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Issue #11  Dec. 3, 01

Cops Corner

Fortunately, we have very little crime!  It's great for the town but it's tough on the community newspaper.
On Nov. 23- Police recovered  a  stolen snowmobile in the Nahatlatch, that had been stolen from Surrey last March.  Early Sat. Dec.1- At 4:28 am, fire trucks were called out to the home of Steve Purewal.  The house and contents were completely destroyed by the flames, but thank goodness all occupants got out safely.  The family , we are told, is understandably shaken, but are fully insured.        

                                        A Railroaders Ghost Story
from "Ghost Stories and Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia" (Harbour Publishing)

    When he died in 1954 at the age of ninety-two, retired railroad employee Matthew Fulton Crawford took a piece of history with him.  He was the last remaining survivor of those who had attended the ceremonial driving of the Canadian Pacific Railway's Last Spike an 1885.  Fortunately for ghost story lovers everywhere, he left behind accounts of a few of his stranger experiences while working along that first ribbon of steel that connected our country from sea to sea.
    These stories have become legendary among railway crews as proof that the bond among them extends beyond the world that the rest of us know.
    In the spring of 1895, Crawford was piloting his steam train from Kamloops southward to North Bend, which is about midway between Lytton and Yale.  Much to the entire crew's relief, the trip had been uneventful so far.  The section of track that they were just about to leave led through some dangerous curves with steep drop- offs.  In addition, it was common for that section to be blocked by avalanches, mudslides or fallen boulders.
    On this particular day just as the sun set to the west, a heavy rain began to fall.  In unspoken agreement. the crew's level of vigilance picked up as the skies darkened above them.  Crawford and his fireman exchanged simple, nearly meaningless acknowledgements about the weather as they continued their duties.  They'd all been through far worse but despite the apparent ordinariness of the situation, Crawford found himself becoming inexplicably apprehensive.  His nerves were too taut to continue anything even resembling banter with his trusted and long-standing partner, the fireman.  They worked on in silence until a voice screamed," Stop! Don't go any further!"
    Whirling around in his chair, engineer Crawford screamed back, "Why? What do you see?"
    "Nothing," came the surprised-looking fireman's reply, for the warning had not been his and he hadn't heard it.
    "Why did you order me to stop then?" Crawford demanded in a high-pitched, stressed-sounding voice.
    "I didn't say anything, Matt. Relax.  You're letting your nerves get the best of you.  Everything's all right," The fireman advised.
    Not content this time to take his partner's word for it, Matthew Crawford thrust his head out the cab window.  although he could see nothing in the inky blackness, he certainly heard something.  It was that voice again, it was shouting even louder-only one word over and over again, "Stop! Stop! Stop!"
    Unable to disregard these clear instructions, Matthew Crawford applied the brakes as abruptly as he felt safe.
    "What are you doing Matt?  We're making good time.  Don't throw us off schedule," the fireman tried to reason with the nearly panicked engineer.
As the train ground to a complete halt, Crawford grabbed a lantern and jumped down from his cab.  By this time, the crew from the cars further back in the train had made their way forward to ask what was going on.  "He's hearing voices," the fireman said, with a disparaging gesture toward the engineer out on the tracks.  As their curiosity had been aroused, and since there was nothing to be gained by staying in the train, two of the crew joined Matt Crawford out on the tracks.  Moments later the trio stood stock still and stared in disbelief.  There, just ahead, a rockslide had ripped the track to shreds.  Below, roared the Mighty Fraser River.  It would have been certain death to all on board had Matthew Crawford not obeyed the phantom voice's instructions.
    The supernatural presence that warned the engineer of the danger ahead did not make itself visible that night, but it didn't have to, for it had made itself heard.  More importantly, its advice had been heeded, but just in time.
    
        Do You have a Reader on your gift list?  Here are some great books about our beautiful province:  Available at most fine book stores, or order from home

Visions of the Wild: A Voyage by Kayak Around Vancouver Island by  Maria Coffey  
Ranchland: British Columbia's Cattle Country  by Rick Blacklaws  
Off the Map: Western Travels on Roads Less Taken  by Stephen Hume  
Inside Fighter: Dave Brown's Remarkable Stories of Canadian Boxing  by Tom Henry  
A Touch of Strange: Weird Tales of the BC Coast  by Dick Hammond  



Why Brave The Malls?  All Your Gift
 Shopping Can Be Done Here At Home
    
                                                                                                            Do the crowded parking lots, the human crush, and the jammed highways kill your holiday spirits?  Why do it?  If, like most people, the `convenient' location of the perfume counter at the front of the store is nothing less than nauseating, then you should stay out of the malls at Christmas.  The aisles are lined with scented everything, from sachets, pot-pourri, and candles to cedar chests, and scented ladies, possibly pleasant enough on their own, but blended together?  Phew!
                                                                                                            You might be surprised to learn that everything you need for gifts, can be acquired without ever leaving the Canyon.  
            If you missed the Christmas Craft Market on November 29, you may not know that there are many local people with amazing artistic talents.  Many of the vendors have crafts left over, some may be exactly what your babysitter wants for Christmas, and don't forget about the kids' teachers. Crafts are also the perfect choice for your doctor, or that friend who has everything.  Contact this paper if you would like to be put in touch with any of our local crafters.
          What exactly are you in the market for? Let's start with the kids, are they asking for something in particular? A brand name toy or outfit, why not check out the Sears catalogue? Anything, and everything is available , often there is merchandise in the catalogues that is not available in the store.  Great stocking stuffers for folks of all ages are available through  Sears, Regal, Avon and even  from www.ebay.ca (buying online at ebay is fun and secure, no credit card needed).
            Your wife might love a  new bedroom from Sears, if you don't want to swing for new furniture why not a great new bedspread with matching sheets, pillow cases , curtains and bedskirt.  Perhaps something more intimate is in order, beautiful jewellery, lingerie and gift ornamentals, or if your wife is the practical sort how about a nifty new kitchen gadget .  Contact Sears to make sure you get your order before Christmas.  You can even shop on the internet at www.sears.ca.
             A gift for your husband?  Look no further than The Siska Art gallery,  just this side of Lytton for beautiful carved boxes and wildlife art. Is he the handy type?  Once again check out the Sears catalogue for tools and sports equipment.  The Siska Art Gallery also has beautiful native jewellery and homemade jams , jellies and even soap; all unique items, found only in the canyon..
            For a truly great selection of gifts for all ages, contact Terry Kimber, our local Avon representative, the brochure showcases everything from endearing Christmas ornaments and unique collectibles to skin care, bath and body and gorgeous high quality  clothing and accessories.  Even videos, books, jewellery and toys .  Contact Terry before Dec. 11, to be sure you get your order before Christmas.
              Joan Blakeborough, our Regal representative, has provided an extensive list of gift ideas for everyone in the family, including grandparents and the family pets!  If there was room to list them all, you would be amazed, the catalogue needs to be thoroughly explored.  Regal is also the place to purchase beautiful wrapping paper, tape, ribbon and gift tags.  I ask you, What else is left to buy?