Family Non-Fiction posted February 5, 2021

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an event in Snow Lake

Opportunity knocks

by pragmatic poet

The Sweet Smell of Success
When Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting discovered gold some hundred miles east of Flin Flon, Manitoba, the little town of Snow Lake was carved out of the black spruce forest beside its namesake lake.
The isolated community of nine hundred proved to be a quiet safe place to raise families and to develop the strong long lasting friendships common among mining people.
Crime was nonexistent.
The work force ranged from the mainly Caucasian executives and foremen, to the immigrants that composed the bulk of the work force. Although these new-arrivals spoke very little English, the community eagerly adopted them. Soon Portuguese, Polish, Ukrainian and Slavic music blended into the various community holidays such as Christmas concerts.
Slipping in and out of town were the Northern Cree who renewed their supplies by exchanging furs at the Hudson's Bay Company. A small percentage of these trappers were also amateur prospectors who brought samples to the mine to be assayed.
One particular prospector, Casper, was as weather-beaten as a solitary pine on a wind-swept island, and as ageless as the Canadian Shield he roamed.
Casper's stocky wrinkled frame was encased in the same scruffy coat and woollen-grey pants stuffed in his half-laced bush-boots. Equally-spaced around his warped brimmed black hat dangled numerous beads to ward off mosquitoes and black flies.
He had one distinguishing feature: a pockmarked half-golf- ball-sized growth on the end of his nose. I now know it was a benign tumour, but the anomaly must have been a constant embarrassment for him.
One day Casper discovered a massive copper and nickel deposit near Ward Lake about thirty miles west of town.
The mining company immediately optioned his claims.
Casper bought new clothes, a shiny new pickup, and then chartered a plane to Winnipeg where they operated on his nose.
Although the town rejoiced with him, it seemed to miss that Old Casper look.

I can still visualize old Casper
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