Most Popular Post

Thursday 30 October 2014


The door bell rings and my mind goes back in time to family memories of this time every year. First to Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, where we lived on the upper part of Sunrise Avenue. Frank, my brother and I both loved trick or treating and waited anxiously for the day to go door to door for candy. We did not go very far, around the block really, both sides of Sunrise in our block, Third Street and Norma's Avenue. It was a small area, but the candy haul was plenty to satisfy us.

It was dark before 5 o'clock and I doubt we could have waited longer. The cool air was part of the experience and we dressed for the weather. By that time of the year the trees were bare and leaves crunched under our feet or blew around as we made our rounds. Costumes consisted of masks, plastic or rubber-like, which made us sweat and obstructed our view. Often we pulled the masks to the top of our heads because they were so uncomfortable. Sometimes on clear nights the moon added to the setting as friends passed each other going across lawns and driveways. Few adults walked around with their children because people felt safe. Hallowe'en was magical.

     Sylvie and her Pumpkin

In 1975, the first year I was teaching, the fall was a blur of lesson plans. As a new teacher I struggled with matters of discipline but slowly settled down to something with which I was comfortable. The students and I enjoyed labs and field trips. The activity was an important part of my science curriculum and the variety helped with discipline as well. However, the field trips were ended with Hallowe'en that year. That day, there was a huge snow storm, the first I had ever seen that time of year. Snow in October was common but nothing like this weather. Blizzard conditions kept the kids from trick or treating. Even the Boys and Girls Club, across from the Teachers' Hostel where I lived was closed on a Friday night. The weather that night was the worst I ever saw for Hallowe'en.

Rick and I married the next year and settled into life in Buchans. When our daughter, Claire, started to trick or treat, in her two year old vocabulary, she combined Hallowe'en and trick or treating and called the day and the activity Hallo-treating. She was so excited she shook with anticipation when she dressed to go out. Candy and its acquisition have a powerful effect on children.

        Mommy helped too

The final story has to do with Rick's grandparents, Classie and Richard (Dick) Mercer. Classie answered the door and distributed the candy to the children every Hallowe'en. Meanwhile she washed the dishes as she waited. While Classie waited, Dick sat at the end of the couch near the kitchen.

     Ready for Hallo-treating

One Hallowe'en, every time Classie went to the door she left the light on in the kitchen. Then Dick walked to the kitchen and turned off the light. Classie turned the light on again when she finished at the door. The practice continued for a time and nothing was said. Eventually however Classie gave up and washed the dishes in the dark.
    Tired from Hallo-treating

Today we wait for our granddaughters to knock on the door.

Happy Hallo-treating everyone.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Tree Street

As we walk along, the leaves falling from the canopy take me back to life in Grand Falls-Windsor. This time of year I enjoyed driving along Memorial Avenue on the way to and from school on Greenwood. 

Memorial Avenue was the 'tree street.' It was never busy so I drove very slowly as the leaves fell, some landing on the car. The colours of the trees and on the leaves piled on the street were just as captivating as the falling action itself, with leaves along the curb, over lawns, driveways and trampled into the asphalt. On windy days the leaves often took flight again as the number falling off the trees increased. 

Sometimes I walked the street before I headed home after school. The sound of the leaves under foot added to the atmosphere, as did the smell of the rotting leaves, that autumn smell you recognize if you grew up around deciduous trees. A drive or walk along this street was a celebration of autumn every year. 

Today in Summerside, the leaves are piled high in the yards along Maplewood, certainly an appropriate name for the street. 

While we walk, the leaves drop around us, unprompted by wind on this still day. Some people have done the first raking of the millions of leaves while others wait for the completion of the falling process

The leaves are dry and crunchy today, making noisy footfalls.

The park on this street, one of the many beautiful parks in Summerside and throughout Canada this time of year, is carpeted with maple leaves. 

It is a great place for children at any time, but especially now. The next time the girls visit...


Sunday 26 October 2014

Being Three

She is afraid, or is it insecurity, or both? You can see she wants to dance. She tries some of the moves in the observation area as she watches the rest of the class on the floor. She runs to the bar when the class heads there to stretch and play. This is Sylvie, our granddaughter, at ballet class last month.

Usually one to approach other children, introduce herself and talk, Sylvie clings to me when I encourage her to participate. All the dancing she did watching Angelina Ballerina was not enough to give her the confidence to attempt this interesting though scary adventure.

The teacher looks her way, says her name and Sylvie runs to participate, only to run back to me again after a few movements. When it's over one of the other little ballerinas standing nearby, looks at us and says, "I want her to get on the floor," as Sylvie listens. It makes her smile. What a great friend!


Two weeks later, Sylvie participated for the second half of the class and was disappointed when it ended. The following week, she talked about the class and wanted flowers for the teacher. That week she danced for the entire class. Every week now she is eager to go and participates with energy and enthusiasm.

The next time Sylvie tries something new and appears to be anxious, we will remind her about ballet, her initial fear and how she overcame it. Confidence comes with experience at various activities.

It is wonderful to watch our little granddaughter work through her fears, learn and grow in so many ways.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Family Produce

The garden produced a good crop again this year, the most delicious tomatoes, yellow and red, big and small. 

It attracted visitors too.

We had salads on the menu with all the cherry tomatoes we grew, plus lettuce, cucumber and onion.

This year again, I made enough pizza sauce and preserved enough tomatoes for the next year. 

The herb garden grew really well this year too, with oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, and mint. I will dry most of these.

One discovery this year was fresh sage leaves placed under the skin of chicken done on the barbecue or roasted in the oven. It gave the chicken a subtle sage flavour which we all loved.

Salsa made the menu as well this year. Inspired by the peach salsa of the Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island, we did our own recipe, using some garden ingredients.

We used yellow and red tomatoes, cilantro and hot peppers from the garden. To that we added a peeled peach, chopped onion, salt, pepper and juice from half a fresh squeezed lemon.

Peach-Tomato Salsa

4 tomatoes chopped, we used red and yellow
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 hot pepper, finely chopped
1 peach, peeled and chopped
Bunch cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice 

Combine and refrigerate for at least an hour.

We served this salsa with tortilla chips. 

The garden is almost empty now, just a few herbs remain. However the promise of next year means we supplement the soil with sheep manure and seaweed this autumn, ready for another year.


Tuesday 21 October 2014

The Stowaway

Over one hundred years ago today he stowed away on the ship, probably below deck, and died the next day when she sank. This was my great uncle, Jim O'Brien (1885-1910), my grandfather, Gus O'Brien's older brother. Granda always said that his mother, Bridget Kielly O'Brien, never recovered from the drowning death of her son. The headstone in the old cemetery in Petty Harbour which bears her name states that Jim O'Brien drowned on the Regulus. The steamer came to an untimely end on October 23, 1910, south of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland. Jim was from Maddox Cove, in Motion Bay, near Petty Harbour. He died near home.

The Regulus left Wabana headed for Sydney, Nova Scotia. My grandparents made this same trip years later when they headed to Boston where they married. Was Jim headed to the United States along this same route?

There was a cook by the name of M L Brien on the ship. He and the rest of the eighteen member crew jumped in the water but all perished. None of the bodies were recovered according to the records. However, Jim O'Brien's name is on the headstone where his mother is buried. His family put his name there in his memory.

It was common for O'Briens of that time to be called Brien. My own mother was baptized Mary Brien. Her father was know as Gus Brien. Jim was probably known by Brien as well. However was Jim Brien the M L Brien who was the cook on the Regulus? It is more likely that Jim was one of the stowaways on the ship and perished along with the crew that fateful night.

The following is from
The Evening Telegram, St John's, Newfoundland
Oct 24,1910

This is a fairly complete list of those who went down on the SS Regulus.
(Please note that Shoal Bay and Harts Cove are pretty much the same.


The Regulus is swept on the rocks at Shoal Bay, near Petty Harbour and her
crew of Nineteen lost.

List of those lost:

Capt Taylor of Cabot Street, leaving a wife and
several children.

Mate; Malcolm McNeil, son of a widowed mother. Leaving
to mourn two brothers.

Chief Engineer; John Penston.

Second; M F Knight, second son of Mr Stephen Knight, the
Chief Engineer on the Stella Maris.

Bosun; John Kent.

A B and Lamp Trimmer; Fred Cooke.

A B's; M Dalton and Joseph Fitzpatrick.

Firemen; Arthur Forbes, Joseph Murphy and John Rodgers.

Cook; M L Brien.

Stewart; John Osbourne. Leaving to mourn a wife and
five children. Son-in-law of Sergt. Courtenay of the
police force.

Herbert Goudie. Joined the Regulus as Engineer.

A young man named Barnes, who also joined as Engineer.

  Regulus, loading talc, probably near Manuels, pre 1909

An interesting set of circumstances occurred just prior to the disaster, involving the Regulus and another ship. The Regulus was on her way from Wabana to Philadelphia with a load of ore. According to the New York NY Evening Call, the Regulus crashed into the SS Karema, head-on on the Karema's port side. The Regulus was repaired and passed inspection, earlier in October of the same year. The Karema was sunk in 1917 by a German u-boat.

The accident happened in July, 1910, as described in the New York NY Evening Call.

In the report to the inquiry of the sinking of the Regulus, November 5, 1910, Captain Collins of the ship Eliza stated that his ship came upon the troubled vessel hours before she sank. Collins reported that Captain Taylor told him the main shaft had broken though he could not understand why because it was a new one. Members of the crew also reported that there were stowaways on board.

Could the collision with the Karema have damaged the Regulus in some unknown way causing this new main shaft to break, or was the shaft faulty? We will never know.

A tug boat did get a line on the Regulus that night to take her in tow but the line broke. The ship went onto the rocks and everyone perished.

Regardless of the reason or the circumstances of the tragedy, Bridget O'Brien dropped dead in the yard the next year. My grandfather, just a child of eleven at the time, never forgot his brother or his mother's untimely death. He thought she died of a broken heart.
The Regulus is sometimes spelled as Regalis. Like so many tragic events in Newfoundland, the Regulus disaster was immortalized in song, the words of which are on the websites below. I think the last song puts Bridget O'Brien's anguish in perspective.

The Loss of the Regalis           Author Unknown
Collected by MacEdward Leach

" a mother's heart is breaking for her blue eyed sailor b'y,
the salt seaweed entwines his brow that once she kissed with joy."

Sunday 19 October 2014

The Mercers

Sometimes the most influential people in your life are the quietest ones. Their actions speak volumes. Such is the case with Rick's Uncle Carl. However to talk about Carl without his wife, Jean, would be an incomplete picture of the man.

Carl is the youngest child of Richard (Dick) and Classie Mercer. He was born in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland eighty years ago today. Carl has an older brother Richard (Dick), and an older sister, Sylvia, all of whom are two years apart. Sylvia is my mother-in-law.

     Carl, Sylvia and Dick

His family moved to Corner Brook when Carl was young and they lived on the west side of town. His father, Dick, worked in the accounting department of the mill. Carl went to Corner Brook Public School as did his siblings. There he met his future wife Jean Burton.

         Carl Mercer

Jean was the youngest of three children born to Myra Grace (Fisher) and Walter Henry Burton. Walter was from Harbour Buffett in Placentia Bay, a community which was resettled long ago. He was a taxi driver. Myra was a granddaughter of Christopher and Janet Fisher, who owned the saw mill in Corner Brook before the paper mill was built there. Myra's parents were Janet and Josiah Fisher. However Janet died when Myra was a baby, and various family members raised the children. Myra was raised by her grandfather Fisher and his second wife, also named Janet. Later, her father, Josiah, married another woman named Janet, as was his first wife. So, two men named Fisher had four wives between them, all named Janet.

 Carl Mercer and Jean Burton

The Mercers married in 1955 and lived next door to Carl's sister Sylvia and her family on Balsam Avenue in Maple Valley, Corner Brook. Before long the Mercers moved to East Valley Road and eventually Sylvia, Melvin and Rick moved to Reid Street just behind them on the block. 

                         Carl and Jean

Jean continued to work at the Bank of Montreal after they got married and Carl, who did a vocational training course at the mill, worked there until 1958, when there was a major lay-off at the mill. Carl then started an ESSO garage on Country Road which he operated for many years. Jean did the books.

           Carl and Stephen

In 1960, the Mercers' only child, Stephen, was born. Living near the Smiths, the Mercers often saw them. Stephen loved his Aunt Sylvia and any time they were together, he took out cigarettes and lined them up on the table for his mother to smoke so he could stay longer and visit with Auntie. When it was time to leave he always said, " 'Tay home Auntie," wanting to stay longer with Sylvia. The families wondered how long it would be for Stephen to find his way around the block to Sylvia's house. He did it by the age of four.

          Carl, Sylvia, Dick

Melvin worked shifts at the paper mill which involved weekends. When Rick was young he and Sylvia often accompanied Carl, Jean and Stephen to Margaret Bowater Park or Pasadena Beach on the weekends. They both have fond memories of this time, the carefree days when the boys were young.


Rick's first job was working at the garage for Carl. In those days, you pumped gas and washed windshields for your customers. This job was one which let Rick know what it is like to work with the public in this capacity and that he did not want to do it for the rest of his life. Every young person should have such a job. Carl was a great boss and Rick learned how to deal with people watching Carl. This knowledge helped him in later life when he worked with students and their parents. 

          Carl and Jean

Also Rick saved for and bought a motorcycle while working at the garage, getting his license easily with Carl's help. A number of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers came regularly to the garage for gas. Carl got to know them and asked one to test Rick on the motorcycle. Rick drove around the parking lot a few times and the officer passed him, signing the paperwork. Melvin and Sylvia worried every minute Rick spent on that thing. However, learning to save his hard earned money was a great skill that Rick acquired while working for Carl and he was so grateful for Carl's help.

         Carl and Jean

Eventually Carl sold the garage and Jean started the Busy Bee craft store that she operated at the mall in Corner Brook. Carl worked alongside Jean. They work well together throughout their personal lives and in business.

When Rick and I got married, we couldn't get a place to live in the company owned mining town. As a result, we bought a mobile home which we established in the trailer court in Buchans. Melvin, my father, Sam Pretty and Carl helped Rick connect to services in the town and winterize against the Buchans weather. 

                        Sylvia, Jean, Carl

The Mercers moved to Steady Brook, just outside Corner Brook, fifteen years ago. They live in the shadow of Marble Mountain and the ski slopes which attract many visitors every year. Their beautiful land and home provide a perfect place for puttering in the garden or garage for Carl, who always has a job or a project on which to work. Jean is busy with her home.

     Mercers and Smiths

Carl is a devoted husband to Jean and loving father to Stephen. He is a very easy going person, one who is quiet, helpful, funny, meticulous with anything he does, like mechanics, carpentry or crafts. He loves and enjoys his friends and family, is loyal, and generous with his time and talent. He loves working in his garden and traveling around in his RV. Carl enjoys a good joke, a game of cards, and a glass of Old Sam with Coke. He is a man of few words, a gentleman, genuine and true. He has a grin and laugh that make everyone smile.

      Melvin Smith, Carl and Clyde King

Jean is a talented woman in many ways.  Jean is artistic, can do most crafts with ease, and does beautiful paintings. However, there is much more to Jean than her crafting ability and artistic talent. She is a devoted wife and mother, a loving person to her extended family, generous with her time and talent. Jean is expressive and knowledgeable, a great cook/baker, lover of cards and traveling in the RV, a great friend. Jean too is loyal and genuine.

                    Stephen and Barbara

Their son, Stephen lives in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland with his wife Barbara (Kennedy). Stephen is retired from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Barbara is a hair stylist. The Mercers really enjoy their time together and see each other often.

      Carl, Claire and Jean

Jean and Carl are very loving towards our daughter Claire and her two babies, Sylvie and Caitlin. While they do not live nearby, everyone stays in touch via blogs and skype. Jean is adept at the computer and keeps Carl in the loop as well. 

    Caitlin with the purse Carl made for Claire

An uncle can be an important influence in any child's life. Having a wonderful Aunt who is his wife is a double blessing. We are very grateful for you both and we love you!

Happy 80th birthday, Carl... and many more. 

Friday 17 October 2014

Teaching with Whatever Works

Initially the tools we used were dirty and some were hard to use, Gestetner machines, which we called mud slingers, spirit duplicators, chalk and blackboards. However these tools were far ahead of those our teachers used. Over time we used other things, like overhead projectors and photocopiers. By the time we finished teaching, data projectors and computers were in common use. Blackboards were long gone, replaced by white boards and markers. Twentieth century technology gave way to the teaching tools of the twenty-first century.

More than a decade into this century, I am teaching a course on Writing and Blogging in Seniors College. Working with my contemporaries is great. Their wealth of knowledge and life experiences mean that they can relate to every topic. Seniors bring so much to the classroom that discussion is lengthy, detailed, stimulating and interesting. Providing some direction is my main role.

Meanwhile, I head off to class with my bristle board posters ready for my first day. I may be teaching about blogging, a twenty-first century topic, but I have not left the methods of my past.

"Whatever works," I say.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Would You Care for Some Dandelion?

Did you ever eat dandelion? My grandmother O'Brien loved them. Every spring she was eager to get to the meadows to cut the new plants. "The young ones are the best," she always said.

The countryside in Maddox Cove, Newfoundland was covered with dandelion and Nan delighted in them. She picked huge bags of leaves which 'boiled down to nothing' in the pot according to Nan. I always wished they did 'go away to nothing' because I hated them. Dandelion always tasted sour to me. Nan served them with boiled dinner. I thought that everything else in the pot was tainted by the dandelion.

Rick and I have waged war with dandelion in the lawn for years and have not used herbicides on them for a long time. Digging them out is the preferred method of course but they are so numerous this year that task seems insurmountable. The stalks appear to duck their heads when the mower passes, only to pop up again when it is put away.

I wish I did like to eat them, maybe I would think differently about the plants.

Dandelion anyone?

Monday 13 October 2014

Giggles of Thanksgiving

One of the happiest things we ever do is spend time with our granddaughters. They are old enough now that each has her own personality, likes and dislikes. They each have things they like to play at Nanny and Poppy's house. Rick and I spend our time playing with them and soaking up the joy.

We were recently lucky enough to have breakfast with the girls when their mother did a first aid course early one morning. They were hungry but still pleasant and so full of fun. They ate their oaty cereal with gusto. Then cheese and yogourt made the menu but the best part of the meal was the giggles.

They both laughed and giggled their way through breakfast as I sat with them and Rick served. When one of them started to laugh the other soon joined and before we knew it, we were gigling too. Silly things caused giggles, like Nanny's imitation of a helicopter or a train. Poppy's jokes, which Sylvie understood, caused Caitlin to laugh as well. However at nineteen months, she does not comprehend everything yet. It will not be much longer though and Caitlin will understand the jokes too.

How blessed are those who get to enjoy the giggles of young children. We do not take a minute of this time for granted.

                 Sylvie, Nanny and Caitlin

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday 10 October 2014

Autumn in the Garden

Early autumn is wonderful, isn't it? Well, it has been more like late summer some days; the air is periodically cool, with some hot weather in between.  While the days are considerably shorter, the sun is still heating us to the bone and we've had lots of it. Autumn is glorious this year.

These last few weeks the leaves changed of course. From week to week the colours of autumn evolved and more trees are colored now than not. Even the leaves that merely look rusty are visible. In another month the trees will be bare.

The changes in the garden are quite noticeable as well. 

The plants which bloom when the evenings are cool and the light diminishes add to the splashes of colour from the leaves. 

Some changes are people-made because we cleaned out the vegetable patch to ready it for the winter. 

Only a few herbs remain, holding on to the last few days of life, aided by the periodic covering against the frost.

The face of autumn, even in this modest little garden is beautiful.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Gaggle at Low Tide

Thousands of Canada geese fly over our house these days. We are on the flight path from the harvested fields which they frequent this time of year and the harbour where they lounge for part of the day. Monday was a warm sunny day and our windows and patio door were open, so we heard the huge flock of geese long before we saw them. They flew in an undulating line across the sky, what looked like hundreds of them, honking as they flew, though not in unison. Their collective sound has an urgency, like a siren, heralding the autumn activity, the cooler air, the last of the harvest. The beat of the wings as they fly directly overhead is a unique unforgetable sound, a barely audible swish of muscle contraction and feather against air.

On Tuesday, another beautiful day, we walked along the boardwalk by the harbour at low tide and the geese were there. 

Again we heard them before we saw them. At a distance you might think it is a group of people talking. 

As you listen and watch, you can imagine they are chatting about the day, their neighbours, or the people watching them. Small groups take off, moving to deeper water while others move back. 

They glide in on the breeze flapping just before they touch down. Occasionally an errant duck makes its quacking presence known, not to be outdone by the larger birds.

Meanwhile hunters are in their blinds again waiting for their goose dinner to appear in the field; Thanksgiving is on the horizon. Photographers try to capture perfect shots of an individual bird or the flock. Some residents want them off their property where they create a mess.

We want to watch and listen.

Monday 6 October 2014

The Bear Cub

Rick's grandfather, Richard (Dick) Mercer was an animal lover. He had cats, rabbits and canaries at different times. He called one large rabbit Big Bun, another Tarzan. Dick always called canaries Bing after Bing Crosby. One of the last cats, a steel gray colour, he named Smokey. 

     Dick Mercer and Big Bun

Smokey was an adventurous cat. The Mercers had venetian blinds to the large window in their living room. These blinds provided an Everest-like challenge to the wily cat who scaled the blinds behind the curtains and eventually fell, cutting her whiskers on the sharp edges on the way down. The cat always had short whiskers that looked as if they were cut deliberately. In a sense they were because Smokey continued her adventures with the blinds. It was obvious that she didn't mind the quick return to earth. Dick enjoyed her antics.

His love of all animals made Dick curious about them. Once during his time at work in the accounting department of Bowaters Paper Mill in Corner Brook, he had an unusual opportunity. One of his colleagues there, a young woman, dated and later married the supervisor of the woods department. One of the crews at work in the woods had an encounter with a mother bear and her cub. They killed the mother and captured the cub which they turned over to their supervisor. Dick found out about the cub through his colleague and asked to see it.

           Visitor and Smokey

The couple brought the cub to Dick's home in Corner Brook and they phoned for Rick to come to the house as well. The fluffy little creature climbed up the woman's leg when she stood up as if it was climbing a tree. After some activity, it curled up on the birch wood in the brass holder by the fireplace.

We don't know what happened to the little cub.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Newfound Islanders

This week we met another Newfoundlander living in Prince Edward Island. Originally from Gander, she moved here twenty-five years ago with her family and is now married here. Everywhere we go here, there are Newfoundlanders, or someone married to one. One of the committees for the city of Summerside on which I serve has several Newfoundlanders and several people married to them. 

We can often recognize other Newfoundlanders by their accent or vernacular, as they notice ours. There is always the question, "What part of Newfoundland are you from?" Then there's the sharing of years spent in PEI, reason for moving amd who is still living home in Newfoundland. We all know what we left.

I know what we found here as well.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Dr. David Suzuki and the Blue Dot

Forty years ago, when I was a Biology student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I heard Dr. David Suzuki speak at the lecture theatre in the Science building. While I don't remember what he spoke about, I remember the man and how he delivered his message, with energy and passion.

Over the last forty years, I've watched his Nature of Things, the work of the Suzuki Foundation and followed his work with interest. It was only natural then that I wanted to see him in person on the Blue Dot Tour which stopped in Summerside on Monday this week. This man still captivates an audience and at the age of seventy-eight, he is still leading and inspiring people all over the world.

       Dr. David Suzuki

The blue dot is the planet of course. So many people in our own place on the dot don't have clean water or air. We also have the right to clean food, free of pesticides and herbicides. If local people demand these things of their local governments, eventually provinces will have to get involved. They in turn will pressure the federal government to put the right to a healthy environment in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada has not done this when over one hundred countries worldwide have stood up for their people in this way.

The example of how such change can happen is smoking and how widespread it was at one time. Remember the days when people smoked on planes, trains, restaurants and bars, hotel rooms, everywhere? Non-smokers took in a great deal of second-hand smoke as well.

One of our previous neighbours, Dave, is a barbour. His doctor told Dave he had to stop smoking because it was affecting his health. Dave was not smoking but his customers smoked while they waited. Dave banned the habit in his shop. It took time, but when we knew better as a society, we did better and the places where people smoke are greatly restricted now.

Clean air, food and water are basic human rights. We will not settle for anything less.