Seniors Situation Room. By Dawn Ford. February is Heart Month & Remembering Bob & Dorris Turner

FEBRUARY 20, 2022 – February is Heart Month. It is a time for not only fundraising but also to raise awareness of the heart and stroke problems which can be of a higher risk for individuals with an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, unhealthy weight, smoking, stress and excessive use of alcohol and drug use.

Early warnings of a heart attack include shortness of breath, chest discomfort, nausea, sweating and may also include discomfort in other parts of the body such as the back, neck or jaw. Call 911 for help immediately.

The word FAST can help us remember more easily the signs of a stroke such as:

1) FACE-Is it drooping?

2) ARMS-can you raise both ?

3) SPEECH – is it slurred and or mumbled?

4)TIME-Call 911 right away!!!!!

A brochure on stroke symptoms said that the quicker you act the more of the person you will save.

In Cornwall the Heart and Stroke Foundation office phone number is 613-8933 for more information.

It is also Black History Month. In the January 19th, 2022 issue of Seaway News, Nick Seebruch , Editor, wrote a very important and informative article , “Things Left Undone”, about the late Bob Turner and the fact that we have not settled on how to honour him. Nick writes about Bob being the first Black man to be employed by the City of Cornwall and the first Black man to be a Recreation Director in the province of Ontario and maybe in the whole country.

I met Bob once. I was on duty on Pediatrics at the Cornwall General Hospital one evening in 1961. He was a patient in the hospital and that evening was having a walk from his ward down the hall. He stopped at the Play Room on Pediatrics to watch the children playing in the room with toys, some accompanied by family. I spoke with him, not knowing who he was. He said that he was having surgery the next morning. He was very nice and so interested in the children having fun, missing his own two little girls.

He was very ill following the surgery and had special nurses on duty with him. I used to relieve them for their break when I was on duty and got to sit by him each night for awhile. It was hard to see someone who had seemed so vital and alive before his surgery and now had become so ill. He only lasted a short time before he died at age 31, leaving his wife Dorris and two children. A great loss for his family and our community. A sports complex was built and named in his honour, The Bob turner Memorial Centre.

I used to go skating at the Bob Turner Memorial Centre and see the bust of his likeness in the hall. As Nick mentions in his article, the centre was demolished in 2014 and now his bust is in the entranceway of the Benson Centre. I saw it there when I went to get my first COVID shot and it brought back a lot of memories.

His wife Dorris has not been honoured either. We became friends in the mid 80’s and she was at that time, the President of the Handicapped club, now the Handi-social Club. She worked on other committees to help people with disabilities . I know because she had me so busy that I jokingly told her that I might have to quit my day job to keep up to her. It is to her credit that we have the Handi-transit buses because she worked and didn’t give up until it was a reality. She helped so many people in our community. Dorris died some years ago. When the Queen’s Medal was being given out, I wrote to Ottawa with the help of Guy Lauzon’s very helpful staff to get a medal for her posthumously but it didn’t happen.

Surely now it is time to honour Bob and Dorris.

Photo of Dorris and Bob from my files.

The song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was a bit intimidating for young kids. it said that Santa KNEW if you had been naughty or nice. Oh, stress!! A bit naughty sometimes??? Would he really know that and then we might get a big piece of coal in our stockings?? No hard candies, or an orange or a comic book. Just a piece of coal!!

Well. little Gabriella is not taking any chances. As you will see in her photo she can explain any naughty times to Santa. I am sure there weren’t any anyway. Great idea, though. Wished we had thought of it when we were little kids…. and maybe…just maybe sometimes. …had been a bit naughty.

Gabriella is the great granddaughter of one of our seniors, Bob Katz. She is not quite 3 yrs. old yet. So cute.

Bob, thanks so much for sharing this adorable photo with us.

Two of my friends told me that they had memories of being outside playing in the winter when we were all kids. One said that she and some friends used to amuse themselves in the winter. With three little boys who lived next door to her home, they went over across the canal, down to the boat house and jumped off the roofs of snow. Her parents never knew where she was. On Saturday mornings there was a skating session at the Water Street indoor arena for the Howard Smith paper Mill workers’ kids and she always had a lot of fun there. And afterwards she went skating at the outdoor rink at Memorial Park. Great times.

Another told me about skating also at Memorial Park but said that sometimes the hockey players would arrive and the kids had to leave. Memorial Park was a very popular place.

A friend sent in a list of days gone by:

A generation that walked to school and then walked back.

A generation that did their homework alone to get out asap to play in the street.

A generation that spent all their free time on the street with their friends.

A generation that played hide and seek when dark.

A generation that made mud cakes.

A generation that collected sports cards.

A generation that found, collected and washed & returned empty coke bottles to the local grocery store for 5 cents each , then bought a Mountain Dew and candy bar with the money.

A generation that made paper toys with their bare hands.

A generation who bought vinyl albums to play on record players.

A generation that collected photos and albums of clippings.

A generation that played board games and cards on rainy days.

A generation whose TV went off at midnight after playing the National Anthem.

A generation that had parents who were there.

A generation that laughed under the covers in bed so parents didn’t know we were still awake.

A generation that is passing and unfortunately it will never return!!..

I loved growing up when I did.

You might want to add a few more.

A little joke:

Why couldn’t the pony remember a lullaby?

She was a little horse.

Have a good week, Dawn

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