Watching kids parade around animals they’ve raised is as heart-warming as any band concert, dance recital or choir performance.
Which is why city slickers, as well as those with agricultural inklings, should hit the road to Barriere to take in this weekend’s Provincial Winter Fair.
Like any other event representing the height of children’s efforts, it’s moving to see the 4-H Club kids beam with pride at their accomplishments.
Plus, amid the beautiful sounds of a concert band or choir, seamless moves by skilled dancers at a recital or a kid with a well-behaved horse are the funny moments only kids can provide.
The times when a clarinet loudly honks at the wrong moment, kids stare at the ceiling since they’ve forgotten a song’s words, a dancer puts on her own show beside the rest, or a child starts giggling during judging when his sheep breaks wind.
And in the bigger picture, to quote a coworker, farming is an education in life.
The fall fair represents a culmination of hundreds of hours of effort by kids learning to care for their sheep, steer, rabbit or horse with a public showing and judging.
It’s a chance for visitors to ask about their efforts, including money matters as 4-H participants must keep a record of how much it costs to feed and house their animals.
It’s also a reminder that meat doesn’t simply appear on a Safeway shelf, it takes people and hard work to raise the beasts that end up on our barbecues. The fair runs into Monday.
Speaking of road trips, I put on some unplanned miles last week while on holiday.
My plane out of San Francisco arrived 45 minutes late, with further delays due to mechanical problems, late passengers then strong winds.
By takeoff, we were four hours late, and I missed my connector in Calgary to Kamloops.
Since I was hitting the road again the next morning, hanging around for the airline’s sole flight to Kamloops the next evening wasn’t going to work. So WestJet offered to put me on a 10:30 p.m. flight to Kelowna and cab me to Kamloops (the two-hour fare, one-way, cost $370).
In addition to $20 in food vouchers they provided at the Calgary airport, upon my arrival in Kelowna, a WestJet rep greeted me, apologized for my long day and offered more food she’d bought earlier as all the cafes were closed. Talk about service!
Contrast this with the shabby treatment a Kamloops man and a dozen other Greyhound passengers received this month when the company stranded them in Prince George en route to Dawson Creek.
After their driver clocked out and another wasn’t available, they were told there wouldn’t be another bus for 24 hours and the only option was to get on a bus back to Kamloops since the depot was closing. No offer of food vouchers, a hotel for the night or their money back.
Since that time, Greyhound has refunded Clifford Bent’s ticket and given him two to Cache Creek, which is what they should have done at the time.
What is wrong with companies nowadays treating their customers with such distain?
Greyhound should take a lesson from WestJet on how to build customer loyalty.