Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

What A Weekend

Last weekend was the annual Royal Canadian Legion bonspiel in town. The bonspiel is held every year and normally about the first weekend after the new year. Like all other things, of late the curling numbers have been decreasing. Last year we had 24 teams and we sure were hoping we could at least get that many again. We actually were up to 35 teams that were interested in coming at one time, however, we ended up with 32 teams. This makes for a nice even bonspiel on a 4 sheet curling rink.

The fun all started on the afternoon of Friday, January 4th when the bro-in-law and myself started getting the bar ready for the weekend. We had to pickup cups from our local Legion Hut and then onto to the local watering hole and picked up an assorted variety of beer. This was to be only one of many trips we made to the local hotel for a ‘beer run’ throughout the weekend. Then to satisfy the other thirsty folks, we stopped at our local hardware store and picked up an assorted variety of hard liquor.

We then took it to the community hall and commenced to get the hall set with tables and chairs, the bar area ready to go and just trying to get organized. At precisely 5 p.m. the bar doors were opened and the weekend was on.

Our first curling draw didn’t start until 6 p.m and my first game was not until 8:00 p.m. so I was able to get a little more straightened away prior to my game. We had a great game and were tied up coming into the last end. It came down to final rocks and then we had to do a measurement to find out that our rock beat out the oppositions by about 1/4 inch. You can’t get better than that.

After the game, it was back into the bar area and then off to the hotel for another load of beer. Then it was just generally help out where you could type of thing for a few hours. At 11:30 p.m. I got to take my turn as a bartender. The bro-in-law and I held down the fort until 2:30 a.m. with last call being at 2:00 a.m. Like normal, about 1 a.m. we had a few thirsty folks in the bar who decided to do some power drinking, however, credit to them, no one got out of hand or caused any problem whatsoever.

After the bar closed we then had to clean up the tables, wash the floor and just generally get everything ready for Saturday. Sandra and I walked in the house at 3:45 a.m. and got into bed in short time. Of course I also had my papers to do on Saturday morning, so at 5:30 a.m. I was up and out on the street getting the papers delivered to the good folks of town. When I got done with the papers at about 6:30 a.m. I climbed back into bed for a few more hours snooze time. Then it was down to the hall and making sure everything was ‘good to go’ there.

At 11:00 a.m. I was back on the ice again trying to play the curling game. We definitely did not have a superb game this time around. Actually we got our butts severely kicked by the other team. This of course dropped us into the next level which meant we curled again at 5:00 p.m. that evening. So then it was back in the bar area to ensure the tills were kept clean and the beer supply remained constant. Of course there was another trip to the hotel to replenish the beer and ice supply once more.

By the time our curling time came around, most of the team were tuckered out from the running around we had been doing either in the bar, the kitchen or just helping out wherever. Needless to say we also didn’t do too well on this draw either and by 6:45 p.m. we were done like dinner. Speaking of which, it was time for the supper which was running from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

A great hot roast beef, mashed potatoes, salad, etc meal replenished the nourishment that we needed to carry on. Then it was time to get the hall ready for the evenings entertainment. We had a live band, ‘RJ and the Boys’ on hand to once again supply some superb tunes starting at 9:00 p.m. Of course there was another ‘run’ to the hotel for a resupply, but we were ready for the dancers by the time the lights were dimmed.

RJ and the Boys were a little late starting in that they were on the ice curling, but they got right into the swing of things when they got on stage. The crowd was a bit smaller than we had hoped, but the people that were there were definitely supportive of the band and enjoyed the tunes.

Once again I got to work the bar but this time it was at 12:30 a.m. until closing time at 2:30 a.m. The band continued playing until shortly after 2:00 a.m. so the bar was hopping for most of my shift. At the 2:00 a.m. last call, the bar emptied fairly well and we had things cleaned up relatively quickly. Sandra and I made it home shortly after 3:00 a.m. I got my float ready for the next day and quickly hit my pillow for some shut eye.

We actually got to sleep in a bit on Sunday morning and didn’t get to the hall until around 11:00 a.m. A couple of the other Legion members had gotten the bar area all set up and ready to go, so it was just a matter of filling the till with the float and we ‘good to go’ for our customers starting at 1:00 p.m. As I (and the rest of my team mates) were out of the running in the curling, I was able to put in a bit more time in the bar (cleaning tables or whatever needed doing). My turn as a bartender didn’t come until 7:00 p.m. so I actually got to sit around and visit a bit with the folks.

On the dot of 9:00 p.m. we had the bar closed, the tables all folded and the placed squared away and out the door we went. A short visit with the brother & sister in law and then it was home to get some of the cash sorted out. I got my cash organized and my deposits were done by 12:30 a.m. and then it was bed time once again.

Of course now we are onto Monday and once again I had papers to deliver. After papers I also had curling in the town league starting at 10:00 a.m. While I was out curling, the bro-in-law and one of the other Legion members returned all the empty beer bottles and other sundries. They were all done by the time I got off the ice. So once the curling was done I was able to come home, have some lunch and then head for the city as Sandra needed to get her blood checked as her levels were a bit wonky.

On our return to town I got out and started to pay some of our bills that we had accrued over the weekend. I also had a couple computers that needed working on that were sitting waiting for me, so I got a start on one of them before I climbed into bed later in the evening. On Tuesday, I paid a few more suppliers and finished off setting up a brand new laptop for a local fellow who was heading out to Mexico on Wednesday. With an hour or so tutorial on his new notebook, the fellow was off to the warmer climes. I was then able to work full time on the other computer and get it back into running shape. I finished that up Wednesday at noon and returned it to the customer with paying a couple more bonspiel bills on my travels.

Then tonite my neighbour called and asked if I could curl for him as he had hurt his foot and couldn’t get his shoe on. As I needed to wear myself out some more, I agreed to curl for him. Mind you I was going to hit the curling rink tonight anyway as I wanted to pay for our ice rental from the weekend and I knew the Curling Club treasurer would be curling tonite.

So down to the ice I went at 7:00 p.m. and did my part to keep the ice clean. Nope we didn’t win, but we tried hard. We came up a bit short and ended up in second place though.

As I walked in the door at 9:15 p.m. I thought, “you know, I think our lives are starting to get back to normal once again”. I’m not overly tired, I have no computers waiting to be fixed, and for tomorrow, I have nothing really important to do. Well other than return a few things to the Legion hut, deliver my papers and a few other little things, but nothing really important.

Gee it’s nice to be retired and have all this free time 🙂


January 10, 2008 Posted by | Curling, Hanley, Legion | Leave a comment