“Pulling up stakes, pardner?”
In a scene John Wayne himself could have starred in, settlers stood together, surrounded by roots they had put down over the years, visibly dismayed at being “run outta Dodge by the sheriff”. With the days of happily gliding in to hitch their “horses” to a familiar post now gone, even the wet and wild winds suggested dark days ahead.
“Been a-comin’ fer years, you know; it had to be. But it ain’t the end of the world; better days lie ahead.” a vaguely familiar voice said. “Here, let me give you a hand, friend...”
Exactly who spoke those words nobody was quite sure, but just like that, just like always, the community started coming together. The mood brightened, hammers and saws rang out, the sun appeared, other settlers arrived and a few hours later many familiar hitching posts had vanished. A little wistful, but smiling just the same, they looked out together over a long-obscured shoreline reasserting itself.
“Ya know, those old things, they were some ugly. Rickety. Death traps, even; ours was for sure. I’m surprised the sheriff didn’t act sooner. Who’d a thought so much could disappear in a morning?”
Dirty hands hanging at their sides, the settlers looked out to where their stakes used to be, then down the shore where others still stood, waiting to go.
“Just a few days ago we were all plenty upset about the situation, feeling hard done by, the cost, the timing ‘n all. Hopeless.” The voice continued. “Rumours, a lot of blamin’ goin’ on, pretty desperate really. But when I heard about the Plans ‘n how much better things are gonna be for everyone, ‘n see how much we’ve got done already... ya, it’s not gonna be cheap ‘n time’s a tickin’, but we’ve seen what this community can do when we all put our shoulders to the wheel.”
Assuming the one standing next to them had spoken their thoughts, heads nodded.
“Not hopeless now, though. Friends and neighbours will step up soon ‘nuff, once they see what got done today. Nobody we know is gonna leave it to others to clean up their mess; that’s not how we do things here. Right?”For the record: while these photos document the 4 hrs spent removing the longest stick dock from the landing, others were already gone or being removed at the same time. Inspired as we were by our Raven Lake friends, we hope this little bit of fun encourages other stick dockers to “git ‘er gone”. RLCA needs us all to remove docks and boats from the landing in order to secure a legal Land Use Permit from MNRF, so that we never again have to worry about our cottage access.
–– Harry Wilson