Good Stories



 John Lang

p> While at UBC in the early 60s I spent my summers as an employee of the Standard Oil Company. In those pre-self-service days, every car that drove into a Standard Oil gas station had its windshield washed, tire pressure checked, under-the-hood examined. We wore white uniforms, including a wedge cap. As a part-timer, my job was mostly at the front end, serving customers at the pumps, but I also did my fair share of lube jobs, tire repairs, lot sweeping and rest-room cleaning. I was a ‘floater’, assigned to stations in the Vancouver area as needed, and thus had the opportunity to meet most of the full-time employees in Standard’s Vancouver gas station empire. They were a fine lot of fellows, generous, hard-working, helpful and funny. I often think of them and wonder what became of them.

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WRESTLING THE HURRICANE By Jim Midwinter (Article)

Jim Midwinter


The voyage began auspiciously enough, even joyously: my birthday, my last day in the Public Service of Canada, and my last day as ambassador to Venezuela. We (my wife, Sally, and 1) had a glorious send-off from the elegant Caraballeda Yacht Club where we had been privileged to be honourary members during our tour of duty in that South American republic. A spirited gathering of staff and other friends; then, as prearranged, we cast off just as the sun dipped below the horizon.

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ALL RHODES LEAD TO ROME By Roger Lucy (Article)

Roger Lucy

All Rhodes Lead to Rome - a Middle Power’s Course Through a Uni-polar World

The following is an object lesson to what happens to smaller states that wittingly or not ruffle the feathers of the super-power of the day.

In the mid-second century BC, the Greek historian Polybius, an enforced guest of the Romans, chronicled how, in the space of half a century, Rome came to dominate the Oekumenie, the known world.

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JULY 15, 1946 By Pierre Beemans (Article)


pierres photo

Pierre Beemans

July 15, 1946. That was the date on the yellowed pages of Maclean’s Magazine that I tugged out of a blocked-up space in our foundation wall a few months ago, along with the Friday, May 20, 1949 edition of The Ottawa Journal. I had pulled down a section of drywall in the basement to check the insulation and spotted what appeared to be an old vent hole. Someone, many years ago, had packed the exit in the outside wall with cement, and simply plugged the inside cavity with old paper.

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Pierre and Adrianna Beemans

It had almost become one of those some-day-when-I-win-the-lottery things. For years now, it had been that one day when Adriana got her driver’s licence we were going to take a road trip together through deepest Middle America, going to neat places and out of the way towns and catching up on some serious father-daughter bonding.

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malcolm.jpg                                                         Tales from North Frontenac

Malcolm Leith





One of our first retirement projects was to care for a friend’s cottage for a couple of years while they were off in foreign parts doing what we had done for more postings than most normal people would consider reasonable. In the course of this house sitting enterprise, we came to the conclusion that we might like a place of our own where we could putter around while waiting for future grandchildren to appear on the scene.

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