By George

Thought I might check with Google to see if I could find out the contents of the story of Rip Van Winkle. After reading about ten thousand articles (NOT) about a horse named Rip Van Winkle, I decided that Google would be of little help in researching the story!

So, forgive me if I just bring you what my imperfect brain will tell me! Rip (as I recall) went to sleep for twenty years and found things had changed.

Most of us have sometimes wondered what had happened when we woke up after a short snooze. Like Rip, I often feel as though my world has gone berserk. I was told just a week ago that analog is to be replaced by digital and, whatever that means, everybody in this world is going to have to scrap all the toys we have been playing with and they will have to go to the dump, or garage, or basement, or wherever any landfill will take them.

I was told recently, could have been twenty years ago, that in Tumbler Ridge there are only a few people left who were old enough to have been in the Second World War and that just a few weeks ago I was told that the last Canadian Soldier from the First World War had died.

Not that you will be surprised by this little reference to what is soon to be history for us. After all, Tumbler Ridge is only a bit older than twenty five years, so, unless you are less than thirty years old, you were not born here. You could call me Rip Van George if you wanted to but, I could care less.

As you may recall, when there is a conflict (or a WAR if you like) people die. If you are a history buff, you might have been told of the times when Canada came of age and lots of battles were fought in the First World War and the Second World War. If you happened to watch TV you may have noticed the huge cemeteries with white crosses marking the graves of thousands and thousands of soldiers who were killed in Europe because they fought and were never returned to their homeland.

I happened to be flying a Lancaster on June 6th and dropped a load of bombs on the coast very near the landing on D Day, in 1944, so I can recall the beginning of the invasion which ended a year later after many bloody battles. I was lucky to have escaped being one of those crosses left in Europe.

So, I am an ancient old crock, along with Rip and others with memories dim with aging.

Moving along, at a snail pace, I was told that we now have repatriated (that is have brought home) about a hundred Canadians who volunteered to fight in a war in a country you probably could not have found on a map six or seven years ago and most of them were killed by IED bombs by some of the locals who do not like us.

Often wonder if anyone has a clue as to the cost of bringing one more body back home. Never was a billionaire, so my piggy bank is no help to me.

As you will know, we are in a recession, which has resulted in almost all Canadians (that means you and me) being informed by our government that we cannot balance our books and will have all you young ones paying the bills, when everyone goes back to work, a bit later on, maybe another twenty years or so.

Not being a scholar, and not being very bright, I have come to the conclusion that, like Rip, I might just go back to snooze for another twenty years, and take another look when I wake up. Happy dreams! Enjoy your summer and have no worries because there will be no election just yet!