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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Holiday Time! See you in a week or more!

Happy Camp Day! Happy Hammer's Holidays Day! Last day of work for me today before I head out for a week and a bit of time off. That time will be spent heading back to my hometown of Flin Flon, Manitoba- one of the most unique places you will find anywhere! I have some great pictures to show you what my home is all about....and some proof for all the people in Port Alberni and B.C. that I am not a "flatlander" Manitoba may be a prairie province, but when your city is as North as mine, there's no flat land. It's all ROCK. There is actually less flat land in "The Flon" as we call it, than there is in Port Alberni. You won't find any mountains there, but nothing flat either. Here we go!

Just the name "Flin Flon" makes people say one of two things- "What? Where? HAHAHA" or "Flin Flon...lots of hockey players outta there" The picture above shows the story behind the name. See that little wood hut in the background? That is the Flin Flon Tourist Bureau/Info centre. I used to work there about 10 years ago, the same time I got into radio. It was the perfect job for me! Visitors would come from all over to check out the nearby statue and museum, and I would small talk with them for hours about my city, my country, their cities and countries. A perfect fit for my personality and talking abilities. I didn't really like the amount of grass cutting that was done when I wasn't "watching the shop" but it was a package deal. You will notice at the bottom of the sign above- "Designed by Al Capp" For those that don't know who Mr. Capp was-

Al Capp (September 28, 1909November 5, 1979) was an American cartoonist best known for the satiric comic strip, Li'l Abner. He also wrote the comic strips Abbie and Slats and Long Sam. He won the 1947 National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for the comic strip Li'l Abner, and their 1979 Elzie Segar Award posthumously.

The next picture is of the great "Flinty Statue" I will give you this vantage point first.

This is the next vantage point. Yes....I must've seen a thousand people take a picture from this angle, and even more people laugh and get a little red when they noticed this. Note the location of Flinty's thumb as he leans on his shovel with his left arm. Either Mr. Capp wasn't thinking when he designed the statue, or he wanted to add a little practial joke.

Ah, the "stack" from the HBM&S mine- where I would very likely be working if I would've stayed in Flin Flon if I hadn't got into radio or if I didn't enjoy the business. Note the lack of FLAT land.

More rock, and "Ross Lake" in the middle of the city.
Yes, more rock. Someone from the city was smart with this one though. Why build a water TOWER when you can just build a tank and put it on a giant rock? Give that man a raise!
Take a close look at this one. See that sidewalk? It's not only a sidewalk. It is also a "sewer box" The tourists ate this up! Yes, it's the city built on ROCK. It is just not practical to blast sewers into the ground. So they built them above ground in insulated boxes, which also double as sidewalks. Only in Flin Flon!
Ross Lake and some of the ball fields.
A couple amazing sunsets....and can forget that 'stack.
Phantom Lake Recreation Area. This was built by the "company" HBM&S was back in 1940 and 1950 for a place to have fun for the mine workers and their families. Notice the golf course in the background. This is a course you must play. I can't imagine the work it took to carve it right out of the rock. A word of warning- keep it on the fairway! If you slice or hook it into the rough you may never see it again. Remember- ROUGH in Flin Flon means ROCK. A golf ball travelling that fast and landing on rock can sometimes bounce the ball 100 yards closer to the hole, or 400 yards deeper into no where. Being as I'm not a member there anymore, I'm sure I won't get the "member bounce" anymore, right back into the fairway.
This is all I could find of the great "Whitney Forum" home of the Flin Flon Bombers of the SJHL. Lots of banners in this rink, more than ANY rink for that matter. Several National Championships and WCHL Championships. The biggest prize would have to be the MEMORIAL CUP Banner from the '55 season. Yes, I said MEMORIAL CUP. My, how times have changed....great barn there though!
And finally, I give you HOME. This photo is taken from the "Scenic Tower" in the Bakers Narrows provincial park. If the camera went an inch to the left you would see the other side of the lake on the other side of the highway. There, in a nice secluded bay on a natural sand beach is my parents home on the lake. With dock. With boat. What else could a guy want on Holidays to get away from it all?!

That's about all I have before I head out- except ONE more thing. This date in 1944 a second front was opened, as the D Day invasion began, the "longest day" with the fighting forces of Canada and the Allies storming the beaches of Normandy, France. I'd like to ask you to remember and thank our veterans and those that gave their lives for our freedom. I'd also ask that you click THIS link, and watch this video please! It's called "A pittance of time" by Terry Kelly. All about REMEMBERING!
I will talk to you sometime next week or the week after! Have a good one and feel free to email me as always HERE
Take care,