"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday 31 July 2011

A Lugubrious Week End

Filled with reading . My own stuff.   I  mostly hate that.

By the time I finish with a post, it' has  usually been  edited.edited,and edited some more. It  seldom takes less than three hours. When I finally decide that' s it; it goes like that or it doesn't go at all. My mind  concludes, no more reading.no more changes. It's only a blog. I'm just chatting with  some of my neighbours. I'm not competing for the Gifford or the Nobel Peace Prize..

I threw that last one in to infuriate Evalina. I know she hates it when I display any sense of myself. She has to come up with the optimum deadly squelch which  usually  arrives seconds after I click on "Publish"

Adding tedium  to the reading is trying to discern how words, published for anyone to read,frank and free without fear or favour, could  be legally scrutinised  and  interpreted to mean  evil intent beyond political ethics and morality.

I found something of  current interest. The  comments sent  to the Aurora Citizen Blog by the town's  Chief Administrative Officer in June 2010 in response to a  critical comment which contained the word criminal.

The CAO  demanded the  comment be taken down, the identity of the pseudonym "New Man In Town" be revealed and by a deadline of 5.30 pm.

The deadline was a dead give away,  The dictation was clearly  by Phyllis. She  was in the  habit of  issuing  threats and deadlines in what she imagined was true style of a  Monarch surrounded by loyal courtiers and servants.

At the time of that particular contretemps, she informed council "staff". meaning  CAO and Solicitor,had not been able to do any of their own work for over a week while dealing with the Citizen Blog,Google and  the anonymous author.

High-priced staff man hours  used to fight  political battles, no doubt cost many thousands of  tax dollars in addition to legal fees paid to itinerant lawyers for the same purpose.

I swear, I have never seen politics done  like that.

I sent a comment to the Citizen that the CAO was not directed by Council to engage in  dialogue with a Blog about an anonymous comment. His  statement  therefore had no official status.I made a private reference to the CAO himself about it. Which, as far as I could determine, was water off a duck's back.

So here we are, in July 2011, after hundreds of thousands of dollars,public and private, spent on legal fees and court time.

A learned  judge has ruled. People have a right to freedom of expression. They have a right to anonymity, if they so choose. Particularly,  in the area of politics.

Was I right then? Or was I wrong?

Did we live through a twilight zone in Aurora for four years?

By the time it ends, what will the total tally be to  fight, in the year 2011,  for rights enjoyed by free societies everywhere and guaranteed  in only one. By a Charter passed in 1982 and implemented in 1985.

Was there ever any doubt in anyone's mind,. except Phyllis, her loyal band , some town  staff and the  lawyers she found  to do her bidding, at  a price.

Criticism is an essential feature of a free society.

Even before there was a Charter, there was an old political maxim;

"If you can't stand the heat, stay the hell  out of the kitchen"

Friday 29 July 2011

Google Glory and Shakespeare before that.

 Julius Ceasar  by William Shakespeare

Well, honour is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life: but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself. (1.2.92)

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings. (1.2.135)

No Inconsistency Here

Singing a New Tune has left a new comment on your post "The Story Continues.":

You're now waxing lyrical about the Petch House and its pioneer inhabitants, Cllr Buck. What happened to the "mouldering" shack littered with animal carcasses and faeces that you vociferously - and continuously - opposed preserving?

It's all rather confusing... and inconsistent


Great-grand-daughter Cheyenne will have her ninth birthday party in my backyard with the pool tomorrow. They were here a couple of week-ends ago. The pace she went from wearing a life-jacket, sticking to the shallow end,to swimming in the deep end to jumping off the diving board, then trying to master a dive, to doing hand stands in the shallow end. was positively breath-taking.

 I had to put new steps in last year. I couldn't manage the ladder any more. The first rung was too high off the floor. Abigail, Cheyenne's five year old sister, spent her time on the steps; stretching her legs out  to pretend swim while staying safe. Every now and again, when she thought no-one was looking she put one foot down to see if she could risk letting the step handles go. The principle of floating  in a life jacket was obviously not clear to  her.

I believe these two will remember  if not me, certainly the pool in my backyard. My childhood memories stretch  at least six years further back than that

The Petch House was built in 1844. That was my great grandfather's generation.  James MacCafferty.   left Ireland as a young man and came to Scotland. He later married  my great grandmother,  Jane Fox,  had  also come from Ireland as a young woman. She was twenty four; already had a son and lost a husband. He was a coal miner. It's not known if he died from illness or accident. Both were equally likely. Tubercolosis was rampant.

James and Jane had ten children to-gether.  My grandmother, Annie, was the youngest.

The interest I have in the Petch House is not about the house. It's not about the  family. It's about all the people of that and later generations who faced unknown hardships when they came to Canada. After they survived the journey.

 Black Creek and Upper Canada Village present an excellent picture of the lives of early settlers. The shoemaker's shop has a collection of lasts. The largest of them would not fit the foot of a modern ten year old.

In 1967, the Royal Ontario Museum displayed a collection of clothing  and fashion from the previous hundred years. 1867 adult garments would barely fit  to-day's  pre-teen.

When they arrived, settlers received a package of tools with a parcel of land They were not   necessarily the strong and robust figures we might imagine. From the U.K.they were often refugees from industrial slums and coal-mining villages. Many were from the Highland Clearances in Scotland.

.No doubt similar atrocities committed by man against man brought others from similar places in Europe. Ireland's history is no exception.

An immigrant myself,I came with a husband and two small sons with no idea of what life in Canada might have in store. In Aurora, I received an opportunity I could never in my lifetime have envisaged in the place I left.

Do I respect the people who came here to a wilderness in 1844. I most certainly do.

Pioneer graveyards in  York County give an insight to life in early times. The graves of women,lost in childbirth with the infant following days later.It was not uncommon for a man to have more than one wife in his lifetime and not through infidelity. Graves of children, dying within days of each other,signify an epidemic of a disease that's no longer known to us.

In Kettleby, the grave of a young Irishman notes he was killed in Farmer so-and-so's thresher. A handsome stone marker notes his resting place.As a farm labourer. he would not have had the  resources to pay for it. Someone considered his life to have been of value.

I am full of respect for the courage and endurance of the people who came before us. They  created the foundations for the society we enjoy.They brought  values from their past lives and left behind others not conducive to a Just Society and they fought here for the new principles to prevail. Right here in York County.

The Petch House sat on cinder block supports. at the side of the road, lost and forlorn for more than eight years. With no sign of interest or practical  purpose. I did what I could to provoke a reaction.

No Friends of The Petch House emerged .

The idea for a use and a location  came from town staff prompted by the availability of resources which would be forfeited if not used.and an  artisan with  proven  skills, who could be depended upon to do the job and do it well, within a tight budget.

Five hundred additional square feet of  space,will be in a place where a variety of uses can be made by people of all ages, at  a fraction of  the cost of modern space and honour local heritage at the same time.

Had we requested  staff to put forward  a  use and a location  eight years ago. the building would not have mouldered  all that time. It would not be in an advanced state of decay. It would have cost  less  to re-locate in one piece than it does to take  apart and repair and re-build.

It will be an example of skill and ingenuity.

I want to express my appreciation for David Heard's generous offer of the Petch Family Bible. Whether the building and its use will lend itself to the display of artifacts is yet to be seen.

There's a slighting comment about the book. It's an ungenerous spirit that finds fault with a generous offer.

I also wish to express appreciation for the anonymous donor of $8,000  to save the Petch House. In good part, it helped to persuade.

The Whitwell Developments commitment, maintained for eight years and their contribution of $50,000 to use however we choose,needs to be recognised and hopefully will be prominently noted elsewhere, when the time comes.

When  the various layers of shingles came off the roof yesterday, the sheathing boards were  two feet wide pine boards. Many were damaged by years of exposure.

But think of that. The trees were two feet wide and more. They were felled with an axe and block and tackle. By a man and his Mrs. who may or may not have had  the slightest experience in doing so.

Do I enjoy telling a story worth telling?

Yes I do.

I am not in the least bit inconsistent.Or apologetic either.

Thursday 28 July 2011

The Story Continues.

I was just editing  the last post when the phone rang. The permit was in hand. I clicked on publish and  hied out to the site.

Peter was already on the roof with another Peter. His parents opened the first restaurant in the Aurora Shopping Centre  fifty years ago. They knew me when I was Mayor. I was pleased to meet their son , a big burly man , on the roof of the Petch House at the side of Leslie Street, which wasn't even a part of Aurora when he was a boy.

So I stayed for a while and watched. I hadn't had breakfast. The sun came out and it was getting hot.

The part I really wanted to be there for would not be reached for a couple of hours.

The post  was not fully edited. The permit was in hand.

I came home, picking up a Tim Horton breakfast sandwich on the way,  to finish the last post and provide an update.

I want to be there ,when they uncover the roof boards. They haven't been exposed  since the day they were nailed in place. The day, the farmer's family knew they would no longer be exposed to the elements of rough living because  the  cabin was almost finished.The roof was going on.

It must have been a great day.

I wanted to pay my respects to the people who made this place what it  has been  for the rest of us to enjoy.

There were no councils ,no bureaucracies, no government to speak of.

They built it all  from scratch with nothing but  hope , courage, goodwill of neighbours, the sweat of their brow, common sense and integrity.

Just like they built the rough-hewn cabin that still stands, with no help from the Chief Building Official of the Town of Aurora.

No Post Yesterday

I had another plan.

I've been keeping tabs on the Petch House project.  I wanted to be there when the roof came off.

It  was expected  yesterday morning around ten. I didn't get the call  to say it was a-go.

At twelve I went to see what was up...or down.The roof  was still on.

Puffs of dust and ribbons of rubbish  sporadically came out the door.

The site is tightly surrounded by a wire  fence. Walls are strapped together to keep them from falling apart. The floor of the attic had already been removed.Work has proceeded without obstacle since it started.

I planned to park the car where it would not be in the way and simply watch.

Peter Van Nostrand of Vandorf saw me and came to introduce himself.I know Peter's family. His Uncle David was a good friend of my son Frank in high school. His Aunt Betty was a Councillor in the Township of Whitchurch  when Stew Burnett was Reeve.

Because we shared a high school many Vandorf families were in friendly contact withAurorans

When I could afford a fresh turkey, it came from Van Nostrand's farm.

Peter is the skilled artisan dismantling the Petch House. He has already taken apart it's twin and rebuilt it in Collingwood with pride of place on private property.

We chatted  and I learned something about him ,while we waited for the permit to arrive.

Two artifacts were found when the attic floor was removed. A bottle of whiskey, circa  1950,with a couple of inches left, was stashed in the rafters. An English butter knife had slid down between the floor and the wall.

The roof has several layers to be removed. First the plastic sheets,then a layer of ashpalt shingles fastened to plywood sheathing, then cedar shingles and sheathing , then original roofing boards fastened to the beams below.

Peter, of my older grandson's generation, and I  talked about how farmers had to be masters of a dozen trades, They felled the lumber,dressed it with axes and  built their homes, barns and drive sheds. They came together to help each other with the tricky bits. Like raising a barn.

They fashioned their own equipment, dug wells, sometimes  built a little house of worship and created  burial grounds on their own farms . Because there wasn't anyone else to do it.

The Van Nostrands were United Empire Loyalists. They first  farmed  in York Mills before moving
 further  north to  Vandorf. They have a proud heritage. Now Peter  is  makes a living in a labour of love., salvaging and restoring  structures built by his great- great- grandfather's generation.

We chatted for three hours while waiting for the permit.It was the first stoppage since the work began.

It seems the Chief Building Official has an option of requiring a permit or not. She did not chose the option of not.

An engineer experienced in the work, has already attended the site. Examined the  building, it's material condition and  plans for  the  dismantlement and restoration. It has  already been made more secure than it was during the years pf rotting by the roadside. He has given the work his stamp of approval.

There's a consideration of regular engineer visits and inspections. The need  is not obvious. . The cost will undermine the budget.The engineer sees no purpose.

There's concern about damage to the  road in transportation of the building. The building is not being transported. A less than average load of  lumber will be moved on  a tractor trailer  and carried one mile down the road  to Peter's yard  by the Vandorf Bridge, where  restoration  will be carried out.

Yesterday one town employee spent time,measured in hours, with another employee,  transferring  $250. from the parks department budget to the building department's budget,  the piddling amount charged to pay for the licence. The  transfer could possibly have cost more.

The town's web site apparently cites $100. for a demolition permit.

Yesterday a building inspector visited the site for an inspection.

Can't for the life of me see what he inspected. There are four walls ,with a floor at the base  a roof at the top. He didn't know the difference between barn board and axe-hewn logs.

He asked if the barn board cladding was being removed and if the building was being moved in one piece. I mean no disrespect. No modern building inspector should  be expected to be familiar with a structure of that age.

No plumbing needs to be disengaged,  no electricity, no telephone wires. no television antennae. none of the appendages of  a modern facility.

There would be a chimney.

This primitive structure  of walls, floor and roof ,without frills or fancies, was put together by a farmer, to shelter his family from the heat,the cold,the wind and the rain and maybe wolves and bears , a hundred  and a half years ago

Before there was a National ,  Provincial , or  Municipal Building Code

Before  building inspectors, chief building officials, engineers were with the  army opening roads. No town staff to spend time at substantial expense to  transfer a piddling sum to pay for a  demolition permit before  work can proceed.

It's  two months since council authorised  the project ..I  proposed  it. I have  a personal interest in its progress..

Since then, various obstacles and obstructions have been trotted out to inhibit the process. Until yesterday, without success.

I went there  at mid-day  for the seminal event of  roof removal.

By 3 p.m.it hadn't happened.

The permit had not been issued .

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Council Certainly Does Have The Authority

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "My Contract Manager On Vacation":

I don't know all those convoluted rules so please
excuse me if this is a dumb question. Can the
Council simply tell this fellow that they have heard
enough from him, and move on to reject the
idea of replacing the equipment ? Seems it would
save a great deal of unnecessary verbiage

Yes indeed. But I am not sure they will.

There's nothing convoluted about the rules. The only people  with authority to participate formally in the decision-making process are  those  elected to do so.

Appearing as a delegation is a privilege not a right. Most Council's extend the privilege. I'm not sure how many actively  encourage its abuse.

Citizens  have a right  of access as often as they like to every council member and the Mayor to convey their concerns on any matter.

They have a right to take a soap box to the town park, stand on it and shout to inform anyone who cares to listen  to their concerns.

They have a right to stand at the intersection of Wellington and Yonge carrying billboards informing  the carriage trade  about their particular beef.

They have a right to write letters to the editor. Send comments to blogs . Pay to advertise their discontent.

They have a right to speak frankly and freely  without fear or favour.

They do not have the right to take up the time  of Council during a business meeting ,time and time again to keep re-hashing the same issue over and over. Nor do they have the right to demand to be provided with documentation of this that or the other

How much of that do we provide before we require yet another municipal department added to the administration? And another half million dollars on the payroll.

Who should say "Enough already"?

I  received a  comment last week suggesting  parks department staff could not be trusted because they are pressured by  salesman  flogging playground  equipment.

 Councillors cannot be trusted with the decision because what do they know about playground equipment?

But a person who speaks for no-one but himself can be deemed the one to be trusted. Because he cares.

Shades of the recent past...when volunteers were elevated above  the status of  the  elected,by the elected  themselves, the people trusted by the voters with solemn responsibility for minding the store and making decisions who cheerfully and righteously forfeit the authority and spending acountability to volunteer organisations, who answer to no-one but themselves and certainly do not show any respect  in return to the elected authority.

My Contract Manager On Vacation

They are off on their annual trek to Sandbanks Provincial Park. We discovered it when she was fourteen . They have camped there  every summer since Adam was weeks old.

Heather is my contract manager, my campaign manager, my campaign organisation and  my right hand man, so-to-speak.

She called me last night with information. Along the way to camp,  they had taken note of various municipal playgrounds. In Consecon she found climbing equipment the same as when she  played in Confederation Park as a child in the seventies.

In a lakefront playground in Belleville, she found the same vintage equipment as when her children played in Confederation Park in the nineties  Nowhere did she find modern up-to-date equipment such as we have in Aurora parks.

"I think those  complaining are just a thoroughly  ungrateful bunch " she said.

I had to disagree. They are not a bunch. They are two.

The overwhelming number of comments I have received are in favour of providing children with stimulating play environment. No topic has aroused so much discussion on the blog.  Every day I receive information of another article citing experts in the field.

They simply affirm what  Leisure Services Director, Al Downey, verbally reported to Council at the July Council meeting.

I am hoping the Mayor and other Councillors are receiving the same input from the community I am.

Children need opportunities to strive.Parents need to take responsibility for their children.

Removing a piece of equipment at a cost of thousands to suit one parent and replacing it with another piece at a cost of more thousands which may not suit another parent, makes no sense at all.

When a citizen chooses to take the microphone to  lodge  a complaint, he launches a  public debate.

He  surrenders privacy. He  takes up the cudgels. He should be ready for what comes. 

What rule book states a politician must  be wishy-washy or peely-wally or obsequious in defending a principle when the principle is attacked..

I know of none.

Except of course the Morris- McEachern- Gaertner Concept;ACOCOSA the Aurora Code of Conduct of Selective Application. Fortified by ICSCFASP; Integrity Commissioner Selectively Chosen For A Specific  Purpose, And if  that strategy  fails go for a Harrassment Complaint under the Work Place Safety Act.

And devil take the hindmost

Thought For The Day

  I received the following  in an e-mail. I could not re-produce the picture. I will take classes at the senior's centre next fall.I promise.


Let’s not kid ourselves; this is not just an explanation of Ontario ’s crisis. It probably applies equally to just about anywhere in the world that is facing financial difficulties.
Ontario’s Financial Crisis Explained In A Single Picture_________________________________
                                         The picture shows a large excavation with one man working with a shovel.

                                          Standing around the perimeter in various poses,hands on hips,
                                          arms folded ,two sitting on upturned bins are nine others; all
                                          managers of  IT, Communications,Human Resources,Logistics,
                                          Marketing, Project.Internet Supervisor, P.R. and Product Development

                             This financial crisis is forcing the Province of Ontario and local agencies to make some tough decisions will have to be made.
If things continue for much longer, there's a real risk that we may have to lay off Jose.


Jose  of course, is the man with the shovel. .

The Province keeps  handing out dictum that municipal services must pay for themselves by charging fees. Like water rates.  It's a  government version of privatising.

Only what private enterprise could  stay in business carrying the  load of a municipal administration?

How real  are  fees for service when that  load is factored in?

At the last meeting of the last council,  staff recommended authority for implementing dozens of unnamed policies be transferred   from council to staff . And so it was done.

I don't believe it even merited  a news story.

Of course, at the time it was done,it was fully anticipated Phyllis Morris would be returned as Mayor.
There was little doubt in my mind who would be exercising the authority behind the scenes with  a select number of councillors in on the picture.

Not only has  Council lost  authority...This Council isn't even aware of what was lost or half of what is transpiring behind the scenes now.

All quite proper according to one of the last votes cast by the last Council. 

Monday 25 July 2011

New Latest

I received an early call this morning. A  radio news bulletin between six and seven a.m. reported Morris' unsuccessful court action
We have concluded the reference was to the court decision already reported locally.

Not the request for leave to appeal.

Sorry about that.

The beat goes on.

Legal Versus Illegal

The  Town's Official Plan is a legal document.  An Official Plan is required by Provincial law.

Every property within the municipality has a designation within the Official Plan.

The plan is prepared with public input.Every step of the way the general public are invited to have input

Property owners have a right  to  appeal  the Official Plan,if they do not agree with the designation placed on their property.

The  Official Plan is approved by the Region  and must conform with the Region's Official Plan.

The purpose of  the Official Plan is to control growth and  ensure development takes place in an orderly manner. It ensures no growth  unless  hard services are  available.

A  legal designation for development  cannot be removed.

The value of land with a designation is many times the value of land without. Cost of process is reflected in  value. It takes years . Removing a designation , legally obtained. would be like stealing money. It's not allowed.

When the Province took land in Richmond Hill Oak Ridges Moraine out of development, they had to purchase  the lands, pay its full  value  and provide alternate lands in Pickering for development

The Province could not remove the designation.

Governments can't pass laws and  then refuse to abide by the law they passed. That's illegal.

Aurora did that with the Westhill Development Application. We  refused to process the site plan application in March 2008.

Even at the time , the town's failure to process the application within the time provided by law had been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.A pre-hearing date had been set.

We spent $650,000 taxpayer's money, in legal fees, three years and untold  hours of professional staff  time and witness fees, in various O.M.B. and court proceedings and a final O.M.B. Hearing lasting six weeks, before the decision was made. The town lost on all counts.

Neighbouring home-owners spent  money on legal fees to oppose the development. Westhill  must have spent at least as much as the municipality and the opposing homeowners combined
All that money and at the end nothing . Not a stick upon as stick nor a stone upon a stone. Not a dollar flowing into our economy for  jobs or product manufacture.

At a time when thousands lost their  jobs, homes and hope ,not a bricklayer,carpenter,electrician or plumber saw an hour of employment from this project. No furniture or appliances were purchased  for the 75 town homes to be built. 

Not a penny of the potential $75 million of property tax assessment collected  by the municipality.

In July, despite  the O.M.B. decision, at eleven-ten p.m. during a second extension of the hour of adjournment, a motion moved and seconded by Councillors Ballard and Gaertner and voted in favour by Councillor Gallo and Humphryes, Council directed Mayor Dawe to write a letter to the Minister of the Environment urging  he  deny a water taking permit to Westhill.

The Mayor  did as directed. The understanding is, if the permit is denied, the development cannot proceed.

The same evening, we received a financial update from the treasurer. Tax revenues are less than due  because of the economic downturn. People without jobs are unable to pay  taxes.

Yesterday, in all the flurry back and forth . I was  challenged on my statement the last council acted illegally.

The last council disregarded  the   Official Plan and staff recommendation,  when they refused to process the Westhill  site plan development application.

The Official Plan is a legal document. Westhill's land designation was legal.

When the town refused to process the site plan. council  acted illegally.Our decision was over-ruled.

Other than  the ballot box , there is no punishment for such willful abysmal ignorance and unbelievable

Fortunately there is a  ballot box . Unfortunately.... only once every four years..

Sunday 24 July 2011

No Such Thing

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Dog Days Of Summer":

I find it amusing that you fashion yourself as a politician and extol the traditions of politics but then have disdane for other politicians that use political tactics that are just as tradtional, valid and legal as yours.

While I do not agree with their battle, you have to admire both their and even Mormac's methods to use the rules available to them to accomplish their goals.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Dog Days Of Summer":

Hey, Evelyn, remember when you and yours strategized to bring down the mayor.
Seems the plot is the same... and seemingly characters interchangeable.
I love the whole conspiracy story line.

Little town keeps trying to play silly games over and over.
Look around. Serious issues abound.

But nothing beats the unique smell of Aurora cupcakes... melting in the sun.


I'm glad my first commenter is amused. She/he certainly is not informed.

There is nothing traditional valid or legal about spending hundreds of thousands of  hard-earned tax  dollars on lawyers to fight battles against our own official plan and government regulations and to bring down real or imagined enemies.

Nothing valid or traditional, to hire no less that two lawyers to  destroy her predecessor's reputation.

And yet another lawyer to come up with the  strategy of a code of conduct to silence opposition to their goals to destroy the reputations, lives and careers of  anyone who might stand  in their way.

It was an on-going parade of lawyers.

Politics is an intellectual exercise. It is the art of the possible. The objective is to influence  the decisions made in the best interest of the community.You learn that  by hearing what people have to tell you.

I like and respect politicians. I find them everywhere.  I have probably known and worked with hundreds at the municipal level. Everything I  learned, I learned from those with more experience than myself who generously chose to share. 

There are no books, no university courses  on how to be a useful and effective politician.

I probably learned most from Reeves and Deputy-Reeves of  the rural townships of the last York County Council.

It was Stewart Burnett who told me ;"Evelyn, in politics no matter how we do,we are  criticised.We don't do it to each other "

The first Regional solicitor, Ted Oakes, never ran out of time to fill in on the history and purpose of Metro and York County as it was before Metro was created.He was as good as a tutor.He was not the only one I had the good fortune to meet along the way.

I tried for eight months to work with  Mormac's gang. I never disrespected the Office of Mayor or Councillors. When it became  clear, they were determined I would not be allowed to participate,  I found another way to make a contribution.

Once the decision was made to write the blog, there was no turning back. My instinct served me well.

Power is in the written word. Since I was a child, words have been my strength Because I was a child, I learned the hard way how not to use them.

No politician in their right mind makes gratuitous enemies along the way. There are no shrinking violets.One learns to be self-sufficient or  else.  More importantly, one learns to defend oneself. 

There was nothing traditional, valid or legal about the Mormac gang.. They were a total aberration in politics.  I have  never  known a group possessed of such  meanness. So determinedly without conscience.

Morris and MacEachern were brought down by nothing but their own  arrogance and ignorance.I have never known such cold-blooded cruelty.

What was given was taken.

The Dog Days Of Summer

Gives us time to talk about  a couple of things. Loss of respect for the authority of Council concerns me. Even sitting members  are not aware of their own authority. Before the last term, respect was at a low ebb, public and  political . It needed to improve.

The e-mail from the resident below is a perfect illustration.

He openes  with"Dear Mr. Downey and Mr. Dawe"

Downey is the Town's Leisure Services Director . Dawe is the Town's Mayor.

The purpose of the missile is to requisition certain documentation  to prepare himself to participate on a "level playing field" in the upcoming Council debate about whether or not the playground equipment that offends him will be removed.

He  notifies of his "plans"to attend and  there will be three delegates; himself.his wife and his four year old son. Allocated time would be fifteen instead of five minutes.

The last  is an  indicator of mentoring. It seems the full force of  Mormac has rallied .

A person unaware of  rank and  address to the Mayor, what documentation may or may not  exist,and that an application  means permission , would obviously not be aware of the stunt to extend a delegate's time  by three. That's a relic of Morris strategy.

Morris  had no concept of  Canadian  politics Others  had to be coerced to attend Council  and say what she wanted to be said.That's where the lawyers came in.

It   amazed me how  she  found people so  willing to be used.

The Director of Leisure Services is the only surviving long-serving director of the regime.  Since the fury of defeat has obviously not yet subsided, he is still a target.

The resident with the complaint about the jungle gym  must have appeared  like a gift.

The resident has already appeared twice before Council with the crying diva and a four year old prompted  by her mother.

The  second time he made the outrageous statement the town is putting the lives of children at risk

Now here he is. confident he can appear a third time with full rights to  participate in the debate.  He  has a strategy for more time to speak than an elected councillor.

When  the delegate previously stated children's lives were at risk, the C.A.O. did not express his deep disappointment that such a serious charge  would be made against the town  in the town's own Council meeting

It was made . It was allowed to stand uncorrected.  When I referred to it as a wild  and outrageous statement at the next meeting,  Councillor Gaertner called a point of order.

"The resident has come forward in good faith" she said " A councillor is not  allowed to say such things."

The point was not allowed. But Councillor Gaertner will repeat. It's a habit from the past.

A Councillor, recognised by the chair, has a right to speak without interruption , so long as he/she speaks to the question  and does not repeat themselves.Gaertner either does not understand  or accept that.

If  a comment doesn't sit well. she never hesitates to interrupt.

It was a joint strategy in the last term along with Rules  on the run.... all with the same focus.

The buzz word at  The Market on Saturday is Gaertner's vow to bring this Mayor down.

However much damage is done to  Council, individuals, or the town in the process, never has been much of a concern has it?

Saturday 23 July 2011

Snarky And Nasty

This morning a snarky comment came through  about how "fortunate" Council is to have me as their

Others don't think I have any  right  to comment. The resident with the beef about the monkey bars thinks I should step down from Council because I don't support his theories.

Fat chance, buddy

The Globe and Mail had an article recently on the need for challenge in adventure playgrounds.

Gordon Barnes sent me a link to an article in the New York Post  with a lengthy article saying pretty much what most people have commented; children need challenge ;parents need to take responsibility for their own.

Just now  a reader was listening to a program on the CBC about our over-protective  society.

Chris Watts forwarded a link to an excellent speech on Utube  by John Cleese relating to stupidity and creativity.

Another resident with experience in workplace safety sent Council a lengthy e-mail with a complete opposite perspective the father of one who insists the town must  remove the monkey bars from Confederation park playground or risk a coroner's inquest.

There's certainly no shortage of information at any given time. It remains to be seen if there is enough collective experience on Council to do the right thing and just say "NO"

I was recently asked if I placed myself on a pedestal. I said "No. I place the Office of Councillor on a pedestal"

The  lamentable lack of understanding among the moderns of the significance of  the rights and freedoms we enjoy in this beautiful land is remarkable.

Being elected has never meant that I surrender my right to speak frankly and freely without fear or favour. It added  responsibility and obligation to the rights we all enjoy.

Holding elected office is a public service. It is not subservient to the public, the administration or any other group one might care to mention.

Being elected gives me the authority to do what  I do best, enjoy most and do it for others besides myself. It's a heady experience.

I make no apology for that.

And May the Devil take the fool who  thinks I should

The Resident's Quest

The resident  has addressed Council twice already with his concerns about the hazards  of monkey bars in his neighbourhood park.

He  sent a previous  e-mail to the Mayor and all Councillors.

He  took  me to task for not speaking when he thought I should and speaking when he thought I shouldn't.

Just when  he appeared to have convinced the entire Council  of the  seriousness of the problem, I had  the audacity to suggest  staff should  provide  a written response to the serious charge  that Aurora   places the  lives of  children at risk with  hazardous playground equipment..

The resident  requests " Mr. Dawe"  to inform whoever needs to be informed of his intention to attend the next  Council meeting and specific documentation  he requires to refute the report requested by Council  from the Director of Leisure Services.

The resident is completely confident in his own expertise. He works as a construction safety inspector.
He is  equally confident of his right to appear for a third time at Council  with the same concern and to fully participate in the debate on whether or not  the equipment should be removed.

Council had one meeting to deal with the town's business in July. The agenda was extensive.

In August, the same situation prevails; one meeting..lengthy agenda.

It remains to be seen if the resident's demands will be acquiesced.

What will it tell us about Council's respect for its own function?

Friday 22 July 2011

An E-mail From A Resident

The following e-mail was circulated to all members of council.The information contained makes it  clear the writer intends to be a full participant in the council debate which  may or may not follow receipt of the report requested by council from Leisure Services Director Al Downey . The writer requires other documentation as well to prepare himself to be on a level playing field.

Dear Mr. Downey and Mr. Dawe

  I am writing with a request for disclosure of copies of  the inspection records, maintenance records and installation procedures for the two hump camel climber, at confederation park

I am also requesting a copy of the ” report”   that Ms. Buck requested from the parks Department at the July 12th 2011 meeting,  so I can review it as well, I would like to have these records and report as soon as possible so I may review them prior to the August 16 2011 meeting in which I plan to attend.

 I am putting in a delegation request for three and we would like to be prepared for that meeting with these documents.

If this should be a problem, please let me know as soon as possible,  so that I may have enough time to put in a freedom of information request (FOI) for these documents prior to the meeting, which will allow me enough time to receive them and review them.

I believe that, as I originally put in the request to  have the camel climber removed back in early April, I believe I should have all the information that the town has on this apparatus so we are all on a level playing field with all the information available.

Ps: I have tried several times to put in a request for delegation status for Aug 16 2011 by email at the address on the towns website to thecouncilsecretariatstaff@aurora.ca  and the email keeps on coming back as undeliverable, is it possible Mr. Dawe for you to forward my delegation request to the appropriate person ? Thanks
If this is not possible please let me know in advance, so I may ensure I am on the list of delegates, by other means.
I Martin McIntaggart would like to speak as well as Nancy Meredith, and Austin McIntaggart totaling 3 persons and all discussing the camel climber

The Norwich Motion

The post I wrote yesterday was from the  on-line story in The Auroran. I read the comments  from the Judge's decision in the story. Reference to our  right to freedom of expression, to be anonymous , to use a pseudonym,  particularly relating  to politics, indicates Morris' defamation suit has no legs.

It's going nowhere. It's done like dinner.

So far as I'm concerned, it never did have a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding. It did however do  enormous  damage to three families in the community who did nothing more than exercise their democratic freedom. 

It  was but another classic Morris example of  creating the big splash  in a desperate attempt to turn the tide of the election. Better than  anyone,  she had to know what was coming down the pipe.

 Morris was always a stranger to rational thought and she has still not dealt with the reality of being ignominiously defeated. The situation is made even more surreal by  the  cling-alongs who continue to  hang

Politics is not for the squeamish at the best of times and we  have known the worst in the past four years.

What went on behind the scenes caused collateral damage which may never be fully revealed or reversed.

We have another almost entirely new council with no knowledge of  how things should be, therefore do not recognise how they are, making charting a new course a bit like turning back the tide.

They mean well. That's not the problem. And I am persistent. But collectively, with the  certain exception of three members, as a council,we really need  to develop an assertive backbone.

It's not happening soon enough.There is resistence.

Some  things will take care of themselves eventually. I've heard the St.Kitts woman is telling people after this year's jazz festival. she is "done with Aurora".That's good news.

But another out-of- towner , Katherine  Belrose, "Friend of the Petch House", was at the Heritage Advisory Committee meeting, after Council made a decision, to  sneak in through  the back
door in an effort to gain control..

Eight years of the pesky building , crumbling at the side of Leslie Street, with not a smidgeon of interest, now there's a competition with the elected body to spend the public's money

The "Friends" were at the Farmer's Market, that hotbed of  plots and fantasy, for three months soliciting  funds and raising interest in the Petch House. They asked Council for  time to raise funds and an organisation to save the town's heritage. It's the operating buzz word in town these days.

They returned  to council claimng  to have a plan but without reference to funds.

But the town had a plan . We went with the sure thing.

Still the cauldron seethed and simmered. Mormac Cult members at the council table left their seats to consult with ."the friends" in the public benches about next best steps. They  turned out to be
solicitation for support to an advisory committee.

Now just think about that:

The elected body made a decision on an item pending for eight years.

An out-of-town  group with no profile but self-claimed status, doesn't like the town's decision  because  it leaves them out of the game.

So they go to a town advisory committee , perhaps by invitation perhaps not, and solicit their support to get themselves into the game.

Seems  they got  from the advisory committee what they went to get.

How disrespectful of  your Council is that?  By several parties.

Totally, completely and shamefully abysmal.

Not a good start to 2011 advisory committee participation in the process. 

Thursday 21 July 2011

Morris Defamation Suit Thrown Out

So now everyone can relax.

Well no...we can now turn our thoughts  to  how this outrageous and severely punitive event came to be. The Morris Defamation Suit was initiated by the Town of Aurora and paid for with  town funds.

A decision was made by six individuals, to spend public resources, to take three residents of Aurora to court because one of their number  was being criticised by an unknown party .

A solicitor on the town's payroll advised  the action was merited. 

On no count was that action found by the court to be merited. Quite the opposite.

Two Councillors refused to attend the meeting at which the decision was made because the matter  was not the business of council. A third repudiated the decision before it was ratified in Council.

Yet, $65,000. of public resources flowed  unchecked out of the public treasury. to pay for it.

No policy was cited. No approval sought for  court action to proceed.

No estimate or limit approved  to pay for the action

Yet  money was spent.

The tap was turned on and not turned off until the new council got into the  routine of  regular meetings, months after the blighters were defeated in the election.

We are now assured of  a policy that never allows such a thing to happen again.

Sorry my friends. Why would you believe that?

In this day and age, why would you accept, there was no purchasing policy in place  that should have prevented this from happening?

With an administration that willingly  allowed itself to be steered to refuse to release to the public  the total funds spent on legal fees  over a specific period of time, why would you believe the taxpayers
of the town  did not need to be protected from such abuse by political chicanery????

Three citizens of  the town have had to incur thousands of dollars to defend themselves against  legal action funded by the town.

Another citizen  is in the process of using  personal resources to bring the matter of Conflict of Interest  by the former Mayor before a court for a judgment.

Is this not a scandal of gargantuan proportions for a small Ontario town of fifty thousand people?

Does this not warrant a demand for answers ?

Instead of a meek and mild warranty, it will never happen again?

It never happened before.Why did it happen during that term of office?

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of cheques have been written on the  town's treasury, to make villains out of honest law-abiding citizens who did nothing more than insist on exercising their right to freedom of expression and run afoul of six individuals who had no concept of  limits to their power,  no administration  left to remind them. and a treasury that spilled money out on demand.

The town engaged in litigation against three of its citizens .

How many  were involved in  facilitating the action?

Now that  the Judge has handed down a decision , is now  the time to require answers as to how, with all the checks and balances in place  to protect the public interest , was this appalling debacle allowed to
take place ?

Why should anyone  believe money taken from them  in taxes, on the understanding it is to pay for public services, is now being properly expended for that purpose?

Where does  the public  take confidence that all is well in light of these circumstances ?

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Previous Post

Someone else logged into my computer yesterday with a different name and password. I spent almost three hours on that last post before I discovered I was not logged in to my blog.

When I finally did find  the post,  it was not the whole enchilada. It's too hot to start all over again.


Gimme A Break !!!!!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A ...":

I know you have to write something in your blog everyday, but is this latest post the "best you got?". You can and have done better.
As per a couple previous posts, I don't expecct to see this hit your public blog. This is just for you, Evelyn and hopefully will lead to a little self examination. Change begins with Self Realization


I don't have to write a post every day. I never assume what I write will engender interest. I know there are people who like to read something from me every day. How do I know? Because they tell me so.

But mostly I write because:

1. I have something to say.
2. I am free to say it.
3. I am aware there are people who hate the fact I have something to say, I am free to say it .There are people who want to hear it....for  whatever reason.

I think when  residents take upon themselves  responsibility to appear before Council  and  speak for others, they should at least be prepared to recognise the formality of the occasion and the potential  for  challenge.

Council is the only body with authority to speak for the community. It is not happenstance.

It happens  after six weeks at least of hard campaigning and an election under strict rules and regulations.

Being elected  is a responsibility and an obligation.

A Councillor does not speak for him or herself alone.

Monday 18 July 2011

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Different Perspective On A Child's Needs":

While it was a fun read, I wonder how being elected as a town council member makes you an arbiter of child rearing? You may have opinions on how child should be raised, but like it or not this is not the 1960's anymore. Federal and provincial governments have legislated all sorts of laws to "protect" us. Seatbelts, bike helmets, no more lawn darts! Yes we all survived our youth, but this is not the same world that it once was. If you feel that you represent the electorate, perhaps you need to understand it first.

If I received your note, I think I would be offended first, angry second and then more resolute to get this process underway to get what I wanted.


It's always interesting to observe another person's thought process.The foregoing is no exception.

It suggests that I must  understand the electorate before I offer an opinion..

Being elected does not  suffice to  indicate of my authority to speak for others.

On the other hand, a resident  not  elected is the one for council to follow.

A person comes to a public meeting,proceeds to the microphone to make  a point. For five minutes. choking  on her tears,she relays a disjointed  a tale of what might have been, had she not been on hand to prevent it.

But being on hand, she did not prevent it.

So the  responsible party for a near accident is obviously the municipality and the equipment provided for children older than her own,to play and learn.

The spectacle was  acutely embarrasing .  But the speaker who returned a second time with a four year old in her arms, coached to speak into a microphone. for even greater dramatic effect.

We live in a free and democratic country. People are free to choose  methods to get what they believe they should have. And risk making fools of themselves or the people who respond to the embarrassing nonsense. 

One of the most significant changes I have observed over the years is how willing the moderns to make horses asses of themselves to get what they want, however unreasonable it may be. .

"I want it . You will  do as  I say  because I want it"

"If you don't, I will call you names. Put forward  outrageous suggestions  such as coroner inquests to terrify  the gullible and demand the sensible step out of the way  If it doesn't work, I will demand you step down from office because you do not represent me"

"When all else fails, I will darkly refer to disrespecting a resident"

All in the name of dumbing down the electorate. 

Friday 15 July 2011

The Town Charged Westhill

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "If Things Go As They Should":

Whatever happened to the law suit that the former
council issued against West Hill when
Gallo ran to tell them the development company was
cutting down trees on their own property ?


The town bylaw department charged Westhill for cutting trees on their own property.

Westhill paid a $10 thousand dollar fine.

The former Mayor got  a picture of herself in the middle of a freshly plowed field  wearing flip-flops without a tree in sight,  valiantly defending the universe from the marauders.

 Staff's advice  in March 2008, .on the basis of all  our planning requirements , was to approve   Westhill  in principle and continue  work to resolve  the outstanding issues.

The O.M.B. decision,   was to approve Westhill  and direct the parties to resolve the outstanding isssues.
within three months.

Three years , two lawyers  and $650.000 later ,the O.M.B. did what planning staff advised Council  from the beginning.

Notwithstanding the sheer lunacy and disgrace to the municipality,  a letter was sent on June 30th to the Honourable John Wilkinson ,Minister of the Environment from the new Aurora  Mayor's office requesting him  to deny a permit to take water. The obvious objective  being the development must be stopped.

The image of  Monty Python's Fish Dance comes to mind.


The story about Councillor Gaertner's phone call to her idol and mentor has been flushed out a bit.
The phone  being used was  not a cell phone in the washroom. It was the town's phone at the reception desk. When the Councillor heard someone coming, she said to the person on the other end of the line;

  "Sshh.....someone's coming/"


The Leisure Services Director , in response to a question, informed Council it would probably cost
$5 thousand  to remove the undulating monkey bars from Confederation Park  playground. .. including  concrete supports.

It would likely also cost that amount to replace it with something else.

Staff try to find something different and interesting  for each playground.

What would be the point?

The question is still pending.

Thursday 14 July 2011

If Things Go As They Should

Residents who watched the  June Council meeting  and again in July, will  no doubt tune in again  in August to see how the undulating  monkey bar issue was  was played out  by council.

I was personally shocked  a motion was proposed  for instantaneous action to remove the equipment without hearing from anyone but two complainants.One of them choking so hard on tears it was truly difficult to decipher words.

At least staff are now being provided an opportunity to respond to the severe criticism of their judgment in using town resources to install a piece of playground equipment , already determined by some councillors,  to be  hazardous to  life and limb of children at play. as established by opinion of two residents taking responsibility for all town children as well as their own.

Council's  decision in August will help  form the basis of community judgment of how this  council handles the obligation to decide based on  best judgment of the interest of  community--at-large or whatever.

It's another one of those risks life presents. Council is the crucible. Also known as the fish bowl.Could be seen by some as a playground for the effete and the elite.

I think it's better television than  soap opera. I don't watch it. It's enough  to be part of it

Early months of  a  new term are  critical. Other council decisions will be made and gradually a new bed of public opinion, like coral, will be formed.... on top of what was before.

An interesting exchange happened on Tuesday. Councillor Gaertner  tried again to bring the O.M.B. decision on Westhill back to the Council table. She requested staff  summarise  requirements of the O.M.B.decision  because "people" can't understand the text of the decision as posted on the O.M.B. web site or the town's.

The Mayor  squelched the issue. The Councillor's microphone was turned off . No motion was accepted.

The rest took place off stage. Councillor Gaertner left the chamber and made her way to the women's washroom. To be followed later by two other parties from the council chamber for presumably legitimate reasons. It is said, an extract of a phone conversation was overheard as follows;

Councillor Gaertner ......."Now what will we do? Maybe we should  listen to the tape together  and make a decision from there"

It's  commonly  understood  Councillor Gaertner comes to  every council meeting loaded for bear; Specific  targets being the Mayor, myself and the O.M.B. decision on the Westhill development plan, in that order.

Every dodge known to man has been employed to get  Westhill back on the table for discussion. The last was a motion processed without notice, at ten past eleven, during a second extension of the hour of adjournment  sought for the express purpose of completing the business items on the agenda .

I left  when Councillor Gaertner started to rattle on about rights of staff to be protected from a fate worse than death by a councillor seeking to do due diligence on behalf of the taxpayers.

Councillor Thompson was absent the meeting.

The no-notice motion was to direct the Mayor to write  a letter to the Honorable John Wilkinson, Minister of Environment , requesting that he  deny a permit to Westhill to take water.

The vote was four to three. Councillors Ballard, Gaertner,Gallo and Humphryes in favour; The Mayor, Councillors Abel and Pirrie against.

Subsequently,  a letter on the Mayor's stationery, signed by the Mayor, setting out the vacuous wording of the resolution, was sent to the Office of the Ministry, proving to all who read it, the cult of jackass is alive and well in Aurora, despite  results of the recent election.

The only comfort is, the town does not have a monopoly on jackassism.

There' s plenty  to go around in government circles.

A Different Perspective On A Child's Needs

I sent the following  e-mail this morning. in response to one received from a resident who wishes the town to remove a piece of playground equipment  installed in Confederation Park two years ago. No reports or claims for injury have been received by the town. 

Two mothers who live close by, came to Council in July  to present in opposition to a motion  before Council to remove the equipment.

Good Morning Ms Harris,
I received your e-mail and note your comments. I listened carefully to your presentation when you presented  to  Council in June. I  did not hear a reference to  a specific injury to your child. It was  difficult to understand you due to your lack of composure.
You related an incident and indicated, had you not  been there "within two feet" something terrible might have happened.
In your e-mail, detail of the incident refers to a specific injury. However, it  seems though  you were at hand you did not prevent  your child from "falling on her back, injuring the  pelvic bone and experiencing difficulty in walking for a time as a result of bruising"
Ms  Harris, municipalities provide playground challenging equipment for children to experience and learn. It is the nature of  play. Always striving. Always pushing . Climb higher. Go faster. Always trying to master next steps. When playground equipment no longer provides that opportunity it no longer serves its purpose.
Playgrounds are refurbished on a regular basis. Municipalities invest substantially on carefully designed equipment. Safety standards are imposed and observed.
I have known  mothers unwilling to allow children to take any risk at all in order to keep them safe.
I note you carried your six year old down the steps in the council chamber and held her in your arms while you encouraged the child to say what you wanted her to say,into the microphone.
I do not suggest a mother can be too protective or a child can receive too much love.
I do however contend  parents can have different ideas about how best to raise children.
A municipal  council  has a duty to make decisions in the best interest of the  entire community.  To do that responsibly, every perspective must be considered. Nine members are enough to provide what's needed.

I was not a child  protected at all times. I was one of five. Older siblings were assigned the role of caring for younger.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I became  a parent who  does  not believe it's possible that children can  be protected from every possible risk.
I raised seven.
There were bumps and bruises, three cuts that had to be stitched and once I had to  wait twenty-four hours to know if scratches on the surface of his eye would result in blindness for my child.  These were the my worst experiences until they became teen-agers.  Then  the really hair-raising stuff happened.

 No amount of parental pleading and tears was enough to assure me of their safety.
In family gatherings, I  still  hear of adventures I knew nothing about and still want to  be kept from me.

I am  mother to  five sons and two daughters now engaged in raising their own.
I  survived.  As will they.  Because that's what we all do.

I will not be  voting  to remove the monkey bars from Confederation Park and replace them with something innocuous that meets your idea that a child's needs can be met without providing  an opportunity to learn how high, how far, how fast they can go without coming to harm.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

A Perspective For The Day

one to post on your blog! Heather
This is the generation I should have been in, Respectful and simple
How Old is grandma?
Stay with this -- the answer is at the end.  It will blow you away.
One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events.
The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general..
The Grandmother replied, "Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:
'      television
'        penicillin
'       polio shots
'       frozen foods
'       Xerox
'       contact lenses
'       Frisbees and
'       the pill
There were no:
'       credit cards
'       laser beams or
'       ball-point pens
Man had not invented:
'       pantyhose
'       air conditioners
'       dishwashers
'       clothes dryers
'        and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and
'    man hadn't yet walked on the moon
Your Grandfather and I got married first, .. .... ... and then lived together.. 
Every family had a father and a mother.
Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, "Sir".
And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, "Sir."
We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.
Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense. 
We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.
Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege...
We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. 
Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. 
Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the evening breeze started. 
Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.
We never heard of FM radios, tape decksCDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. 
We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios. 
And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey. 
If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan ' on it, it was junk 
The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.... 
Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.
We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.
And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.
You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600, . .. . but who could afford one?
Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon. 
In my day:
'      "grass" was mowed,
'      "coke" was a cold drink,
'     "pot" was something your mother cooked in and
'     "rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby.
'     "Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office,
'      "chip" meant a piece of wood,
'     "hardware" was found in a hardware store and
'    "software" wasn't even a word.
And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.
No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap.
How old do you think I am?
I bet you have this old lady in mind....you are in for a shock!
Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time. 
Are you ready ?????

This woman would be only 59 years old.