Salvaging the good from the summer of 2007

View from the Strip
By Casey Lessard

It’s fair to say it’s been a tough summer for our community.
Most obviously, we’ve had to deal with a murderer taking the lives of two of our own, Bill and Helene Regier. The act and subsequent mystery about the killer’s whereabouts made it difficult to grieve without wondering if he would strike again. The fact that the suspect, Jesse Imeson, was found in Quebec and believed to have been in that area since the day of the murders, stopped the worry but could not stop the emotional turmoil so many of our friends and neighbours have been facing. It hasn’t stopped the rumours, and we can only hope the impending trial will bring us some answers.
The summer has been tough on our farmers, bringing little relief from a drought that has already taken a toll on the quality and quantity of crop yields. Randy Regier (page 3) predicts his bean crop will yield 30 per cent less than hoped. He’s not alone, and with global warming, you have to wonder if we will be able to stop this year’s results from becoming a trend.
Fewer American tourists are coming to Ontario each year because of the strong Canadian dollar and all the effort it takes to get across the border. According to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, visits by Americans dropped one-third over the past five years and are expected to drop another five per cent this year.
We can’t control the weather or other people’s vacation plans, and we can’t predict when something bad is going to happen to our loved ones. Instead of being focused on the bad, we must work to tune into the good that is around us, even when it feels like there’s nothing to find.
I can’t tell you where you’ll find comfort this summer. Perhaps you’ll celebrate at the Zurich bean festival or you’ll spend your vacation at home and stimulate the local economy. Or perhaps you’ll find comfort in the words of the people who share your concerns. Some of them are printed on page 5 of this week’s issue, and many more can be found in the pages of our last issue, a tribute to Bill and Helene Regier. Either way, remember that you’re not alone.

If you would like to share the stories in our tribute issue, we are now making our remaining copies available for sale. Outside of the costs associated with shipping, the proceeds will go to the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church restoration fund, the project the Regiers cared so deeply about.
Send us a cheque for $5 for each copy you would like (P.O. Box 218, Grand Bend, ON N0M 1T0) and we’ll forward $3 (that’s what we figure will be left) to the church.