"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

Tuesday 16 October 2018


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ONE STEP FORWARD": 

Oh please get back to writing. Your views/opinions will always be valued and well revieved by many! Name me one other person who has been involved longer than you in this Town? I loved reading about when you were a child as well. Those posts were delightful to read. :) 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 15 October 2018 

That's a nice warm welcome and I do have a little story to tell but not  a childhood memory.  

Initially, I supported the incumbent Mayor's election.  I would never have endorsed a candidate without experience except for the appalling circumstances of the times. I was without option.

Having friends on council is not essential. Working in good faith together for the wellbeing of the community is and doesn't require personal friendship. 

It doesn't  demand  agreement on issues either. Making  friends is bonus. 

Citizens' Awards night comes around early...normally a boisterous,cheerful evening.... recipients of all ages with families and friends and councillors making  presentations. An invitation with program was always received. 

Staff organized the event. 

This  Mayor's  first awards night was different. Nothing prepared us.

No invitation was received. Only on arrival I realized it wasn't the norm. 

Councillor Humphreys  , formally gowned, was at the entrance to the council chamber ...greeting guests.

Councillors Gallo and Ballard were off to one side. I joined them to ask if they knew what was happening. 

Ballard and myself went to the rear and found a staff person. He inquired  and advised us to find ourselves a seat.

Then the evening revealed itself. 

A few award  recipients, were seated in the  body of the chamber. Guests occupied the spectators gallery. Participating officials,staff and Councillor Humphreys stood under the video screens...prompt cards in hand. 

On a signal it seemed, the Mayor made his entrance. It was an amazing sight. He  lightly skipped  down the side stairs  in a pale grey swallow- tailed tuxedo.. like  Fred Astaire... holding  his prompt cards. 

We warptched videos of nominations  

The Mayor and Councillor Humphreys presented  awards.  Councillors present were not acknowledged.

When I was first elected ,I had everything to learn and no shortage of people to teach.everybody was helpful. 

Formality and respect of administration toward council was marked. Protocol was paramount It had nothing to do with personal status and everything to do with havingbeen elected. It was the office that mattered. 

Population  was  7,500.  Residences, about 2,500. Clerk-treasurer, deputy-clerk,treasury clerk and clerk to the clerk formed the administration. Additional help was brought in for elections .

Until then, the term was one year . Mine was the first two year term and  first annual budget to top a million. You bet we knew where every penny was spent. 

On the  night the budget was struck , Council, staff and reporters and anyone else present went upstairs to mark the most important  event of the term. Everything flowed from the budget.

A pair of platters of dainty, fresh, sandwiches and sweet treats were served . The clerk-treasurer,
(He who held the keys)'opened the little liquor cabinet and glasses  were raised. 

The sense of an important  task accomplished was nurtured among us. 

That's  how I found things in 1967.... Canada's Centennial Year.

It has changed over years and sooner and more obviously in the incumbent's first year . 

Casting my mind back to library board days , I have realized there were signs. 

In terms of town business, awards nights are not significant. No issue could or would be made.  Recipients were pleased to be recognized. 

It was already a split Council and went downhill from there.  

Thursday 27 September 2018


I didn't just stop writing.Several half-written blog posts are on hold,untitled and now out of date. 

I've been commenting on Facebook. 

Commenting is not the same. It doesn't require the same discipline.it's fast and lazy. 

I play scrabble with the computer and stay at beginners level so I score hundreds ahead. I like that. Winning is better and I have control.

Friends have been urging me to get back to writing the blog.  Because  they told me so...many have  looked forward to reading it every day. 

Mostly, it was about Town business. Not being on Council now, means not knowing first-hand whereoff I speak.

Meetings  are not televised any more...though I admit...I seldom watched.  Didn't when I was at the table either. Listening once was enough. 

Doug Ford's election has made Ontario politics interesting again. Can't really tell what's coming. 

America's politics are in a dark place.

There's no shortage of stuff  to write about. The challenge is choosing and getting back to the daily routine. 

A commenter would like to know what I'm thinking about the municipal election. I do think about it but I doubt my views may be well received. 

I do not endorse the incumbent for Mayor. Even now,at the end of a third term,his alignment with 
the Mayor of Burlington on an issue for the election must have been a surprise to most voters. 

He has never attempted to create a cohesive unit of council. He gave the impression he didn't see the need to associate. The staff arrangement of his predecessor seemed much to his liking...gave him the influence he wanted and continued to build. 

Of the challengers, I think Tom Mrakas has most going for him. He puts his heart and soul into the job.
What he says he means. 
My perspective, as might be expected, is different from Tom's. I believe the primary  function of a council is efficient business management of services to property. Transferring land from  
revenue to the liability side of the ledger, in any other business , is the road to bankruptcy with no 
way back. 

Cheerfully ushering in annual tax increases to make up the shortfall is not good stewardship. Nothing will ever persuade me otherwise.  

Of course it's not as simple as that. 

Nothing ever is. 

It's one of the reasons I stopped writing. 

And If I don't stop now this post now, it may never get posted either. 

Tuesday 26 June 2018


In a weird way ,I have the impression Doug Ford will rely on people who know more than he does 
to govern the Province. I find that comforting. A few references during the campaign gave me 
serious pause. He disclosed his ignorance that Canadian Legion matters were federal jurisdiction under Veteran Affairs. He said, as Premier, he would protect Legions from municipal property taxes.
He was ill-advised.
On the eve of the election, he announced a hiring freeze, except for police and fire-fighters.The 
other parties were demanding he disclose where he intended to cut spending. He excepted police  and firefighting  from the hiring freeze but both are municipal services. I'm not aware of any share of either funding or authority from or with the Province. 

Since  Education Boards funding has been transferred to the Province, local decision-making shrunk accordingly. Major decisions are all made at Ministry level.  School boards are redundant. 

We may assume since health services delivered in hospital corridors on stretchers ....and cut- backs in 
educational programming are already under provincial control ...we  should not look for improvement
in those areas. At least not until he's been properly briefed .

That's where the weirdness emanates. Doug Ford has long been involved in municipal politics alongside his brother. Was Rob the informed one....and Doug the follower? Maybe.

Well....Rob was the successful candidate for Mayor. Doug showed no interest. When Rob became terminally ill, he made Doug promise to take up the challenge. Doug was always a loyal defender of Rob, no matter what. Now the question is....will Doug continue to follow advice from people who know better. It would not be a bad thing. 

There's nothing smooth or sophisticated about Doug Ford. That's not the reason he won the leadership. We will watch this story unfold. 

Like we did the last one. 

Within days of taking over, Kathleen Wynn disclosed her woeful lack of familiarity with how the system 
worked. A dispute between the former liberal MPP Cabinet minister, then Mayor Watson of Ottawa about a Casino deal equal to Toronto's led to the exit of Paul Godfrey as Chair of LCBO , Lotteries and 
Casinos . The Premier clearly had no understanding such matters were at arm's length distance 
from  politics and why. She never lost confidence her Master's Degree in Education gave her everything she needed to know to run the Province. 

She worked hard.
She never learned. 
We have just watched the end of her story. 

Sunday 15 April 2018


At this time in the last election year, Council made the calamitous decision to proceed with the joint facility. The vacancy left by Councillor Ballard's election to the provincial assembly had to be filled to get sufficient support.

Council had  authority to appoint an individual. They didn't. A competition was created and a number of people entered in good faith. A written statement was required and a speech in a public 
meeting . Neither undertaking  is stress free. 

It's true no-one was required to compete. But that  they were sufficiently interested was to their credit.
Unfortunately it seemed obvious to me the decision  had already been made by the Mayor, his henchmen and woman. It was no coincidence the person chosen, cast the deciding vote for the project. 

I often argued against staff recommendations. I was without confidence in their competence . Considering what I knew of their hiring, their backgrounds.or previous advice ; not the purchase of an unsuitable  site from Mr. Leibovitz...nor the  20 year lease of the Hydro property to the QYR...nor sale of the town works and parks sites without a competition...none of it convinced me the town's interest was served . Cost to taxpayers was in the millions. None of it  sensible. 

In my years of service, I learned to make arguments with the force of logic. If the community responded, I was successful. Often, I was not. But my position was always clear. People expected it of me and they deserved it. 

Water  and sewer rates were another example of betrayal. I choose that word deliberately. Meters were installed to create the illusion people paid only for  water used. Staff refused  to justify the increases. The Mayor parroted what he had heard  at the Region. "Water  is the best bargain we have" 

I believe we are paying for treatment systems at Lake Simcoe  and servicing to allow northern York Region to be developed in ever increasing density. 

33% increase in water rates is a tax increase like any other. It's just located in a different column to deliberately obscure the fact. 

Do we read about it in the local newspapers? Do they have any obligation in the matter? The answer
 to both questions is negative. 

The previous two posts are comments. I'm pleased to see them. They indicate interest in how the community  is  not served by our current council . 

I hope it grows and continues. 


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AUDIT DELIVERED": 

How about Aurora's water and sewer rates? A 33% increase this year in sewer rates! It passed like a breeze. Hard to believe our elected officials did not need a little more detail on why. Maybe a note to the department head that says - "inflation is running about 2%, why is a 33% increase required this year?"  

But like the operations centre there seems to be little accountability. 

This operation centre spending looks bad on the Mayor. Especially when he and the Deputy stepped up to control spending on this project.

I Hope Aurora taxpayers are following closely. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 15 April 2018 at 15:42

Friday 13 April 2018


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ALMOST CUSTOMARY": 

For those who follow the gross miss-expenditure of town money - the Joint Operations Centre - it is already $454,000 over budget and it is estimated it will take a minimum of $1.800,000 to finish the project. This according to a full audit of the building's construction.

There was supposed to be a Financial Task Force - a five member panel which included Mayor Geoff Dawe and Councillor John Abel, to oversee the project.

The auditor reports that "in terms of leadership, the lack of an overall project management methodology in the Town was lacking. Clearly that should have been in place."

It is obvious that the Financial Task Force knew nothing about supervising or managing a construction project that ended up costing well in excess of $20,000,000.

And now Mayor Dawe's stated intent to seek a third term is to see through to completion two new major projects. This is laughable.

The Town must hire a reputable and experienced project manager to oversee the work and who can report to council the progress of construction and the budget numbers. Senior staff might also be employed.

But please keep elected officials out of meddling. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 13 April 2018 at 07:49


Saturday 24 March 2018


Out Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE WIND AT MY BACK": 

I've been down that road myself. There were lessons that I learned that to this day put a smile on my face every day, mainly due from the my incredible supportive friends and family. There were also lessons that were disheartening. Those lessons like to creep into my day to day life now and again. I've seen Karma do it's magic over the years, I just wish that our legal system can get the overhaul that is clearly needed. Backing away from a fight has never been something I have ever done, although...Would I do it again? You betcha! You Evelyn taught me that lesson. Thank you. :)  

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 21 March 2018 at 09:15

My fascination with the rollicking  circus in the bouncy house south of us is in good part 
from familiarity. Like my friend above, I already know much of this story.  

In 2003 , I offered to serve again on Council because it broke my heart to see what  Aurora 
Council had become and I thought I could make a difference. 
I did. But I had no idea what it would cost or how long it would take. 

The details are tedious. They stretch over years.The challenge now is to capture the fiendish and the ridiculous without choking the story to death. I've never undertaken such a daunting task but I think 
It must be done. 

I lived a long time without this experience. Now I watch it repeated daily on the world stage. 

Last week, James McCabe,senior FBI official was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions for "lack of candour".  The AG himself is also at risk. The desperation is to discredit the  Mueller inquiry,shut it down and bury the findings forever . It doesn't matter whose or how many lives are destroyed in the process. 

As a further act of incredible spite ,McCabe's pension was confiscated as  penalty for daring to investigate the conduct of the lying,swindling, lecherous occupant of the Oval  Office.....his elected boss. 

As my head hit the pillow after the news that Friday night, the memory came flooding back of  the 
day the Aurora Integrity Commissioner delivered his decision to the Office of the  Clerk the similarities were uncanny. 

Delivery of the decision was the first and only part in accordance with law . But the hour was early...plenty of time in the day left for mayhem to evolve.  

Wednesday 21 March 2018


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE WIND AT MY BACK": 

While it is true that "justice" comes with a price - and sometimes you have to be able to afford to buy that justice - the other thing that I always try to remember is that one person's idea of "what is right" may not be the same as everyone else. 

Your case in point, you felt that certain wrongs were perpetrated against you. The ones that "did it" obviously felt the opposite. Convincing the judge (or jury in other cases) is the job of the lawyers. I think in your case, the factor that weighed against you was past history. You have never been a team player and this behaviour created a situation where their actions were somewhat a response to past 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 21 March 2018 at 08:43

The above is only useful as an introduction.  I am not an author. I'm content  with journal entries and comments. Facebook has a spot  "What's on your Mind" .It suits me well. A discussion can be up and running with lots less effort than the blog. 

I do enjoy vigorous debate. The purpose of a Council is higher than a  team function.To my mind, the idea municipal politics is a game  is degrading  to legislative authority.

 It's an ill-suited reference. 

My involvement in municipal politics spanned half a century. Only half of that  in office. 
In the off yearsI wrote a weekly column,reported on Board of Education business and a neighbouring township's political business. I served a term on Y.R. Police Services Board in the nineties.  I travelled throughout the Province for nine years in the eighties, as a member of the Social Service Board of Ontario...a quasi-judicial Appeal Board. 

Judgement  is critical in each of those roles.The chance to improve my knowledge and skills was substantial and very much appreciated. The opportunity  did not come without potential. 

Individuality is not the essence of a team. On the other hand, in an election, in a community of 8, 10,18, 30 or 60 thousand people, mental cloning  within a nine people council is neither sensible, desirablenor  possible. 

I did not aspire to be a team member. Working together in the best interest of an entire community 
Is more complicated  when members have different ideas of what is best. The majority rules. The 
majority is not always right. 

I opposed proceeding  with the joint facility. 

Council made no effort to comprehend  the enormity of the project. No effort was made to examine the recommendation. Four years later it transpires ....I was right. Full extent of the mess is still unknown. 

I opposed changing every street light in one fell swoop, at a cost of millions. Today, a story in The Auroran indicates cost recovery was wildly exaggerated. Once more the knell has struck.Taxpayers   interest was betrayed.  

The stories are legion,my friends. 

My confidence in the Director of Environment and Infrastructure was at zero throughout his employment. Multi- Millions of dollars later ,he is no longer employed by the town.

Nothing in the resume of the former CAO ,or his in-service performance,rendered his recommendations sensible to me . A thirty year lease of a property ,needed for our own purposes,was  another sell-out of town interest.

In my judgement, Aurora's  interest is not served  by the contribution of the current Chief Financial Officer. Far from it. 

Circumstances of the  hire and how positions continued to be secure by the current Mayor lend 
nothing  to my confidence that my taxes are well spent. 

No ...you may not count me as a member of this or the previous two incompetent teams serving the Town worse than any other council in all its history.

I registered as a candidate for Council in 2003 . I had not held a  seat for fourteen years. I was not known to most incumbents.They were late arrivals to the town. 

Councillor Evelina  McEachernhad already registered her candidacy but withdrew when she saw 
I was a candidate, She had better things to do with her time ,like spend it with her children,she
said.  It was a public statement evincing little in the way of team spirit. 

The editor of the Aurora Banner was also new to the town since last I served, ...hostile jabs emanated from that quarter as well. She regularly received Character Awards.we have heard little of that 
organisation since her employment with the newspaper ended. 

I was elected, forty-nine votes ahead of the runner-up. MacEachern urged the runner-up to request a recount. He declined. Her last action ,as an out-going Councillor,was to move for a recount. The  seconder to the motion, who had been re-elected, said he did not want to sit across the table for the next three years from  someone who had no right to be there. No team spirit intended there for sure. 

I had never worked with either Councillor. 

The recount was completed with no change to the vote but the pattern of harassment was established
from the beginning. 

I did have a right to be there. 

I won the seat fair and square.

Thursday 8 March 2018


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AN EYE FOR AN EYE....WELL THAT DEPENDS": 

We can start by understanding that we don't have a justice system. We have a legal system. I know you have been through the ringer with our legal system Evelyn, its pretty sad. Can't imagine going through a murder trial of a child and walking away thinking justice prevailed, regardless of the verdict. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 4 March 2018 at 21:27


Nothing prepares for whatever happens, like a career in politics . I wrote little at the time of the decision in my litigation. I focussed on putting  it behind me. I calculated sufficient years of my life and more than my resources had  already been expended . 

The time wasn't lost. I did not resolve never to speak of it. Many  positive aspects had evolved.
Not least were the people who rallied to the cause and the stalwart support of my children. 

At the initial legal consult, the question was asked and answered... what do you hope to accomplish?

Me...This is Canada. Such  injustice can't be allowed to happen at the hands of elected officials. They have to  be stopped

They were . But without the support of the legal system.  

Newmarket Judge Mark Edward's conclusion that liberty could be freely abused by elected officials was not shared by Aurora's voters. The next election established that without ceremony or doubt
when the culprits were tossed. 

At the time of the Judge's decision, two years after he dismissed my jury on a trumped up excuse, my 
initial thought was to continue the fight . More than enough perverse logic and mis-representation lent itself to an appeal.

I filed intent .That action cost  another $20.000.Then I conferred with my family.

During the 13 years the process took support was strong. Whatever the decision,I knew that would continue. From the beginning, the fight was never mine alone. 

Judge Edwards notwithstanding, the principle of reason and fairness remained unassailable.

 On the other hand, access to justice proved to be twisted and evasive. No reason existed to 
anticipate anything better going further down that road. At the point of the pre-trial conference, 
I was persuaded to settle. The town's insurance was paying the bills for the other side so that 
did not happen. 

In legal circles there's a wise old saying  ...justice is available ....the question is can you afford to 

In a long political career, win or lose, I never backed away from a fight. 

I always held the law in respect and at a higher level . 

I had been proven wrong about that and concluded that throwing  good money after bad was not 
the best plan. 

I withdrew my intent to appeal .

I did not close the door.

It's a long road that doesn't have a turn.  

Saturday 3 March 2018


CBC is still commenting on the murder of the fifteen year old child whose body was wrapped in a
duvet, weighted with stones and dropped into a river in Winnipeg. 

A fifty-six year old man used her for sex was charged,tried and acquitted of the murder by a jury.

The idigenous community was outraged. 

There's  talk of the need for changes in the justice system. Nothing specific though.Nothing  you can put your finger on. 

I've  only read  links on Facebooks posted by David Gonzalves. Listened to the odd newscast. 

The death of another indigenous child is not unusual. Complaints from the indigenous-community are also familiar. 

The child had a mother. But she didn't raise the child.  

She was raised by an aunt. But not really. 

At the time if her murder, she was in the care of Winnipeg Children's services.  But obviously not. 

Parts of the story were never referenced again after first mention. 

In the jury trial,the prosecuting attorney presented "circumstantial" evidence.

No defence was presented . The Defense attorney must have decided he didn't need  to bother. 

The Judge's instructions to the jury were not reported. A judge is supposed to instruct the jury on law. 
Guess whatever he said wasn't worth mentioning. 

In summation, a  fifteen year old child,cared for by no-one throughout her life was brutally murdered...an investigation of sorts happened. A probable suspect was charged and tried. The full paraphernalia of the law was engaged. 

No hard evidence  was presented to prove the charge. No defence was necessary and none was offered.

The judge's instructions to the jury were not reported. 

The jury did all they could in the circumstances. The case was not proven. The suspect was acquitted. 

The community went through the motions of outrage. 

Another child they didn't care enough about to protect had been murdered and little effort made
to bring justice to bear. 

The media skated over the surface of it all .

Tina Fontaine will not be the last child to be used, abused and tossed away. She wasn't the first. 

There's lots of noise and people are well-paid to prevent it. 

But no sign anything will change...or that anybody really cares. 

Or even recognize where the problem lies. 

Wednesday 28 February 2018


If Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "TIMES CHANGE AND LIFE": 

Someone took the fall for that disaster by losing their job. I don't know if it was specifically because of the Joint-Ops project or not, but more should have lost their jobs because of it. If this were a private project, it would have never happened. In fact they would have probably never bought the land. Government projects are always run this way, and each and every time, we hear that "moving forward" they have learned from these mistakes. They may or may not fire someone (usually not) and move on to the next disaster project. The words "accountability", "transparency" are just words used during election time. Once sworn in to office, these words don't exist. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 28 February 2018 at 14:02


If it was a private corporation, those responsible would never have been employed in that capacity. 
Or the outfit would have been bankrupt eight years before. If a new venture ,it would never have 
gotten  off the ground. 

The truth is ,what happened, was anticipated by the minority. The majority ruled.  The set-up suited two Councils and Mayors just fine. That appointment was deliberate by the former Mayor. We needed to replace the head of public works. That was her doing too. The current Mayor chose to interpret concern expressed for the town's  interest as attempted micro-management. 

Actual cost of the joint facility  is still not known. Nor how the contract awarded ,at the price quoted,for the specifications cited, could be so out of whack. Analysis required  by the rules should have revealed the awful truth.

Financial control throughout the project is required. 

He who must be heeded,must be appointed by Bylaw, by provincial statute. The previous administration without a competition, which is also required by statute, made the choice over a coffee in a dougnut shop. That also sat well with the current Chief Magistrate. 

No rule requires public projects be catastrophic. But the risk is always there. The broth has too many cooks. The election process guarantees a lack of experience among decision-makers is certainly a definite maybe. 

Every sign indicates current decision-makers, with their background of screwing up mightily, is headed 
in the same direction with the Library Square project. 

Those Councillors,  new to The Council Of Fateful Decision On The Joint Facility, have had their moment in the sun and a chance to shine. 

Last week , Canada's  Prince Prime Minister, hob- nobbing with Maharajahs, dazzled  in jewel-toned, embroidered silk from head to ghostly white bare feet with the Taj Mahal  in the background ,at the end of a disastrous foreign tour .

Reference in a news cast pointed to extreme youth of everyone in the Prime Minister's office,without a pick of experience between them, diplomatic or otherwise,for planning such a trip. It showed. My God, how it showed. 
It also cost millions in the multiples. 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph...grant us peace. Though we surely don't deserve it.  

Sunday 25 February 2018


I watched a documentary of Billy Wilder's career as a film- maker. His movies were in the habit of winning Oscars. He was said to be a stickler for detail. Right down to the style of the knot of a character's tie. 

It was interesting to watch.The ending stayed with me because I relate to it and I don't think I'm alone.  

Wilder lived long and although demand for his movies faded, he kept apparently kept working for the last fifteen or twenty years of his life. 

Christmas 2016, my girls gave me a subscription to Netflix. I hardly used it. I found no movie I wanted to watch. I told Heather I thought it might be my age. "No, it's not that mother" she said. 

Robyn and Kari, her girls, had  enjoyed a movie  and laughed so much they insisted the parents go 
see it, So they did . Five minutes after it started Heather turned to look at Andy. He was asleep. 

Our consensus was most movies are not made for adults any more. 

I was reminded of a story my mother told.  Movies were the magic in their lives.They thought nothing 
of coming out of one picture house and going into another on the same evening. They lived through silent movies, movies with sound, black and white movies ,coloured movies  ,3D , Disney movies, and whatever else was offered. They saw and enjoyed  it all. 

They never got used to life without movies. My mother and Aunt Jean were sisters ,of an age, and best friends. 

My grandmother and three other sisters were equally close. On cold.wet,blustery nights they would troop out of the house together,two by two, arm in arm. 

My grandfather ,who lived in a house of women, and  seldom heard to speak,, would shake his head and say " silly weemin"  leaving a comfortable hoose with a cosy fire, to challenge the elements for sic a thing as a movie. 

And it was a challenge ,every step into the wind was a battle, slanting rain seeped in every opening,
Shoes had to be enclosed in rubber boots . Umbrellas would not hold up against the wind. It was not unusual for an umbrella to be blown out of your hand. 

There was an ancient little charabanc of a red bus that waited at the corner. It moved off, on the hour, 
allseats taken,aisle full of standing passengers ,more squeezing in at every stop to unload in the centre of town with passengers dispersing in the direction of four picture houses. 

Years later,when my mother and Jean were the only two survivors ,they went one night to the only picture house left . The movie showing was notorious. The ticket seller wouldn't sell them tickets. She earnestly assured   them they would not like the picture. 

They were two small ,round ,white haired figures in hats  and gloves, carrying handbags. They demanded tickets. After further badinage,they were finally allowed in to see the adult movie. They wouldbe in their seventies

The ticket seller was right. But not for the reason she thought.They wanted to see the movie. 
It was all that was offered and they had to satisfy their craving. 

Movies aren't the only degradation of our time. My mother's was the last generation before televisio. Before all forms of communication and movie-making were deliberately ground to a colourless paste with flavour of the month added. 

A world where Billy Wilder's excellence is redundant. 

America elects a President like the one they have .

Children are shot in numbers in their classrooms to keep a lucrative industry lucrative.

And they  who claim the moral high ground , fight to preserve the right to own the machines that murder their children.

Their main claim to fame is military might. 

It's not the whole picture but it's the one they show to the world.