Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Where's the lake? Lindsay, Ontario, and Bob Dylan and the cops

Didn't make it with a post on the weekend, and off to a likl cruise up the Trent-Severn waterway this afternoon. I don't normally do this, since pretty much everything I hang up here is drafted, edited, and so on, but time's more and more precious, so today I shall be daring.

We've had a few days' break in the country, courtesy of our good friend, Steph, and have been doing a little driving about, getting to know our province better. Day before yesterday we set out, map in hand, to drive around Clear Lake and Stony Lake. Routes 6 and 56 seemed, from the map, to rim the lakes and we looked forward to some great lake views. Imagine our distress to find that, apart from a couple of glimpses (at Burleigh Falls, for instance), there was precious little lake to be seen. Vacation properties of various sizes occupy much of the perimeter, and though in many places we were separated from the water by not much distance, lake views were hidden by buildings or forest.

Nothing to be gained by complaining, but we did feel cheated. For the car-touring visitor, this is no drive to take!

Yesterday we did a short tour of a pretty city - Lindsay, Ontario. We drove through, looking at houses, enjoying the main street. It's quite flat, unlike Peterborough, which we like for its hills and valleys, and its waterways. We were in Lindsay for two hours or so - during which time we saw no more than three persons of mixed race! That was a surprise. Demographics tell all kinds of stories, don't they? Lindsay is less than two hours' drive from Toronto, a city that's now as brown as it is white, to put it crudely. But us brown folks seem to have stayed away from Lindsay. I look forward to learning more about a charming small city that has, in this respect, wittingly or no, preserved, shall we say, a certain distance.

Finally a lovely story about Bob Dylan, who managed to get himself questioned by a couple of young cops in the environs of Long Branch, New Jersey. He was, God help him, walking around looking at houses, and someone called the authorities. (Doesn't seem to have been an upscale neighbourhood either.) He identified himself, but Dylan is an old fellow, now, and so the youngsters weren't to be satisfied till they drove him along to where he said the tour buses were, and where he could be vouched for. (Dylan was waiting to perform with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp in a gig later that day.) Bob was cool and went along with the cops, who, once satisfied that he was who he said he was, were happy to let him go.

Of course, there have been the inevitable comparisons with the incident with Prof Gates, and the inevitable comments about the 'correct way' to deal with cops. It would be lovely to get Dylan's view on both incidents, and I shall in due course put in my piece on this, but what certainly deserves noticing is how terrified Americans now are of their fellow citizens, even when they are old, distinguished (true in both cases) and unarmed - well, I guess Prof Gates had his cane!

Now I wonder what the reasons might be for that?