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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, Junt i HE LETHBRIDGE People of the South By Chris Stewart Adventurous Lethbridge oldtimers THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. The chances of Elsie and Ernie Risler attending the upcoming Spring Point School reunion slated for Sunday, June 30th, would have seemed slim 50 years ago considering their reputation for harrowing brushes with death. It seemed very improbable they would be around for the centenary of the North West Mounted Police's arrival and the concurrent school get- together unless of course, one recognized how frequently they overcame odds. "You can bet your life we'll be there, even if we have to say the Rislers who are busy collecting photos and newspaper clippings for the big event just in case their friends have forgotten how it was "in the good old days." It was in the Spring Point community hall (formerly a one-room school) that Elsie's father, Francis Stones, a join- er from Leeds, England, laid a new hardwood floor in 1912 where couples soon danced to the piano accompaniment of her brother Hubert (deceased in 1949) and her parents later marked their golden wedding anniversary on February 9, 1945. Fort Macleod was expected to become a large, western metropolis and the site of the Ogden Shops (later located in Land speculators were busy and everyone was out to make a fast dollar when Frank Stones arrived in 1906. He had obtained work with the CPR in Toronto and had moved west with the building and bridge department to construct a bridge and ticket office at Fort Macleod. He later switched to house construction, built two homes for both A. F. Grady and Dr. Milburn. several over a period of time for himself and helped complete the offices in the Bank of Commerce located on the Macleod Hotel site. He returned to England in February, 1908, to bring his wife, three sons (Hubert and Bill, both deceased, and Joe, now retired in Calgary) and daughter Elsie (a daughter, Mrs. Kathleen Nalder of Lethbridge. was born in Fort Macleod in 1913. Both she and Joe will be at the When the Stones moved to Spring Point in October, 1910, Hubert managed the ranch while Frank Stones continued in construction in Fort Macleod. It took Hubert all day with an eight-horse team to haul grain to Brocket for shipment. Elsie, an expert horsewoman, was given a monogrammed saddle from her father (since donated to the Lethbridge Historical She was riding this past Easter at Crossfield with her granddaughter. Upon graduation from Fort Macleod's convent Elsie worked at the barracks and at a soap factory and at age 16 married neighbor George Drew, son of one of the earliest Hudson Bay factors who left for northerly Fort Resolute in 1896. They lived on the Drew ranch until George, hired by cattle dealer Bou Bonell. moved his wife and baby daughter Gladys to Lethbridge. He was returning from selling a carload of horses in Drumheller when the train conductor, noticing his bad color and trying unsuccessfully to arouse him. sent word to his mother in Coleman to meet the train. George died moments after his arrival. His death described as black diphtheria, a rather frequent aftermath of the highly-contagious influenza epidemic raging at that time, necessitated his immediate burial As a result he was buried before Elsie learned of his death. Widowed at 19. with a baby to support, she trained as a psychiatric nurse in Spokane, leaving her daughter with her mother. She had completed Vi years" when the United Stales entered the First World War and admission to the U.S. was banned Disappointed. Elsie headed for Lelhbridge to work for Shorty Nicas in his White Lunch cafe. Meanwhile Ernie Risler with printer's ink in us he says, and one of line children of Swiss mmigrant parents) had four years with the London. Ontario. Free Press and was en route to when he stopped mefly in Lethbndge to work or The Herald He hadn't Counted on contracting the flu "Jhe only time I've really wen sick in mv life." he claims) or meeting an attractive young widow, or that his "temporary" newspaper job would last 43 Vz years. He and Elsie met dressed as a squaw and an Indian chief respectively at a masquerade dance held at the Knights of Pythias hall. They were married three years later in 1921. Ernie recalls his thrill at age 17, scooping one of the world's most exciting stories the sinking of the Titani' on April 15, 1912. It was around 3 a.m. he remembers, most of the London Morning Free Press's staff had gone home with only he and the Morse operator remaining to take care of any last minute news for the final morning edition. Suddenly he heard the clickey-click of the Morse code, "Good he shouted, as the report continued "Titanic sinks after hitting iceberg! Few He stopped the press, pulled out a chunk of lead, inserted the meagre facts, headed it "Titanic sinks" and rushed to the train depot with armfuls of extras before the 5 a.m. coaches for Chicago, Detroit and Toronto rolled in. Papers that normally sold for two cents brought a quarter that morning and this journeyman printer earning what was then considered the high wage of for a 48-hour week, returned home with his pockets and cap bulging with so much change he imagined he had acquired all the money in the world. Elsie's brushes with death began when she contracted polio upon the birth of her first son Bill (now living in Crossfield. Her daughter Gladys died in 1935 and second son Albert in The doctor who told her she wouldn't walk again was unaware of her determination. She "bicycled" endlessly beneath the sheets and fell to her face when she tried to cross the room but within six weeks was able to walk from the hospital. Her tenacity saved her life when, as a matron for the RCMP (between 1932-62) the Dayliner, taking her and a woman prisoner to Calgary, was struck by a propane truck near Parkland. Trapped in the flaming coach when the blinding crash occurred she crawled along the floor on hands and knees, groping for the coach door, only to find it jammed. "What a way to leave my husband and family." she moaned as she inched her way. Finally, a husky Oregonian (last to leave the coach) forced the door open and the exhausted Mrs. Risler dropped 10 feet to outstretched arms below. There were six lives lost in the inferno. She was tenting with her two sons at Waterton in 1932 when a forest fire swept in from the south, jumped Bertha Bay setting timber ablaze on Bertha Ridge and spewing cinders and great columns of flame into the air. As the fire gained momentum, members of the American Civil Conservation Corps, ready to evacuate the townsite, warned campers to prepare to leave. Mrs. Risler, her tent and suitcase packed and her children clutching her skirts, stood waiting for evacuation when suddenly at 6 p.m. the wind shifted, driving the flames back and miraculously saving the townsite. Ernie's first hair-raising ordeal occurred on Mount Crandall in 1923 before trails were established. He and Elsie were camped in Waterton and Ernie, with a natural love of hiking and mountain scenery, had decided to climb Crandall via the "bear hump." When he left at dawn he promised to be back by supper but a third of the way from the summit he found progress blocked by a perpendicular wall and he was forced to cross a wide area of steep, loose shale which terminated at the lower edge in a straight 500-foot drop. By using extreme caution he managed to navigate the area on his upward climb but upon his descent, due to the different angle of approach, was horrified to discover it was almost suicidal to attempt to continue. Common sense Mr. and Mrs. E. Risler Walter Kerber dictated he should remain where he was, even overnight, while awaiting help but after a three-hour wait decided to take the chance of his lifetime and inched his way over the slippery surface with slightly more than a hair's breadth between himself and the cliff edge. He blames this experience for his subsequent loss of hair. Meanwhile Elsie had notified the RCMP. A search party, led by Waterton oldtimer Ernie Houk met Ernie at dusk near the present golf links. It was the last climbing Ernie did alone and without proper equipment. He came face to face with a grizzly while wading upstream along the Kishinena Creek, beyond Cameron Lake. Rounding a bend he parted some willows to gain a better view of a deep trout hole, when suddenly he found himself facing the sniffling bear. He was so close he could have scratched its nose with his rod. Ernie plunged shoulder-deep into the frigid stream in an effort to kill his scent. Eventually the bear's sniffing lessened and he sauntered off into the woods. He has plenty of advice for campers. "Sing, whistle or wear a bell in the woods." he says, "to let animals know you're coming but don't press the panic button, whatever you do." Both nearing 80, the venturesome Rislers continue to trailer and fish wherever they choose (they prefer camping in Montana's Many Glaciers Park but Ernie fishes in Beauvais, Payne Police and Duck lakes while Elsie Popularly known as both the "dahlia man" and the "one man band" (through his success in growing saucer-like blooms and in playing concurrently the mouth organ and harp) Ernie helped organize The Herald's social club (along with circulation manageress Harriet Lindsay" and secretary Charlie Ma They travelled by horse and sled to pressman Len Kane's for their first social. Elsie was a member of the Eastern Star for 48 years, is eligible shortly for her 50-year Rebekah pin and is the last remaining charter member of the Lethbridge Women's Institute. Ernie, a 60-year member of the International Typographical Union is a 54- year Mason and holds the rank of P.D.D.G.M. He has won the city's gardening trophy five times. Retired 13 years, he summers in his garden .and winters at the Lethbridge Curling Club. Both Elsie and Ernie are members of the Chinook Pensioners and Senior Citizens. They were off to the University of Calgary by car Friday to attend the graduation of their civil engineer grandson Gary Risler. of Lethbridge. When the Spring Point oldtimers get together someone is bound to suggest that Ernie and Elsie tell what it was like lo meet a grizzly or to be trapped in a blazing coach. With that reminiscing over a 70-year time period will begin. When it will end is anybody's guess. Book review Truman biography shows honest man "Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S- Truman by Merle Miller (Berkley Publishing Corporation, pages, distributed by Longman Canada Some reputations diminish with the passing of time, others are enhanced One person whose renown seems destined lo continue to increase is that of Harry S. Truman who was president of the United States from 1945 to 1952 This book, based on a series of laped interviews inexplicably never used on television. furthers considerably the process of attaching greatness lo the man. When Truman became president upon the death of Franklin D Roosevelt he was generally considered to be a nobody, merely a small time politician He continued lo be thought of as insignificant by most influential people at least untjJ his surprise win in the 1948 election After that it was necessary to reckon with him as something other than an accident to be tolerated for an interlude. There were those who thought Truman got through the critical post war years only by virtue of having extremely capable men such as Dean Acheson and General George G. Marshall to Jean upon But it now appears that Truman was in charge all the way and these men were his subordinates. Even if he had not been Jhe man he is now seen lo be. much credit would have been due him for choosing outstanding men as his associates We all know of a president whose stature has been diminished by those he rhosc to surround himself with The image that is given of Ham1 Truman in 1his book is that of an honest and forthright individual At times the lorlhrightness is disconcerting Truman said things about his successor. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, which may have right but perhaps unnecessary And he was devastating in his judgments regarding Richard M. Nixon. He said this was in the early- sixties when Nixon was out of "I don't think the son of a bitch knows the difference between teliing the truth and lying Nixon is a shifty eyed, goddam liar..." Now it is just possible that some tampering wiih the tapes may have been done to June up some remarks to make a more lively book. Transcripts of tapes easily fall under suspicion these days as a result of the contemporary spectacle of the editing delected in the presidential tapes offered to those investigating the Watergate scandal Yet MiJler's reported conversations have a consistency and they give a picture thai generally coalesces with other sources Harry S Truman comes through as a man possessing intelligence, decisiveness and loyalty Above all. he was a man of integrity Americans these days must marvel at IJie honesty of Truman At the end of his tenure in office the man simply relumed to his home in Independence, flatly rejecting as unfitting all offers of positions that would have traded on the fact that he was the ex president This is an inspiring book (I say that even though some people might be offended by Truman's language) and one that gives pleasure in the reading. Here was a man one is not likely to get gooey about but yet admire and applaud DOUG WALKER Books in brief "The by Gordon R. Dickson, McClelland and Stewart. 216 fiorrion Dickson. two-time president of the Science Fiction Writers of America has won both Ihe Hugo and Nebula awards for his work This one is a perfect sample of the weird workings of men's minds as they attempt to control their destiny with the intelligence-stimulating drug Reninase-47 ANNE SZALAVARY The charismatic phenomenon Some friends recently invited my wife and me to accompany them to a dinner featuring the charismatic movement. They feared lest I be shocked, but there was nothing shocking or even startling at the dinner. About 300 attended, most of them young, and few above 50 years of age. There was little speaking in but they broke spontaneously into a wordless melody during the singing that was strangely, hauntingly beautiful. In praise they would raise their arms palms upward, some of them swaying in a kind of ecstacy. A young girl near me with the face of an angel lifted her hands palms outward, obviously adoring her Lord. They were led in praise by a man and his wife who had splendid voices and used to sing in night clubs Their conversion had been most dramatic. Now they traveled over the world with a singing and dance group, believing that all art and talents should be devoted to God. They reminded me of Blaise Pascal who was the first author to introduce music, painting, and imitative harmony into French prose, and the prose passed into poetry under the book from which Pascal drew his supreme inspiration, the Bible. So the former night club singer carried a Bible, referring to it continually. The singing group had just returned from a trip to the Holy Land where they had attended a charismatic conference of 4.500 people. They were filled with enthusiasm for Israel and felt strongly that the Western world was too lukewarm in their support. No Jew could have a more profound, mystical sense of Israel's destiny than these non Jewish singers. Like Pascal, some of these people were most able, though it is safe to say that none of them reached the heights of his vast genius! Pascal in his youth was the world's greatest genius in mathematics and physics, at the age of 23 experimenting with atmospheric weights and vacuums and inventing the hydraulic press. He was a founder of mathematical calculus. But in more significant ways than ability they resembled Pascal, and this is significant for the future of the church. One has already been pointed out, his belief that the written Word of the Bible and the living Word were one and the same, God speaking to His people through the Bible. Another was the immediacy of religious experience and its personal nature. On the night of November 23, 1654, Pascal received a divine message and vision. He wrote it down and carried it sewn in the lining of his coat to his death. After recording the date and time, Pascal wrote the following: FIRE God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and scholars. Certitude. Feeling. Joy, Peace. God of Jesus Christ. My God and thy God. "Thy God shall be my God." Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except God. He is to be found only by the ways taught in the Gospel. Greatness of the soul of man. "Righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee, but I have known Thee." Joy. joy, joy, tears of joy. I have fallen away from Him. They have forsaken Me. the Fountain of living waters. "My God, wilt Thou forsake May I not fall from Him forever. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, The only true God. and Jesus Christ. Whom Thou hast sent." Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ Total submission to Jesus Christ I will not forget Thy Word." Notice beside the immediacy of experience, the simplicity of his faith. Note also its informality. These are the marks of the charismatic movement. Every member feels beyond argument that they have personally known Jesus. Everyone has a story of personal conversion to tell. It is unfortunate that "speaking in tongues" should be tied up with this movement so tightly since most would accept the proposition that a Christian is one who has received the gift of the Holy Spirit by committing himself to the risen Jesus as Lord, and who lives the Christlike life in consequence. The charismatic movement is bound to have great ecumenical results. In the dinner group were Roman Catholics, Baptists, United Church. Anglicans, Salvation Army, and most other denominations. The effect on worship will be to introduce much informality and the formal worship of mainline churches will have a hard time of it. Personal experience will be a sine qua non for clergy and laity, but laity will assume a greater prominence. Singing and music will have a larger role in witnessing. The church will be badly shaken, old forms passing away and new ones appearing, and what the final result be no one can predict, but can only try to realize and accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The University of Lethbridge APERTURE DR. iriLLUMHTTA The child and the man Dr. William Latta joined the U of L English Department in 1967. Now an Associate Professor, he obtained bis 3A from Sterling College, Kansas, his MA in English from Kansas State University in 1960, and his PhD in 19th and 20th century English from the University of Nebraska in 1965. A number of his poems and short stories have been published in literary journals and magazines. "The Child is the father of the Man." Wordsworth tells us in his poem. My Heart Leaps Up. and in his. Intimations Ode. he laments, as a man. the loss of that Heaven which "lies about us in our It is generally true that the child, with his unrestrained and fresh outlook, enjoys a more immediate response to the world around him than does the average adult. In his egocentricity. the child accepts all of nature as his rightful kingdom. As Dylan Thomas puts it. the child is the "prince of the apple towns" during "the lamb white days" of childhood. Surely the grass is greener, the May blossoms more richly perfumed, the rain fresher, the thunderstorms more to the child. As we grow older, more mature, we tend to become deadened to the beauty around us. caught up as we are in our various adult preoccupations. But Wordsworth also argues in the. Intimations Ode. that the Man ultimately has the advantage over the Child, for. while he has lost the ability to perceive the reality "Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower." he has gained "the philosophic mind" that allows him to appreciate more deeply what he can perceive And he can also remember his childhood closeness to nature, again with heightened appreciation. Gerard Manley Hopkins makes somewhat the same point in his poem. Spring and Fall: To a Young Child. The chiid. Margaret, experiences a spontaneous but not very meaningful sense of loss as the fall of the year occurs, as she watches the 'Goldengrove unleaving The poem's ariull speaker genlJy suggest? that ss Margaret prows older and encounters the wader reality ol death, then she wiJ] be better able to appreciate the full significance of the season ol dying, she will then see it as symbolic of 1he mortality of all living things, including hcrseli She will come to know that "11 is the Wichl man was bom for 11 is Margarc-1 you mourn for The point is a valid one. I believe one must suffer the knowledge of death, anger. pettiness, selfishness, loneliness, sin. and all sorts of other unpleasant aspects of life before one is able truly to appreciate and celebrate the beautiful experiences, the "dearest freshness deep down things." to use another of Hopkins' phrases. Now I would, as many others have, argue that herein lies the value of the poet to the human community the poet is one who has. almost miraculously, grown up and learned the full significance of the human experience without having lost the freshness of response that the child enjoys. He is truly, as Emerson called him. a "seer." He can. indeed he must, open our eyes to the significant and beautiful in life. He can sharpen our responses which have become blunted and stereotyped As Hayakawa says, in his. Language in Thought and Action. "Poets have aptly been called "the window washers of the without their communications to widen our interests and increase the sensitivity of our perceptions, we could very well remain as blind as puppies." And James E. Miller. Jr.. in his. Word. Self Reality: The Rhetoric of the Imagination, argues the same point: "Average human consciousness sometimes needs to be shocked out of its dullness or density, its habitual imperceptiveness. Much poetry is devoted to ferreting out the strange that lies within the realm of the familiar. It is true that we are often so caught up in the dailiness of the daily, so dulled by routines and bound by conventions that we cannot see lo see. cannot structure for ourselves the unique moment or passing scene, and simply accept an available structure, a secondhand sight I would not call the child a natural poet, although children quite often offer us very poetic