‘You can observe a lot by just watching’

All you need is simply a will to pitch in and help make a difference.

With a tip of the hat to baseball legend Yogi Berra for that profound quote, it was a re-occuring theme for me last week.

We’ve all had moments that make you pause for a minute and see a bigger picture than just what’s in front of you. It doesn’t always happen. But it does once and a while. It could be sitting by the lake, on the ski lift, at the park or just a quiet moment anywhere.

And it can also happen in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Traffic’s flowing, the hum of everyday work is rising and the rumble of heavy equipment starts but even that can be drowned out at the right moment.

I had one of those moments last week when I was invited down to Groutage Avenue where a group of people were going to clean things up a bit.

I envisioned a few well-meaning people with some shovels and flowers and garbage bags.  What I saw was the warm side of Trail. The people and the effort that goes un-noticed too often, admittedly from the media and the community in general, but really exists.

Not only was I impressed by the turnout, but the list of expertise ranged from professional to physical to simply a will to pitch in and help make a difference.

The Kiwanis was there with its barbecue and feeding the hungry. Tools, trucks and dumpsters were all at the ready in a co-ordinated effort that simply relied on the power of volunteers and the good deeds of community-minded people.

Their work hit home for me with a walk around the building and through the hallways. It was a part of Trail that many of us don’t see. The whole scenario didn’t sink in until I downloaded the pictures of the volunteers. They’re all smiling, getting dirty and pitching in.

I have to admit it put a warm smile on my face that lasted a few days, and will be filed in my memory among my best images of Trail.

****

The week rolled on and I had the opportunity to pinch hit for our sports editor Jim Bailey while he enjoyed some well-deserved R-and-R. I got the bonus of not only returning to some old haunts but also seeing some familiar faces.

When our news reporter Tim Schafer got his first glimpse of Butler Park a couple of weeks ago he marvelled at the atmosphere and park that truly is a diamond in Trail.

I’ve known that for a long time but what reminded me of how nice a park it is were the familiar smells, sights and sounds.

The crack of the bat, the burgers grilling, the chatter, the cheers and the chit-chat all flow in unison.

Perhaps because the surroundings were so familiar it only took a few minutes to stop and soak it all in.

When the grass is green, the sky is blue and the sun is shinning there are few more picturesque spots in Trail.

Much like on Groutage Avenue, but on an entirely different level, I witnessed another side of Trail that put a smile on my face.

I know I saw so many familiar faces and that it often makes me wonder why more people don’t just come out, sit and be entertained in such a beautiful baseball auditorium.  Consider it Music in the Park by the Boys of Summer.

****

There are some commercials that just hit home and others that just whiz by. Perhaps it’s the age demographic out there but, like in baseball, every pitch has a target. Staying with the baseball analogy, I got hit by a pitch last week.

There’s a car commercial, for Toyota I think, where a dad cautiously sends his daughter off on her first solo drive. As he talks to her in the car, he sees the eight-year old version of his daughter. The conversation goes back and forth before she pulls out of the driveway and heads off.

At the beginning of last week I would have, as always, considered that commercial funny, clever and good marketing. But as of Thursday, when my daughter got her “N” licence, my interpretation of that commercial changed somewhat.

I know a million parents have crossed this threshold and a million more will. But that driving off moment on her own signified changes I hadn’t really contemplated.

It’s that next step in the gradual fleeing of the nest. Through daycare, kindergarten and high school, I still held a measure of security and guidance over something as simple as getting from Point A to Point B.

But when I saw her profile in the window as she drove off, I knew I was looking at something more than a solo drive.

I know there are a lot of changes coming on the horizon just like the grads’ parents in Rossland and Trail, from pre-school to high school, are experiencing this month.

What I overlooked in this big change in her life, the sense of independence the “N” licence provides, was that is was also going to quietly signal a gradual change in my life, whatever that may be. I  have this sense that I’ve suddenly moved to another stage in the parenting progression.

Too often our older generation, which I admittedly include myself, is quick to dismiss something because “we’ve pretty much seen it all,” by this time.

And in my position as editor it’s my duty to stay abreast of the news from local to international. With that, over time, comes a skeptical and hardened view of all things political, social and newsworthy we’re bombarded with 24-7. That sometimes tends to put a dull paint over the colour in life.

That was probably the best thing about all those moments last week. I saw things that reminded me there’s always another way of seeing things.

Guy Bertrand is the managing editor of the Trail Daily Times

Just Posted

The KBRH Gratitude Mural by Tyler Toews was unveiled at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital on June 9. L-R: Kala Draney, third year med student, Dr. Scot Mountain, Diane Shendruk from IH, Dr. Carolyn Stark, Dr. Sue Benzer, Dr. Kristen Edge, James Brotherhood, Dr. Dennis Small, and Dr. Sue Babensee. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Boundary doctors offer a healthy dose of goodness with Gratitude Mural

Its red ribbon is in the shape of a heart rising above a Kootenay Boundary mountain scene

A cougar, or cougars, went on a killing rampage at a small Fruitvale farm. Photo: Thomas S. on Unsplash
Cougar euthanized after taking out small animal farm in Fruitvale

Wildlife interactions, poachers or polluters should be reported to RAPP at 1.877.952.7277

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open the 2021 season on Oct. 8 against the Cranbrook Bucks in Cranbrook, and will have their home opener the next night against the same Bucks. Photo: Jack Murray
BC Hockey League announces 54-game schedule to begin in October

Trail Smoke Eaters open season with home-and-home series versus Cranbrook Bucks

“The Spirit of Family” enhances the Beaver Valley both in the daytime and at night. Photo: Submitted
Family sculpture installed at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall

Locals are encouraged to swing by Fruitvale Memorial Hall to take a… Continue reading

In 1927, swimmers enjoyed a day in the water at the CGIT and CSET Camp in Summerland. While none of the people in this photograph have smart phones, there is some debate about whether a beach image from the United Kingdom in 1943 shows a man using a smart phone. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
COLUMN: The mystery of the time-travelling tourist

Was the man in a 1943 photograph checking his smart phone?

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Most Read