Lately it seems to me that every day our fair city is losing something important.
The loss we have to deal with this time is not another retail outlet and though each one we lose is important, there are still some things which surpass even that.
To be clear let me tell you a bit of history. As far back as 2003 each Sunday after Labour Day I would look forward to 1:00 p.m. so I could plant myself outside by the road and wait for Santa Claus. No I am not crazy, Santa does, or did, come into downtown Trail on the first Sunday after Labour Day riding not a sleigh but a Harley.
I would guess by now you have figured out that I am speaking about the yearly Toy Run. These dedicated bikers give up one day a year to ride through a few of the smaller towns in the West Kootenay area and as they ride through each town they pick up toys for those children who otherwise might not have anything under the tree on Christmas Day.
If one doesn’t recognize this concept, it is called doing something charitable. It is also called putting forth an effort with very little in return.
Fast forward to Sunday, September 13th 2015. I waited and waited and waited as 1 pm came and went, 1:30 pm came and went and so did 2 pm. Finally at 2:15 I saw the bikes.
Imagine my surprise when they rolled off the bridge and kept right on rolling, right through town and on to the next stop which would be in Rossland. I watched them disappear and couldn’t quite figure out what had just happened. I thought maybe it was because they were a little late and wanted to make up time and that by next year everything would be back to normal.
Today, I found out that would not be the case. Today I heard that the Toy Run had stopped at the Mall instead because there have been some rumblings about “all those noisy bikes” taking up “all the space downtown on a Sunday afternoon.”
I find it hard to understand why Castlegar can host the Toy Run and Nelson (as busy as it is) can shut down one of their main streets to accommodate the Toy Run while the same goes for Salmo, Fruitvale and Rossland.
I would like to know why a few mean spirited people can close our downtown streets to what is clearly a truly charitable event. The Toy Run is a good thing and will continue to be a good thing but, unfortunately, not in downtown Trail.