WARNING: This column may be offensive to some red-headed stepchildren, not that it is intended to be offensive to the “gingers” of this world as the writer has family members who are, indeed, red-headed.
– The Lawyers
Our city has its “red-headed stepchildren.” You know, the areas that have been abused for years, neglected and most often ignored for reasons long forgotten. In a beautiful city such as ours, coming across these overlooked places is like finding gravel in the middle of your ice cream.
Campbellton, of course, takes first prize – or was that last place? – in the red-headed stepchild contest.
This Heinz 57 concoction of heavy industry, commercial, mixed retail and the community’s oldest residential neighbourhood has been made to stand in a dark corner for years, shunned by its so-called caretaker guardians who rule from the city hall highlands.
Slowly, over the past decade, after a lot of yelling and screaming – something to the effect of, “This isn’t fair!” – the highlander chieftains have lent an ear and the occasional hand to the lowly red-headed stepchildren.
Kind of like watching poor little Oliver begging for more gruel!
For the most part, Campbellton gets gruel and the occasional crumb, while a lot of other areas – the Golden Children – get to eat cake on a regular schedule.
Yes, that would be YOU Willow Point. Don’t try to deny it, that Golden Child face and fingers are covered in frosting!
From the exquisitely trimmed fields of Willow Point Park to the seemingly weedless gardens along the promenade, it is unquestionably, the pride and joy of the city hall Highlanders.
The other new favourite is downtown. In the past, there’s always been a kind of love-hate relationship between downtown and city hall, but the love-in is clearly underway.
This new Golden Child is showered with tax breaks and willing servants who make sure the dirty parts are regularly scrubbed and cleaned, lest our new tower of glass reflects the old scars and warts.
In a way, I understand the dilemma of the overlords who, really, have a bunch of great-looking “kids,” who have all been playing in the mudflats for too long. It takes time to wash away the grime and get them all spiffy again, but some receive all the attention while the others get spit.
“Well, at least you get spit!” is the complaint I hear now from the city’s latest red-headed stepchild, that being the south end of Dogwood Street.
The intersection at Jubilee is becoming an overgrown eyesore even though it’s “liberally decorated” with cigarette butts, weeds growing through concrete and pretty shards of broken glass from accidents past.
Even the new water system – for the new trees which replace the first ones that died – never seems to work right and have busted at least twice this spring!
But such is the life of the red-headed stepchild who’s lucky to gets the scraps of their siblings’ fine fare.