Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

21 January, 2010


This is a Thomas Kinkade painting passed on to me by my good neighbour Brian D. Cole in one of his regular dispatches.  It is rumored to carry a miracle and they say that if you pass it on, you will receive a miracle in return.  Reluctant to miss out on any potential miracle, I'm publishing it in Wrights Lane today.  *(Click photo to see it rain.)


Without going into major detail, I came across a very interesting individual yesterday while doing some Internet research.  Michael Langlois is a native of the Detroit River French settlement communities of LaSalle and River Canard in Windsor-Amherstburg area and  a respected communications specialist.  He is also a first cousin of an old friend and baseball teammate of mine, Paul Langlois.  We made an instant connection with a resultant exchange of a half dozen emails.

Paul Langlois, a gifted pitcher, and I were members of the St. Thomas Elgins of the Senior Intercounty Baseball League during the summer of 1957.  Not only were we best friends and teammates but we shared the same boarding house in St. Thomas (the home of our second mom, Gladys Reid) and the interest of Detroit Tigers scout Pat Mullin.  We kept contact for a good 15 years after that baseball season but, as is so often the case, eventually lost contact.

I was delighted to learn that Michael was Paul's first cousin and in fact their family homes were situated side-by-side when they were growing up.  Paul was a few years Michael's senior and would regale him with his baseball exploits.  Sadly, Michael advised me that Paul had passed away some five or six years ago.

Now president of Diversified Communications, Michael has been in the communications field since 1976 and has established an outstanding reputation as a top independent  issues management and communications skills consultant and provider of high-level strategic counsel.  He is also a Toronto Maple Leafs fan of the highest order and hosts his own web site Vintage Leaf Memories of which I became an instant follower.

If you are a hockey fan, visit Michael's blog  He has a soft spot for 1960-1970 vintage Maple Leafs, but he regularly posts widespread commentary on current National Hockey League action and news.

Yes, there was another Huff -- Neil

Following along with the "small world vein", in the adjacent column I have published a message from James Huff of Wawa, Ontario.  James very kindly expressed his appreciation for publishing information on his uncle, Bruce Huff, another friend and former baseball teammate of mine from good old Dresden.

James is one of seven siblings of Neil (Bruce's younger brother) and Sharon Huff.  Dresdenites who grew up in the 1940s and 50s will remember "Neily" following in the shadow of big brother Bruce.  Neil was not overly interested in sports but at an early age showed an aptitude for what turned out to be a lifetime passion -- auto mechanics.

After high school, Neil (shown in a class photo, 1953-'54) married Sharon who was a Chatham girl.  He found employment as a mechanic with the Ministry of Lands and Forests (later to become the Ministry of Natural Resources) and after a period in Sudbury moved his family permanently to Wawa,  north of Sault Ste. Marie.  Wawa, of course, is a small community with a history rich in mining, forestry, the fur trade -- and big families.

Neil and Sharon celebrated their 50th wedding anniversay last year and James tells me that their five daughters and two sons have produced 18 grand children at last count.  While James stayed in Wawa to raise his family, his brother and sisters have spread out to distant Windsor, Whitby, Hamilton and Sault Ste Marie.

Neil has been retired for about five years and now operates a small local wrecking yard, A1 Repair and Salvage, where he spends his time "tinkering and puttering, when the weather is good."

Neil Huff is to be envied, not only for his wonderful family, but for finding his Field of Dreams in the form of a wreckage yard on Tremblay Flats Road at Highway 17 North where he feels at home doing what he loves most -- tinkering with old cars.  Kind of like brother Bruce who finds his Field of Dreams in any baseball sandlot or hockey barn.

Kids from Dresden have a way of doing pretty well for themselves, don't they!

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