To Kill a Mockingbird

15 Mar

Where does the time go? This coming Saturday, March 18th, is ‘Movie Night’ in Dunvegan, a secret gem of an event that inexplicitly remains undiscovered. For the March movie, organizers Laurie Maus and Bob Garner have selected To Kill a Mockingbird, the 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-winning novel about a widowed attorney’s struggle to raise his two young children and defend an innocent black man on trial for the rape of a white woman.

Told through the eyes of his daughter Scout, the must-see film is both a coming of age storyand a thought-provoking commentary on race relations in 1930s America. It’s an exceptional, stand-alone film that is as relevant today as it was when it was made in the early 1960s. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what just a few of the 617 user reviews on a popular movie database site had to say: “One of the most important films of all time”… “Perpetually & eternally outstanding”… “An unforgettable drama.”

If you’re a newcomer to ‘Movie Night,’ it’s held at the Dunvegan Recreation Hall, 19053 County Road 34. The lights dim at 7:00 pm, so I recommend arriving a bit early to grab a free tub of freshly made popcorn. Admission is also free, but $5 per head is what most of the gang toss into the DRA donation jar. For your comfort and enjoyment, Bob and Laurie strongly suggest bringing a comfy cushion or even your own chair… and your favourite liquidrefreshment. Hope to see you there.

Fiddlefest in Dunvegan

The next event on the DRA calendar is a concert featuring the popular MacLeod Fiddlers on Saturday, March 25th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the afternoon. These talented young musicians are the public face of the MacLeod School of Fiddling, which is committed to the teaching and preservation of Glengarry’s Scottish fiddle music tradition. In addition to entertaining local audiences, the group has performed: on a tour of Scotland: at Cape Breton’s Festival of Fiddling; at New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain Highland Games; at the Scottish Festival in Dundee, New York; and at the international Mid-winter Scottish & Irish Festival in Philadelphia. This is obviously a talented collection of young fiddlers who, under the direction of Ian MacLeod, has recorded two CDs: Ceilidh Time and Glengarry Roots.

And the group is yours to enjoy on March 25th for a few cans of soup or a bag of rice. Now, that may sound a bit strange, but the concert is free. All the DRA asks is that you bring a donation of canned or packaged foodstuffs (with an unexpired BB date, mind) for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. In lieu of food, you can also toss some good old-fashioned cash in the jar. In fact, the SVP prefers cash as they get some great wholesale deals.

April Fool’s breakfast

The last event the DRA has planned in the near future is one they promised when this year’s carnival breakfast bit the dust. DRA president, Kim Raymond, tells me the group has decided to hold a Spring Breakfast at the DRA hall (19053 County Rd. 24) on Saturday, April 1st from 8:00 – 10:00 am.

As it has for countless winter carnivals, the Spring Breakfast menu features homemade pancakes drenched in sweet butter and pure maple syrup, crispy bacon, succulent breakfast sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs, melt-in-your-mouth muffins, hot coffee and cold juice. The cost will be $10 for adults and $6 for children 5-12 years of age. Children under 5 eat for free.“It’s a really great deal in support of a local all-volunteer organization,” Kim told me. “No fooling.”

One untrodden square inch?

After March’s “in like a Leo” snow dump a few weeks ago, I was gazing out my window at the pristine blanket of white when I noticed a single trail of rabbit tracks tracing a path from under one spruce to its south-westerly neighbour. This got me wondering if there is one square inch of our planet’s landmass that has never been trod upon by man or beast. No deer hoof, indigenous moccasin, pioneer boot, iron horseshoe… all the way to rescue dog paw and Nike sole.  In this thought experiment, I am not talking about to the actual surface; this is often being constantly renewed. Rather, I am referring to the spot’s exact latitude and longitude, in degrees, minutes, and seconds. My guess is yes. But it’s just that, a guess.

Welcome home Margaret

If everything went according to plan, long-time Dunvegan resident Margaret Macleod should be returning home today.

In early February, Margaret fractured her femur, or thighbone in lay-speak. The leg needed surgery, so she was transferred to the Civic in Ottawa and then returned to Glengarry Memorial in Alexandria to recuperate under the watchful eye of the hospital’s physiotherapy department.

I spoke with Margaret last Sunday and she’s really looking forward to leaving the hustle and bustle of the hospital and returning to the peace and quiet of her home in the village. Welcome home, Margaret. You were missed.

Byline mystery solved

A few weeks ago, I wondered out loud who the first Dunvegan columnist who had a byline was. Well, I finally tracked her down: Mrs. Norman M. MacLeod, or Margaret as she’s known to her friends. The landmark column appeared in the May 20th, 1976 Glengarry News. When I spoke to Margaret in the hospital yesterday, she recalls doing the column for about ten years. She admits that even back then, the hardest part of the job was teasing out items of local interest to write about.