The Greenwater Report for December 2, 2002

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, December 2, 2002 - by: Jerry Crawford




December 1st, 2002: Howdy, y’all! We just got off the bus from Branson, Missouri. Left Minot at 5:30 this morning and Ah’m shore tard!



in my

It was a McConaghy Tour, hosted by our good friends, Arlene and Marven Shields. They have a cottage in New Uskatik and we have known them for years, in fact they being the hosts convinced us to try a McConaghy tour. Why Branson? Mostly because so many people have taken the tour, and raved about it. I must confess I worried a bit; it was touted as a Christmas tour. I don’t mind country music, and I don’t mind Christmas music, but country singers singing Christmas music a month before Christmas doesn’t turn my crank. I was pleasantly surprised. We got a mix of country, bluegrass, swing, classics, and everything in between. High points were family-type shows, such as the Duttons, and the Lennons. Low points were the ego trips by Moe Bandy, the Gatlins (nobody liked them!) and Shoji Tabushi, a Japanese immigrant who plays a violin flat, sings poorly, but has lots of glitzy effects. Actually, I was the only one who didn’t like him - everyone else on the bus thought he was terrific, which forces me to suspect my musical sensibility. I think I could have put up with the three mentioned if they had not turned up the amplifiers to the point where I had to keep my hands over my ears. I tried stuffing cotton in my ears, but that didn’t work.




We did enjoy Moe Bandy’s piano player, Stu Mallou (I think) who also did a couple of vocal solos. After the concert, when we were waiting in our bus, he came out, climbed into the bus, and said: “Talk to me, People! I’ve been ‘y’alled’ to death for four months and I’m dying to hear some plain English!” Turns out he spent his pre-teen years in Naicam, his name was originally Guttormson, and his mother was from Porcupine Plain. We went to the Cove for supper tonight, and Bev and Metro Boyko were there; we talked to them about the trip, and it turns out Stu Guttormson’s mother is Bev Boyko’s first cousin!




I can’t say enough about the tour itself - the bus was very smooth and the driver, Mike McElligott, was excellent. Never a sudden stop, or a jackrabbit start, or even a side sway on the curves. The bus was always clean, and the windows sparkling. And our hosts, Arlene and Marven, were terrific. They have a lot of experience as tour directors, and there was never a disappointment, a misunderstanding about a reservation, or any kind of problem. Either it was very well mapped out, or they ironed out problems before we even realized the might be one. They kept us well entertained and made the eight days of bus travel pleasant. We were very happy with our accommodation, and there were lots of shows and tours included in the tour price. On top of all that, there was a great bunch on the bus - I don’t think we ever had to wait for last minute stragglers. Sorry if it sounds like I’m advertising, but it really was a great experience!



We were brought down to earth with a bang when we got home, and Jenny told us Case Markus died last Tuesday. He had been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. We slipped out to see Bernie, and she tells us he slipped away quietly with her holding his hand. We were next-door neighbors for twenty years while we lived out on the hill, and very good friends. Case was cremated; there will be no funeral but there were prayers for him today at Nobleville RC Church.




We got another jolt when we saw an “In Memoriam” card at the Cove, for Nick Derenowski, father to Jim and Darin. I understand he died suddenly and unexpectedly, of an aneurism. I didn’t know Nick, but have coffee’d regularly with Darin, and with Jim and his family, for years. Our sincerest condolences to both families.
  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423


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