RD December Letters 2018

Remember Django

RD: You are probably getting all sorts of responses to your editorial about the friend who (OUCH!) cut two fingers off in his table saw (RD November, “No disaster,” pg. 6). I want to pass on my sympathies for sure, as I cannot even write the words without flinching, but I hope he keeps his sense of humour and also an open mind.

My husband’s uncle cut his fingers off in a press when he was a young teen. The accident left him with a thumb and little finger on one hand, and just the thumb on the other. He is in his 90s now, and just as expressive with his hands as he was when I first met him. His whole working career was with Canada Post in Toronto. He sorted and delivered mail on a route. He can button a shirt as fast as anyone, probably faster than most. He talks with his hands in the air, always moving. When I met him, I never noticed the missing fingers; his face and his hands were doing most of the work telling stories and entertaining the family.

And let us not forget Django Reinhardt, one of the greatest guitarists ever, who was in a horrible fire when he was 18 which permanently curled the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand into his palm. He developed his own fingering patterns, which players try to mimic to this day.

By the way – this issue is excellent, maybe because there are articles on all my favourite topics: organic gardening and farming, pollinators, cooking, forestry, books, and wildlife. I had to laugh when I saw my cilantro pesto recipe included. It is a standard here, on fish, potatoes, eggs, pasta, and even toast. In the garden I let the cilantro seed itself, and have a constant supply of fresh, from super early in spring to very late in the fall, and into winter if the snow is not deep. I have not bought seed for it in years.

Ruth Richman

Launching, P.E.I.

Sharing source(s) of inspiration

RD: I love the new gardening column, and got lots of inspirational mulching ideas from Nicole Dixon in the October issue (“Garden Gleanings: All tucked in,” pg. 16). However, I don’t think she should keep lounging under that cherry tree much longer without sharing her dandelion beer recipe.

Mark Hall

Grenfel, Ont.

Don’t worry!

RD: The Group of Twenty (G20), composed of nineteen countries (including Canada) and the European Union, will meet in Buenos Aires (Argentina) Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. By then, newspapers and media analysts will most likely tell us again that they won’t all get along on some major issues during this summit.

But please don’t worry! The “leaders” of these countries will all agree as thick as thieves, you can be sure in advance, on everything that really matters: leaving the destiny of our world in the hands of rich people, banks, and big corporations; despoiling poor countries with a sophisticated set of economic, political and military measures to subdue them, stop their march towards democracy and justice, and reduce their populations to poverty and obedience; maintaining democracy in its embryonic state in rich countries and doing everything to stop it in the poorest countries, by private control of information and entertainment in the rich ones, by force and intimidation in the poorest ones; and at all cost, preventing the sharing of powers that would lead to real democracy – participatory democracy – and thus to equality and justice.

I can already hear someone asking, “But what can we do?” Well, we can start by talking with our friends and colleagues about things that matter for us: justice, fairness, environment, democracy, and equality. Questioning our world is certainly the first step, and a huge step, towards a better world.

Bruno Marquis

Gatineau, Que.