Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/6/2011 (4028 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN: Transit worker Larry Preweda just received a stunning windfall -- pearls, gold and $1,860 -- thanks to some very honest people.
"My wife Delann passed away three years ago. I was de-cluttering the house and decided I'd give her books to the Mennonite Central Committee thrift shop. I never even realized there was a Readers Digest book about two-and-a-half inches thick in the box.
"The guys came and took the furniture and books over to the MCC Thrift Store on Selkirk Avenue.
"A few hours later, this lady gives me a call from the store to say she's found some interesting stuff inside a fake Readers Digest book and told me, 'You'd better come here right away!' "
Preweda was shocked to open the lid of the clever book bank and find $1,860 in cash and Delann's gold and pearls.
"I thanked them profusely," said Preweda.
Preweda learned later that the book bank nearly hit the trash heap.
"The MCC lady said she didn't normally deal in Readers Digest books, and they almost chucked it, but they heard something move ---- I guess the pearls -- and so they looked inside and called me immediately," Preweda said.
"It was the first donation of the day, and Betty Neufeld, our book woman, lets out a whoop: 'Look what I found!' " said Gerry Loewen, the floor manager at the MCC shop. They started counting the money.
"We stopped at $1,500 or $1,600," she said with a laugh. "If it had been one of the last pickups of donations, we could have missed it."
Aside from change and a little American cash in a coat sleeve, this is the most money the MCC gang has ever found.
Not only did Preweda receive the money and items, the incident also revived his faith in humanity's honesty.
"It made me feel very good -- a reaffirmation that there's good people out in the world," he said. "I'm going to give them something nice as a sign of my appreciation."
"We were delighted we could do that for him," Loewen said.
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WHAT A TREAT: Trumpet king Wynton Marsalis showed up and jammed at the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival kickoff party for volunteers and the jazz-lovin' public Monday night at The Pyramid.
Prior to the gig, local musicians were crossing their fingers that performers from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, who were in town to play Tuesday night at the Centennial Concert Hall, would pop by for some fun. And then along came superstar Marsalis, who was special guesting with them. What a sweet surprise!
"He relaxed everyone's face off in person on stage at the Pyramid," said club owner David McKeigan.
It had been billed as a performance and jam session with Steve Kirby and the University of Manitoba All-Stars, featuring Jimmy Greene, Larry Roy, Will Bonness, Curtis Nowosad and Derrick Gardner, plus special surprise guests! The perfect enticement.
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OH, THE IRONY: The Greig family, who farm near Reston, are coming to the Red River Exhibition Association and Foundation's agriculture gala in Winnipeg on Monday to pick up their Farm Family of the Year award.
The winners -- Fred and Lori Greig, and offspring Stephanie, Allison and Cameron -- whose farm was judged an outstanding operation before this year's water wars, aren't able to put in their entire 2011 crop because of the flooding.
"This spring, their whole farm is either under water or just too wet to seed," said Garth Rogerson, CEO of the Red River Ex Association, which hosts the Farm Family and Scholarship Banquet at Canad Inns Polo Park. Rogerson said the Greig family was only able to plant 100 acres (40 hectares) of soybeans and 100 acres (40 hectares) of wheat on their 5,200 acres (2,100 hectares) of farmland.
"I don't think people appreciate how sad a situation it is," said Rogerson. "The Greigs have 125 head of beef cattle on their mixed farm, but their main thing was seed production. If you don't plant by a certain date, which is past now, you don't get crop insurance. Either you make nothing or look for others, like the province, to assist you to get through the year."
Politicos who have said they will attend include Manitoba Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen, provincial cabinet ministers Stan Struthers and Jim Rondeau and Winnipeg Coun. Grant Nordman. Michael Trevan, the dean of agriculture at the University of Manitoba, will speak. This year's Ag scholarship winners are Davis Wright, Red River Co-operative Scholarship, Erin Chorney, Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame Scholarship, and Eric Holtmann, Farm Family of the Year Scholarship.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com or send mail to The Insider c/o the Winnipeg Free Press at 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.