Another Guy from Morgantown

Don KnottsI read that Don Knotts, who played the bum­bling Deputy Bar­ney Fife on the TV Show “The Andy Grif­fith Show”, which aired the year of my birth (1960) to 1968 died yes­ter­day. He was also in the very strange film ‘The Incred­i­ble Mr. Limpet” of 1964, as well as more than 25 oth­ers, includ­ing one of my favourites, Pleas­antville, in 1998. In that year, Mr. Knotts, who is prob­a­bly the only famous per­son born in my home­town of Mor­gan­town, West Vir­ginia, was hon­ored when they named a street there after him. He majored in speech at West Vir­ginia Uni­ver­si­ty, which was the rea­son I was born in there too, since my par­ents were on the fac­ul­ty at that insti­tu­tion. He was due to make anoth­er appear­ance in Mor­gan­town in August of last year but had to can­cel because of ill health.
Mr. Knotts was 81.

Mixed Messages from the Sky

“Spir­it Bear”
Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by Mus­sels.
Thanks to Matt for this appro­pri­ate­ly metaphor­ic pho­to…

Anoth­er thing I’m going to have to get used to here is the sea­sons. Not just the qual­i­ty of them (i.e. W = Win­ter = WET). It’s the length of them. I see by the cal­en­dar that today is Feb­ru­ary 25th. I know Feb­ru­ary, quite well, or at least I thought I did. Feb­ru­ary was the cru­elest month for me; it was the depths of despair. The sole hol­i­days of the month were Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, and if you’ve ever fol­lowed this blog you know my feel­ings about the pink-heart­ed and romance-inflict­ing hol­i­day. As for President’s Day, in recent years its just been a grim reminder of how far that insti­tu­tion has fall­en. That was the Feb­ru­ary that year­ly vis­it­ed me.

Vancouver’s Feb­ru­ary says ‘Hah!’ Besides the ces­sa­tion of the rains (at least for the past week and a half or so), it has also seen the first har­bin­gers of Spring. Yes, you read that right. Spring is indeed arriv­ing in the sec­ond month of the year, tip­toe­ing in like an ear­ly the­atre attendee. I have proof: A few days ago I saw a for­syth­ia bush show­ing yel­low blooms. Today I spied a small daf­fodil. It was shel­tered by a bush, to be sure, but there it was. In Boston daf­fodils aren’t due for anoth­er 3 months or so. Just in case those clas­sic sign­posts went by unno­ticed, the Cal­i­for­nia lilac’s pur­ple flow­ers, which have the most amaz­ing smell lat­er on (some­thing like cin­na­mon, par­tic­u­lar­ly after a light rain or morn­ing dew), are out every­where. Granville Island is run­ning a lit­tle fes­ti­val this week­end called Win­terup­p­tion, which sug­gests that Win­ter will con­tin­ue after the events are over with. I wouldn’t bet on it. I’d say its the inter­rup­tion is real­ly a farewell.

I note that there is a sec­tion of anoth­er web site, that is ded­i­cat­ed to the bloom­ing of the cher­ry blos­soms in Van­cou­ver. It does men­tion that there are some species that do begin bloom­ing in Feb­ru­ary here.

Before all of my gid­dy Spring Fever gets too out of hand, there is one sober­ing fact: It’s cold out­side. The tem­per­a­ture today was about 3°C and a few very small snowflakes have been falling here and there. Not the dead of win­ter, but noth­ing remote­ly ver­nal about it. It’s just start­ed rain­ing now, and rain is pre­dict­ed for much of the com­ing week. In the words of Emi­ly Litel­la: “Nev­er mind”.