovered that Covid 19 could be transmitted through hair and that from now on shower caps would have to be worn when in school. To make it seem more real, the teachers also wore them. Because protocols meant that classes were separated, no one in the rest of the school knew what was going on, none of the students caught on and most were utterly dismayed at the prospect of having to wear them. It wasn’t till the end of the day that the joke was revealed and even then a few wore their caps when they boarded the bus for home.

April 3 and my new exercise bike arrives, a Schwinn recumbent model.

Third time lucky I guess. After being cancelled by Amazon and Walmart I was able to find one on Best Buys’ web site which they delivered in three days. The package was three feet by five feet and weighed a hundred pounds. The delivery guy placed it in the front hall and I was able to get it over to the basement stairs and slide it down without breaking anything.

Uncrating and assembly took about two hours. The instructions were clear except for assembling the mast and wiring for the display. I also dropped a bolt in the fly wheel housing which took fifteen minutes to retrieve.

There is a “minor problem” with the heart rate monitor my first time on the bike it read 195 BPM so I must have been very excited or on my way to a stroke. Luckily I have a separate strap-on monitor which I have used for years, it read 98 BPM. Still haven’t been able to fix it the bike monitor. I will confess that it took me a full week to get back up to the level I’ve been used to. As someone said to use it or lose it.

April 7 and Premier Legault announces a reversal after just seven days of full, in school classes. A surge in cases made it necessary to revert to the hybrid model alternating days of Zoom classes and in school teaching. There are a lot of frustrated teaches, parents and students who wish this epidemic was over. In Canada only Ontario surpasses Quebec in the number of infections and the rapid spread of the UK variant. We do not yet have a sufficient supply of vaccine and can’t vaccinate fast enough to get things under control. People have to obey the rules or the price will be severe. St. Lambert International (CCHS) has not reported any case but at St. Lambert Elementary three students have tested positive recently.

On the French side, both Collège Durocher (elementary) at the corner of Notre Dame and Riverside Drive (the former convent) and Collège Durocher (high school) at the corner of Tiffin and Riverside Drive had to be completely shut down. A serious outbreak occurred at the High School among grade 10 students and because of all the family connections with students at the elementary school, they shut down both.

On a positive note, by the end of April the UK had reported no Covid deaths for several days. It looks like they have vaccinated their way out of trouble with the AstraZeneca product. Yes, there is hope people.

April 9 and Republican’s run a Nigerian like scam on their own members. Though technically not illegal is was deceptive and underhanded, getting them to opt for recurring payments when most thought they were making a onetime donation So far they have had to refund over $120 million to contributors who felt they had been cheated. What is going on? And the latest catch phrase from the Republican radical right is “Anglo Saxon Values”. The meaning is not very thinly disguised is it?

April 22 and the St. Lambert Golf Club opened and of course it snowed, 5cms worth and the temperature dropped below freezing – oops lets delay things a couple of days. And here I thought I would be able to transition out of my jeans into shorts or at least golf slacks. The weather up until the 21st had been beautiful and on several days hit record highs in the mid-twenties. Mother-nature took care of our optimism and decided to average things out for the month. Things warmed back up a bit by the 23rd and I hope to play on the 30th although rain is predicted.

April 25 and I had my first beer from the American Pale Ale batch I started in March. I’m very pleased with the results and hope the supply will last until mid - July.

April 26 - I spoke too soon about the warm up. I looked out the window when I awoke this morning and there was ice on the back deck.

And finally, thanks to Jack Anderson for his Jackie Robinson story, to all you jokesters and to Heather Nesbitt for the letter and pics which I will publish next month. Please send in what you can, comments, art work, photos, stories or whatever, I’ll take them all. Has anyone done anything unusual during the pandemic?

Until next month get vaccinated and stay safe.

Harvey Carter

Life Member - C'60 - Editor, Alumni Connection

Welcome New and Renewing Alumni Association Members


New Member
Stephen Sharp
Class of 1973
From Vankleek Hill, ON

Renewed Membership
Flo Hinks (Trudeau)
Class of 1960
From Prince George, BC

Renewed Membership
Mike Latremouile
Class of 1976
From Greenfield Park, QC

Renewed Membership
Bill Green
Class of 1955
From Waterdown, ON

Renewed Membership
Pamela Storr
Class of 1984
From Pierrefonds, QC

Renewed Membership
Heather Nesbitt (McCallum
Class of 1961
From Kemptville, ON

Renewed Membership
Tom McNeilly
Class of 1960
From Lethbridge, AB

Expiring Memberships

Please renew now.

Memberships expiring in May
Jill Bench
Gerri Millington
Gordon Mackie
Sally Yaffe

Memberships expiring in June
Rod Holmes
Elizabeth Warlund
Philippa Settles

LETTERS


Jack Anderson
Class of 1971
Jack Anderson, Alumni Association Co-Chairperson likes to write, especially about historical subjects and events. Jack dropped me a note this month and said he was recently asked by the Society of American Baseball Research to do a piece on Jackie Robinson and his brief, 1946 stay in Montreal before breaking the colour barrier in Major League baseball the following year. He thought we might like to publish it. Well yes of course we would and a portion of his meticulously researched article appears below. The balance to be published next month.

A Great Leap Forward: the View from Montreal of Jackie Robinson and the Montreal Royals

By Jack Anderson

On Tuesday, October 23, 1945, 15 of Montreal’s sportswriters and broadcasters were invited to a press conference at the home of the Montreal Royals, Delorimier Stadium, and were promised “a major announcement.” The AAA International League regular season champions had recently been eliminated in the playoffs by the second-place Newark Bears, but had a great record of 95-58 with tremendous fan support of up to 22,000 fans a game.

None of the sportswriters had any inkling of what the Royals were about to announce, so there was much speculation and rumor, that either Babe Ruth was about to be introduced as the new Royals manager, or that as reported by Harold Adkins of the Montreal Star, Montreal was about to be awarded a major-league franchise, rumored to be the Philadelphia Phillies. The Royals needed a new manager as incumbent Bruno Betzel had left the Royals in a salary dispute for the Jersey City Giants. Dink Carroll, longtime Montreal Gazette sports editor, said: “We’d heard that the Royals were going to announce they’d hired Babe Ruth to manage. That would have been one helluva story. What awaited us was one helluva different story.”

Montreal was Canada’s largest city in 1945, its metropolis and industrial heartland, and Montrealers were proud of their country’s great effort during the long War of 1939-45, the city’s NHL Montreal Canadiens, and their baseball team. With a population of around one million, with almost 80% being of French background, Montreal was the world’s second-largest French-speaking city after only Paris. The Royals had actually outdrawn several major-league clubs in 1945 such as the Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and the Philadelphia Phillies, the last two teams by over 100,000 fans, so the citizens and its sportswriters were of the opinion that a major-league team would see every success. As Royals general managers for many years would experience with their ballplayers, Montreal had an incredible and varied nightlife, with all-night speak-easies, casinos, and nightclubs, which at the time was only rivaled in all of North America by New York.

It was not to be either a major-league franchise, nor to name Babe Ruth as the new manager, but rather Royals club president Hector Racine, vice-president Romeo Gauvreau, and Dodgers farm system director Branch Rickey Jr., escorted in a muscular dark gentleman whom they introduced to the writers as Jack Roosevelt Robinson, the newest player to sign with the Montreal Royals. Hector Racine announced, “Here is the newest member of the Brooklyn Dodger organization. Last year he was the star shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs. He will have every opportunity to make the Royals for the upcoming season, 1946.”

“There was no applause, and neither were there hostile outbursts. I’d sum up the reporters’ approach in two words: belligerent neutrality,” said Montreal Herald sportswriter Al Parsley.

A stunned silence, then the reporters surged to the phones to call in the headline to their papers and radio stations. Robinson and the Royals’ directors posed as the ceremonial signing was photographed for posterity. Robinson stated: “Of course, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that I am the first member of my race in organized baseball. I can only say that I’ll do my best to come through in every manner.”

Dink Carroll added: “I wouldn’t say he turned all the pagans into Christians then and there.”6 Lloyd McGowan of the Star said there was no need for Jackie Robinson in baseball. ” Robinson made a more than decent start. I know some were impressed just by the clarity of his diction.” Branch Rickey had planned to keep the signing or Jackie Robinson quiet until he could complete the signings of other Negro League players such as catcher Roy Campanella, and pitchers Don Newcombe, Roy Partlow, and John Wright. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of New York City, in an election battle, came out with the proposal that major league baseball become integrated. La Guardia urged that New York teams should announce they would indeed, begin to sign Negro players. Rickey immediately contacted Jackie Robinson and arranged for him to fly to Montreal for the Royals team announcement.

As could have been expected, reaction was mixed, with International League president from 1936-60, Frank “Shag” Shaughnessy stating; “As long as any fellow’s the right type and can make good and get along with other players, he can play ball.” Shag, although born in Illinois, was a Montreal resident from soon after his playing days in major-league ball from 1905-08, and had managed the Royals from 1932-34.

Others were not so supportive. Herb Pennock, general manager of the Phillies, stated that he would accept integration as long as Jackie didn’t come play in Philadelphia. It would appear the expression “Not in my back yard” was as prevalent back in the 1940’s.

T.Y. Baird, president of the Negro Leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs claimed that Jackie Robinson was the property of the Monarchs, but Branch Rickey countered by stating that in his opinion, the Negro leagues weren’t in organized ball and did not offer legal contracts to its players. Rickey was diligent in insisting that in all his contracts with former Negro leagues players, that there was a clause indicating the player was not under a legal contract with another team.

Cleveland Indians ace pitcher Bob Feller opined that Robinson wasn’t good enough to play in the major leagues as his upper body was too muscular and would tie up his swing. In a twist of fate, Feller and Robinson would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame together in 1962.

The New York Daily News stated that although they were in favor of the integration of baseball, they offered Jackie Robinson a 1,000 to 1 chance of his making it. The Sporting News added “If Jackie Robinson was white, the best he would be offered would be a tryout in B level in the minors if he was 6 years younger.”

Royals president Hector Racine announced that Jackie came very highly recommended by Dodgers management, and that was enough for him. He added that the signing of Robinson was “A point of fairness”. Dodgers farm system director Branch Rickey Jr. told reporters “undoubtedly we will be criticized in some sections where racial prejudice is rampant” and added the Dodgers were “not inviting trouble, but they won’t avoid it if it comes.” He then said that “some players might want to quit” than play with Black players, but suggested, “they’ll be back in baseball after they work a year or two in a cotton mill.” He continued that “Jackie Robinson is a fine type of young man – intelligent and college-bred, and I think he can take it too.”

In Robinson’s autobiography “I Never Had it Made” he stated he remembered Branch Rickey Jr.’s comment as “I think he can make it, too.” He continued: “I realize how much it means to me, to my race, and to baseball. I can only say I’ll do my very best to come through in every manner.”
The reaction in Canada to the Robinson signing was generally positive, as Paul Parizeau of Le Canada wrote he felt proud that Branch Rickey believed Robinson would be better received in Montreal than in the United States, and that this showed that Montreal was the most democratic city in the world.

Robinson didn’t stay long in Montreal on his first visit and he flew out to New York the next day to join a barnstorming tour.

In December 1945, Branch Rickey announced that the Montreal Royals new manager would be Clay Hopper, a 44-year-old Mississippian. Gazette writer Baz O’Meara reported, “Hopper is agent with a drawl from the deep South, and he is going to have to handle Jackie Robinson.” Hopper later pleaded with Rickey to send Robinson elsewhere, saying that managing Robinson would be forcing him to move my family and home out of Mississippi. On a later occasion, when Rickey described a Robinson catch as a “superhuman play,” Hopper reportedly replied,” Mr. Rickey, do you really think a ni**er’s a human being?”

One would think that Hopper would be a strange choice for the very meticulous Branch Rickey to make, but events would show that Rickey had chosen wisely. Rickey had first offered a managerial position to Hopper in 1929, when Clay was only 27, and had appreciated Hopper’s leadership qualities. These qualities were to be tested in 1946.

One of the first questions that Branch Rickey asked Robinson at their historic meeting on August 28, 1945 was “You got a girl?” Robinson told Rickey of his engagement to the lovely and intelligent Rachel Isum, a graduate nurse back in Los Angeles. Branch replied: “You know you have a girl. When we get through today you may want to call her up because there are times when a man need a woman by his side.” Rickey could not have been more right in his judgement. Rachel Robinson later said of Rickey that he had warned of trials to come, and that Branch was shrewd in business and thoughtful in personal relationships.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson and Rachel Isum were wed on February 10, 1946 in West Los Angeles. Two weeks later they set out on a cross-country trip to the Royals Spring training site in Daytona Beach, Florida. Rachel said that they were particularly concerned about arriving on time and ready for work, and that “they were all too familiar with the racial stereotype widely believed by whites and too often acted out by blacks.”

To be continued next month...

Would you like to see what St. Lambert looks like today?

How’s your memory of where you once lived?  Does your memory clearly produce accurate visions of: a.) where you lived (grew up), b.) what street you walked or rode your bike to get to your favorite sports field, elementary or high school, arena, tennis court, soccer field, best friend’s house, or  c.) what about the exact view of wherever you were heading?, like friend’s house, dance hall (The Pit), restaurant, clothing or hardware store?  
 
If you would like to have a current (up-to-date) picture, to help clear your mind or jog your memory, just ask.   What you ask for is what we’ll make sure you see, with explanations of some of the changes that are sure to have taken place.

rue Docteur Chevrier

Riverside School Board owned the land stretching east to west from Tiffin to Brixton and north and south from Green Street right up to the old CN tracks that ran behind our high school. A large portion of the land was sold off and proceeds used to help finance the new gym, library, student services office and other upgrades to the building.

That land was then sold for development. Two long term care facilities and four luxury apartment/condo complexes have been built, with the final condo building being completed last year. The condos run parallel to the fourth hole on the St. Lambert Golf Club and have, at times, been subject to wayward tee shots. Windows have been broken and nerves rattled, so much so that the city and golf club had to install high nets to catch the stray balls. The first net didn’t stop everything and a second higher one had to be put up two years ago.

The street running in from Tiffin is “rue Docteur Chevrier” and at least one of our alumni, Carol Archer (Koculym) class of 1960, has taken up residence there. During last year’s golf season, when bags and carts couldn’t be stored at the club, they could push their carts down the path that goes past the Club to Oak Street for their games.

Arts Corner

Frederic Hore

Frederic Hore - Class of 1970 / Antarctica Expedition Jan 2016

Here are two more of Fred’s fantastic photos from his Antarctic travels
Serenity by Frederic Hore

Serenity

Photo ©2015 Frederic Hore. All Rights Reserved.
(Click image to view larger)

Snow covered mountains glisten at sunset in the calm waters of Paradise Harbour Antartica, on Christmas Eve, December 25, 2015.

Serenity by Frederic Hore

Sunset on Bransfield Strait, Antarctica

Photo ©2016 Frederic Hore. All Rights Reserved.
(Click image to view larger)

An iceberg glistens in the Bransfield Strait silhouetted by the pink lit glaciated mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula, in Antarctica, on January 26, 2016.

Something to ponder during the lockdown

Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

You Think English is easy?? I think a retired English teacher was bored...THIS IS GREAT!

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture..
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
21) No, I didn’t know that.

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

Obituaries


Deborah Louson
Class of 1970
Deborah Louson
April 21, 1953 - April 14, 2021

Deborah died peacefully at home, surrounded by family. Beloved wife of Alfred Mallin and the late Jack Fenton. Devoted mother of Tom Fenton. Dearest sister of Elizabeth Warlund and Andrew Louson (Linda Martin). Dear aunt of Sarah Goblot, Katie Warlund, Ellie Louson, and Jerry Louson. A "great" great aunt of Magali Goblot, Leander Goblot, Oli Joubert, Maddy Record, and Jack Record. A commemoration will take place in Bolton Center this summer

And Finally...

Disorder in the Court

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the time of impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.

Many More next Month...

Famous last words

John was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully, “give me one last request dear.”
“Of course John” his wife said softly.
“Six months after I die” John said “I want you to marry Bob”.
“But I thought you hated Bob,” she said.
With his last breath John said, “I do”.

Interesting Observations

1. The sport of choice for the urban poor is BASKETBALL. 
2. The sport of choice for maintenance level employees is BOWLING 
3. The sport of choice for front-line workers is FOOTBALL. 
4. The sport of choice for supervisors is BASEBALL. 
5. The sport of choice for middle management is TENNIS. 
And... 6. The sport of choice for corporate executives and officers is GOLF.
 
THE amazing fact is, the higher you go in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become. There must be a boat load of people in Ottawa playing marbles.

And Speaking of Beer – The True Suez Canal Story

Some kids have really vivid imaginations

The 6th-grade science teacher, Mrs. Parks, asked her class, “Which human body part increases to ten times its size when stimulated?”

No one answered until little Mary stood up and said, “You should not be asking sixth-graders a question like that! I’m going to tell my parents, and they will go and tell the principal, who will then fire you!”

Mrs. Parks ignored her and asked the question again, “Which body part increases to 10 times its size when stimulated?”

Little Mary’s mouth fell open. Then she said to those around her, “Boy, is she going to get in big trouble!”

The teacher continued to ignore her and said to the class, “Anybody?”

Finally, Billy stood up, looked around nervously, and said, “The body part that increases 10 times its size when stimulated is the pupil of the eye.”

Mrs. Parks said, “Very good, Billy,” then turned to Mary and continued.

“As for you, young lady, I have three things to say: One, you have a dirty mind. Two, you didn’t read your homework. And three, one day you are going to be very, very disappointed.”