November 19, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 7:06 pm

This area lost one of the finest, bravest men I’ve ever had the privilege to know a couple of weeks ago, Doyle Canada.
On the surface he and his widow, Sandy, were just really nice folks. They always had a smile and friendly conversation. Neither dwelled on the fact that they were both in wheelchairs.
They never dwelled on the bad, instead seemed to look at everything through rose colored glasses and that their cup was well over half full.
Doyle didn’t bow to disaster, he simply and quietly overcame the problems or found a way around them.
Like the rest of us, he went to work one night, fully expecting to do his job to the best of his ability and come home. Instead he was hit from behind, never saw it coming and was paralyzed from the waist down.
One moment he was a robust, father, husband, provider who enjoyed life to the fullest. The next, he was a paraplegic, confined to a wheel chair for life.
Did he let it get him down?
I didn’t hear much about him for about a year. Then someone showed me a picture Doyle had sent him.
It was of Doyle in his wheel chair, in the great outdoors he loved. It has been too long ago to remember for sure but he’d either been hunting or fishing and had bagged his trophy and if I remember right it had been taken in Alaska.
Every once in awhile over the next few years I’d see a picture or hear of his exploits. We’d run into each other at Rays Market or other local stores and chat. He was always doing just fine. He was always cheerful, proud of his family and full of life.
The last time I saw him was a couple of years ago at Burney Basin Days, he and Sandy and his son and daughter-in-law were selling beautiful metal garden sculptures. He was having the time of his life sitting in his wheelchair, under the canvas shade visiting.
Yes, he finally got called home, but not without having put up one heck of a fight.
 Personally, it was a real privilege to have known Doyle, and if something bad happens to me and I survive, I hope I can muster half the strength and courage he had and be able to follow his example.
On another topic, I have to admit that as long as I ignore the presidential and senatorial race I was pleased with the way the election went last week.
The hospital came out a real winner, keeping the two incumbents and picking up another board member with lots of experience.
The Shasta College race was a win, win situation with all three candidates in the position of doing a good job for our area. My guy didn’t win that one, but Judi did and will do a good job as she has for years.
I would have liked to have seen Diana Rogers win along with Ontano and Monath, but the district may be better off without having a clear majority from either side. Everyone will have to pay more attention to the needs of their constituents rather than personal preferences. That is a good thing.
Finally this is Thanksgiving week. We all have a lot to be thankful for. I suggest we follow Doyle Canada’s philosophy, figure out a way around whatever problems we have and enjoy the life that we have been dealt. While we’re at it, lets say a little prayer for Doyle.

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