May 13, 2007

Don Anderson

Don leased an island on Rainy Lake for a hundred years from the Province of Ontario. Took down a barn put the boards on a barge and built himself a cabin.

Son of a lumberjack, piano teacher and tuner, twinkle in his eye. Never a day without a song in his heart.

Don's Breakfast Oats:
1. Fire up the cast iron stove.
2. Put a handfull of rolled oats in a frying pan on the stove, dry.
3. Brown until the oats smell toasty.
4. Add water, salt, butter, boil, remove from heat. Add milk and brown sugar to taste.

They had their own names for things up on Anderson's Island. The outhouse was called the Yoo Hoo. It sat at the end of a path that cut through moss and blueberries and wintergreen, under the jack pine trees.

He was the first man I've met who had built his own canoe, of varnished canvas on a frame. He didn't have a lot of money but he was the richest man I've known.

Don knew which side of the border to buy gas on. One time he poured paint from the U.S. into cans and bottles and hid them in the cabinets and under the benches in their microbus. The border guard in Fort Frances took him aside, inspected the van and started finding jars of paint. He raised an eyebrow. What's this? He let Don pass.

Over the course of a winter Don collected broken hockey sticks from the rinks in Crookston. He sawed off the blades and took the shafts up to the island. He built a fence around his little garden plot, 8" high, to keep the turtles out of his carrots.

When I go to heaven I'm gonna look him up, shake his hand, clap his back. God bless you Don Anderson.


At May 15, 2007 3:04 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

This is a very nice entry.


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