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National Archives Week is the first week of October, and the Rotary Club of Slave Lake Library is getting in on the act by holding a special event on Oct. 2. It’s a showing of a film by the Archives Society of Alberta, showing archival film clips from around the province.
“Clips range in date from 1946 to 1983 and include rodeos, a documentary of travelling musical performers, sports, family celebrations and ballet,” says the blurb on a poster the library put out on it. The film showing kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on the above date, a Tuesday.
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Tooting our own horn a bit here, we’ve gotten quite a bit of positive feedback on our ‘Avid Readers’ series and would like to continue it for as long as it stays fresh. So, don’t hold back if you’ve got a recommendation for us. Younger people would be particularly welcome.
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We notice high school football is back in High Prairie for another season. Why it should be possible in that community and not Slave Lake is a good question. It probably comes down to the usual key factor; one or two people with a passion for it who are willing to make it happen.
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In the midst of last week’s soggy, cool (and then snowy) weather, the inevitable ‘what happened to Indian Summer?’ questions arose. The usual scenario is a nasty early frost to kill off any chance of ripening those tomatoes, followed by a couple of weeks of really nice weather good for ripening tomatoes. We’re still waiting….
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Speaking of Indian Summer, where does that term come from, anyway? We got about as close to an answer as our recent investigation into the term ‘rubber match.’ I.e. – nobody knows for sure. It is first attested in an essay in the 1770s. Others have apparently tried hard to nail down a specific explanation but it comes down to speculation. ‘What’ it is, though is not uncertain – it’s a warm period of weather in the fall. Bring it on!
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Last week we briefly mentioned the book ‘Bannock and Beans’ by Bob White of Maple Creek Saskatchewan. It’s a catchy title, but a bit inaccurate, as ‘beans’ hardly show up in it at all. Lots of bannock, though – being a staple on the pack trail back in the 1930s, the period White writes about. The other staples were bacon, rice and macaroni – plus whatever meat they could shoot along the way. Bannock and Beans has to be one of the great books of the pioneer lifestyle, by a guy who knew how to say a lot by saying a little.
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People are giving away apples like crazy – or were last week before it snowed. Apple trees were once pretty rare at this latitude, but a combination of new types and longer growing seasons have resulted in a surge of fruit production. The same goes for cherries and for all we know other fruits that once only were found in grocery stores. What doesn’t seem to be happening is a corresponding surge in the desire or willingness to do anything with this fruit, other than give it away. However, somebody must be making apple pies around here. If so, and you need a taste tester, give us a call.
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Well, congratulations are in order to William Ernesto, who accurately predicted the first snowfall in last week’s ‘Street Talk’ in The Leader.
“By next weekend,” he said, and by golly he was right. Nobody else was even close.
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It was quite a surprise to see the name of Canada’s External Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland come up in a book about Russia. But it turns out she was a journalist working there in the late 1990s, just when western investors were figuring out how things worked. How they worked was you could make a lot of money investing in undervalued Russian companies. But on the other hand, the ‘oligarchs’ who ran some of those outfits would and did rob the companies (and their investors) blind. The corruption was breathtaking in its audacity, and most westerners didn’t try to do anything about it, because it was known resistance could get you shot in an alley. But Bill Browder decided to ‘go public’ with it, and none other than Ms. Freeland, whom he praises quite highly, broke the story of how his investment firm was getting hosed by the oligarchs. It took some guts. Good for her! And good luck to her and her team in figuring out how to get that NAFTA thing figured out.
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Bears, bears and more bears. The piles of seed-filled bear poop on the trails are so numerous they are hard to avoid.

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