December 6, 2019

Wide range of stories in December edition

The December edition of A Bit of the Magazine has a wide range of stories.

Keith Campbell is the Sunset Man on Page 12.

A jewel in the city’s artistic landscape and throughout the pottery universe, Keith Campbell is best known for his porcelain passion.

But he’s recently adopted the moniker of Sunset Man after sharing hundreds of Lake Nipissing sunsets through his personal Facebook page.

Campbell, 72, said loves having the ability to step out of his Pinewood home with his wife Terry and see such beautiful vistas. Every evening they can, the couple venture to one of their favourite shoreline spots to see a different panoramic display.

“Whether it’s down in Callander or along the north shore, they’re all spectacular,” he said recently while trying to find a good view between the trees at Kinsmen Beach ...

There's also a short piece on North Bay’s Mike O’Shea and winning his fifth Grey Cup as coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The victory ended the CFL franchise’s 29-year championship drought.

His first three Cups were claimed as an all-star linebacker for the Toronto Argonauts 1996, 1997 and 2004. The fourth was as special teams coordinator for Toronto when they won in 2012.

O’Shea, the top defender helping his Widdifield Wildcats win the school’s first NDA football championship in 1988, was inducted into the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

Four years later, he was welcomed into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2017.

Some of our A Bit of the Bay Facebook members recounted their Christmas memories for the group and even supplied photos of their families celebrating Christmas. One of the ones to make the magazine is below:

According to Leona Parisien-Buckner, “Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was a great day! On Christmas Eve when we were children, the 1st thing we did was go to Midnight Mass at St. Vincent de Paul church – then the whole family would start "La Gignolée" which meant we'd go to separate homes of uncles and friends, eat some home-baked foods and men would take a drink (or two). Then everyone would follow us back and gather at our place, and we children had the privilege of opening our gifts, then go to bed while the grown-ups continued to celebrate.

“One morning before we got up, Santa Claus (my dad of course!) opened the wood stove's door in the dining-room, took his shoes and dipped the soles in black soot, then left prints on the floor here and there! It surely proved that Santa had indeed come down our chimney - right? LOL! Anyway, as we grew older, being that we were all musicians, we'd all start playing on our instruments and entertained a houseful of family and friends … this is what we looked like, back in 1958 (top photo). From left to right: Mom in front, Juliette on mandolin, Archie on accordion, Omer on sax, my Dad on fiddle, Andy on banjo, me on piano, Dorice on guitar.”

On Page 21, there's a mini feature on Paul Smylie, who had spent a year studying to be become veterinarian as a step toward following in his father’s footsteps.

The late Dr. Jack Smylie, North Bay’s mayor 1980-82 and long time councillor, ran the North Bay Animal Hospital.

But looking back at that time, Paul Smylie, 58, said his initial career direction “wasn’t heartfelt” even though it made sense with the opportunity to walk into a well-established business.

“That plus I have allergies to almost everything with hair,” he said, laughing about the irony.

He always had an interest in natural ecosystems, though, and became a biologist who enjoys teaching as well as working outside. After 12 years at Nipissing University, he got the itch for field work, leading him to EcoTec Environmental Consultants Inc.

There's an eight-page section dedicated to Laurentian Ski Hill, beginning with a photo of a mural that adorns a wall at the upper chalet, between the front desk and equipment rental section. 

It was a commissioned project by Lise King and students from her King’s Framing & Art Gallery in Corbeil. Hung Ching Yu, a famed muralist, was part of the planning and research to incorporate elements of the hill’s rich history and the evolution of the various kinds of skiing such as ski jumping, freestyle, alpine racing, moguls and snowboarding.

Interviews with former general manager Trish Pecore and Cam Graham help describe the club's history after forming in 1925 as well as current highlights.

Jeff Fournier did a feature on the Christmas seals tradition as well as pulling together the NORAD tracking-santa piece, among other stories.

Dave Dale wrote a column about humble 'white' pie getting stuck in peoples' craw, complete with a Shad-O cartoon.


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