Here’s a fresh wrinkle in the run up to Christmas and the long-running debate over what the season should be called, or not called.
A small band of way-to-the-right evangelicals is calling for Santa Claus to be banished from the season.
You might have noticed some of the made-in-Cornwall anti-Santa protesters at one of the city’s busiest intersections who caused an uproar in social media circles. (Sorry, it is called free speech).
The anti-Santa believers say Jolly St. Nick is really Satan dressed up in a red suit and wearing a bushy white beard. And adults who tell the rug rats that Santa is real are on the fast track to hell.
Guess that means Francis Church is burning in hell.
He was the New York Sun newspaper columnist who in December 1897 penned the famous “Yes, Virginia …” response to a letter scribbled by eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon. She wanted to know if Santa was the real deal?
Church assured Virginia, and thousands of readers, that Santa was indeed alive (living in the hearts of kids). It became one of the world’s most read newspaper columns.
An anti-Santa website (these are folks with too much time on their hands) based in the United States warns “doomed” parents that they need to repent and come clean with their kids.
This means sitting your four-year-old down for a little person-to-person talk about Santa and where those gifts come from.
Of course, if your kid is older than 14 and still believes in Santa, you’ve got a bigger problem.
HERE AND THERE Don’t know why, but I almost feel guilty for not buying anything on hyped up Black Friday which has morphed into pre-Black Friday week, post-Black Friday and Cyber Monday, all of which is a warm-up for pe-Boxing Week, Boxing Week, Boxing Day and another go at Cyber Monday. … In 1969 an estimated 200,000 young people (aka hippies) camped out on a dairy farm’s muddy pasture in upstate New York. It was called the Woodstock Festival. It lasted for three days. Lots of drugs. Lots of sex. Lots of rock’n’roll. Incredibly, nobody was shot. Nobody was knifed. Nobody was assaulted. Not one arrest. It truly was a love-in. Try that today. … Thoughts and prayers go out to senior curlers and two great guys, Denis Patenaude and Bob Branchaud, who have been sitting out the first half of the season dealing with medical issues.
THIS AND THAT Another example of why folks lose confidence in the justice system. Police have warned Ontario residents, especially women, that a dangerous convicted sex offender is on the lam after breaking “strict” conditions of a supervised order tied to his release after a 30-month sentence for sexual assault, assault with a weapon and breaking into a home. He has three previous sexual assault convictions and two convictions for exposing himself (to women). A judge called him a “woman’s worst nightmare.” And this is not the first time he has broken his release conditions. It once took five years to get him back from California where he fled on the lam. And the guy got 30 months! Next time, how about 30 years. … Still a few days to go but Chicago is on track for a “good” year when it comes to its murder rate. The city has registered 467 murders this year, most involving shootings. That is 59 fewer than for the same period in 2018.
THIS WEEK IN 1932 – Justice was a lot swifter and harsher in the 1930s. Just weeks after his arrest, an 18-year-old Cornwall lad who admitted stealing a total of $25 from the Nativity Church poor box over several weeks (he was charged with “breaking and entering a House of Worship”), breaking into the James Whitham home at 614 First St. E. and stealing $13 along with stealing surgical instruments from Dr. A. J. Lalonde’s car was sentenced to three years in penitentiary. … A 21-year-old man was sentenced to one year in reformatory for breaking into Dr. W. B. Cavanagh’s home, 130 Fourth St. W., and stealing 22 bottles of wine from the basement. … Charlottenburgh Township brothers aged 23 and 26 were sent to Kingston Pen for two years after they pleaded guilty to stealing two blocks of cheese from the Glencoe Cheese Factory near Martintown and breaking into the T. R. Craig General Store in Martintown. … An east end bootlegger was given six months in the slammer for keeping liquor for sale. Bootlegging was a cottage industry, especially in east Cornwall. One was the blind bootlegger who despite his visual impairment could receive and count change. … Thieves with an expensive taste broke into the Lancaster liquor store and made off with $1,500 (today $27,411) worth of spirits. The store manager said the thieves were selective. They took higher priced booze, including 200 bottles of Scotch. … Aaron Horovitz was acclaimed for a fourth term as mayor of Cornwall. … City council was taking steps to make the Athletic Grounds part of Cornwall. The athletic field owned and operated by the city was just outside the city limits (east side of Marlborough Street). This required the city to pay property taxes to Cornwall Township. Meanwhile, council voted to give $200 to a volunteer group to help cover the cost of building and maintaining an outdoor community skating rink at the Grounds. Joe St. Denis would supervise the rink. … East Cornwall merchant Fred Lefebvre was elected reeve of Cornwall Township. …. City police warned residents they should not leave change in empty milk bottles put out for the milkman. Several residents reported change had been stolen. … Cornwall Township contractor Louis Jodoin Sr. who built Cornwall’s first movie theatre – The Wonderland at Pitt and Third streets – died at age 70. … Provincial police closed down illegal alcohol production at an isolated farm house near Alexandria. Police found 50 gallons of spirits ready to be shipped to the Cornwall black market. … A Moulinette man, John Antoine, father of four, was struck and killed while walking along Highway 2 near the village. … The new McLaughlin Buick was in the W. J. Brownlee (Finch) and Ed Warner (Second Street Cornwall) dealership showrooms. … Try-Me Tire and Brake Shop at 9 Third S. W. had high test anti-knock gasoline for 25 cents a gallon. … Conversion of two rail bridges connecting Cornwall Island with the U. S. and Canadian mainlands to include two-way vehicular traffic was approved by the federal government. The Canadian bridge, with a toll booth just west of the National Tavern on Second Street West, would be known as Roosevelt Bridge.
TRIVIA In 1958 there were eight milk distribution businesses in Cornwall. Name the eight from this list: Eastside, Daisy, Maple Crest, Commercial, Cameron’s, Canadian, Bonville, Phillips, Maple Leaf, Rivermead.
TRIVIA ANSWER Cornwall Street Railway developed St. Lawrence Park on Montreal Road just east of Belmont Street to boost ridership on its street cars.
QUOTED “When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.” – Mark Twain.