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The following Article was Published in The KCC September 2013 Outrider. Almost 2 years later residents are still in need.
About a week after the June 20th flood our fantastic Governors, Pam & Rob Moncrieff organized Kin from all over the province to come help out in High River .
Of course most of the Calgary Kinsmen were busy helping in Calgary or preparing with the Stampede, However we had a small but hardworking group bolstered by Calgary Kinettes and the Stampede City clubs .
Our first day there we helped all of our fellow kin empty and clean their basements. Matt was a godsend as he is familiar with environmental clean –up and immediately took charge of any group we worked with. Rob with his usual good humor kept everything light, even when we came across a 75 year old man who's car was stuck in the driveway of his recently condemned home. Not sure how he did it but he put a smile on the face of a man who lost everything.
My favorite moment was when we were emptying this basement of a strangers house that Mel Rogers had heard needed help.
The waters of the Highwood had come right to the ceiling and the furniture had settled helter skelter around the room. About two feet of mud and silt covered everything and even the blankets covering the overturned bed weighed 100 lbs.
The man and woman I was working with were covered head to toe in environmental suits, so telling identity, gender or age in the unlighted basement was tenuous at best. Over the hours I discovered that they were the owners and they seemed to be taking a pragmatic view of the task at hand. Obviously they were hard working people who didn’t shy away from life's struggles though I discovered they had been retired for 15 years. I liked them both immediately.
When after much effort we finally moved the last ruined piece of furniture out the broken basement window, I smiled at the man, but he looked crestfallen. The task finished, and a 40 foot pile of mud covered memories in his front yard, it begin to sink in. So I said what any Kinsmen worth his salt would say in that situation. “ You look like you need a scotch”
He brightened immediately and told me that when the flood came he loaded his favorite scotches into the trunk and with a wink he said “after my wife of course” He leaped up the stairs talking of single malts and his scotch club. That’s when I realized that the dried mud on my jeans weighed 75 lbs. I slowly made my way to the front yard asking for scissors or a seamstress to unburden me.
And that’s how I came to be chatting and drinking $150 scotch in the front yard of a strangers house with his wife cutting off my pants.
It seemed we had been friends for so long I forgot to ask his name. I’ll have to take him a bottle for Christmas
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