Kudos … and Nots! by ‘The Stix Man’


A Gem in the middle of the town

Fairy (Little) Lake in Beautiful Southampton, Saugeen Shores


It was a rainy, misty, humid morning but we got to Southampton as I had an appointment there. We had a couple of our grandkids with us. We went up early as ‘the sticks’ wanted to go for a walk there. It gave me a chance to spend a little time in Southampton. Especially since I don’t have a Press Pass for the SS Trolley. My wife was taking the grandkids to the museum and when we arrived there, it was hard to find a parking spot. It was a special day at the museum for kids but it was Sold Out. They took in some of the exhibits anyway. Kudos to the BCMCC for having such great desired programs.

The sticks and I took off for a quick walk around Fairy Lake. Some of our older folks refer to it as Little Lake. As I mentioned last time, there is an interpretive sign by the band shell that gives you some information about the history of the lake. This area looks nice and has been set up for holding some events there. One of the main events is the Sunday evening concerts held during July and August. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this free event. Kudos.

Several years ago, we lived in a home, overlooking the lake. It was great sitting on our rear deck, looking out over the gem. We would walk down town using the lake’s pathway. It was a restful mood-setting walk. We were on a committee trying to get some improvements to the area and we managed a few things but there wasn’t the dollars or priorities at that time. Over the last few years there have been many changes. The bandshell has been replaced by one built by our local high school kids. Kudos. The large stone blocks have been installed, paths leveled and more stone dust installed. Bridges have been replaced without the high ramps. Over 500 Ash trees have been removed.

It was a quick walk but I did see a carved out Owl on one of the cutoff trees. There are maybe more, I don’t know. There is an entrance coming down from Grey St. There is a metal wheel coming out of the ground with a plaque showing where the tannery had been.

On the north end is were the water exits the lake. In the past, I have seen that the beavers have created their home here. Also, on the north end is the Matheson Park. This park was named after the family of one of our local councilors, Don Matheson. This is another entrance to the lake and there is availability to have a picnic here. A little further is the lookout platform, protruding out into the lake. There are chairs on it to sit and relax, maybe read your book. Hey!!! This must really be a community area as it has both Blue and White chairs. I did not get to spend much time here as everything was wet and I did not have the time. It would be nice to relax there on a nice day though. Kudos.

Behind the museum there is also access to the lake. The lake water is dirty but it is natural and not very deep with slow water flow. There have been a couple of fountains installed to help circulate water and get oxygen into it. There are ducks, geese, turtles, frogs, birds and carp fish at the lake. There are also some board benches in spots around the lake to have a rest and watch nature. I saw several of what I believe to be Bat Houses. There are some up and downs going around the lake but fairly accessible It is really looking good. Let’s keep it that way. No garbage, please. If you are having a bad day, go for a walk around it or sit in one of the areas and clear your head. Great medicine. It really is a GEM. Kudos to the attraction. A lot of other towns sure would like to have this.

“Sunshine in the rain”

On down to beautiful Southampton’s core area I headed. This was a quick walk-around as I was getting close to my appointment time. After coming up from the lake, I stopped at the Victoria St. intersection. At this intersection, there are three great looking churches. They have been well maintained over the years. Standing here, I looked down towards the lake. This is just one of Southampton’s postcard type views. Just visualize it now. The proud large Canadian flag blowing in the lake breeze with the water and blue sky behind it. As my vision came up the street, I can see the trees with some beautiful old homes. Then, there is the main core with its tall buildings that have been well maintained over the years. Then the town hall stands dominant, looking after its town. To finish this image, there are some more stores. Put it all into your vision bank. So clean and pristeen. Looks great, eh! 🇨🇦

As I continued on my walk downtown, I saw some blue chairs but there were also several benches for relaxing on. They were not getting much use that morning as they were still wet from the rain. Mother Nature had helped the town staff out by watering the flowers for them. They are beautiful and well cared for. They look real nice in both towns. I see that new bike racks have been installed. Oh yes, I saw the famous bump outs. I don’t want to stir things up again. Besides, I don’t know all the issues. I don’t think they look too bad and should help some people for getting across the street, safely. The town hall is looking better than it has for a few years. The steps have been repaired. The Info Center is contained here, along with the Art Gallery. Wander the gallery and take in some great works. The Playhouse has many performances here.  There are lots of sitting options here with chairs and benches. There is an interpretive sign telling of the history of the town hall. It also speaks about the clock, towering at the top. With it chiming away, I think of how times have changed. There are not many other towns, that have a working attraction like this. It has been in the expert hands of Walter MacKowski for several years. Thanks, Walter. Kudos.

Well it is appointment time and then time for my chauffeur to take me and the grandkids back home. They had a good time.

Kudos to Southampton, it is beautiful. There is a lot more to see and do there yet. Maybe soon,

I’ve gone on here for a while but you are not done with me yet I have a few more things to say.

One nice day, the sticks and I made the walk from Port Elgin to Gobles Grove beach. It is a nice walk. I picked up the trail in the Izzard Road area and followed it to Shipley Ave. at Gobles, then on to the beach area. There was a garbage can at the start of the trail and I believe it was used. The trail was clean. The trail had some ups and downs and some bends but the Stix Man made it. Enjoyed it. Kudos to our trail system.

Folks, it is time to paint our towns purple for Liv-a-Little. Please support this little girl and help find a cure for this disease. Kudos to all the volunteers for all the events.

I was down to the Port Elgin main beach boardwalk several days ago. I noticed that there was no litter around the cigarette stations. It was good all along the boardwalk. Kudos to all for keeping it clean.

When at the beach, I was talking to some people waiting for our SS Trolley. I noticed that they were tracking it on the app. Kudos to Hatch Engineering for doing this.

Last week, I got to the market and had my biscuit and coffee. Delicious, again.

Also, while at the market, I saw the piano sitting there for anyone to use. It had a sign on it that Blackboard Sound was the culprit for putting it there. Kudos to them.

I have a second Kudos for Blackboard Sound. They had a water dish out for the pets to have a drink. Kudos.

Speaking of playing the piano, I met with my surgeon a few days ago and I gave him a sheet of questions about my potential surgery. I asked him how long after the operation would I be able to play the piano and he answered 6 weeks. That is pretty good time for not knowing anything abut it now. We have all heard this story before but in my case, I’m sure it is true and will happen. When I see him next, I’m going to see if he can put in some more chips for other instruments. If he can do several, Heck, I’ll be an “One Man Band”. Look out America’s Got Talent. Kudos to the doc for having a Smile with us.

& NOTs 😪

A major Not for me is that I do not get the walks around Fairy Lake. It is an enjoyable place to spend some time. I would like to try out the blue and white chairs on the lookout deck.

It has been a warm dry summer and it has taken away from the bump outs as the grass is struggling to survive. Maybe, brick or something else would enhance them and staff would not have to do the grass maintenance.

This is a good thing but still a Not. There are not many empty buildings. Our towns are fortunate. As I said before, many towns would like that.

I feel that there is still some adversity with the towns and with council. Each place has its own identity. This is great and needs to be maintained. On the other hand, neither place needs to go rampant on their own. It is like raising a family. You want your kids to have their independence but still follow the rules. Communication is an over-whelming tool. Something for our new council this fall to use.

When I started on the Great Lakes Waterfront trail to Shipley Ave., I had my headphones on but soon had to take them off. This trail was used by a lot of cyclists and they would be right behind me or buzzing by me. With my balance problem and uneven terrain, this posed a problem for me. I know that this is my problem but, if bikes had a bell on them that they could use or at least give a “Coming Through” shout in advance, it would give pedestrians a chance not to be surprised. I give a ‘thank you’ to those that warned me of their coming by and not surprising me. A lot more relaxing.

I guess if there is no product, it is hard to create litter. This was the case on the one cigarette station since over the days, the container was empty. It simply wasn’t being used. Not.

I am soooo disappointed that I missed the local races or maybe a demolition derby. I hadn’t see any advertising about it or when? I must have missed several times. At least I see the remains of these events. That has to be what it is, doesn’t it? These store shopping carts are left in unusual places. It’s not that someone was taking their groceries home. I’d find them in strip mall parking lots or beside the hwy 21 sidewalk, not near homes. This clutters our towns. Please return them. Not.

I didn’t see pet water dishes at the market. It is good that some stores close by have put some out. Let’s look after our pets.

Before I leave here, I want to make a comment or more than one. When I was walking to the beach, I went down Mill St., and went pass the Anglican Church & T. A. Brown Funeral Home. They were looking great with their big old trees in front. On the ground, there were these brown curled-up things. I know it has been a warm dry summer but damn, it’s too soon for fall and leaves falling off trees.

The CNE started this past weekend. In our heads, this creates a sign at the start of the lane-way saying “Welcome Fall. “

Attention, an Add-on: I was out for a walk after supper (Thursday, 22nd of AUGUST). Damn sorry but I’m scared. There were“honks” going off, low flying erratic projectiles in the sky, heading southward. There was about two dozen of them, trying to do a formation. It’s too early for these Canada geese to be practicing. It does scare me, what’s ahead!!! Speaking of projectiles, I hope they weren’t having target practice at the sign at the end of the lane-way.

The closing of Aunt Mabel’s restaurant has raised a question for me. If it’s closing is because of the lack of staff, where are the two new motel chains going to get staff? We are growing fast

We are going to have a new council this fall and over their next term it’s going to have many tough decisions to make. We are losing some good expertise with mayor Mike Smith retiring. Also, we have some good people running against each other for positions. Some will be gone. We are having some newer younger people running, which is good. I don’t personally know these people. For those that can’t get out to hear them, it would be nice to see a brief bio on them. Maybe, about themselves, some of their background, intended future and their ideas for council and our communities. Our new mayor has already posted some of his thoughts. What do you think? Get something posted? Going to be important time in our future. I believe these postings have started as I see that there is another one on the Saugeen Times. Thanks, Sandy.

This was posted earlier on the Saugeen Times but I felt that it is worth posting again. It is things like this that keep our towns looking good and going forward. Kudos

Community Foundation Grey Bruce stopping at Cenotaph Park, they presented a grant of $2,459 to Mike Atkinson for the general up-keep of the park. They also donated to:

  • Southampton Arts Centre: $2,000
  • Marine Heritage Chantry Island $3,320
  • Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre: Roly Fenwick Exhibit $2,000

I hope that I have not bored you too much with my rambling on. Lots to encompass but they’re my thoughts.

The next time, it might be an O’ Canada .

Keep a watch for it.

So until the next time, remember “SISS”

Keep”Smiling In Saugeen Shores”

See you out n’ about and say “Hello”.

“The Stix Man”