Monthly Archives: November 2014

And you thought it all ended in 1911

A great deal happened between 1911, when Josh Smith of Mariposa won Missinaba County for the Conservatives, and 2011 when Jo Smith won it back for them. In fact, if you returned, or paid a first visit, whether for nostalgia, curiosity, or any other reason, you would hardly recognize the place.

But the sun still shines there, and the people are a little unusual, although not perhaps in the same way as all those generations ago. People change, local cultures change, children turn into parents who turn into grandparents and then along comes another lot, but when an author decides to write them up they get frozen in time, and in truth they are not. I’m here to set the record straight.

As a quick illustration, let me tell you about Josephine Smith, known as Jo. You might assume she was descended from Josh, and you would be right. You might assume that the politics of the family were unbrokenly Conservative from him to her, and you would be wrong.

When I tell you that Billy the desk clerk turned out to be Josh’s son by a woman from up north who died, and that Billy married Zena Pupkin (née Pepperleigh) after Peter was killed at the Somme and adopted their son Lancelot (who started out as the “enchanted baby” but didn’t stay that way), and that Lance who took the name Smith went through all the Pupkin money trying to keep the sawmill afloat during the Depression and after going broke signed up in time to lead his company up to the Leopold Canal but never got to lead what was left of it away from there, having beforehand married Elizabeth the daughter of Edward Drone who held Mariposa for the Liberals all during the Mackenzie King years and who along the way had married Miss Lawson the school teacher, so that John Henry Smith the son of Lance and Eliza could get himself radicalized at university during the 1960’s and join the Waffle and in collaboration with Rosemary Bagshaw without benefit of matrimony sire Josephine who moved out West where she fell under the political spell of Preston Manning and ended up back in Mariposa running for Stephen Harper in 2011 and winning, you will see right away that the political genealogy of Mariposa makes a lively story indeed and that a lot happened after the events recorded somewhat approximately by Stephen Leacock all those years ago.

Of course a whole lot of other things happened in Mariposa during the ensuing years right down to the present and still is happening, and in fact about the only part of Missinaba County that has remained constant over the years is the boundary.

If you read this blog regularly you’ll get the full story both as it was and as it unfolds, but in order to catch the unfolding you’ll have to start at the bottom and read up according to the natural way of blogs. I’ll do my best to make the act of starting at the top and reading down, according to the natural way of reading, an intelligible experience too.

I’ll make it all hang together somehow, in the true Mariposa spirit, according to the precedent set by the pioneer Smith speaking to the pioneer Bagshaw, or perhaps vice-versa, after the Rebellion of 1837, that if they didn’t all hang together they’d hang separately. Which they did not, although things were lively for a time. But that’s another story.