Sour Gripes

A Killer

Many of us have suffered from depression on various levels. Where we cross the line into “Clinical Depression” I’m not sure. I do know that it can strike anyone. It is in the news that a (dare I say) disgraced young Senator had attempted suicide a couple of months ago. No matter what his transgressions, how can we say that it is deserving of a death sentence. Perhaps his latest trials and tribulations were just the straw that broke the camel’s back. These transgressions may have in fact been as a result of depression or mental illness. This news did not come first hand from the man and although many of us know of him I’m not comfortable using his name for that reason. Andrew Lawton a controversial London radio personality, who himself made a serious (nearly successful) attempt to take his life shares that line of reason. In fact he is outspoken about mental illness and the stigma attached to depression and suicidal attempts or thoughts.

Recently I also heard of a teen who had taken his life. Each time I hear of a suicide attempt or death from suicide I cringe and am deeply saddened. It is particularly disturbing when it is a young person. I know that as a teen every issue seems insurmountable. I know that the loss of a loved one can make life seem pointless. If that loved one is a life partner or a child, no one who has not suffered the fate can imagine the pain. I can almost understand someone who is terminally ill taking this action. Who of us not in their circumstance can say what brings anyone to that point?

Bullies are not a new phenomena. Every era has had them. I was bullied for a time in school and handled it in a way that would not be condoned today and probably in the age of social media would not work. I don’t recall suicides among the children or teens of my era due to bullying or anything else. Is it that media is far more forthcoming in reporting such things or is it that social media allows arms length actions seemingly without repercussion?

It is said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of “CRAZY”. Call me “Crazy” and I will agree: In fact I think that such a statement just makes us unique or interesting. If you say I have a mental illness I will cringe. Why is that? There is a stigma even today. There is a fear. It is a helpless sick feeling when we hear of another lifetime of accomplishments never to be.

CONDOLENCES: I heard a little late last week to offer condolences to the family and friends of Al Robertson. Al was personable and introduced us to the best donuts and coffee along with pleasant chats on local and world affairs. Al’s Swiss Chalet (later Tollgate) was a quieter precursor to the Tim Horton invasion. The most enjoyable coffee was at times when Al was not run off his feet and had time to lean on your table and while he was wiping up and strike up a conversation. He really cared about people and service.

REMINISCING: When I was a lad and happened to be out on the Cubberley farm I would on occasion get to ride to town with George to pick up a load of feed at Kelly’s Mill. It was situated on the corner of King and Elizabeth Streets. The owner was Bill Kelly and although I was never really introduced, it seemed to me he was the big guy that George seemed to be dealing with. The old red Chevy would sink low in the rear with a bit of an overload.

As the years past, I didn’t pay too much attention to the mill, even though I walked by it to high school. Wasn’t it Ray Mallalieu that worked there? When I try to remember when McPhails took over the mill or when the mill burned I draw a blank.



P.S. I recall a spot off of James Street called Kelly’s shack. I may be wrong but I seem to remember a garden back there I do however remember there were quite a few visitors to the shack to socialize.

You May Also Like