Peter Pond newsletter :: May 2012 #39

Peter Pond Society editor Bill McDonald
Peter Pond Society editor Bill McDonald

BOOKS ON THE WAY

Greetings:
Not a lot has happened since we last corresponded in October 2010. The writing of the two books on Peter Pond has been completed and searches are underway for publishers. That's about all the authors want me to say at this point.
Otherwise, here are two topics of interest.

THE BALLAD OF PETER POND

Yes, there is a song about him. It came on one side of an old 45 RPM record as originally sent to me and later put on a CD. I have known about the Peter Pond song since my July 1988 trip down the Clearwater River. It was originally sent to me as a music video by the local TV station that interviewed me. It showed the songwriter ":Paulo" (Paul Finkleman) of Calgary singing with students from the since closed Peter Pond Community School. Other views included shots of the Clearwater along with surrounding countryside. Contacts at Ft. McMurray later sent me both the 45 and CD.

The next issue was how to get the song onto the website. Since I am not that computer savvy (I only cut and paste on the site in its present form, nothing more tricky than that) I only recently heard about a process called ":ripping." Basically it involves taking songs from a CD and putting it with whatever is allowed for itunes or mp3 on your computer hard drive. My computer savvy daughter did it for me in this case. It's not supposed to be legal, but I have the permission from Paulo to do it.
I tried to find him through an online search a few years ago but wasn't successful. I found him this time by being referred to him by the company that made his record. For more information, see his website). As it turns out, my website in its current size will not allow me to put a song on it and I am not willing to pay more to make it happen. So I can only say if you want to hear the song, I can send it to you as an email attachment. Just email me at bmcdon25@optonline.net and I will shoot it out to you. Sorry, but I still want to continue this website as a modest operation as it has been since the year 2000.

PETER POND CANOE AND KAYAK RACE

Yes there is a canoe and kayak race named after him, once again. Click on the name Peter Pond and it goes to my website for immediate information on why a race would be named after him.

The back story is that for several years during the 1990's I was able to convince the Milford Festival Oyster Festival (held the third Saturday in August) committee to name the race after Peter Pond to denote an element of Milford's History. There were even T-shirts made with that name of the race on them with a bearded man paddling a canoe. I paddled in about three or four years of these races, about 2 miles round trip out of Milford Harbor to Charles Island and back with friends and later my son, Liam. Then I received a letter saying the committee had decided to give the race the more generic name of the Milford Oyster Festival Canoe and Kayak Race since few people really knew who Peter Pond was. It wasn't impressing too many participants. I still treasure the small trophy Liam, then 12, and I won for third place in the men's two-person category, the first year it went back to the generic name.

Since then Peter Pond was inducted into the Milford Hall of Fame in 2009 and had a historical marker installed for him next to Milford Cemetery in 2010. I wrote an email to the committee that year suggesting they return the race name back to Peter Pond, due to his increased profile in town, and never heard a reply. So about 2 months ago I called the committee chairman on what they thought of the idea and was told they changed it to the Peter Pond name as of the 2010 race. I felt silly since I just haven't participated for more than 10 years, as age has advance me, and even attended the festival in the last five, preferring to avoid the large crowds. Guess I should be checking the race name on the web site every year to make sure it's still there.

Au revoir,
Bill