The New “Three r’s”
Back… “in the early days” when public education was being spawned and practised in all Ontario public schools located in all cities, small towns, villages and hamlets, including my own home town of Brockville the three “rs” were held sacred as the measuring sticks of success in terms of teaching and learning. They also, to a very large and unfair extent determined future expectations and outcomes in one’s later academic opportunities and economic circumstances.
The three r’s back then rudimentarily meant… readin’… writin’… and ‘rithmetic. They were presented daily in a purely daily ritualic rote memory learning fashion. That meant through incessant spoken,written and painful drilled regularity of regirgitation. The method certainly was successful in servicing good results from the high achiever “ Cadillacs and Chevrolets”within the production line, but consistently failed the slower and unmotivated “Model T’s” and “jalopies” in the mix.
They were simply “held back” until it could be presented over and hopefully learned. Or, as was often the case after fifteen years of unsuccessful attempts iun the public school portion of the educational spectrum, they were released into and encouraged to seek more menial jobs and work areas where educations demanded only simpler tasks. Or worse, harder physical labor and presented lower wage-paying jobs became their lot in life. Rural populations of students were most often the most predictably targeted areas for expected failure and minimal achievement.
“Fast Forward… to 2021”
Herein, lies the end of this sad tale, or trail of travesty. I will now focus upon a newer version of the three r’s practised in the small village Lansdowne, Ontario. This hamlet is located high on a hillside just north of Rockport where we resided most recently.
I have long admired and frequented the inviting and inviting atmosphere in this very small rural community. I was fortunate to be raised nearby in my earlier youth and found myself returned to revisit the village on outdoor plein air painting events. Its quaint untouched rural and architectural beauty made it a perfect site for such gatherings of artists.
The villagers have managed by sheer will, determination and an unusually high sense of community spirit to retain this unique drawing force and appeal. Using this strength they have risen from the ashes to continue to prosper and flourish when many other villages around them have lost their uniqueness and even their will to survive.They have maintained their respect for their past heritage and their roots.
But they have, as well embraced the current absolute need to change and to grow in other directions. Yes, they do remain challenged by this growthg decline caused by the selfish and uncaring sprawl of modernity. Their common sense of community has remained intact. It is vigilantly spearheaded by handfulls of villagers who devote countless hours of service towards the continuance of that purpose.
I continue to visit and support the local businesses there, though we must travel almost an hour to receive the wonderful services they selfishly continue to offer. That service is offered to us as strangers really, but as well to the entire network of residents and smaller outlying and neighboring communities.
I return as well because “it is a place… where everybody knows your name.” I feel taken care of… valued… listened to… serviced with a smile. More importantly to me, I feel that it is always offered in a RESPECTFULLY manner.
A large sign on a red sign in full view as you approach the tiny Canada Post Office reads: “Respect – everybody deserves it.” And in my own mind and experience that attitude continues to reach out to every one… from every point point and person there in the village.
Respect… First new “R”!
I continue to take my vehicle go be serviced and cared for by Newell Brother’s Garage… a second generation “pop ‘n son” garage operation still reliably dispensing service tailored to individual needs and circumstances. More than once, the White lads have offered me a spare vehicle… picked me up… or fitted me into an already bursting schedule. It has always been a place where I can be assured:
Reliability…The Second New New “R” with a dash of honesty and fairness
That same treatment and expectation has been offered at the village groceteria “Valumart.” It is successfully run by two friendly brothers Sel and Urich. Every community event is supported and driven by their sense of community responsibility and kindness.
At the bottom of the hill lies the Lansdowne Medical Clinic… epicenter for those in need medically . It is staffed by the same folk who dispense a level of responsible and reliable medical care not often found in larger centres. From reception… to nursing staff to doctors – Third “R”… Reliability!
I would like to draw this post to a conclusion. It has already grown well past being too long, Im afraid. If you doubt my feelings of ebdearment to the village, I would suggest that you take a short drive (after the Covid Lockdown order is lifted) down to Lansdowne, Ontario. It is located just a “few clicks” east of Gananoque on the 401and then north off that HWY on Reynolds Road… just a few clicks more.
Witness what I have related to you here for yourself. Give a big wave to Leslie, Post Mistress (extraordinaire) at the Post Office… also local Food Bank organizer and dispenser and fund raiser for the Medical Clinic.
Another “R” The 3rd “R” represents… capital “R” for the current business Renaissance currently underway. Check out the old village hardware store on the crest of the hill. Soon you can enjoy the newest “kid” in town – The Tipsy Goat – a Social House / Market / Giftshop which is rumored to be be opening early Summer 202 and featuring high quality local artisanship and unusal crafts…
Drop by… introduce yourself and say Howdy!
To close… I include a couple of Lansdowne Landmark Landscapes. My painted salutes… “Hats off” tributes to Friendly Lansdowne!