The Brits Knew How To Build ‘Em

When I was a kid in the sixties in Canada, it was not uncommon to see a Vauxhall drive by. They always seemed to be an odd little car, by American standards in any case. It was an English car, built for the North American market as well as the British Isles. In fact, there were a number of English cars that were popular in Canada at that time. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that Canada was (and still is) tied to Britain. Today, as I was driving by a parking lot in Stratford, my eye caught this unique vehicle and I had to pull over and take photos of it. It is a 1961 Vauxhall Cresta and it is in perfect shape.

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Old Farmyard Decor

As I mentioned last week, farms in my part of southwestern Ontario near Toronto in Canada have taken to making statements with front yard lawn art, often made up of stylish rocks, even boulders, but also old bicycles, cars and trucks and even tractors. In the case of the farm shown above, an old wagon with two rusty milk cans aboard are situated on the lawn in front of an old stone farmhouse. There are dozens of stone farmhouses in the Stratford area. – JH

Caution: Ditch Diggers At Work

By Jim Hagarty

My best friend and I were well familiar with the ditches along the almost two miles or so from our farms to the crossroads of Bornholm northwest of Stratford when we were growing up. On a warm summer’s day, he would walk on one side of the road, I on the other, and we’d scour the ditches for bottles that we could cash in at the store or the nearby gas station for pop and potato chips. A regular-sized eight-ounce or 10-ounce pop bottle would net us two cents while a large 28-ounce bottle would put five cents in our pockets.

Because motorists in those days would throw everything but the kitchen sink in the ditches as they drove along, we hardly ever ran out of a supply of refillable glass bottles to turn in. It didn’t take many to pay for our booty. I remember small bags of chips that cost a nickel, and pop that you could buy for seven or eight cents for a small bottle to 10 cents for a bigger one.

Our treasure trove took a little bit of a hit one summer, however, when a man in the village started walking the ditches too. We weren’t too happy with this trespasser but we couldn’t do much about him. Our hauls began to dwindle and eventually, so did our interest in fishing the ditches for funds to pay for our habits.

I believe it was a short time after our ditch-digging days ended that we discovered the miracle of girls. We soon found that they were the only worthwhile subject of discussion and would be that for many years to follow.

Groaners Unlimited


  • Did you hear about the optometrist who fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle of himself?

  • There were two ships. One had red paint, one had blue paint. They collided. At last report, the survivors were marooned.

  • The other day I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow. I rang her up and asked, “Did you get my drift?”

  • Why is Saudi Arabia free of mental illness? There are nomad people there.

  • When I was in the supermarket I saw a man and a woman wrapped in a barcode. I asked, “Are you two an item?”

  • I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him $50 that he couldn’t reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, ‘no, the steaks are too high.’

  • I fired my masseuse today. She just rubbed me the wrong way

  • Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused his dentist’s Novocain during root canal work? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

  • Show me where Stalin’s buried and I’ll show you a communist plot.

  • A guy walks into a bar with jumper cables. The bartender says, “You can come in, but don’t start anything!”

  • This duck walks into a bar and orders a beer. “Four bucks,” says the bartender. “Put it on my bill.”

  • A dog with his leg wrapped in bandages hobbles into a saloon. He sidles up to the bar and announces: “I’m lookin’ fer the man who shot my paw.”

  • A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: “A beer please, and one for the road.”

  • A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “So, why the long face?”

  • Two peanuts walk into a bar. One was a salted.

  • Doctors tell us there are over seven million people who are overweight. These, of course, are only round figures.

My Little Wagon

By Jim Hagarty

I am just about finished building a wooden wagon on wheels that can be used to haul speakers and monitors around. I have never built anything like this and didn’t know that I could. But a fellow musician showed up with four wheels that he had bought and he asked me to build it because I told him I had some space and a few tools.

I took on the job, pretty sure I’d make a mess of it. But he had such confidence in me, that somehow, I found the know-how to smack the thing together. He also kept a bit of pressure on, calling to find out how it was coming along.

So, the friendly timeline combined with his total confidence in me, has produced this little vehicle which I will paint today. Being a perfectionist, I put more lumber in it than in an old sailing ship and it’s so heavy, we will need another wagon to carry it to the place we want it to be. I am pretty proud of my creation, however, and know that it only came about because of my friend’s belief that I could do it.

Sometimes, it seems, trying to live up to someone else’s expectations is not such a bad thing.