This is a photo of the original disco ball that hung in the bar I danced at during 1978 – 1980! How I acquired this treasure is a great story.
Approximately 8 years ago I was able to rent the long-closed Olympia Disco bar for our Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor. Charlie, who would later sell the property to us was amazed to learn my history with the bar he and his wife had operated.
I’d told Charlie how I had been a young single mom, who didn’t drink much at all, but I’d loved to disco dance. I’d fallen in love with the beautiful disco ball that graced the dancefloor of his establishment.
I’d briefly dated Tom Coklow, one of his DJ’s, who sadly is not with us anymore. I also would meet and marry a young man, an aspiring rock and roll drummer, who frequented his place. That was a marriage that would last a short ten years.
Charlie enjoyed my memories of happiness dancing under that disco ball, and he was inspired to gift it to me!
For 5 years the treasured mirrored ball sat, gathering dust until my husband, Barry Furlonger and our friend Dan Druer hung it in our industrial-style loft apartment. (We do still have our little house in Amherstburg, but it is too difficult for us to travel the 45-minute drive back and forth each day. Also, it just doesn’t feel safe to drive at night nowadays.)
We haven’t installed the spinning mechanism, but we will soon. Once we do that installation and put up the lights to shine upon it as it rotates I will update this post with a video of the disco ball in full glory.
How precious is it to acquire a much-remembered and cherished piece of memory? It is wondrous!
As we sort through donations at Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor, we occasionally marvel over some items. One of the donations boxes contained a glass jar with some type of strange dried fruit.
On closer examination two of our volunteer cooks, Caron and Jolene determined the fruit was petrified oranges! The fruit clearly resembles orange sections.
Someone had treasured these oddities enough to place them in a glass jar to further preserve them, and I’m glad they did! Today was all the more enjoyable for all of us.
I would be remiss to not showcase this sweet mid-century stool that also came in as a donation. It provided a fantastic background for the photos of the petrified fruit. It holds a place in my office subbing as an extra chair or small table space.
I do not suffer from execration, well not much! Here in town, there is a fellow; I shall not call a man for he does not fit the image the word ‘man’ brings to mind! I shall return his unwanted memory to the livery stable I imagined for him, as I am off to enjoy the rejuvenation of the shower!
I will lather, exfoliate and condition myself wholly until achieving the goal of hair and skin as mellow as a new-born babe! My wardrobe will provide freshly laundered outerwear, dress, leggings and personal intimates that will bundle me from this white, white winter day! I’ll walk to work watching intently for the mysterious creatures, protected by their down and feathers!
Excited children filled our school auditorium seats.
Teachers and parents stood along the walls, a buzzing sound of whispering voices reminded me of bees.
I didn’t know if the parents were fidgeting more than the children.
Would our village be saved? Today we’d find out.
Mr. Barnaby, the man with big whiskers, sat in the centre chair on the stage and watched closely as Miss Thomas and Mister Winters counted dollar bills and coins on a large crafting table.
Mr. Barnaby, hearing of the devastation of our village’s economy, had come to our school with an offer.
If the children of our school could raise $1,000, Mr. Barnaby would not only match the donation, but he would donate the rest of the money to build a new factory!
Working parents would mean poverty and hopelessness would be things of the past.
“Well,” I thought, “Fat chance that will happen.” I’d fought with mother before leaving for school. How could mom be so selfish not to give me her bus fare money? She could walk to work, I’d told her.
Mom had said, “It is too far for me to walk. All I have is this nickel to donate.”
I sat with the coin held tightly in my fist. There was no way I would drop it into the collection box. The kids bullied me already, how horrible would it be to hear their giggles of scorn.
A hush filled the room as Miss Thomas stood and walked toward the microphone.
“Ahem,” she cleared her throat, and in a sad voice said, “I am sorry to announce we have not met our goal. The total count is Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Dollars and Ninety-Five Cents.
“No, no, no!” I hollered as I raced toward the stage. “I didn’t put in my donation.”
Proudly I handed Miss Thomas the hot and sweaty five-cent coin.
Mr. Barnaby stood and walked over to my teacher and me.
“Young man,” He said, “Your gift has tipped the scales. How great a gift it is!”
In awe, I held tight to Mr. Barnaby’s hand as everyone cheered.
The rest of the day was the best day I’d ever had. Every face that looked at me wore a big smile.
I made lots of new friends, but I was anxious for the school bell to ring.
I could hardly wait to go home to tell mom how her nickel had saved the village.
PREVENTING UNNECESSARY DEATHS FROM FREEZING
Windsor, Ontario, Canada has no hope the mayor and city council will allow practical measures to be put in place to prevent the homeless from freezing to death this coming winter. Despite the wealth of information proving these measures are working all over North America, it looks like these solutions are not going to happen.
Hamilton, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, USA have started putting Tiny Houses into place, but our mayor and city councillors don’t feel this is a necessity for the homeless of our community. These civic leaders feel the drug addicts, and people with mental health issues should “just behave” and then the shelters they fund with taxpayer monies will once again “house” the homeless.
Really? Do they expect these hurting people to be able to cure themselves of their afflictions? Worse, do they really consider homeless shelters to be homes? The local homeless shelters used to call their programs “emergency shelter.”
My husband and I presented our ideas to the mayor. They are practical and logical, and best of all they would save the taxpayers of Windsor millions of dollars!
THREE SIMPLE SOLUTIONS
1) Allow a temporary Tent City on a spot of industrial land that is surrounded by warehouses. This spot exists on McDougal Avenue, in the heart of downtown. The bulk of services available to the homeless are already nearby. This space can be patrolled by the Windsor Police, who have already been hired. The hired social workers would have a location to meet their clients.
2) Open an abandoned school and turn the utilities on. That won’t cost the taxpayers too much. This would be a cost-effective way of saving lives! The police and social workers would have a safe environment to patrol and serve their clients.
3) Tiny Homes can be built, delivered and assembled for under $2,000. The charities and philanthropists could insulate these homes. The homes could be placed on lands already owned by the city. There would be a need for simple rezoning.
SAVING TAXPAYER DOLLARS
Now to the part you are probably curious about. How can these ideas save the taxpayers of Windsor, Ontario millions? Every single person approved for welfare is entitled to $300 per month to pay toward a room or apartment. In one year that equals $3,600. Replace the rent with a Tiny Home. Taxpayers would save $1,600 during the first year, and $3,600 per year into perpetuity!
You would think educated persons would seize upon a plan that would see immediate results and save so much money.
Let us keep in mind every drug addict and person suffering from mental health issues are somebody’s child, parent, partner or relation.
You can search on line for the multiple examples by typing in your search bar, Tiny Homes for the homeless.