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Published in The Great North Arrow, December 2019: Being Santa

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 jim Young “Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” - Janice Maeditere I am Santa Claus. I feel like I’m bragging when I say that and in a way I guess I am. It is a great privilege for me to be able to say “I am Santa” . In the movie “The Santa Clause” Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen took over the role of Santa Claus almost overnight. All he had to do was put on the coat of the previous Santa. After his first Christmas as Santa, Scott then had just one year to get his affairs in order to become the “real” Santa. But that was just a movie. In real life, the ascent to this position of privilege is a process of evolution that takes a much longer period of time. Like every other child, I adored Santa Claus and looked forward to his annual Christmas visits.  My mother was largely responsible for keeping Santa alive for us for so many years. She was the Spirit of Christmas in my world. Well into her 80s my mother continued to buy gifts for all of her c

Published in The Great North Arrow, November 2019: Wartime Bullies

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- jim Young  “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” - Douglas MacArthur I remember as a young boy I would often prevent my father from taking an afternoon nap by laying beside him and barraging him with questions or begging him to tell me a story. My father never turned me away in favour of the nap he had been looking forward to. One such afternoon while he was relating some of his stories about his service in the RCAF during World War II, I asked my father why, when knowing he might be killed, he joined the air-force anyway. My father had a way of simplifying complicated issues and breaking them down to the core of the problem in a way that a young boy such as myself might better comprehend. “Hitler was a bully,” my father told me, “and he needed to be stopped.” That satisfied my curiosity for the time. Later I was proud to learn that my father had a history of standing up to the proverbial s

Bobby Orr Endorses Donald Trump

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Dear Journalist Katie

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- jim Young “Based on the state of politics in the world today, is there really any such thing as ‘political correctness?’” - jim Young Dear Journalist Katie: (Or whoever is the true originator of this meme.) While I recognize your right to interpret anything I say or do based on your personal, past life experiences, I hope you will not be disappointed by my total disregard for this opinion you have shared. Actually, I kind of resent the fact that you are automatically including me in a group without knowing anything about me, based solely on my gender. Isn’t that in fact counteractive to the very point you are trying to make? I hold doors open for women and I will continue to do so regardless of your misinformed interpretation of what that might mean to you. I also hold doors open for men; and children; and the elderly; and the physically challenged; and people of any race, colour, age, sex, religion or political affiliation. Why? Because unlike you, my first assumption about everyone

Thanksgiving Chores

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- jim Young  Thanksgiving chores when I was young, Was a weekend filled with laughter and fun. We’d head to Muskoka to tie off the docks, Then carry the boats up over the rocks. Stored in the shed were motors and oars, Gas cans, lifejackets, paddles and more. Things put away and stored for the year, Memories shared o’er a few pints of beer. The young ones scampered through the woods to play; Or fish from the rocks to help pass the day. Capture the flag, building forts, catching leaves, Hide and seek, or just climbing trees. We’d cut down a tree, sometimes two, maybe more, Cut, split and piled, near the back door. While the men worked hard at growing some blisters, Mom busied herself with the help of my sisters, Preparing stuffed turkey, potatoes and treats. There was always something good to eat. The meal was enjoyed in happy reminisce, With a tear shed in memory of loved ones we missed. Plates were emptied as we sat back with a sigh, Then dessert would be served in the form of a pie.

The Problem Faced by America Today

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Gimme Some Truth

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- jim Young "I've had enough of reading things by neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians."  - John Lennon Knowing how much of a Beatle fan I am, my nephew Kory recently sent me a link to a review of a new John Lennon album, Gimme Some Truth .   Gimme Some Truth is a “Greatest Hits” release of 36 John Lennon songs, selected by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon , and remixed by Paul Hicks . It’s release was timed to coincide with the celebrations of what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday on October 9th. When I was listening to the title track Gimme Some Truth , it occurred to me that this song is as relevant today, perhaps even more so, than it was when it was first released on Lennon’s Imagine album almost half a century ago. “Fake News” has become the battle cry of the opposition while the blatant lies of world leaders has become an accepted norm.  False information spreads like wildfire through Social Media with the flick of a click, with cries of censorship, dicta