Happy days could be here – Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal


Usually when I talk to someone about a story for the newspaper, I have a pretty good idea what the story is going to be about. I’ve read a press release, seen a social media post, or talked to someone about it before to get the gist of it, so the moment I interview someone, I I have a list of questions to ask and points to cover. In my head, the skeleton of the story is already assembled; now I am looking for all the details that will flesh it out.

As the poet said, however, the best plans of mice and men often go wrong. (Robbie Burns actually said they “gang aft a-gley,” but most people opt for the English translation for clarity.) I had heard, at a Clinton board meeting in February , that the Clinton Annual Ball committee’s request for the use of Memorial Hall in May for this year’s 155th ball had been withdrawn, as the ball wasn’t going to go ahead after all, so I made a mental note to follow this. In my head, the story was already made up: hopeful volunteers planning the event after two years of cancellation; dashed plans due to continued restrictions; the optimism that he could return (finally!) in 2023; thank you to everyone who continued to support the ball; etc

It was the bare bones, to flesh out after I spoke with someone from the committee. So when I called John Boscott to get the details, you can imagine my surprise when almost his first words were “It’s moving on after all.” That crashing noise you heard was the skeleton of my story, crumbling into a messy heap on the floor.

It might give the impression that I was bored. Far from it: I was delighted to be able to take a bunch of lemons and make not only lemonade, but also a delicious lemon meringue pie. After two years of seeing so many beloved local events canceled, postponed, or solely held in an online format of which the best that can be said is “I guess it’s better than nothing”, this was a nice to be able to rip my original story apart and build it back better.

And the Clinton Ball is just one of many events that will return after too long a hiatus. Graffiti Days returns to Cache Creek in June, and the music lineup for Desert Daze – live at Spences Bridge in September – is being finalized as I write. In addition to the ball, Clinton will see a rodeo parade and rodeo on the weekend of May 28. The Ashcroft Arts Club is planning its traditional show for April; the Clinton Country Artists and the Clinton Art and Cultural Society will follow with live art exhibits in June and July respectively.

This is all just in our little corner of the province, and I’m sure there are more to come in the coming weeks and months, here and around the world. Of course, there’s a chance things could get derailed by events beyond anyone’s control — as proof I’m giving you summer 2021 — but for now, there’s cautious optimism in the air.

And like the first tendrils of green grass sprouting after winter, we’ve already started to see evidence that things could – perhaps – return to something like normal. Last week, the Clinton Seniors’ Association held its annual Daffodil Tea for the first time since 2020, and it was so successful that the event sold out and organizers had to stop taking orders.

The Daffodil Tea in March 2020 was the last community event held in Clinton before the pandemic shut everything down, so it’s only fitting that it was the first to return now that things are looking more hopeful. The excellent response is also encouraging; a sign, it is hoped, that all these other comeback events will be well supported by people eager to make up for lost time. As another poet – Joni Mitchell – wisely noted, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

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