Letters – Our Readers Write: Summer 2019

Letters published in the Summer 2019 edition of In The Hills magazine.

June 20, 2019 | | Letters, Our Readers Write

The clear glass sandwich tray from 1915 shows the iconic Corn Flower motif. Photo by Pete Paterson.

The clear glass sandwich tray from 1915 shows the iconic Corn Flower motif. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Corn Flower kudos

My mother, Audrey Violet Martin, collected Corn Flower glass [“Corn Flower: New Life for a Canadian Icon” Spring ’19], particularly coloured Corn Flower, for over 50 years. She loved the “hunt” and proudly displayed her findings in her various cabinets. After she needed full-time nursing home care, I had the job of deciding what to do with her possessions. Knowing how much she loved her Corn Flower glass, I was not certain what to do with such a large collection until I happened upon the Museum of Dufferin and discovered their Corn Flower displays. I donated my mother’s collection to them, which they were delighted to receive, and was given a receipt for the value. To my surprise it came to over $20,000!

My mother, now deceased, would be thrilled to know her collection is being preserved and appreciated in such a wonderful museum.
Karen Martin Sampson, Sayward, B.C.

The article on Corn Flower glass is wonderful – better than I could have ever imagined. I am so appreciative of your efforts. I know there were so many behind-the-scenes details that went into creating this. It was a long but rewarding renovation project. Seeing the story of the new gallery so beautifully expressed is such a win for us.
Sarah Robinson, Curator, Museum of Dufferin

Mark Stevenson and his giant red oak in Orangeville.

Mark Stevenson and his giant red oak in Orangeville.

 

Remarkable trees

I just read Don Scallen’s very informative article “Meetings with Remarkable Trees” in the fall 2011 issue. But I think you missed the biggest tree in Orangeville right in our backyard on C Line. It is 185 inches in circumference and 339 years old, according to a tree age calculator. I think we win!
Mark Stevenson, Orangeville

Don Scallen responds:

Impressive indeed, and as you say likely the largest tree in Orangeville. A couple of points: Thanks for sending the tree age calculator algorithm. You’re likely aware, but any results need to be considered approximate. Trees of the same species, growing in different circumstances, can vary widely in size. Sun exposure, soil productivity, competition and moisture all conspire to determine the ultimate size of a tree. An extreme example: the 500-year-old cedars clinging to the cliff faces of the Niagara Escarpment. Such trees may be only as thick as your wrist and as tall as your living room ceiling. Nevertheless, you have a venerable old oak and it appears to be in fine shape.

As for other large trees, check out the blog I wrote titled “A Headwaters Giant”, about a silver maple that stands as the largest-diameter tree I’ve yet found in the Headwaters. Likely nowhere near the age of your oak, though. Silver maples grow fast.

Peonies planted by Harry Lay’s father

Peonies planted by Harry Lay’s father

 

Flower farmers

Growth Industry” [Spring ’19] was a delight to read and it got me thinking about the driveshed on our farm in Violet Hill back in the ’90s. My dad’s tinkering on the farm never extended to fixing up the woebegone driveshed, a decrepit structure at least as old as the centenary farmhouse, and Dad set out to camouflage it by planting peonies around it. These peonies found themselves in Mulmur via Toronto and Port Hope and immediately set out to take over the landscape. Dad conspired with them by splitting the clumps regularly, and by the end of the decade, there must have been a couple of acres of ivory and pink blooms that every summer effectively obliterated the driveshed. Your article’s photography reminds me of that gorgeous, painterly ruse.
Harry Lay, Toronto

It was wonderful to read about Caledon Hills Peony Farm. [“Growth Industry” Spring ’19]. When I saw Diana Hillman pictured on the lawn I recognized this property immediately. Silver Creek is where my sister and I grew up. It was a whimsical place for children to grow. My sister Martha and I were both blessed to have our fairytale weddings by the pond at Silver Creek. I have so many beautiful memories and it’s heart-warming to know that Diana continues to create lifelong memories of her own. She is embellishing everything that Silver Creek has to offer.
Pamela (Neil) McAlpine, Mono

Active Lives After School

I found the online copy of the article about ALAS [“Game Changers: Active Lives After School” Spring ’19]. Oh, my gosh, overwhelmed and love it! Writer Johanna Bernhardt did a beautiful job of representing who we are and what we believe in. My deep, deep thanks for making us shine.
Kim Van Ryn, Program Manager, Active Lives After School, Orangeville

Not so disappointed

May I commend you for running the letter to the editor “Disappointed” from Marcia Lalonde in the spring issue. It is not only reflective of your open-mindedness, but also a reflection of your successful publication in its integrity and variety of articles.

The letter made me think back to the late Vivian Kellner, a talented photographer. When I told her how much I loved one of the covers she had photographed for In The Hills – I called it the “lamb cover” – she took several pictures of baby lambs and framed them for me personally. It has hung on my bedroom wall for years and when I look at it, it not only reminds me of her kindness toward me, but also of the wonderful rural residential area in which we live and your magazine covers which are reflective of our countryside.

Constructive criticism has value and you’ve honoured this. Thanks for all your efforts with In The Hills. It is treasured here in our home and by my B&B guests.
Sandy Small Proudfoot, Mono

Re “Disappointed” [Letters, Spring ’19]: For the record, you cannot produce a quality publication like In The Hills without ads – it’s how things work in publishing. And as far as ads go, I find those in the magazine informative and attractive. Instead of slamming them, Signe Ball and her team should be commended for consistently producing a beautiful magazine that reflects our area – and for 25 years, no less. No small accomplishment in today’s disposable world.

As well, it’s very unfair (preposterous, to be frank) to accuse Ms. Ball and her hardworking team of being greedy. Don’t quote me on this, but I don’t think Ms. Ball or any of her staff will able to buy a private island anytime soon.

I have nothing but praise for In The Hills (I especially loved the plant-based foods article “This Vegan Life” in the spring magazine) and look forward to each issue. Good work!
Catherine Osborne, Orangeville

Publisher Signe Ball responds:

One of my all-time favourite comments was from a reader who said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I don’t think of In The Hills as your magazine. I think of it as my magazine.” In keeping with that sentiment, we appreciate any reader who feels vested enough in the magazine to offer comment. Although In The Hills has grown along with the community, our ratio of advertising to editorial has not changed – and we view both as separate but equal pillars of the enterprise. Advertising supports the writers, photographers and illustrators who bring you the stories about our community. And our advertisers are part of our community. They are all independent businesspeople – store owners and service providers who drive the local economy. They volunteer at the hospital, coach our kids and sponsor community events. They raise their families here and go to school concerts and after-school sports leagues. They are our friends and neighbours, and we’re proud they trust In The Hills to represent their businesses.

Correction: A photograph in the Good Sport column “Bowling on the Green” [Spring ’19] misidentified a player as Chandler Eves. The photo was actually of a visiting player. A photo of the real Chandler Eves is posted with the column online.

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