Seniors Situation Room Dawn Ford – Memories of Plattsburg NY & Camping 090717


Cornwall Ontario – These lovely sunny days remind me of some camping trips with the Trinity Church Girl Guide Company. Here is a photo from 1956 when we were camping in Plattsburg, NY.

From left to right: Frances Glass- Irwin, behind her is Bev Heward, me.. stirring a pot of something), our Captain, “Skip” Allison Maitland and Myrna Plumley- Watt standing.

Myrna and Bev may have been supervising our cooking but from the smiles on their faces, we were doing a good job. …or maybe we wouldn’t let THEM cook! LOL..just kidding, Myrna. I wrote on the top, “I had to cook the peas!!” Looks like we were all having a good time.


According to Fran, who has a great memory, the camping trip to Plattsburg was a Patrol Leaders trip. Fran tells her grandchildren about us lying on the ground at night when we were camping, staring at the star-filled sky and trying to learn the constellations, using our flashlights to outline the pattern of each one.

William Shakespeare wrote:

” One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”. Awe and wonder for sure!!

Another experience in 1957 was camping at Charlottenburg Park in Hurricane Diane. I guess no one thought it was going to be that bad. Fran remembers at the tail end of the hurricane, that it got so windy that we were all trying to hold up three tent poles and couldn’t do it. The tent came down on top of us and that is when we had to go to the bunk house. We took all our gear: air mattresses, palliasses, sleeping bags, etc. Just kids, it was a novelty to us.

My Mom was usually the cook when we went camping and she was nicknamed “Cookie.” I think that weekend everyone pitched in to help including our two leaders, Skip and the Captain from St. Columban’s Girl Guide Company, Simone “Bick” Blais.

In this photo are Fran and Ardith Plumley who was serenading us with a trombone solo at bedtime. The girl lying down on the right is unknown. (Wonder where Ardith got the trombone?) It was a camping trip never to be forgotten and we all had lots of fun, as usual, hurricane or not.

“Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town” by Stephen Leacock, was first published in 1912. I remember that we studied some of it in high school. “The Sinking of the Mariposa Belle’ in the essay, “Marine Excursion of Knights of Pythias”, was the one I remembered the most. It was so amazing that he could write line after line and page after page of amusing things. Just when you had a good idea of what was happening, he would throw in a new humorous plot about something or someone and we were off on another tangent of fun. I am sure he was a big influence to a lot of would-be-writers.

In that story, one line talks about the ‘Knights of Pythias’ who were supposedly dedicated to temperance but Henry Mullins, a Knight, ” had a small flask of “Pogram’s Special” in his hip pocket as” a sort of amendment to the constitution”to take on the Mariposa Belle boat excursion. Lots of fun to read.

This edition is dated 1947. On the back cover of this edition it states :” The rich humour embedded in the life of a little Ontario town is indelibly Canadian and at the same time universally enjoyable”. There was apparently at one time a C.B.C. TV show of his book “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town” with all the familiar characters. It would be wonderful to see it now if it is still available.

Stephen Leacock was born in Hampshire, England in 1869 and moved to Canada when he was seven according to the Biographical notes in the book. In his career he was the Head of the Department of Economics and Political Science at McGill until he retired in 1936. It states that his later years were almost entirely devoted to his literary work, writing over 50 books. He died in 1944 at age 75. What a gift he has left us of all his work.

There will be a ” Make Memories Matter” Walk for Alzheimer’s in Rockand , ON on Saturday, September 16th. 2017 at Rockland Manor. The walk begins at 1:30 pm with same day registration at 1:00 pm. They are suggesting joining with your friends and create your own teams. Also you can bring in a photograph of the person you walk for to share on their Wall of Memories. You can register and collect pledges online at www.WALKFORALZHEIMERS.CA or call the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall & District at 613-932-4914 for more information.

I want to thank all the staff at the Fullerton Drug Store at Pitt and Second Streets in Cornwall for all their kindness this past Monday. I had walked into a restaurant and had an immediate allergic reaction because of some cooking odours of one of my food allergies. Luckily I had some cool water with me to ease the tightening throat. My friend Kathy McBain was with me who was a big help. I went into Fullerton’s where there is a beverage cooler and got some ice cold water which gave some more relief. The staff were very kind and I appreciate it very much. Thanks for caring.

Rob Meagher, my Hearing Instrument Specialist for the past 30 years with one of the Davidson Hearing Aid Centers in Corn

wall, is making a transition to one of their Ottawa offices near his home, giving up the long commute from the west side of Ottawa. Rob had been running the Cornwall office for 30 years and had been in the Cornwall area for three days a week. Davidson has now expanded the Cornwall office hours to 5 days a week. Rob had been working in the Cornwall office for the past 4 months with Madison Richardson who joined the team last spring, to help ready the office for this new five day service with a new team in place.

Rob was always so helpful, considerate and understanding of my hearing problems, as I am sure he was with all his patients. According to the Davidson web site, Rob wore hearing aids since the age of 5, so he understood only too well our daily difficulties and concerns. Besides having two weekly clinics in Cornwall , another day testing in Dr. Robertson’s office, and a monthly clinic in Winchester and Morrisburg, he also made house calls to those patients unable to come to the offices. I am sure it was a lot of driving and not always in nice weather.  Rob will still be involved helping out with special events in Cornwall and helping to cover vacation leaves from time to time.

He will be greatly missed by not only me but all his patients. We wish him all the very best and a great big thank you for all your help and assistance over the years. We will look forward to seeing you again one day. again one day.

Madison Richardson, a Hearing Instrument Specialist, is now working full time in the Cornwall office with administrator Heather Anderson.

Madison is a native of Cornwall and according to the Davidson web site, a graduate of Grant MacEwan’s Hearing Aid Practitioner Program.

She also completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Ottawa.

I had the opportunity to spend some time with Madison who is my new Hearing Instrument Specialist. She is a very pleasant and intelligent young woman as well as being very knowledgible .

Heather was also very nice and helpful. We wish Madison and Heather all the best as the new team in the Cornwall office.


While moving around furniture, etc. I placed a massage seat on the couch for a few minutes and went to do something. When I returned, little fuzz-face Tiger was sitting on it, content to perch on another roost. He had been sound asleep one of his five beds in another room only minutes earlier. He must have some inner-radar that announces “new-digs” to him. Amazing cat!!

Happy Grandparents Day to all our Grandparents celebrating on Sept. 10th and a wonderful Labour Day weekend to everyone.

A few Immutable Laws from a friend:

Law of Mechanical Repair: after your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you will have to go pee.

Law of Gravity: any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

Law of Probability: the probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random numbers: if you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

Law of the Bath: when the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring.

Law of Close Encounters: the probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

Law of Result: when you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will!!

Law of Biomechanics: the severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach needed.

Have a good week, Dawn

Editor’s note ~  Apologies to all of Dawn’s viewers for the delay in publishing this edition.  It was all my fault!


  1. Dawn my daughter was in Brownies here in Ottawa and she loved it but hated camping. My daughter camped in the fall weather and didn’t like it at all. I loved camping with my eldest sister and her family in Long Sault during the summer.
    Stephen Leecock was someone that I too back in high school as well – not much on this man but a little. I knew that he lived somewhere in Southwestern Ontario.

  2. Hi Dawn,,
    Madison sure has big shoes to fill , with the local loss of Rob Meagher , he is truly a special person. He & Dr. Robertson were quite the duo. Both gentlemen, went above & beyond , what was expected !

  3. I truly enjoyed reading your column. It is so relaxing. It makes you feel you are there with the people, part of the community, part of their history just by reading. As usual the immutable laws put a big smile on my face.

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