On the Other Hand by Mark Rushton
It is bizarre sometimes, how we are connected to others and to things. Last weekend through a blitz of spring cleaning, boxes of old photos were uncovered.
Looking through them Saturday afternoon, laughing at the hairstyles and apparel of 20, 30 and more years ago, I came across a photo of my cousin’s daughter visiting from the U.K., sitting atop one of my horses. Other than a Facebook friend request a few years ago, I haven’t seen or thought of her since her family’s visit to Canada in 1990.
Then on Sunday, and here’s where the bizarre comes in, “bonging” into my Facebook page was a photo of her visiting New York, taken the same day as I was looking at the 1990 picture.
Coincidence certainly, but in a way oddly disturbing.
Disturbing too was the volume of clothing uncovered from various closets during cleaning/clearing. There was literally a small fortune in dresses, sweaters, hats, pants and at least two wedding dresses, most of which was barely worn, particularly the latter items.
Since none of these garments have seen the light of day for decades, and at least in this family not likely ever to again, it was box and bundle everything for donation to the MCC.
Uncovered also were various electronic devices whose obsolescence relegated them to the recycling depot along with old film cameras – can you even buy camera film anymore? – and a couple of typewriters. Today, typewriter ribbons must be even harder to find than film!
For an inveterate hoarder, it’s difficult for me to part with stuff – there must be a use for this eventually – but when parts to make something work are no longer available, it is time for them to go.
What was uncovered, and will be kept, is a file of old clips of this column.
I only read a couple of them, and found one rather prescient, written almost 30 years ago, referring to the upcoming Social Credit convention in Whistler, at which a new premier was to be selected.
I won’t reprise the entire column, but for anyone who follows B.C. politics, these excerpts might be interesting:
“The last thing this province needs is a nonsensical ‘I’m just like all you other poor people’ attempting to win B.C.’s top job.
“I hope that sometime between now and the convention in July the man who aspires to be king can offer us something more concrete in image than the make of car he will use on the campaign trail.
“Then again, gimmicks work well in the political world of smoke and mirrors. It’s not what you do, but how you look.
“I will also suggest that the Social Credit Party, after the Whistler convention, will end up as fractured as a shingle worker’s future. There are so many aspirants to Bennett’s throne I just don’t see how the party factions will regroup behind the chosen one. The present party is little more than a tenuously-held coalition (and) the battles and rifts that are bound to ensue in this campaign could finish it off for good.
“I will be amazed if the NDP does not triumph in the next election.”
I published that column on June 11, 1986. Bill Vander Zalm became leader and premier during that convention, the Socreds fragmented and in following election in 1991, the NDP became government for a decade.
Like the collection of stuff from my closets, it was time for them to go!