History in person

B.C. Aviation Museum guide Robbie Anderson at display of one of his favourites – the Comet passenger jet.

It didn’t appear too busy that day when we pulled up. We walked to the entrance of the museum, which was essentially a number of aircraft hangars strung together near the airport in Victoria, B.C. As soon as we came through the front door, we were greeted by the cashier taking admissions and a man wearing an identification badge. It read Volunteer – Robbie Anderson.

“Hello,” Anderson said pleasantly. “I’ll be your personal guide today.”

Well, that was new. I’ve visited a lot of museums in my time, but not unless I had specifically arranged for a guided tour, had I ever been personally greeted at the museum door that way.

Icon at a gas bar

It’s the sort of thing I do mindlessly. Pull up next to the pumps. Pop the gas tank cover lever next to my driver’s seat. Walk around to the pump. Pick up the nozzle. Press the self-serve request for gas. And fill my gas tank. Then, just as mindlessly, I walk into the gas bar booth to pay for my gas. Only this time, when I entered the booth, I was almost bowled over by the music blaring inside.

“There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run,” an unmistakable voice was singing from the booth speakers.

And I nodded my head so the booth attendant would realize I heartily approved. And then I asked him why that music, why that loud?

“Because this month is Canada’s 150th,” he said with a pinch of patriotism. “And after all, it IS the greatest Canadian song ever.”

Learning to save daylight

Making the most of sunshine is a year-round proposition.
Making the most of sunshine is a year-round proposition.

For some of us, Sunday morning holds a ritual that’s nearly religious. I’m talking about my oldtimers’ hockey league. But what with people away on holidays and a flu bug going around, attendance last Sunday wasn’t what it should be. One of my teammates arrived just before the first game, at 7 a.m., and was surprised how few of us were there.

“There were hardly any cars in the parking lot when I came in,” he said. “It’s as if it was Daylight Saving and everybody forgot to reset their clocks.”