Monday, July 21, 2008

Long Overdue

Yes a blog post and a trip back home... both of them long overdue.

I made the 360 kilometre trek back to Lanigan for the weekend for a friend's wedding. It's a good time to be from this province right now.

Oil, crop prices, potash and yes, even the Riders are all peaking at the same time allowing for an economic boom everywhere you look.

I rolled into town around 10:30pm Friday and it didn't take too long to find the action. A quick stop out to the Gunther farm a mile out of town had a strong gathering around the firepit.

It's here where I get my local farming update. Canola, canola, canola seems to be name of the game this season.

With prices around $15 a bushel it's a virtual sea of yellow across the province.

Yes input costs are rising but at $15 a bushel there's a hefty profit to be made. You can sense a quiet confidence with area farmers up there providing the " big white combine" stays away.

Another thing you'll notice, moreso than in recent memory are Rider flags all over the countryside.

If there is a flagpole on the horizon, chances are it's a big Rider /=S=/. So many farmyards from here to there have adopted a Riders flag in their yard. One farm near Imperial along the highway had three flagpoles at full mast: Saskatchewan flag on the left, Riders flag in the center and the Maple Leaf to the right.

There's a lot of pride in all three of those emblems right now.

You go back home and you can tell the economy is bussling. New trucks everywhere, your friends have all the toys - quad runners, boats, Sea Doos. If there is summer fun to be had they're all over it.

There's a big potash mine a few miles out of town that usually dictates the town's economy. At times there's almost too much money than a person knows to do with, especially the younger work force. Case in point as one of the 23 year-old mine supervisors thought it was a good idea Saturday night during the wedding dance to jump in his brand new truck and go for a latenight drunken spin. He didn't get too far. A quick right at the town hall up main street, into a light standard, the curb, a tree and a date with the RCMP red and blues.

And it's been a busy summer there. Last weekend was the annual Brookbank Charity Golf tournament hosted by local NHL brothers Wade and Sheldon. The weekend before was the town's 100 year birthday party.

I got a chance Sunday morning to play the "old course". The Lanigan Golf and Country Club nine hole gem.

The greens were in good shape - and that's all you can ask for. A lot of rain in the area meant the water hazards were twice the size as normal, which tends to be the case in July.

I even managed to throw my tee shot on the 3rd hole over the railway tracks and out of bounds - just like I've done a 100 times before. This time though I wasn't too concerned. Just another reminder of my hometown.

Following the round you pop into the clubhouse to see your old High School golf coach lounging inside.

"How'd it go?" he asked.

"I left a lot out there today," I replied.

"So nothing has changed then?"

My old golf coach, now a retired teacher, operates the local tow truck in town. Somewhere along the line the night before he hooked up to that aforementioned new truck on main street and took it to the local autobody (owned by good friend's family).

The wedding Saturday night had a very unique Saskatchewan moment.

During the reception the emcee kept a close eye on the Rider score while keeping to his regular duties of introducing the speakers and cracking a few jokes we've all heard before.

The early part of the dance saw the patrons file out into the parking lot around a big van the wedding party was using to get around.

On the radio, the Riders game of course. There must have been at least 30 of us listening to Rod Pedersen's call on 620 CKRM. We all listened as Lance Frazier made the big interception leading to the go-ahead touchdown and the ensuing fumbled kick-return sealing the Riders victory.

They're 4-0 for the first time in 38 years.

It's a good time to be from Saskatchewan!


Friends, family former teammates and coaches gathered in Maple Creek last night.

Broncos captain of this last year Zack Smith has honoured by his hometown for his accomplishments in hockey so far in his career.

Smith, who was a third round draft choice of the Ottawa Senators was humbled by the support.

"I hope they realize how much it meant for me to grow up here and how much it helped me out. I will always be grateful for what Maple Creek has given to me. I'm glad they showed their support tonight. I never expected it but it was nice they did it."

Smith, 19, will be attending Senators camp in the fall. A contract between the two sides is said to be close.

Thanks to Ryan Switzer who made the trip and did an interview with Zack so I could have it for the morning sports run today.


The Elmwood Golf Club will host the annual Nancy Harvey / Marc Habscheid Charity Golf tournament Friday.

It will be year three of the event. Nancy and Marc will be on the Eagle 94.1 FM morning show Thursday to promote it.

Talk about two people with hometown spirit. It must be pretty cool for Nancy to hang a right of Hillcrest drive on to Nancy Harvey Drive leading up to the golf course.

For Marc, there's a lot of talk about him being a candidate for the vacant head coaching job of the Regina Pats.

The LP's Rob Vanstone is reporting Habscheid formally interviewed for the job yesterday.

I'll ask him about that in the morning and post his thoughts on the blog later that day.

There are still some tournament spots open. Call the Elmwood at 773 - 2722 for more information.

That's about it for today, thanks for reading.



Nancy said...

So did you see that "Home of Jon Keene" sign? Did they get it up for your return or is it still in the paint shop?

Jon Keen said...

Haha, I'm sure they are working overtime trying to get it up ;)

Right after the "home of that girl who was on Maury Povich once" sign goes up.

Anonymous said...

good post today. reminds me of my hometown!!

Anonymous said...

I have that Maury Povich on tape somewhere. Maybe someday it will become part of my youtube escapades right beside a No Fur protest with a certain streaker.

Jon Keen said...

I saw the Maury video once and howled. What was she doing?? So funny.

And the Vancouver protest... wow. I saw that on CBC and snorted milk out my nose. Did NOT see that coming Em.