If you were driving anywhere near the border Monday, there’s a chance you observed the traffic lines waiting to cross the international bridges.
It was, of course , the day for U.S. residents to honor their presidents.
Meanwhile, in Ontario, it was a holiday called Family Day.
Canadians seem to have a problem with how to spend their day while Americans can’t agree on how to spell it.
Supposedly the Ontario holiday was designed for families to spend more time together, either at the Fashions Outlets, Military Road, Town of Niagara, or perhaps sitting in the car for more than an hour to pass through customs.
By mid-afternoon, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission was reporting a one-hour delay for motorists waiting to cross the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge into Canada.
It’s funny the spin some public officials put on special occasions. For instance, Wayne Thomson, chairman of Niagara Falls Tourism, predicted that Family Day and the long weekend would boost tourism.
“The timing of the day allows the city to continue momentum from Valentine’s Day,” Thomson added.
It’s hard to imagine that many motorists waiting in line to cross the bridge are thinking of their Valentines.
We do seem to have a nagging problem in this country over how to spell our holiday.
Depending on where you shop, it’s President’s Day, Presidents’ Day or maybe Presidents Day, among others.
“That apostrophe floats more than the dollar does in international currency markets,” says Clyde Haberman of the New York Times.
Browsing in a Barnes & Noble store, Haberman spotted one table with a sign proclaiming a “President’s Day” theme. It wasn’t just about Washington. In fact, the books on that table covered the lives of 14 presidents.
OUT OF THE PAST: If you ever volunteer for that challenging role as chairman of your high school reunion, you could learn a lot from Stan Horab, a retired school teacher who wrote and published a splendid 50-page booklet for the 60th reunion of the 1950 Class of Niagara Falls High School.
The carefully edited publication included a detailed timeline from the origin of the school in the late 1800s to the 1950s; photos of Falls Street and the South End; sketches and photos of all the deceased classmates, a current directory of classmates and their addresses; a couple of columns Norma Higgs wrote for the Niagara Gazette about the Class of ‘50; and a historical calendar with important dates and cartoons by Richard Dahlstrom.
Countless local residents who attended the former North Junior High School may remember Horab as the always enthusiastic teacher and moderator of the Cataract Yorkers, a student group that won numerous local and state awards for their history projects.
TRAVEL PLANS: Prince William and his new bride, Kate Middleton, will not be stopping in Niagara Falls, Ont., in June during their trip to Canada.
Earlier, Mayor Jim Diodati had hoped the couple would include the falls on the itinerary, as their first scheduled trip after the April 29 wedding.
In a statement issued last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “Their decision to come to Canada first is a testament to our country’s very close relationship with the family.”
A royal visit, especially from England, is old hat to Niagara Falls. In fact, there have been some 20 visits to Canada in the past eight years.
LONG-RANGE VIEW: Overheard at Starbucks in the Crowne Plaza, Third Street, where a customer was giving advice to a friend: “You should look to the future because that’s where you’ll be spending most of your life.”
Contact reporter Don Glynn at (716) 282-2311, Ext. 2246.
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