© 2013 by AL. All rights reserved.

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  • Angela Louie and Allan de la Plante

Niagra Falls

Travelling during Covid 19 was a nail-biter. Even though we were staying in Canada, we were both dreading the flight to Toronto. Was the plane going to be packed? Would there be another passenger right next to us? We breathed a sigh of relief when we discovered that no, they did not pack the flight and no there was not a passenger in the center seat. Nevertheless, we were geared up with masks and face shields. But we didn’t get through without incident. Unfortunately, the flight was delayed in Calgary when one of the passengers was upset that she wasn’t getting what she thought she paid for and was taken off the flight when it couldn’t be resolved.

First stop…getting the RV. A beautiful Leisure Travel Van. Allan and I were both looking forward to test driving this RV as we dream of getting one of our own after I retire. We hit it off with the owners Stuart and Lily when we discovered the things we had in common: Stuart had a background in art and photography, he was also married to a Chinese woman and their children were similar ages to ours and their daughter, like ours, had a passion for writing and performing music.

What better way to start the 75th lap than to visit one of Allan’s long-time friends, Bruce and Judy Smith. They live in the Niagra region and welcomed us in like we never missed a beat from our last visit. They told stories over Bruce’s national award winning wine. Bruce and Allan met in 1966 when Allan joined the Canadian Ski Patrol. Allan was assigned to the Craigleigh Ski Patrol in Collingwood under Bruce who was Patrol Leader. Bruce was well-known for taming renegade young patrollers.

They reminisced about their youth and wilder times, like the time when Allan was vying for the affections of a young lady from another patroller, Harv. After losing the contest, Allan went out to a snowbank, slid to the bottom and into the parking area where he passed out drunk. At the same time, Harv and his date drove out of the parking lot in a VW Beetle and ran over something. He got out of the car to look. “We ran over Al!” He immediately got back in the car to correct the situation and ran over him again with the back wheels!

When the other patrollers at the party found out what happened, they immediately went into “rescue” mode. They took the front door off the chalet, strapped Allan to the door with full extension to prevent serious back injury. They realized one of them ran over him. Allan was transported to the hospital in Collingwood. In the emergency room, Allan came to and sat upright and blurted, “What am I doing here?” After a quick exam and no injury noted, he was released and taken back to the chalet, along with the door. (Many years later, a chiropractor discovered that he had indeed suffered a serious back injury).

And that, my friends, is how Allan’s urban legends are made.

A quick trip to Niagra Falls and then it was off to Orangeville.

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