By Craig Funston
It’s not too often I sit down and “pen” a few lines about a personal experience. I do that (or don’t do that) out of principle, and for three reasons: 1. I am a very private person; 2. This is a public context; and 3. Do you really want to hear about my life?
Apparently that’s what Facebook is for.
To be sure, I have felt free to express a personal opinion now and then, and will continue to do so. I believe that is an inherent right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, I get very disturbed, then, when others express their personal opinion, often in the area of morality and faith, and are bombarded with rants and raves, even death threats. So petty and short-sighted.
More often than not, it’s an opinion from the Right, with rants and protests from the Left. Rarely the other way around. It sounds like I am on the verge of a rant myself, so I refrain.
But this is more than a perspective; it’s a short story, co-starring my wife and me, and that’s where I shift from personal to public. It is a feel-good story, and, boy, do we ever need to hear them now and then.
It’s about the town of Hanna, some three hours north of where I live. It is the town just a few kilometres west of the Cactus Corner, if that helps. Please do not confused Hanna with Hannah, as in the person of Daryl Hannah, one of Hollywood’s most ditzy has-been actresses.
No, the Hanna I’m speaking of is the home of some of Nickleback’s members, as well as the childhood town of our own MP, Glen Motz.
It’s also home of some very typical Alberta merchants.
It was late a couple of week’s ago and we were trying to get to our motel in Hanna. I was choked that we would get there so so late, close to 10:00pm. But I never knew we would get there much, much later when the dust settled (as in 12:45am).
We hit a deer about twenty minutes west of Hanna around 9:45pm. If this was a sports score, it would read like this: car, 0; deer, 0; game over.
One of the last places you want to be is on the side of the road, late at night, waiting for a tow truck. No reflection on the tow truck: he was making his way back to Hanna from a drop-off in Calgary. He said he’s pick us up in 90 minutes and he did. Warm and friendly sort of guy, but I wasn’t in a warm and friendly kind of mood.
One of the only real flies in the ointment was the 60 or 70 cars that whizzed by us without stopping, even slowing down. I’m sure they weren’t from Hanna. (Sorry, one guy did stop to chat, but he had more f-bombs than a drunken sailor.)
Just for the record, there’s not a lot one can do sitting in a car on the side of the road, with no lights, no water, and a smashed-in front end. You can’t read or listen to the radio when there is no power.
From the tow truck driver who was most accommodating, to the motel staff who stayed up and waited for us (until well after midnight), to the local auto body shop owner-car rental agent—insurance adjuster (same guy, in case you didn’t catch the hyphens), we were well taken care of.
The shock of colliding with a deer (a big one at that), and being stuck in a town three hours from home, along with the missed business appointments the next day, was mitigated by such outstanding service provide by ordinary, common business people, who went well beyond the call of duty. This what the real Alberta is all about.
Other upsides to an otherwise messy situation included renting a 2016 Ram truck, getting an outstanding settlement for my Escape, and upgrading to yet another, newer Ford.
So, hats off to Hanna. In a world of big city crime, of violent factions even within some Albertan cities, of cold and reserved neighbours everywhere, it’s refreshing to know that there is a Hanna out there—and in fact, many other “Hannas” out there.
It will be nice the “meet” them sometime, just perhaps not under these “oh deer ” circumstances.