by Sandy Neilly
Thank you, first of all, for picking up a copy of the Wayback Times and reading it. Computers, tablets and all other digital devices are invaluable, but there’s something about a newspaper that’s a bit more comforting… and a multitude of uses for it when you’re finished reading it. Win/win, right? I’m always impressed by the knowledge and talent of our many writers and all the different insights and information they have to offer. I learn something from every issue that’s published and I’m very grateful to all of them for that.
We have some wonderful reading for you, a great assortment of things to learn about. Doug Phillips’ article “Women at War on the Home Front” in honour of our upcoming Remembrance Day, left me in wonder and with an incredible respect for those extraordinary ladies who, literally, put their lives on the line for Canada, day in and day out. I kept staring at those faces as I laid the article out… whose mothers were they? Whose aunts and grandmothers were they? Did they know how important they were (and still are)? We lived in Ajax for almost 10 years and I knew a little bit about the town, but Doug’s article has really opened my eyes as to its importance in the history of Canada and the significant role those women played. If my mother were still alive, she would be so proud of that article by Doug – she had a very strong sense of rights for women and wasn’t one to back down when it came to that. As a single mom, a career woman, and a person raised by a mother who had been left with six kids during the Great Depression, she was well aware of the lack of recognition – and opportunities – women had to endure. So, thanks to Doug and his wife, Marja for giving us this remarkable piece. And thanks also to the Town of Ajax Records Branch for the remarkable photos that have brought those women to life for me and I hope will for you, too. They deserve our thanks and recognition and I’m proud that they are acknowledged in the WT.
Not as historically important, but definitely newsworthy is the VW article on page 12. I have to confess – I have been somewhat indulgent as a parent. Our son, Aaron, is probably the most ardent Volkswagen fan/collector on the planet … that we know of, anyway. With the end of the production of Volkswagen Beetles recently, I saw his post on Facebook about their demise and thought that maybe it should be published in the WT. Is there a person over the age of 40 who doesn’t have a VW Beetle story? There can’t be many. With that in mind, I think it might be a nostalgic read for other folks with memories of VW Bugs whether they be good, or not so great. I’ve had VWs in my life for most of it. I’ve pushed more of them than I care to think of – even when I was pregnant. I learned to drive standard on one – on ice – back in the early seventies. (It is not, however, like riding a bike… I have forgotten how to drive with a stick-shift.) When our son got bitten by the VW collecting bug at age two, it just seemed a natural progression from previous generations – although it has gotten a little out of hand. (We, his patient parents, are still waiting for several to be moved from our property… it has been a very, very long wait.) Aaron’s wife, Zoe, was a VW enthusiast long before they met, so their little one, Sarah, is growing up to think that anything VW is an integral part of everyone’s life. It can’t be helped, I guess.
The other articles in this issue have a decidedly Canadian flavour to them as well, and I thank each author for their work. Being humble seems to be an innate Canadian trait, so you might be surprised to learn how innovative we actually are, from radios, to clocks and collecting, as well as a talent for putting on excellent shows across the province. (And can I add how nice all my writers are? I wonder if all publishers are as fortunate as I am.)
As we finish up this fall issue for printing, I find that another summer has flown by with relentless speed and the first day of autumn has officially arrived. Our beloved little hummingbirds have left, as have the (not so beloved) blackbirds… and best of all, the (despised) deer flies. Apples are falling en masse from our three apple trees, providing food for deer, wasps and ourselves… more than we could ever use. (I don’t think raccoons like apples, otherwise there wouldn’t be quite as many.) The leaves on most trees have already changed colours considerably and many are already on the ground waiting to be raked up. I have to say that I am just delighted by the number of Monarch (and other) butterflies and honey bees I’ve seen this year. I’m not sure what the reason for this is, but I am so very grateful… it gives me hope for our little grand-daughter, that maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to enjoy all the precious aspects of nature that we have perhaps taken for granted for too long. I sure don’t any more. We have so much to appreciate and take care of.
The fall is a season for planning and Peter and I, like many others, have a lot to prepare for this year, including a brand new hip for Peter! (Thank you, Canada, for our health care system – not perfect, but far superior to many other places I can think of.) I know it’s a busy time for almost everyone; getting all those necessary things ready for the winter, refreshing business plans for a new season, harvesting crops, preserving food, preparing gardens for another year – and so much more. It’s also a season of planning. We have Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day and Christmas coming up, and many of us are contemplating a trip – probably to the south – to escape the Canadian winter. As the days shorten we spend more time indoors, already thinking about next summer, plans already surfacing on the horizon.
Whatever your plans are, I hope you will enjoy this beautiful time of year – the graceful, colourful transition from summer to winter that is so enchanting and awe inspiring that we can simply enjoy what these days have to offer without thinking too much about ice and snow; for now, anyway.
If you are touring the province to take in the scenery -and I hope you are – be sure to include some stops at our many shops and markets, shows and auctions. It’s time to start thinking about those wish-lists of your favourite collectors. Let the treasure hunt begin!
Safe travels, God bless.