Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blog Guelph: The Ponderosa

Skyscraper by WeiWong
Skyscraper, a photo by WeiWong on Flickr.

Recently I’ve been watching Bonanza. This show, which ran a stunning set of fourteen years between 1959 and 1973, has surprisingly a lot to teach us – about life, values, and even about land. It follows the lives of the Cartwright family – the father Ben and three sons Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe who live on the Ponderosa, a 600,000 acre ranch on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada.

For its time, Bonanza was an unusual western because the storylines focused less on the range and more on the human drama - how the Cartwright family cared for one another, their neighbours, and just causes. It may have been a period drama but it confronted contemporary social issues – themes of industrialization, pollution, alcoholism, domestic abuse, ethnic discrimination, gender, civic law, and capital punishment among many others. Issues that are still very contemporary today.

So, I really do think of Guelph like the Ponderosa.

While we may not be quick on the draw or ride mustangs, we are quick to stand up for what we believe in and we don’t back down from a hard or difficult ride.

Out on the Guelph Ponderosa:

We watch out for one another.
We know our neighbours.
We care for our land.
We stand up.
We run honest.
We stand deep in our grassroots.
We love and cry together.
We celebrate together.
And yes, we always ride together.

Many amazing things are taking place on the Ponderosa  - you can’t possibly miss the Summer City Street Party tomorrow on Carden Street which is part of an array of fantastic Fourth Friday activities in Guelph. Sunday ushers in the Local Food Fest at Ignatius from 11am to 5pm.

See you out there… on the Ponderosa!

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

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