Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford #101 Painting & Tiger Tales 072417


Cornwall Ontario – “Painting as a Pastime”, by The Right Honourable Sir Winston Churchill is a book I have treasured over the years. I inherited it in the late ’60’s. It states that the hardcover edition was first published in the 1950’s in the USA by The McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc. According to information in the book, this one that I have is a new Cornerstone Library edition published by arrangement with Odhams Press Ltd., of London, England and says it was reprinted in 1965. Sir Winston talks about his painting hobby and there are 18 illustrations of his beautiful paintings. What a treasure.

Here is the author at his easel in this Frontispiece:

It states that the essay, “Painting as a Pastime” is reprinted from his book, “Amid These Storms “(copyright 1932 by permission of the publishers, Charles Scribner’s Sons, N.Y.) He writes about how important it is to have a few hobbies and that painting, as a hobby, “is a companion with whom one may hope to walk a great part of life’s journey”. He writes that:

Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light, colour, peace and hope will keep them company to the end, or almost the end, of the day.

It is a wonderful essay and very interesting to read his thoughts on how stress affects our lives. The book and the full essay are available on line. There are many web sites.

I discovered this word in a book and had to look it up: ‘splanchnizomai’. It means to be moved in one’s inwards (Splanchra) with compassion, to be merciful, take pity. The web site, however, said that this Greek word is not adequately translated into English and that it’s full meaning is even stronger than that. Interesting.

Updates on Cornwall’s “Senior Friendly Initiative” and links to senior friendly community organizations, services and resources can be found at:

A friend sent me an article by Camille Bains of the Canadian Press ( I was shocked when I read it. The article stated that 22 percent of Canadian children live in poverty and that the children’s related issues have not improved in ten years which include access to enough nutritious food, high rates of child homicide and teen suicide.

I went on line to read the UNICEF 14th Report Card. It stated that Norway ranks Number 1 out of all the 41 rich countries in caring for their kids, Canada ranked 25th and Chile 41st. Whew!! What is going on??It states that the wider income inequality keeps the poverty rate high creating social competition and stress affecting our children and making it a more difficult of a life of poverty. Very disturbing news.

However, the report says that UNICEF Canada is doing something about it by launching a fall initiative, One Youth , which will be a movement of children, youth and adults together to develop tools to gain insights in how Canada’s children are doing. They are also going to have a Design Studio to test new solutions to the challenges which the children are facing. There have been recent advances, according to the report, in public policy and investment for children including child-focused income benefits and early child care and education benefits. Hopefully, it will all help our children.

The King George Hotel was a cornerstone at 2nd and Pitt Streets as long as I remember. Online, the Cornwall Community Museum has some information about it being built by Dr. Noah Dickson in the 1820’s as a private residence but never was used as a home apparently. Over the years it became a County Court House, barracks, a ballroom, a concert hall, the American House in 1873, later Balmoral House and in 1910, the King George Hotel. It burned in a fire on Feb. 14th. 1997. Quite a history.

Sometime in the 50’s, Paul Anka and his first vocal group, the Bobby Soxers, came to Cornwall and gave a concert at the CCVS auditorium. They stayed at the King George Hotel and the next day a few of us went to the hotel and waited outside for Paul and his group to leave to get autographs. I don’t know what happened to that autograph.

I only remember being in the restaurant once in the mid 80’s.

My biggest memory is that the Laura Secord store was housed in the corner part of the hotel and I have to admit to being in there many many times. Lots of wonderful chocolate goodies.

Here is an old menu I happened to save, year unknown:

Here are two handsome seniors out for a breath of fresh air on a balmy summer evening in Cornwall: Denis Bonsall and Bob Katz. Bob is holding Denis’s little dog, “Lexie”, who is loving every moment of the attention. The lovely foliage in the background makes it a wonderful place to sit and relax. The dog seems to like the pleasant and tranquil atmosphere also and gets lots of attention apparently when anyone passes by her. Cute little dog.

Tiger, my cat, is having lots of fun lately with all his choices of beds to repose upon. I have been doing a bit of re-decorating and I have a new couch and chair. He is no longer content to sleep on his bed on my bed. He has taken over the couch and spends most of his sleeping hours stretched out on it. He can also get on the new chair and now will also jump up on my older chair and have a nap there if his little heart desires. I never know where he is at any given time. Not that he cares..unless it is time to eat, of course. Big Baby!!

A cute joke sent in by a reader:

The Old Dog:

An old, tired looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home.

He followed me into the house, down the hall and fell asleep in a corner. An hour later he went to the door and I let him out.

The next day he was back, resumed his position in the hall and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks.

Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: “Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.”

The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: “He lives with ten children…he’s trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?”

Have a good week, Dawn


  1. Thanks Dawn, always great articles.

  2. Paul (Boulos real name) Anka is Lebanese born in Ottawa Ontario and took part in the Orthodox church that used to be on Kent Street but now it is on Riverside Drive. There is a street here in Ottawa South named after him and my daughter and I went by it this morning and I literally fell on the bus this morning and I feel bad – I am weak. Mack the Knife was song by Bobby Darin as well.

  3. Dawn yesterday I played Bobby Darin Mack The Knife and I thought about you. Bobby Darin was Italian and came from a very poor and rough area of NYC and he knew that he was going to die because of his heart but put his dream ahead and succeeded. I miss Sandra Dee his wife as well. Remember the movie Come September with Gina Lollobridgida and Rock Hudson. I loved that movie.

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