Photo (Web Source) (Headwaters of Martineau River, Northeast Alberta): This photo suggests a time in the past when the Cold Lake area was tropical, a time when the tar sands were being formed and when all manner of pre-histortic fish, animals and birds habitated the area. Is it possible some species from that pre-historic era can still be found? Could the Big Kinosoo be one of them? If you are from Alberta, particularly from Cold Lake, help is needed in Growing the Kinosoo Legend
My goal in writing this series is simple – to help that legendary fish, the Big Kinosoo who lives deep in the waters of Cold Lake, Alberta, to grow in stature. While our very own Kinosoo has not yet reached the mythical proportions of the Lock Ness Monster of the Scottish Highlands, Ogopogo of Okanagan fame, or that famous bushman of the Pacific Northwest, the Sasquatch, working together we can change things for the Kinosoo. While anecdotes abound, they are necessary but not sufficient for that fish to reach iconic status. Like the other Great One of Alberta, we want people to become hushed and bow down whenever they hear the name Big Kinosoo.
To do this we must search out new stories, stories that include scientific fact which points toward existence of historic big fish. It would also help have a government or military cover-up, perhaps one that could turned into a full-blown conspiracy. Conspiracies are, after all, nothing more than a few solid facts mixed with a lot of fiction. While our Kinosoo might never become as big as the cover-ups carried out in Area 51 that abuts the Edwards Air Force in Nevada, with new information recently secured from Guy Venne, a man who grew up in Cold Lake, we can make a good start. To ensure our Great One of is given his fair due, we must blend fact and fiction into a credible story just as the other Great One has done. (66)
Photo (From the files of a High School friend and former workmate, Guy Venne). The RCAF often moored their DHC-3 Otters at the main dock in Cold Lake and the above aircraft appears to be the same one that is the subject of this post. Guy had taken several photos of the crash scene in French Bay, but all those photos were seized by the Air Force as part of their investigation.
The three photos displayed in this story were also taken taken by Guy, one before the crash (above) and two after the craft had been towed to the main dock at Cold Lake. Damage to floats suggested a collision, but the Air Force had other ideas. The whole story was to become cloaked in secrecy (photos in footer).
Collage (L to R): (T) Langford, Sidney, Victoria, Saanich, Highlands,
(C) Esquimalt, (Malahat), (CRD) Oak Bay, Metchosin,
(B) Colwood, Sooke, North Saanich, Central Saanich, View Royal
(Link to Photo Album)
Link to Next Post: Amalgamation: Questions and Answers
1. October 17, 2014: Introduction to Updated Post
The Capital Regional District: With thirteen members spread over 700 km², the CRD is roughly the size Calgary was in 2006. While Calgary is a great city it still a four horse town.
The first is a filly called Chinook. Two or three times each winter she trots into town to give Calgarians a little respite from those prairie storms. The second, a colt named Oil Money, has in recent years attracted all sorts of good things to Calgary. The third, Stampede King, is a stallion who has established himself as world-class horse who draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Calgary each summer. The final entry is Mustang Sally. Ah, that Mustang spends her time roaming the foothills west of Calgary looking at those big mountains and wondering if she might just wander toward the coast to find a stallion of her own. So, how does our little corner of the world compare to Calgary.
The CRD (including the Malahat), situated in a secluded corner of the Pacific Northwest, has within its small spread of 173,000 acres: mountains, inlets, bays, forests, farmland, an ocean boarder and dozens of streams, rivers and lakes on which long stretches of sun kissed sand provide beaches within fifteen minutes of almost every home in the region. Looking towards the eastern and southern horizons, you see snow capped mountains and a sprinkling of smaller islands around which killer whales, sea lions, seals and salmon entertain tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Trail Map: The CRD has a network parks connected by a seemingly endless series of hiking and biking trails that reach to every community from Oak Bay in the south to North Saanich, then west to Metchosin and Sooke. Because of the mild climate these parks and trails are heavily used year long (double click to open the map).
The mild weather also draws large numbers of Canada’s top athletes to half dozen indoor and outdoor high performance centres sprinkled across the region.
As part of the infrastructure, the CRD comes equipped with world class hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, recreation and sports facilities, entertainment and shopping, virtually everything a growing family might desire, yet there is still plenty of room for singles and seniors who desire to become fully engaged in a healthy life style. In a few words, the Capital Region is a pristine jewel in the Pacific Northwest that draws tourists and new residents from across Canada and around the world. Calgary also does that, but Oil Money is the game that draws the most people to Calgary.
All things being equal, it would be difficult to find anyone in the CRD who would rather live, raise a family or retire elsewhere in Canada. Yet, despite this abundance, one member of the CRD family is constantly agitating to change the governing and administrative structure. To accomplish this they would amalgamate some or all of the parts into one unit with the goal of achieving ‘economies of scale’ and ‘efficiency’. To provide some balance to their negative campaign, this article is being updated.
Photo Collage: There was never enough time to do it all. Cars, girls, rock and roll were all part of the freedoms that came in the 1950′s. If was a unique time in the Canada and we made the best of it. The majority even managed to graduate with distinction. I was one of the non-distincts, however my sister, Louise McNeill, graduated with a distinct distinction, that being the 1961 Honour Role. This post makes it clear why I failed to do so.
(Photo selection: Jimmy Martineau, Gordie Wusyk, Billy Martineau and drummer in the background, Gary McGlaughlin, playing at the Tropicana Night Club. Below, the Pinsky Cadillac. Harold McNeill and Aaron Pinsky in a “cool” shot at the Roundel Hotel. Sitting across from us is Dorothy Hartman, an awesome dance partner. We worked out the fine points of the back over flip as shown in the photo top right (Dance photos from the web).
Chapter 3: The High School Years
Perhaps the best way to pick my way through the final two segments of the Cold Lake High School Years is by selecting random memories. Not to worry, I will be discrete, well as discrete as I can and still keep the history and stories interesting. This is not meant as a titillating account of a small town as in Peyton Place, but seeks instead to give one side of the story about High School kids in a small town at the edge of the wilderness on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. Besides, we generally agreed that most of what happened in Cold Lake would stay in Cold Lake, so I will just pick at the edges.
Peyton Place: The sizzling movie version of the best selling book was released in 1957, just in time for our coming of age. While the movie was toned down, it still raised eyebrows and was soundly condemned in many quarters. By todays standards it would be fairly tame.
Another thing that will become evident, this story was written from the male perspective. To make any statements about what girls focussed on in the day will be up to them. Any girls who wish to add to my descriptions, please write a few chapters of your own, they will be added to the post so we can compare and contrast our views of life in the 50′s.
Two things defined High School boys back then as today – cars and girls. In my day the two consumed an enormous portion of our limited and highly specialized brain space – girls occupied the left hemisphere, cars the right. As we boys couldn’t use both halves at the same time, the balance wavered from day to day. For that matter, our brains stopped working altogether when other parts of our anatomy kicked in. (821)
Collage: The above photos provide a small representation of the five years a group of young people spent completing Junior and Senior High in Cold Lake, Alberta. The following story places a context around their world, a world that was becoming vastly different from the one in which their parents and grandparents had spent their teen years.
Chapter 2: The Silent Generation
September 1, 2014: Sorry for the delay. Chapter 18 along with about 300 photographs of our High School Years through to graduation, will be posted within the next two weeks.
The Silent Generation, a name coined to define those born between 1925 – 1945. While it was applied to those of us who filed into Grade 8 at Cold Lake Junior (photos in footer) in September, 1954, we were so close to the cusp it seems to have missed the mark. Our small group preceded the Baby Boomers by a few years and in the months following graduation, we helped to add a tidy number of Little Boomers to Canada’s rapidly growing population.
The Silent Generation! Really? It seems the Time Magazine reporters who defined our group obviously never traveled to Cold Lake High in the late 50′s, nor did they do any first hand research at those week-end ‘retreats’ at French Bay, English Bay or Marie Lake. For that matter, all they had to do was drop by one of the week-end parties at the Ruggles, Hill’s, Sanregret’s, Poirier’s or any of a dozen other homes when the parents were away. People called us many things, but ‘silent’ ‘grave’ and ‘fatalistic’ were not the adjectives that flowed past their lips. (2214)
Early in the 1950′s the largest RCAF Station ever constructed in Canada was taking shape in Alberta. The small, remote, communities of Cold Lake and Grande Centre, that grew ever so slowly over the first fifty years of the century, would be shaken to their foundations as they struggled to come to terms with a massive influx of workers and their families. Our family was one of the many seeking to find their way.
For the several months I struggled with how to write this post about our return to Cold Lake. To this point it was easy to tell the stories as they were all generally positive. Even though our family was constantly on the move over the twelve years until this story, everything was relatively stable on the home front. All that changed in 1953 after arriving in Cold Lake and it continued in one form or another until our Dad passed away suddenly in 1965. While I will not dwell on the ugly parts, and there were many, I felt compelled to
I rather expect at least a few of my school friends shared similar experiences and might even take solace in knowing they were not alone. The background to this story is alcohol abuse, but it could easily have been any of a dozen other things that cause family units to fracture – drugs, infidelity, mental illness, etc. Children and teenagers, in particular, are vulnerable when this happens and need to know they are never alone, that even when things get really bad, the future can still hold a great deal of promise.
Indeed, this will become evident in parts of this post and in subsequent posts through the High School years and beyond. A great many positive things can happen even if life on the home front has spiralled into periods of darkness.
Photo: If taken between October and December 1958, I was seventeen, Louise fourteen, and Dianne four. Louise remembered our ages as she recognized the skirt as one she sewed in her Grade 9 Home Ec class. Look at Louise for a moment. For those who know her daughter Karena, can you see Karina’s sassy smile and eyes? Looking at clothes, I also remember the day those grey ‘flecked’ dress pants arrived by mail order from Sears. They became my favourite dress up in High School. And, as for that sweet, innocent little girl on the right, my heart aches for having completely missed knowing her when she was young. (1266)