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The Art of Being A Great Canadian, Eh? Part 1

By Grant Gibson
Posted May 3, 2012 in Lifestyle
I believe, without undue modesty, that I have certain qualifications to write on ‘The Art of Being a Great Canadian, Eh!’ as I was born within the lands considered to be the lands of ‘Canada’. Even with this evidence in hand from being a youngster I found out that every time somebody wanted to humor me or know more about ‘me’ they would ask that inevitable great Canadian question; Where do your parents and grand-parents come from, that is…what country were they born in. A young child like me thought everyone was born right on my street somewhere (at least in their own backyard). Interestingly, their question was a correct one, as my mother and father, although both born in Canada, had many blood lines from other countries starting with their parent’s backward in time. My mother had at least five known countries of origin in her background- Irish, German, French, & English. My father seemed to be the one in the family with straight Scottish roots dating from his parents backward. (Maybe that’s why my favorite drink of choice is single malt scotch, who knows eh?) They came over to the ‘new land’ to raise their family on a homestead on the prairies. The subsequent looks and remarks confirmed my suspicion to that inevitable question (Oh…he’s one of those, eh!). The undertones & change of mannerisms from that moment on confirmed I was not just your average kid growing up on Simple Street Canada. Even growing up in the 50’s in a middle class Canadian city had it’s streets of multiple diversities of culture. Our street had the same neighbors for years. No one moved. Everyone stayed in the same house for years. Garbage trash stashed close or on container by back lane Tuesday before dark. Lawns cut between 8:00 & 9:00 am on Saturdays. Laundry hung on the clothesline by 11:00. Car washed early afternoon. Seeds planted by May long-weekend. The list goes on and on. It was a major community event to find out someone was actually not following the underwritten rules & protocol of the neighborhood, or worse, planning to move out of the area. Yet, I now realize many years later from being asked that first line of questions from ‘mature’ concerned citizens of this great land that no-ones roots were from that street anyways, or for that matter ANY street on the fee simple premises known as great Canadian turf. What an eye opener that was. I had hit pay-dirt by the time I hit fourteen years old with this knowledge & understanding. Ah, I love being Canadian...
To be

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