Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 17, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
12 THE UTHMIDGE HERALD Tuttdav, July 17, 1973 Merchants' views differ on drunks Most cities have a "skid road." The Herald report- ed some weeks ago that sev- eral businessmen in the area of 5th Street S. near the Gait Gardens felt their dis- trict was turning into a "skid road." The public out- cry to that report was such that reporter Jim Grant was assigned to further examine the street and its problems. This is one of his reports. Others will follow. By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer Opinion varied f ro m "there is a hell of a prob- lem" to "there's no problem at all" when The Herald querried 30 5th Street busi- ness and professional men to determine whether drunks were creating a problem in the 5th Street- Gait Gardens area of the city. The overall consensus re- vealed an awareness by most businessmen that au abundance of drunks were hanging around then' street, but they also appeared to accept drunks on the street as a normal part of urban life. "The problem is no worse here than it is in a tot of other suggests one businessman. Another said, "Where are they going to go? Drunks have a right to be on the street too." The fact remains, there were more intoxicated per- sons arrested in the 5th Street Gait Gardens area during June than i n all of Edmonton and Calgary combined. Concern about business About 20 per cent of the businessmen interview- ed felt the extent of the drunk problem on 5th Street S. had been exaggerated, but in most cases they were the same people who ex- pressed more concern about the business they may lose through publicity about the drunk problem than about the number of drunks on their street. One fellow so appropri- ately exemplified his atti- tude toward the business dollar by saying any type of business established in Lethbridge is good for the city, including bootlegging. Business is flourishing despite the drunks on 5th Street S., according to ap- proximately 80 per cent of the businessmen surveyed. Some claimed they would profit even more if the drunk problem was elimi- nated while others indicated the drunks aren't hindering business volume what -so- ever and didn't foresee any change in customer traffic. Ron Deis, manager of the National Department Store, says drunks have likely caused some loss of busi- ness for him and he has had to kick out a few drunks who were causing a public nuisance in his store. Men's store not bothered Buy Rite Men's Wear hasn't been bothered with drunks at all and doesn't consider drunks to be a problem on 5th Street S. Ken Larson, assistant manager of Trophies Un- limited, says his company deals mainly with clubs and organizations so isn't de- pendant on street traffic for business, therefore, drunks haven't discouraged custom- ers from dealing with his firm. He says there are a lot of drunks around, but they don't bother a person if one can .ignore their panhand- ling.' Tandy Leather manager Jim Collins says it is hard to estimate the-business toss caused by drunks, but claims drunks do discour- age women from shopping in the area and the problem also discourages people from window shopping. Ross Hosack, manager of Dietrich Denture Clinic, says only a small percent- age of his customers have complained about the drunks. Progress Clothing Ltd.'s manager says there isn't a drunk problem in the 5th Street S. area so he wonders how could bis business pos- sibly suffer a business loss because of it Business still booming Blake Bartell of Capital Furniture says be is un- happy with the number of drunks hanging around 5th Street S. but claims his business is booming and more women than ever be- fore are shopping in his store. Likewise. Cam Barnes of Camm's Shoes claims his business is increasing each year, but admits there have been too many drunks on the street for too many years now. Jorgan Maegaard, owner of Viking Men's Hair Styling, boasts that 5th Street S. has "the nicest stores in the whole town" and is the only street with no crime. He says people shouldn't forget that drunks are human beings too and should be treated as such. Bud McKillop of McKiUop Agencies says be is losing a month because he can't rent his stores on 5th Street S., however, he blames the competition from shopping centres as much as the drunks for dis- couraging people from shop- ping ia the downtown area. Too nianv bars in area Several businessmen wish- ed to remain anonymous be- cause they didn't want the drunk problem to be publi- cized. One proprietor went so far as to suggest that most peo- ple in the dry don't shop on 9th Street S. because of the drunks. Another businessman in- sists the street has too many bars in too small an area. He has been bothered by panhandling, but claims the drunks leave a person alone if "you say no and just keep on A veteran business person on the street says he has seen a couple of people as- saulted on 5th, but the drunk problem isn't any worse than in other years. Another proprietor says the drunk .situation would be difficult to eliminate, but feels something must be done which will not just move the drunks into some other area of town. extremely concerned businessman says his cus- tomers have informed him "they don't like to come down to 5th Street because of pan-handling and drunks stumbling on the street" Businessmen concerned about drunks on the street cited several habits and ac- tions by drunks that dis- courage people from shop- ping there. Vomiting on the sidewalk, urinating in the doorway, arguing or brawling at the entrances to stores, pan- handling, breaking of win- dows, cursing at passers- by, and stumbling down the street are actions by drunks that don't please sober cus- tomers. Two business firms, who relocated in other arear of the city because of the drunk problem, are now showing a substantial in- crease in business volume. About 90 per cent of the 30 businessmen and pro- fessional people contacted by Herald said the city police are doing the best job possible in policing the area. 24 years directing top flight rodeo shows By GARRY ALLISON Herald Staff Writer You hear Reg Kesler be- fore you see him. His booming voice has been resounding through rodeo arenas for more than 24 years directing and pro- ducing top flight rodeo en- tertainment. He is a showman supreme. He not only puts on a color- ful rodeo, but more im- portant, he pleases the crowd with a fast moving, high calibre performance. "We produce rodeo for the enjoyment of the people not the he stated. "The cowboy is just a part of the production. We're there to please the fans. We work for the crowd, that's what we put it on for." Rodeo has been Reg Kes- ler's life. He's done it all, from driv- ing chariots to riding broncs. He started climbing on broncs at the age of 14 and when he wound up his com- petitive career he had three Canadian all round cham- pionships in his 194S, 1951 and 19S3. And, like all cowboys, be used more than his share of doctor's tape. Broken arms, broken legs, punctured lung, sprains and bruises some in active competition, some while pro- ducing and directing shows. Today he is the largest in- dependent stock contractor hi North America. Reg operates out of Rose- mary, Alta., and Missoula, Mont., riding herd on 350 bucking horses, 54 bucking bulls, 100 calves and 140 His outfit, Including five cattle liners and various other vehicles, is conserva- tively valued at He's come a long way from his first producing ven- ture at Cranbrook, B.C., in 1949. His bucking stock is among the best in North America. He has sent more stock to the National Finals Rodeo (the world series of rodeo for which only the best stock in the business is chosen) than any other North American contractor on three separate occasions. Many of the best known names in rodeo stock are fed and cared for by RICK ERVIN Mull during the lull fair patrons heading for the midway location, unfortunately so were the and several sideshows. But costs, time create problems Exhibitions concentrate on midway shows By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer As the shouting voice of the midway barker continues to fade, the midways of district fairs are growing because district exhibitions are concen- trating on midway attractions rather than agriculture, Bern- ard Thomas owner of Thomas Shows said Monday. Where fairs used to be prim- arily for agricultural displays they are now designed around the midway. Thomas Shows, the entourage of rides, games, shows and concessions, has ex- panded itself this year bring- ing four new rides to town. Midway count now stands at 26 rides, seven shows and 55 concessions. Much of the Thomas Shows caravan arrived in Lethbridge Sunday night but some trucks didn't arrive until Monday morning. Unpacking and setting up of rides and concessions was wen behind the "Trabant" first to turn at p.m. Lack of time in moving from place to place creates the prob- lem, Mr. Thomas said. The midway tore down in Saskatoon at 1 a.m. Sunday morning and began the drive to Lethbridge. When the bulk of the show arrived Sunday night, it found that not enough local labor had been recruited to help set up and no one hired wanted to work through the night, the 49 year oH carnival entre- preneur said. A Thomas Shows advance man bad been in Lethforidge two weeks ago and informed Man- power they would need about 30 men for the set-up opera- tion. "There were three it seems no one wants to work anymore it's getting harder to get people all the Mr. Thomas said. High winds stopped the erec- tion of light towers Sunday night yet many regular men worked through the night with- out lights and without sleeping since Saturday morning, Mr. Thomas said. Thomas shows is one of about 350 currently touring North Am- relative size it is with- in the top ten. "We are about two-thirds the size of Royal American Shows (the world's largest portable he added. Bernie Thomas was born into the show be now owns. Started by his uncle in 1926, he bought the "works" in 1950 for half the price of one present- day ride. He owns more than 90 per cent of the rides and 50 of the shows biggest trucks. The ma- jority of concessions and shows are owned by independents who rent a spot on the South Dakota- based midway. Thomas Shows in turn pays the local exhibition association for the right to set up in Lethbridge. More than 350 people travel with the chil- dren, who will leave the show and return home when school starts. The show itself closes in Phoenix in November. Mr. Thomas said education is not neglected with the children on the circuit, adding that all three of his daughters.have fin- ished college. The portable midway is caught in a "cost squeeze" at present, over the expenses in- volved in trucking the equip- ment. With transportation and fuel costs rising and railways of- fering no economic alternative to trucks, the prices of some things have been increased. Mr. Thomas said he realizes carnival prices cannot be raised too high as "there is a limit to what people will pay for a ride." A system of coupon tickets has been implemented in hopes of solving tiie problem. Instead of paying a fixed amount for a ride, the customer pays so many coupons. The coupons are 20 cents each or 20 for (15 cents or 40 for (12% cents Other carnival costs have been steadily rising r-iso. The double ferris, wheel alone costs 000, he said, and a merry-go- round that used to cost now costs The show heads for Great Falls, Mont., from Lethbridge and whether anyone "runs off with the carnival" is to be seen. "Quite a youngsters still give it a the carny king smiled. Rack, Rodeo News, Red Top, Suntan, Moonshine, Three Bars, Blue Frost, Ivory Lightning. "Moonshine and Three Bars are my best bareback broncs. I'd have to give the slight edge to Three Reg said. "Rodeo News throws mow riders than Hat Rack, but the cowboys like to draw Hat Rack because they score well on him. Blue Frost is the best of the bulls." Blue Frost is also Reg's oldest bull at 13 years of age. That's All is 28 years old and the old horse is still tossing riders consistently. She even has eight colts bucking in the Kesler string. What is a good bucking horse worth? "A fellow offered me 000 for Rodeo News (1970 world champion bucking -horse) and I turned him down. That's the day two fools Reg laughed. It costs money to run an outfit like Reg Hester's. Veterinarian bills close to a year. Feed- ing the stock costs, on, tin average, a year to keef a horse in oats and bay and to for a bull. Reg carries no insurance on his animals except when they are being trucked. He does carry worth ol public liability, which he baa had no occasion to call upon as yet. His rodeo season starts in January at Denver, and ex- cept for a short break in March, runs to the National Finals in December. "I dont find time for nothing. Only rodeo. "One of these days I'm going to take some time off. This guy likes to hunt and fish and I've got a lot of it to catch up says the man who's travels crowd the mile a year mark. "The only thing wrong with rodeo is you have no home. I've got an apartment in Missoula that I haven't used two months in the last two years. "I get to spend more time at the ranch in Rosemary, but not near enough. Some- times I think I live in my car." Reg has seen thousands oi cowboys .come and go 'over the years, and fondly re- members greats like bull rider Jim Shoulders or bronc rider Marty Wood. "Casey Tffibs wasstbe most colorful bronc rider as well as one of the best For all round color and skill I'd pick Casey." Best bull fighter and clown? "Well that old buffalo man, Buddy Beaton, would get my vote." Rodeo is an exciting, color- ful sport and the boisterous stock contractor, who first saw the light of day in New Dayton, has added greatly to that excitement and color over the years. Lethbridge's Whoop Up Days wouldn't be the same without Reg Kesler barking orders across the infield. "Get in there you knot- head come on Tom, we haven't got all night. that horse will die of old age be- fore you're ready we've got a show to put on, let's go tie him Harold, tie him Open scholarship honors Southern Alberta priest An open scholarship honor- ing 60 years of mimstzy by an Anglican priest is being established in Southern Al- berta. The schoarship salutes Archdeacon Cecil Swanson, interim parish priest at Saint Augustine's Anglican Church, Lethbridge. Archdeacon S-transon, 84. retired from active parish duties in 1960. During his ear- lier ministry he served as rector at Saint Augustine's for 10 years. The wardens and vestry plan to set up the scholar- ship which will be open to any seat of advanced learn- ing. Preference will be given a student attending the Uni- versity of Lethbridge, choos- ing to specialize in English. Contributions toward en- dowment of this scholar- ship should be addressed to the Archdeacon Swanson Scholarship Fund, Saint Au- gustine's Church, 4lh Avc. and HUi St S., Lethbridge. A festal evensong July 27 at 6 p.m. in Saint Augustine's Church wifl mark Archdea- con Swanson's anniversary. A reception and diraier will fol- low at the El Rancho Motor HoteL Tickets may be obtain- ed from the church office. Soon rejected interesting to speculate how much verbol or oHiletic needed to wrestle this stuffed alligator from the carnival concession booth. Not enough evidently, for here it lays hastily rejected by its winner.