May 26th, 2024

Noteworthy: Medicine Hat needs curling and countless Hatters clearly knew it

By Bruce Penton on April 17, 2024.

It’s the hallmark of a great community to see the volunteer efforts going on in getting the Medicine Hat Curling Club up and running again. For a major Canadian city like Medicine Hat to be without a curling club for two years would be like closing the only soccer pitch in a Scottish town. Thankfully, the club’s ice-plant woes will be over in time for the start of the 2024-25 season and, as usual, there is a large cast of volunteers responsible.

Besides the club executive led by Bryden Smith and Cal Hauserman, both of whom showed up in a front-page photo last week with one of the 17 mats which will form the foundation for the curling ice, a number of people with community pride and a love of curling have pitched in to get the club going again.

Dynamic Industrial Solutions, for instance, is donating free labour to help with the installation of the mats. While the curling has been idle, renovations to the building itself and sprucing up the lobby/lounge area have been undertaken, again with volunteer help. There will be a large contingent of proud folks watching this fall when the first ceremonial rock is thrown to bring an end to a couple of years of turmoil and inactivity.

– Making the community stronger are the Elizabeth McNally Real Estate Collective, which is providing $2,000 for free library cards for 400 adults, and the Sunrise Rotary Club, which is once again sponsoring the ‘Ride the Road to Reading’ program aimed at Grade 4 students in Medicine Hat. Both the realtors and Rotary members say their involvement is because they stress the value of literacy.

Carol Ann Cross-Roen, the Medicine Hat Public Library’s head of youth services, says Grade 4 students are at a key age as sports and other interests begin to take over their time. “But we know that kids that have access to more books tend to become better readers, and have higher levels of literacy all the way through life whether they pursue higher education or not,” says Cross-Roen.

– Department of Corrections: When you’ve been a drivel writer for more than 50 years, some of that drivel turns out to be wrong. Not just a little bit wayward, but full-time wrong. Such was the case last week when I had Steve Marriner of the Colin James Trio telling the audience he was Bruno Gerussi’s grandson. It was the right actor, Gerussi, but the man strumming the guitar with James that night and telling the Gerussi connection yarn was Kenny Neal Jr.

While Marriner often plays with James, he was at home in Toronto on that particular night. This correct information comes from Medicine Hat’s Robert Pape, who has every right in the world to whip me with a couple of guitar strings for my sloppiness.

“Kenny Neal Jr. is a phenomenal musician in his own right and comes from some pretty famous lineage all the way around …,” said Pope, who organizes some local music festivals and was one of the major drivers behind Porchfest.

And because I’m grateful to Pape for setting me straight on the Marriner-Neal matter, I’ll let you know that the Medicine Hat Folk Music Club has an interesting show coming up on April 28 at Stir Studio, 767 Sixth St. SW at 3 p.m. Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph will perform. “It would be an amazing performance to take in,” said Pape.

– From the department of ‘Some People Have Too Much Money’ comes the story of the prop door from the movie Titanic on which the character Rose floated being sold at auction for more than $700,000.

– Short snappers: Pat Sajak has been the wheelmaster on Wheel of Fortune for 43 years – 43 years! – but has now retired. Ryan Seacrest, who seems to host everything on American TV, takes over starting June 7. … If you’re regularly getting eight hours of sleep per night, congratulations, you’re in the top one-fourth of North Americans. This is from Axios.com: Only 26 per cent are getting that much snooze time. Research says insufficient sleep is bad for our overall health, possibly leading to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, depression, anxiety and dementia. … While Albertans are keeping an eye on the sky hoping for moisture, lots of it, to fall, our Prairie colleagues in Manitoba are preparing for more spring flooding. … For the first time since the Tiger Woods era, a professional golfer is being celebrated as having a similar amount of brilliance. Texan Scottie Scheffler, who has won three of his last four tournaments and finished second in the other one, dominated the Masters on Sunday and is approaching Woodsian territory.

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor who may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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