Entertainment and Sports

Hope, I Hope, Eye Hope

I hope the next time there is a once-in-a-century opportunity for Hamilton, we don't allow carpet-bagging old-boys, who can't see past their glorious past, to hijack the process.

By Kevin Somers
Published October 16, 2014

I hope. I have an eye for hope. Everybody hopes. Alexander Pope on hope:

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

"Home" and "come" are eye-rhymes, not perfect ones, like hope and Pope, who wrote the perfectly imperfect terse verse. Hope, indeed, springs eternal.

However, between the ISIS crisis, the stain in the Ukraine, the horrid horde that votes for Ford, the sordid machinations of Hamilton's board of education... sometimes it's easy to lose hope.

541 Barton restores hope, beautifully. I hope the goodwill goes viral, globally.

I had a delicious breakfast there recently and flipped through The Christian Herald while waiting. On page 4, I read Franklin Graham (presumably Billy's kid), sold out the Air Canada Centre, in Toronto, three straight nights in September. The event was called The Festival of Hope.

Hope drove Terry Fox and his eternally, ethereally beautiful run, The Marathon of Hope.

Willie Nelson and Neil Young just played a benefit concert in a farmer's field to help stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The event was called Harvest The Hope.

Hope's everywhere.

Also on page 4 of The Christian Herald was the story of an American doctor who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Liberia. Although the epidemic is out of control and he almost died, he's going back.

I hope that I'm brave, but I'm not. I hope Ebola doesn't come near me and mine.

541 Barton is, of course, in one of Hamilton's poorest neighbourhoods, rich in hope. While eating, reading, watching, listening, learning, thinking, hoping, I reflected. This is the part of town Bob Young's Pan Am stadium tried to flee, but settled for, and The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board - flat out - refused to go. Attempts to dissuade the HWDSB were, of course, hopeless.

When Martin Luther King said, "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope," he may have been talking about Hamilton.

HWDSB bureaucrats, despite declining enrolment, outgrew their downtown building, and, in fairytale fashion, built themselves, high on the mountain, far from the poor, a brand new $50 million palace. I hope their enchanted lifestyle doesn't come at the expense of (vulnerable) children.

I hope not.

I hope Hamiltonians can still put to and too twogether: gangs, crime, ISIS and the like, are the product of poorly educated, lost, frustrated children, without hope.

I hope the election brings changes.

Municipal elections are important. I hope people pay attention and vote.

I hope former HWDSB chair Tim Simmons, who is running for council in Ward 3, gets all the votes he deserves.

With my pal, Becky, I'm writing a hopeful musical about a lost young man, who finds hope through Robin Hood (nee. Walsh), a grandmotherly-figure, who teaches him to turn that thing off, sit down, stop talking, sit straight, listen, learn, think, and then some. We recorded songs around a table, one night. This is my favourite.

I hope it's a huge hit, so I can move to an island by myself, get a gun, and prepare for the zombie Apocalypse.

I hope I don't shoot my mouth off, again.

I write poems about hope, sometimes.

Hope

Like a doper needs dope
We all need hope
Hope so we can cope
With the scope of life's slope

When the boat goes down
And we're about to drown
Hope helps us float
Because, although it's remote,
We pray and we hope
We'll soon get to grope
A life-saving rope
From a life-saving boat

I hope my path's not steep nor flat
The wind's at my back
The sun's on my hat
When I get to the end, I hope to come back
As real cool cat
Jet black
With whiskers white
How groovy is that?

I hope I win the lottery
Because millions and millions would set me free
But, I believe whole heartedly
In the beautiful beauty of industry
So just between the Internet and you and me
Secretly,
I hope I can live on pen and poetry

I hope I live for another day
I hope my daughters are always OK
I hope that the children are happy at play
I hope everyone sees things my way, someday
I hope I do not hope my whole life away
I hope and I hope, I hope and I pray
I hope I can keep evil at bay

I hope I do not get caught
I hope and hope; I sure hope a lot
I hope I find X, that's marking the spot
I hope I sow well, so I might well-wrought
I hope the feds do not uncover my plot
I hope my hoping isn't for naught
I hope I give all that I've got

I hope the last two stanzas resemble a pen-tip and a sharp pencil.

My Pen

My pen, my pen
My very best friend
From In The Beginning, right to The End
My pen bleeds ink onto paper
Giving it life
My pen, my pen
A poet's midwife

I love pens and pencils. I hope they're always fashionable.

I hope Brad Clark isn't the next mayor of Hamilton. My neighbour, dry and droll, referred to Brad as Hamilton's Rob Ford. At the time, he didn't realize Clark, like Ford's daddy, Doug Ford Sr., were both part of the Harris regime: "businesspeople" who sold the 407, Ontario's great cash cow, in a hopeless, cynical attempt to cling to power.

As a councillor, Clark missed a critical vote on the Pan Scam stadium debacle, so he could go to Toronto and see (ahem) Michael Buble.

He said, at the time, "Everyone in Toronto is laughing at Hamilton," ostensibly because we wouldn't let Brads, Marks, Bills, Rons, Scotts, Bobs, and Businesspeople... cling, sophomorically, to glory days and build a stadium in Kazakhstan to fulfill their high school fantasy of funding a football team with parking money.

I hope Clark now realizes the women in Toronto were laughing at the only male, surely, in attendance, (a blustering Harrisite, no less), who was in Steal Town, forsaking his duties in Steel Town, to ogle Michael Buble.

Michael Buble, bro.

I had hoped the Scam Am stadium would be in the west harbour, but it ain't. A lot of the interloping meddlers, like Ian Troop, Mark Cohon, Dave Braley, businesspeople... who helped Bob Young put it in the wrong location, are abandoning ship.

I hope Karma's watching the games, closely.

I hope two of the Bob's loudest cheerleaders, Scott Thompson of Oakville and Scott Mitchell of Toronto, commute home and don't come to back Hamilton.

In Ward 1, Brian Lewis has the support of Burlington's Ron Foxcroft and casino advocate P.J. Mercanti, who probably lives in Ancaster, two more of Bob Young's biggest big-mouth pieces. I hope they don't earn him any votes.

I hope the next time there is a once-in-a-century opportunity for Hamilton, we don't allow carpet-bagging old-boys, who can't see past their glorious past, to hijack the process.

I hope the new stadium helps the neighbourhood. I hope Hamilton gets a soccer team and fills the place regularly.

I don't think The Concussion Football League (CFL) will be able to afford lawsuits, lawyers, and insurance, much longer. Sadly, some of the CFL's alumni will be broke and brain damaged. I hope the current crop of businesspeople, millionaires, and billionaires taking care of the CFL will wear caretaker hats, then.

I hope parents think twice before enrolling their sons in brain-damaging football.

I miss The Festival of Friends. I hope it comes back.

Supercrawl is a spectacular success. I hope businesspeople don't decide it has outgrown Hamilton and move it to Ancaster.

Years ago, on a Victoria-to-Hamilton cycling trip, my wife and I pedalled through Hope, BC. It's a lovely town, Hope, with a lovely name, Hope.

I love bikes and hope cycling lanes in Hamilton grow and are well-used.

Mount Hope is a lovely farming community, near Hamilton, with a small airport. I hope Mount Hope doesn't become a massive concrete slab, awash with parking, pollution, poison, and planes.

Businesspeople hope it does. I hope they drive from Hamilton to Mississauga and back, along the QEW. Visible from the highway, there are, perhaps, 100 huge signs with "For Sale," "For Lease," or "Space Available." Even businesspeople, with grand visions blinded by greed, can see them, I hope.

Simple supply and demand dictates warehousing / transportation isn't working. Rather, the opposite. I hope it's obvious.

I hope everyone remembers we need to eat, drink, and breathe.

I hope Hamilton gets LRT before I die, but Bob Bratina, Brad Clark, and businesspeople are determined to undermine hope. Clark was in favour of LRT but changed his mind. I hope it's not another cynical attempt to cling to power.

I'm sure Raising Hope, a Fox TV sit-com, was dreadful. Hope Floats, a romantic drama with Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr., was likely worse.

The Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa, looks like a beautiful place. I hope I never see it. I hope I never get on an airplane, again.

One way or another, I hope Oscar Pistorius gets what he deserves.

Dr. Phil might suggest I hope too much.

I hope you're well.

I could go on hoping forever, but I got stuff to do, so I'm wrapping it up. I hope you liked Hope.

I Hope.

Eye Hope.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

7 Comments

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By Loves Bikes and Cars (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2014 at 09:34:53

Hope makes great bike disc brakes...They are made in the UK and I hope it stays that way.

Sweet Article!

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By 1234 (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2014 at 09:48:03

This is an article that has captivated me. The world would be a more beautiful place if we let the artists be in charge.

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By Starbuck (registered) | Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:27:25

I'm sure those who live in Ward 3, appreciate the fact, their property values may potentially rise, thanks to the new stadium!

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By Hopingtoo (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:48:02

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By Bob Hope (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2014 at 13:28:29

Witty and creatively said.

Don't agree with all the editorializing but loved it. Hope you're not offended.

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By j.servus (registered) | Posted October 20, 2014 at 11:46:36

Bravo!

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted October 21, 2014 at 12:46:31

I grew up in BC. We had relatives in Fruitvale. Every time we drive through Hope BC mom would say "oh no we are beyond Hope."

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