Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 14, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, April 14, 1973 THE LETHBRIDGI HERALD Fraser Hodgson The friendly neighborhood bootlegger I suppose the term bootleg- ger was unknown until the time of prohibition, then it jumped into prominence and has been an everyday word ever since. I'm not sure how the word or- iginated, but by tfs sound it something to do with hid- ing contraband liquor in the leg of a high boot. I once had a friend tell me ebout hiding a bottle of cold preventative in a four-buckle overshoe. He and a comrade were travelling across the line from Regina into North Dakota. The teetotaller of the two trav- ellers owned the overshoes anH was he ever mad when he saw his friend pull a bottle out of the shoes up on the luggage rack! If the inspector had found it the wrong man would have been charged with smuggling. Thousands of such stories of near disaster can be told. I fcnsw about a bootlegger Just a block down Ihc street from our shack in SwLfi. Cur- rent, Saskatchewan. His ncaie was Cliff Roberts, and I often went to play with his two bays. This was about 1916, and it was quite a few years later that I tumbled to a lot of answers for questions on the Roberts fam- ily. Why didn't Cliff go to work every day like other fathers? Why did he always drive a big Cadillac or Paige touring car? Why was he often away on business two or three days at a time? At last I realized he was a special kind of bootlegger. He didn't sell the odd bottle put the dark back door to furtive customers, he was a runner, Bort of a wholesaler. I'm rot sure now which way he deliv- ered his load of joy-iuice, but I think it was from Saskatche- wan into the United States. Anyway, he hauled a lot of booze in the years I lived near- by. There were many stories abaut Cliff's exploits. The best one I heard was when he ran into a roadblock near the bor- der south of Swift Current. He knew every inch of the road, and often drove it without lights, but one night he almost got caught. The first he knew abaut ths trap was when the patrol officers turned their car Tghts on a telephone pole laid across a shallow cut in the prairie trail. They say he never even lifted his foot from f-ie throttle, at the last second he .turned through the little ditch and a barb-wire fence, then back through it again farther on, and got away in a screech of wire and flying staples. The officers were too surprised to even fire a shot at his overload- ed tires. Of course the story improved every time it was told, but probably most of it really happened. Dad had a man named John Last working in the shop around 1920. He had immigrat- ed from central Europe after the war. He didn't get along very well with the olher men EO he quit and joined the police as a plain clothes liquor spotter. One of the boys from the shop steered him onto his first case by telling him where a local illicit liquor salesman lived. He went there late that evening and bought a bottle with marked money. When the csse came up, the salesman pleaded not guilty, claiming he hadn't sold any liquor. When they opened the bottle they dis- covered it was cold tea. There are hundreds of boot- legger stories around, same about the many ways they hid their stock and others on the numerous ways of delivery. One of the most ingenious I know about was in a Chinese restaurant where drinks were delivered to a booth in a soup- bowL If a snooper did catch on and try to collect evidence the 'soup' was accidently spilled before it could be put into a safer container. Others made a cash deal with the customer, then left the goods' in a certain out-of-the-way spot for him to pick up. Some didnt" try to hide their activities too much, they just didnt' advertise or draw attention to themselves, and paid the fine when they got caught. I seldom take a drink except once in a while on special so- cial occasions. Others can drink if they want to, and I don't mind as long as they are temp- erate about it and don't try to push their drinks on me. I'll have to admit I've visited the odd bootlegger on businsss, but only a few and not very often. If the trade depended on me and others of my drinking cap- acity, the bootleggers would soon all be looking for new pro- fessions. While working here in Leth- bridge in the late thirties. I had occasion to pay a short visit to a local undercover distributor of illicit liquor. This was in the company of a couple of friends who thought they needed more refreshment after closing hours of licensed premises. Joe and Herbie were frequent custom- ers so there was no hesitation on the part of the businessman, he just walked out to the barn end came back with the order. Joe remarked thai it was slrange the battles were always wet and cold. Herbie suggested it must be kept in a tub of ice water. When I met Joe a few weeks later he told me they had figur- ed cut that the beer must have been stashed in an irrigation ditch behind the barn. I know these two friends wouldn't or- dinarily stoop to steal anything but they considered a bootleg- ger's cashe in a different way. late one cark night they park- ed on the next road and sneak- ed across a field of potatoes to- ward the businessman's barn. They hadn't gone far when they found the field had just been flood irrigated, but it was too late than so they went on slosh- ing through the mud. Just a i'cw steps from their goal the biggest police dog they'd ever saen came roaring around the corner. They turned and ran like they'd been sent for. I guess they were a sorry sight. They didn't bother trying to get free drinks there aeain. I think the illicit liquor trade has slipped badly since the the longer opening hours of legal dispensers but I'm sure there are SOTie bootleggers left. A few discreet inquiries would probably turn them up. Just minutes old On the Plewe farm at Mag rath Photo by Bill Groenen Book Reviews Penalizing non-conformist individuals "Design for the real world" by Victor Papanek (Random House of Canada Limited, 339 Victor Papanek a distinguish- ed UNESCO design expert questions the industrial design establishment's neg'ect of the real needs of the majority of the people of this world. He draws attention to the fact that industry actually cat- ers to a select few. The ideal consumer is a white, middle- income male, age 18 to 25, ex- actly 6 feet tall, weighing 185 pounds. Most designers ignore huge "minority color- ed people, poor people, women, the sick, the obzse and the handicapped. Papanek is further concern- ed with the forever accelera- ting pressure of conformi'v trends in school, at work, in church and at p'ay and tel's us how society penalizes so call- ed "deviants." Society in fact can go amazingly far hi creat- ing greater conformity and he points out the fact that elderly patients in retirement tomes are kept under permanent doses of heavy tranquilizers, in order to enable the nursing staff to streamline procedure. Sug- gestions to tranquilize "uncom- fortable" children have actual- ly been submitted to the Nixon government. What happens if we are un- able to operate in so aggres- sively conformist an environ- ment? We blow our top and are taken to the nearest psy- chiatrist for help. "Well now, we must adjust you." And what is adjustment, if not ano.her word for conformity? Extensive psychological test- ing has shown that the myster- ious quality called "creative imagination" seems to exist in all peop'e but is ssverely dim- inished by the time an indivi- dual reaches the age of six. Excellent account of NWMP "Maintain the Right" by Ronald Atidn (Macmillan of Canada. 40P pages. It is appropriate that this ex- cellent account cf the early his- tory of the North West Mounted Police should be published in the centennial year of Uie RCMP. It should also be cf par- ticular interest lo rc-i' r 1s nf SaHibem Albrvla access to most of the historic places mentioned in tire book. Mr. Atkins strips away the extravagant romanticism that has surrounded iJnc Moan- ties and describes the incredible difficulties and personal hard- ships endured by the early members of the NWMP. He has used letters, diaries, reports 37x3 memoirs of the men wn-i lirci Miroach tftc harsh aid 1'niorip of the f-nc" jwtray S3 they were BIBB Of fesb blood. The is divided into four parts, each part devoted Jo the work ef the NWMP under one of the first four i.e. French, Macleod, Irvine and Herchr.cr. Ths reader can decide for himself what contri- bution each cf these distinguish- ed men made to the growth of the force. The s'.ory is a familiar one. The epic trek in 1874 across the prairies to supress the whiskey the growing unrest smonR tihc Indians and. in pc> to s'ann o-jt larrlcssnssa in the Canadian Northwest. The history cf the Canadian West springs to life again as we read about Jerry Potts, Sitting Bull, Crowfoot Pound- maker. Big Bear, Sam Steels, laws Riol. and Ibc days of ttoe Yukon There" arc so many peiwv aliiies, places and historic events mentioned in this bosk thai the reader is grateful for the irdex that is p-o- vided. Each charter is really a story by itseY and it is a credit to the author that he i? aMe lo pack so much detail into one volume and come iip with a itary holds one's at- tention until the last page. The most revealing part cf the book for me was the des- cription cf tits atrocious coidi- ticrs under which the first Kfninties hrd to work. The pay was poor, food and living ac- commodation were invariably abominable (Rattlesnake Pork the meat was a revolting irJvture of shades of yel'ow ard green) end the uniforms were cf the poorest quaiity. stupidity and scheming of the political masters in Ottawa v.Tcre additional burdens that u-erc not needed. In retrospect it is a lender that agreed to stay in the ?crricc but fortunately fnr Canada the first volunteers for the NWMP were resourceful and dedicated men. A chronological table, com- preJjensive brWiograpihy of ref- erence sources, maps and illus- trations, plus an index are great value to the reader. This book is a wortJiy addition tha present literature on Jhe RCMP and shouM be in every fecund- ary sdhooil and pijblic ilibrary. TERRY MORRIS The environment o! school sets up a whole screen of blocks in the mind of the child that later inhibits his ability to ideate freely. Too many blocks can effectively stap problem solv- ing. If society penalizes highly creative autonomy this makes problem solving (the ability to recognize, isolate and de- fine) in the social sciences, bio- logy, anthropology, 'politics, en- gineering, technology and the behavioral sciences discourag- ing and difficult. In order be ?ble to associate free'y the tbi- b'ry to look at things in new ways is indispensable. This new way of looking at things can also be achieved through the knowledge and under- standing of a second language. For ths structure of languages gives us ways of dealing and experiencirg realities. dif- ferent in each language. Most problems lie in areas that are quite nsw and require immediate and radical new sol- Victor Pcpenck envis- tha of new schools or environ- ments to which come freely from a'l psr.s of the world. The work carried on Its Irry to meet the demands cf (u'.urc. The solutions of problems would b: turned over to concerned individual, groups, governments or trans- AJ'hoach the bork mainly draws attention to L-jdusiria! de- 'Crazy Capers' sign and to ths never-ending stream of ugy, unnecessary often expensive and sexed up objects that are littering our world, it is concerned with all the aspects issuing therefrom which influence our existence adversely. This is a very im- portant book that could very well serve as a blueprint for the survival of mankind. GERTA PATSON Books in brief "Look Comrade Peo- ple Are Laughing" by John Kolasky (Peter Martin Asso- ciates, 135 pages, Unlike our political systems in Canada, where we are al- lowed the luxury of poking fun at our leaders, the countries behind the Iron Curtain are only just now beginning to rea- lize the strength behind the veiled political wit. Humor has bacome the major weapon of the populace. Called "anecdotes" these jes's. ?t the mighty are formed in the shape of jingies. puns, stor- ies. jokes and riddJes. not very subtle, hard-hitting, no non- sense. The average reader will be able to comprehend the nicaning behind (he words. AXXE SZALAVARV "Indecent Exposure" by Tom Sharpe and War- burg, pages, If you like the kind of dialogue thaS goes, "said the Kcmman- djint" "said Major Btoxham." "said "said v-hat's his then go this one. Reminds me of the BiUy Bun- Ser stories a hit juvenile The four Jcttcr -words <3cm'1 make it Can t vou Billed ffli tbr liwk jacket 5? "Tom SharpeV hnjliant follow- up to his Riotous Assembly, which Mark Kahn in the Sun- day Mirror calVd 'One of tha most savagely hilarious satires 1 have read and ,vj on, it's about the nutty in Africa Seems a hit silly me. I didn't read roost of it D'ARCY R1CKARD The Voice O One -By. DR. FRANK S. MORLEY The church and Lent Will this Lenten season be a springtime, a time of reaswal for the church? It sorely needs it. Once the church had all the an- swers. It knew the way to live, the purpose of living, and the meaning of life and death. In the encompassing world chaos, weary, with wandering in the desert o.f theories and disappointed and disullusioned with the mirages of lost hopes, it is pro- foundly discouraging to find the church caught in a wilderness of moral and spir- itual confusion. No one else has the answers either. Lead- ers of education have proved blind guides. If Aristophanes were to survey Western civilization he would come to the same conclusion that he pronounced o n Athen- ian life, "Whirl is king, having driven out Zeus." Cul'ts capitalize on the uncertainties of the former and now discredited author- i'ies, but the mood is one of quiet desperation ?s schools, churches, gov- ernments and mast astonishing and dis- appointing of all the scientists flounder in a bog of bewilderment. What is right or wrong? Back in 1968 Professor Joseph Fletcher wrote a most influential and disturbing book called Sit- uation Ethics, which claims that love is the only absolute and there is no other absolute right or wrong. Since for most people love is a mere feeling of desire this is dangerous doctrine and can bs inter- preted as doing whatever one wants to do. Csrtainly it is taken as a justifying argu- ment by all those who claim that extra- marital sex is morally healthy and right. This is cot fair to Fletcher, but such has been the influence of his book. Fletcher contends that when sex is merely satisfac- tion of desire, lacking commitment, con- cern, and genuine caring for the welfare of the other, il is wrong both inside and outside marriage. It can be taken for granted that modern mind and conscience will not re- nirn to the rigidities of dogmatic teaching and dictatorial method, but does that nec- essarily mean that the church can no long- er, like her Master, be "as one who speaks with In their books, The Em- erging Church, Bruce Larson and Ralph Os- borne contend that "vitality in the church depends on its ability to change" and that "the capacity to change is one of the most precious gifts that a church can have." Cold comfort this! Change is not neces- sarily good. Many changes hi the church are sheer nonsense, driving thousands away and failing to attract gad hold the ycuth. Henri Bergson used to say that what the world needed was more soul and this is the church's task, to bs the spiritual guide to man, to direct him to the soul of the world, which is God, to enable him to hear the voice of God, the voice of Creator-Lovs, calling to him, to reveal to him behind the things of time the truths of eternity, for God is less hidden than man thinks. It is man who hides from God. God is a revealing God, present in man and with man, and every man is loved by God. Man is lost in a sanclpile of atomiza- tiosi which he calls liberty. The only hope for man consists in joining that breed of pioneers who form the true church and obey the call, "Follow SATURDAY TALK -By NORMAN SMITH Why separatism is losing face When in Montreal a while ago to visit the site of the Olympic Games and talk to people about Quebec in general I heard no mention of separatism. It is a lively city and province with a lot of pushing and shouting. But the French are rowing with the French, for a change. They let out occasional blasts at the well- off English colony in Montreal, perhaps just to keep it jittery, but the grand plan of separatism has been left to simmer on the back of the stove. Martyrdom seems less rewarding now, to a "moderate" separatist like Rene Levesque or the crazed characters who yearned to start the shooting that would somehow lead Quebec out of Canada. I have a hunch simple boredom has much to do with this. The average Quebecois might like to dream that Quebec will be- come a nation. But now that the excite- ment of publicly shouting "we'll has worn off he knows the goal would be hard, take long to attain and mean a bleak- er, smaller life and citizenship. So with a shrug, and I think with more of a grin than a sneer, he says "let's get on with living." The Quebecois will continue to battle for all of their rights, real or imagined. There will be flare-ups, and the cry of "separa- tion'' will break out again from time to time, to keep us on our toes, so to speak. But if Ottawa and the other provinces keep their cool and recognize that Quebec is not a province like the others, and that Can- ada needs Quebec just as Quebec needs Can- ada, then my guess is we'll stay together; like any other family, laughing and wrang- ling as we go. The declining talk of separatism has not come because the anti-separationists have won the dialogue by some convincing argu- ment Indeed, it may have declined be- cause the anti-separatists hai'e bsea quiet- er. The latter have come to realize that the serious complaints of many reasonable French-Canadians have often been so emo- tional that any debate was inadequate, even harmful. I suspect impatience cooled when Que- bec's closer look at separation revealed it would be at best unsatifactory and at worst unworkable. Would ils own economy fi- nance i.s employment, health and welfare? WouJd it find easy trade outlets to a Canada it had rejected? What of daily life, culture, the arts, broadcasting, sports, tourism would these rot become limiting to a French people just row beginning to real- he their full stature? Can their aspira- tions flourish to their advantage and ours if they huddle in an enclave? A look at the rest of tfre world today cannot encourage Quebec to go it alone. the Gaspc iarmcr or Noranda miner want Quebec Cty to manage their foreign in a world currency crisis? Does the display of narrow loyalties in Ulster encourage separation of Canada? Is not the move to a Common Market in Europe recognition that needless barriers bridle rather thsn prosper peace and economy? The French-speaking Canadian, I'm sure, must now be contemplating more realisti- cally the arrangements Quebec could make with a Canada it had sundered and en- feebled. It seems to me that the average Que- becois has observed in the last three or four years a Canadian attempt to right past wrongs or imbalances. As a bargain- er, he will doubtless press on for condi- tions he knows he won't achieve. But the difference between a Quebec politician cry- ing "maitre cbez nous" and a Nova Scotian demanding maritime rights often stems from the apparent forcefulness of the lang- uage we don't understand. Premier Bourassa can conduct a vivid campaign to strengthen Quebec's role in Canadian affairs and still not be more "provincial minded" than many former Maritime, Ontario, Prairie or B.C. prem- iers whose pictures hang high hi their leg- islature for standing up for provincial rights. While Canada, as a whole, must stand against any attempts to weaken the fair and essential cornerstones of confedera- tion. I think we surely must avoid drama- tizing or exaggerating the "troubles" with Queosc. In Quebec the "revolutinary" events of a couple of years ago took twelve lives compared to killed in 1971 in vehicle accidents in Canada. The murders and bombings hi Quebec were horrible and shocking but I have n feeling we have all moved on from there. We must not act or think as though we hadn't. Let Quebec call us centralists, and let us call Quebec an aggressive provincial- rigbter. There is room for both in Can- ada; cur constitution needs both to main- tain its balance. The struggle of nation-building is an all- Canadian affair. It does and should em- brace pride and prejudice, loyalties to race and language, sentiment to varying re- gions and traditions, democratic tussle be- tween rich and poor, liberals and non-lib- erals. But il should give no room to two- way hate or hurt. I credit Tim Oeery. the new editor of the Montreal Gazette, -with the following com- mentary on the recent repcrt alleging Mon- treal was falling behind Toronto. "The Montreal-Toronto rivalry is tive and fun, up to a point. As we said in 1870, we've got. to keep an eye on those bustiers. But beyond a ccr'.ain point, it's an affair for little minds, a crashing bore. Let's try for a broader and more realistic Compliments department By Doag Walker I only half resnd an 3n our had met at the ujLiersity told her Twase onr n i g h 4 a Cup playoff game in progress What I fJid nrar socmctf irw to form in lly roaipli- however Judi reported that one of boys she ttoee ttaigs he liked about her. The third on the Ust was that he liked hrr "That must have your blind said Paul.