Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Vote CCF
, p. 30

Hooper, John, Author
Media Type:
Item Type:
Written: 3 May 1997
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Full Text

Stan Pitts has always been a guy who loves to co-operate especially when it comes to having part in causing a belly laugh or two.

Several years ago my late father asked me if I thought Stan would have a couple of signs printed for reasons that follow.

Being owner and publisher of the Watchman-Warder, I knew Stan would be right in there pitching when I explained what Dad and his friends had in mind for the signs they wanted. "Sure, and they'll be gratis" Stan replied.

Russell Lamb operated his Barber Shop at the Hotel Benson and every morning one could be assured someone would start a political argument. It might be local, provincial or federal politics but they never failed to take place.

"Russ" as he was known, was as staunch a Liberal as ever one could find but despite this, his brother Charles (who later becomes a member of parliament for the Conservatives) loved to needle him just as much as anyone else and never let a chance slip by to get his digs in.

A federal election was just a few weeks away when Stan gave me the signs dad had requested and, when "Russ" wasn't looking, one of them was placed in his barber shop window. Many of the guys were cautioned not to say anything to "Russ" but were encouraged to co-operate in their plan.

Every morning the guys would drop in in large numbers and on this occasion taunted "Russ" as to why he suddenly decided to change his party support in the coming election.

Comments, all derogatory, about the Liberal party were plentiful and Lamb swore he would never change his allegiance from the Liberals despite what the fellows were claiming.

Eventually "Rube" Morris, another staunch Grit, came in to the shop and asked "Russ" what in heaven's name he was thinking of, supporting another party when he was a believer in Liberal philosophy.

"What are you talking about?" Lamb asked.

"That damn sign in your window," replied Morris.

"Russ" went to the window and there, in big bold letters a sign bore the message "Vote CCF".

The sign was quickly removed.

As for the other sign, a fellow by the name of Joe O'Neil used to pull up in his horse and wagon in front of the hotel every day at precisely the same time. After hitching his horse and wagon to a post, he would go into the hotel's beverage room for a quick glass of ale on his way home for lunch.

When Joe returned after quenching his thirst, a sign was hanging from his horse's neck bearing the Dow's Brewery beer slogan. "Where's Joe?

"Gone For A Dow."

The only difference was that Joe enjoyed the prank - "Russ" didn't.

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Looking Back: Vote CCF