LIFE IS GOOD ON FRAGGLE ROCK

People have walked the streets of Damascus since 8,000 BC; some say even 10,000 BC. As a city goes, the capital of Syria is old. I say piffle. Anyone can build a city if they have 10,000 years to do so. Try carving a place people are proud to call home out of raw wilderness, practically overnight.

Kudos to Tumbler Ridge and their 25th anniversary. What a remarkable place to live. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls – small wonder over 3000 people have put down roots here. Mines have shut down and reopened. Housing prices have plummeted and skyrocketed. Forest fire flames have tickled their toes, but Tumbler residents have weathered it all and emerged not only triumphant, but a stronger, closer knit community for all of its challenges.

Speaking of history, I once attended a literary reading by a charming, elderly, author from England. When someone mentioned Canada?s rich history, she smiled gently and said, ?My dear lad, Canada has no history. How can you? You are only 132!?

That may be true, but it doesn?t mean we lack history. Forget the early settlers. Even forget the First Nations and their rich, ancient, culture. What about history embedded in sedimentary rock that dates back 97 million years? Huh? What about THAT? Kind of makes Damascus blush like a newborn babe. That?s right. Tumbler Ridge has dinosaur bones. Bones that may be the oldest of its type in all of Western Canada.

Now look me in the eye and tell me we don?t have history.

Of course, if you want to talk to one of Tumbler Ridge?s authentic old timers, you?re more likely to be steered towards someone in their 40?s, rather than a pioneer in their 80?s. It can be a little disconcerting to see a person who still has kids in high school, push back their ball cap, scratch their heads and say, ?Why, I remember when this here town was just getting started. Walking trails? We had no walking trails. If we wanted to go for a walk, we had to either wade through the underbrush or stick to the streets. And it was uphill, mind you, both ways.?

Seniors, attracted by the bargain real estate of a few years back, found Tumbler Ridge the perfect place to retire. So now, in an ironic twist, the older the person is, often the newer they are to the town. Here you have a likely scene of an elderly person being forced to listen to someone half their age tell them how they were Tumbler born and raised, while not a single person over 25 can say the same.

Tumbler Ridge is a delicious mix of raw nature, ancient rock and youthful ambition.

Life, a quarter century in, is good at Fraggle Rock. Whatever the next 25 years hold, something tells me that this is a town that will never say Ghost.