39 years ago we were on vacation in the US with our Scotty travel trailer. After a July 4 weekend in Vermont we headed south down US Route 7 to Connecticut. July 7 found us near Hartford where we camped in this State Park.

Our neighbors were a couple of older couples from CT who were friendly and informative. One of the guys was a retired long haul trucker so he had quite a few laughs at my feeble attempts to back up and park a 13 foot travel trailer. To his credit he gave me some pointers which I remember to this day – not that I plan to back up a rig anytime soon.

The 1970s were still the heyday of AM radio – no Sirius XM back then – and we listened to the legendary Bob Steele on WTIC Hartford. It turned out we were in Hartford on a special day – July 7, 1977 or as Bob described it “seven seven seventy-seven.”

Bob Steele started at WTIC in the 1940s so he had been at the station to celebrate 4/4/44, 5/5/55, 6/6/66 already. So 7/7/77 was a big deal. I believe he celebrated 8/8/88 and after he retired the station had him back for 9/9/99. Amazing guy.

So on 7/7/77 what did we do? Went shopping at K-Mart and got a screened in tent to put around the picnic table. No bugs and we had a lot more space to eat. I believe the manufacturer – Camel Tents – went out of business in the 90s when a major sporting goods chain purchased them. But it was a great unit.

So many years, so many memories.

Eleven Years On

Eleven years ago today – July 6, 2005 – we moved to a new home, a new town, a new stage in life. This is how our place of abode looked back then – not all that homey, to tell the truth.

Well the neighborhood has improved a bit.


And the landscaping is a bit better.

No matter. On July 4, 2005 we were packed up by our movers in Georgetown. The truck was loaded on July 5 and we locked the door at 56 Pennington in a driving rainstorm. Then it was off in two cars to Almonte. We got as far as Peterborough, spent the night in the “Nite Owl” motel and next day were up early and off to our new life experience.

After we got unloaded and unpacked here we were joined by Sammy who had spent a few harrowing hours with Dave and Sarah as they took him to Ottawa earlier. He was glad to get settled, as were we.

And now we’ve been here 11 years. Our old pal Sammy went off to the Rainbow Bridge last year. We have had many joys (grandkids) and sorrows (deaths in the family) and of course we’ve gotten older. We learned the fun of cruise vacations, enjoy being close to the US without driving to Buffalo, and especially like the fact that Maria’s mother and our daughter and son-in-law live much closer than if we had stayed in Georgetown.

And although Maria worried that we moved to too small a town, she’s been happily received into volunteer work here. As for me – I love the scenery, the small town feel, the river, cool nights under a canopy of stars.

There are far worse places to retire than the Ottawa Valley.


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