I had two meals out yesterday, one at the Peterboro Diner, and old rail-car diner in the heart of Peterborough, NH, and the other at a more upscale place across the street. In both cases, I was offered the choice of coleslaw or potato salad with my meal, which is a new, unusual, non-Canadian sort of thing. So I had the potato salad. Man, was this good potato salad: none of the yellowing mashed-potato like guck I’m used to — this stuff was made out of big chunks of red potatoes with the skins left on. Bravo U.S.A.
I’m here in Peterborough, New Hampshire, visiting with my friends at Yankee magazine and The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It’s nice to be back in New Hampshire (motto on license plates: “Live Free or Die”). Random notes from the road: Chuck from Barachois (he’s the “wacky” curly one) was my seatmate for about 5 minutes on the flight to Boston — he kept trying to secretly read the back page of my National Post; Halifax International Airport isn’t under construction anymore whereas Logan Airport in Boston seems more under construction than ever before; the Taco Bell resataurants here in the U.S. serve their iced tea unsweetened; there’s a fantastic natural foods grocery store in Nashua called “Trader Joes” (might be part of chain) — made me realize just how crowded the Root Cellar in Charlottetown is; my Island Tel cell phone works fine here (Postie Connolly phoned me while I was standing at the Hertz rental counter) — why didn’t it work in NYC at the beginning of May? Off to Kenebunk tomorrow for some sea air…
A CBC “Off the Beaten Track” episode in which we go “down the road and under the ground.”
Originally aired on July 21, 2000 on CBC Radio’s Mainstreet program in Prince Edward Island.
As reported earlier, in my family we say Roo-ka-veen-a. It rhymes with “blue cantina.” It doesn’t rhyme with “truck machiner” or “hooka blini” (which sounds like a pancake that makes you stoned). However Dave Rukavina, from Wisconsin, emails:
I saw your web page and I just gotta argue with you on the pronunciation of Rukavina. According to my relatives, it’s roo-KAH-vi-na or roo-KAH-vee-na, preferably with a rolled “R” at the beginning and definitely with the accent on the second syllable. Only the Americanized version has the accent on the third syllable. Back in Croatia, it’s the second.
I guess we’re assimilated.
My brother Steve, a burgeoning journalist and broadcaster, is a frequent movie-goer and bon vivant. Using the “Catherine Hennessey Engine” we created a website that he can update from where the world takes him.
So we’ve been shopping at the Charlottetown IGA since October. Strike that — it’s the Charlottetown IGA Independent, with that word Independent emblazoned all over the store. I felt more comfortable shopping there since I assumed this meant that the store wasn’t part of some large IGA Corporation but rather a breakaway independent store, locally owned an operated. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw Atlantic Superstore on my bank statement after paying for groceries at the IGA with a debit card. I called the store: “Oh, we went corporate in February… we’re owned by the Atlantic Superstore.” Shouldn’t they take the Independent off the marquee? I’ve sent a letter to owner (manager?) Dave Young.
So the Canada Bread Company Limited has a new variety of their Dempster’s-brand bread, which they are advertising around the notion that children don’t like eating bread with yucky fibre bits. According to the company’s 1999 Annual Report,
Solid progress was achieved in implementing the five point turnaround plan designed to get the fundamentals right in our core businesses. In 2000 our goal is to achieve critical mass in the implementation of these fundamentals and to continue to translate this into improved results.I can only assume that, at some level, the yucky fibre bits are involved in this turnaround. My only question is: do children really talk about yucky fibre bits in bread? Perhaps I am naive, but this smells a lot like the whole pulp-free orange juice debacle.
You can still send a telegram by Western Union, by dialing 1-800-325-6000. But service isn’t what it used to be: I tried sending a telegram to rural Winconsin last year, and was told that I couldn’t, as no Western Union office was in the area. Quite a change from the days when there was “practically no inhabited part of the world that is inaccessible to Western Union telegrams” (from Harts Guide to New York City, 1964)