Vote Crack Back

I enjoy being somewhere I've never been before. A different bike route home, getting groceries at a new grocery store, an ethnic restaurant on the other side of town. Sometimes my work takes me to these places. Cities like Paris (France), Santa Monica (California), or Alexandria (Ontario).

I have an affinity for small towns because it is where I come from. I know what they are. They are a unit, a community, an entity. A small town is a solid place to be from. But growing up in a small town on the prairies I left me thinking, there must be more to it than this.

There is.

There is plenty to see, to do, to feel, to eat, to touch, to hear out there. Wherever there is. The world is your oyster. That's what being from a small town teaches you. It teaches you that you can go anywhere and talk to anyone. Or maybe that was just my dad. That's what he does. I love him dearly and marvel at his skill. He will talk to anyone. At length. Anytime. About anything.

But the thing is...where you are, is where you're at.

So now I live in the city that Canada loves to hate. It's busy and congested and smelly and it has a lot of great restaurants. And on an evening of an election for our new mayor, I wish I were in a smaller place. A simpler place. I really don't need that much.

But I voted. Where I live. In Toronto. I did my civic duty. Will it make a difference?

What struck me in Alexandria were the simple, bilingual signs: "Re-elect Grant Crack for Mayor"

I have no doubt if I were to dig deeper into this community I would find a cast of characters rich enough to complete a hearty collection of short stories, an anthology of plays, a film crammed with local, admirable wonders.

Fargo (North Dakota). I vacationed there as a teen.

Enough said.

About Alexandria:

North Glengarry is a township in eastern Ontario, Canada, in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. It is a 69% rural area located between Ottawa-Hull, Montreal and Cornwall-Massena. The current township of North Glengarry was created on January 1, 1998 by amalgamating the former townships of Kenyon and Lochiel with the villages of Maxville and Alexandria.

The township comprises the urban community of Alexandria (population 3,287) and the rural communities of Apple Hill, Athol, Baltics Corners, Breadalbane, Brodie, Dalkeith, Dominionville, Dornie, Dunvegan, Fairview, Fassifern, Fiskes Corners, Glen Robertson, Glen Sandfield, Greenfield, Guaytown, Kirkhill, Laggan, Lochiel, Lochinvar, Lorne, Maxville, McCormick, McCrimmon, Pine Grove, St. Elmo and Stewarts Glen.

Alexandria is served five or six times a day by the Montreal-Ottawa VIA Rail trains which almost all stop there, in each direction.