My out-of-province relatives tell me they know when they are close to River Park South by the slapping sound the car tires make on the pavement and seeing dead trees lining the streets. It’s not the kind of welcome mat I like for my neighbourhood.
The only section of road that can mirror the sound of St. Mary’s Road south of Bishop Grandin Boulevard is the curb lane of Highway 75 outside Ste. Agathe. The gaps in the pavement from defects and repairs make a noise that motivates drivers to move to the median lane. I once tried to stay in the curb lane and my family threatened to replace me as driver.
St. Mary’s Road has been resurfaced and repaired but that hasn’t done much to change the sound. The heavy equipment from building construction this year has taken its toll, adding a few more bumps.
The dead trees my relatives see are suffering from black knot fungus. I am not a horticulturist — the only green in me is coloured beer I drink on St. Patrick’s Day, so I learned about from an internet search.
The only tree disease I found discussed on the City of Winnipeg site was Dutch elm disease, but I did learn that if you want a dead tree removed you should visit winnipeg.ca/publicworks/Forestry/TreeRemoval.asp. Removal has to be approved by the councillor and it appears the verdict is in in my neighbourhood. At least 35 trees in the hood have been spray painted with a fluorescent green dot for removal.
It was suggested since I am old, wrinkled and losing my bark, I should stand on the curb wearing a green dot to see what happens. But I never really enjoyed the wood chipper scene in Fargo, just the same.
I have a solution to the sounds and sights my relatives retain have of my neighbourhood. I won’t invite them anymore so they are not reminded.