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Fortune Outdoors

Written by William Butt, reproduced from the Fortune Teller

June 2005

Summer is sure late coming to this area at least. Whoever said those famous words was not from around here. The only thing that looks like summer is that the grass is starting to look green and that means the curse of the lawn mower & whiper sniper for another few months,

My flowers are coming along. I have been transplanting and putting in a bit of extra ground for strawberries. I noticed that our neighboursí flowers are out better than mine, I guess they get more sun or more attention than I give them.

Our fishery is in a bad state and now I guess everyone is wondering, are we going to get a food fishery? I would hope so, even if itís only a dream.

The waterfront traffic seems to be picking up with Tourist to the French Islands that donít give us much income but some dollars are dropped here and there I guess. Have you ever questioned the Town Council to see how many of us are left in town? You will be in for a surprise. The way it looks now with the plant in its uncertain state more will be leaving to look for work elsewhere.

Lets go into a Ďjust think backí mode, when there was lots of work: the stores would be busy; everyone seemed happy with their lot in life; young people had money to spend and when you drove down town in the evening time there were always crowds of young people in groups walking others sitting the town was full of young people. A trip down town now in the evening and you will see just a few bored kids with nothing to do only hang out in door ways and smoke; very few happy faces; their future donít look bright around here, they know they will have to leave home soon. The life they want is not here and they know they must look in far away places to start life again. Some will make a new beginning and make out; others will be misplaced for the rest of their lives; what a sad outlook.

Around town tells it all; things for sale; people who want to improve their property canít - the bit of income they have they are hanging on to for a rainy day. Most of us know that itís coming. Will it get better; will the plant keep on going with just a few? And others that are down on the lower end of the seniority list still have nothing to look forward to. Most of us are proud people who want to work. A few are satisfied with less, but I donít think anyone wants a step backwards. Everyone wants more and better for their children than they had it growing up; thatís what prosperity is all about, live better and have better things, a future that looks bright. I hope by the time this column goes out we will have some good news on our plant and the fishery so our people will get back to work.

Try to keep our town clean and tidy & keep in mind we are down but we are not out for the count. I hope every one will have a nice summer in and around Fortune outdoors Ö

September 2005

For all the faithful readers of my column, I apologize for not inserting my column last month. I thought there was not going to be a paper for Jul & Aug but I misunderstood. Then again I have been wrong before.

I guess I was so wrapped up in my cross-island bike trip that I must have forgotten or maybe old age is catching up. Well we had a very nice trip, great fishing, great outdoor cooking - some of it didnít look the best in the pot but it tasted great.

Lots of new faces around town, some are our own people that have come back to visit, others are tourists going to the French islands. Some stay awhile to have a look around our town. Not much money is left here in town by tourists that come in by the bus load and depart from the bus to the ferry and the French islands pick up the tourist dollars. Do we have or can we have a toll fee? Only $1.00 per person would put flowers or history posters around town. Surely our town is steeped enough in the history of our province to have posters of our past visible for tourist to read and see; our history in fishing, shipping and the men who lost their lives who took their living from the sea could be remembered by posters that could be a permanent posting around town. I think that this is a way to reap a little something from the traveling public that just pass through our town, nothing tried is nothing gained.

The summer Fortune day of fun and games for the old and young was a great success again this year. I heard that lots of tourist came to see all the action that goes on at Fortune Day.

I guess whatís on everyoneís mind now is how we are going to fare out with the fish plant Project that is planned for this town. Will we ever see a secondary plant? One would think not with the same kind of plant just a few miles away just running at 60 % or less - why would they open another? I think the thing to do is to look for something else to replace a lost cause plant that the operators donít seem to care too much about, only short term thing.

We must look for something else, the farming in our area is doing well, always a nice smell of freshly cut grass thatís getting ready for Market; also some very nice produce is doing nicely. As your walk in over Dark Hole lines of vegetables can be seen from the road. It looks quite healthy, we know that it takes a lot of attention and care to get those products to market, and I know the environment people keeps a close eye on the farming industry to see that the best food products are grown. Most everyone canít wait to get fresh grown garden products from our local farmer, the first delivery of garden goods always brings the famous jigs dinner to our tables, a treat indeed.

The Government came through with a few well needed projects to help out those who never got enough stamps for their EI. On our walk around town today I was asked to drop into the Community centre to see the work that is being done there. what a very nice job the workers are doing to put a new face on the back drop of the stage wall; it will really add to the gymís stage, good work folks, I understand there is more to come.

Regatta day is over and with it so is the summer. it seems like after Regatta day we can see the fall weather creeping in, just slowly but enough you can feel it and know its there. So I guess we are all hoping for a very good fall as our summer was not all that great.

I must say our feathered friends on the waterfront are still doing ok. I never saw any nesting sites this year. Is it because we have another visitor to the water front? The Mink are ever present; if you stop for a little while you will see them - in and around Fortune Outdoors.

October 2005

Where has summer gone? Hope you had a good one, the town took on some new projects to make it look a little better, but we must stop to think about that a bit more. Our source of income for most people is still on hold, & we are spending our dollars wisely. We all hope it will come on stream & most of the plant workers will get work so, with that in mind, our town is on hold for the things that they want to do also. Our streets are in bad shape; the patch work helps some but thatís not the answer. We need the tax dollars coming in so that some of the work can be done. Water & sewage seems to be a big thing; our pipes are getting older & leaks can be seen from time to time running down the streets; all very costly.

Targa came through our town again this year. The children could be heard cheering them on & of course they love the fast cars even though some of them are old. I do hope most of the townís people that wanted a close up look at them got their wish. I know the plan is better & bigger for 2006.

I always love this time of year when berry pickers can be seen every fine day on the barrens getting their supply of winterís jam. I often wonder how many gallons of berries come down over the dam road. I bet it would be a shocker if one only knew.

On one of my trips up over the dam road I saw something that was not a very good sight; two young people swimming in the townís water supply. By the time that I got around to where they were they had heard me coming & of course took cover in the trees. I reported it to the council; it has been a problem; others have reported it as well but they always seem to get away. Surely teenagers must know that this is not a swimming hole. Were they from Fortune? Itís hard to tell if you donít get them outright & in the act. A little more policing might come in handy next year, or some one lucky enough to have a cell phone to report & catch them in the dam.

The fishermenís wharf seems to be doing a thriving business, but only a few jobs. Surely this fish can be processed here or is there something I donít know about it all. Our gardens are all winding down, flowers are getting shabby but they will return again I am sure. Letís try to do our best to keep Fortune beautiful. There has been a new road made up over the hill on the trail that goes up over the dam. I think itís a safety thing due to the trucks & machinery working in the gravel pit.

Some projects got underway in town to fill the gap left by the closing of the plant, our plant workers needed this work in order to qualify for E.I. this winter. Itís going to be a rough winter as our fuel prices are gone sky high. One of the make work projects was to move our beloved boat to its new resting place on high bank, but the thing that caught my eye was itís heading out of town. Is this a sign of things to come? Will we all have to leave and go in that direction or will we unite as the sign on the smoke house leads one to think? Perish the thought. Those of us that immigrated to this town really want to stay.

Maybe we need a new name for our boat that is now secured at her dock; my suggestion would be the Fortune Teller - who knows what secrets she holds in around Fortune outdoors.

Fortune Teller

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