Friday, May 20, 2022

ALMONTE ONTARIO

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Letters to the EditorA love-letter to a dead man

A love-letter to a dead man

Dad and Park SignI knew Don Maynard from 1962 to his death in 2004 and shared many adventures with him. We taught together; we coached together, we fished and hunted and canoetripped together; I was constantly delighted at his wonderfully unique way of looking at life.

Don was an utterly incurable romantic who believed that he could find the good in any person. I never in twenty years of working with him heard him say a disrespectful word about anyone, and we sure taught a few rough specimens in those days. You never heard Don swear or fly into a rage, either; not in public, not in private. His respect for people extended to himself.

He was a most wonderfully playful man and playfulness is the mark of the finest souls among us. One snowy day in the sixties, I got a call: “Bring Billy for a walk past my place.” I took three year -old Billy and at Maynard’s place on Queen Street we found a great big snowman right beside the sidewalk. As we strolled past, the snowman said “Hello, Billy Currie.” Little Bill said “Hello, Mr. Snowman!” and I was treated to a charming conversation between the snowman and a wonder-struck three-year-old. Don happily spent a week of evenings chatting to the little kids on the street and people brought their toddlers from all over Almonte to talk to the snowman. That willingness to spend time to bring a moment of delight into a little kid’s life was typical of the man.

Oh, sure he was a founder and driver of Parks and Recreation in Almonte; he played a major part in the building of the new Arena. In a word, he did what lots of good citizens have done for our town over the years, he participated in the life of the town in a very full and active way. But over and above that he brought to the community and especially to our high school a terrific positive delight in effort that moved the whole school community and that left those of us who were fortunate enough to call him “friend” a treasury of delightful memories. That’s why the town set apart a park in his honour and that’s why the town should maintain that park with gratitude.

Terry Currie, M.A. History

ADHS 1962-94
Coach of the Almonte Thunderbolts 1963-2007.
Blessed to have called Don Maynard my friend.

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