Part of the reason I started blogging many years ago was to document the transformation of the Columbia Valley from a small town to a small city. That transformation has been complete for years now. If we haven’t quite hit city status, nobody can deny, we are a bustling tourist trap, full of self serving business people and disrespectful tourists and second home owners.
The photographs I publish on this page rarely show the popular tourist sites. There is plenty of places to see those. Although places are spoiled yearly, I’m lucky to know of a few good places that still exist far from the hand of disrespecting tourists.
Although the original purpose of this blog is complete I will still continue to put up pictures. If I wanted readers I’d do it on Facebook or Instagram, but those platforms make me sad.
As I continue I am going to turn off commenting. For a couple reasons, although I appreciate people reading and commenting, it seems like a chore for both the reader and writer.
This past year has been difficult, as we face another tourist season I fear it’s going to get worse for the valley. The past year has shown just how disrespectful people are towards one another.
I have always tried to have a positive outlook for humanity. I’ve thought, although slow to learn, goodness and common sense will prevail. Having watched this past year of destruction and absolute disrespect towards each other my faith has been shaken. As humanity faces unprecedented environmental and health challenges I’m unsure it can be turned around.
So what does this mean; not much really. It doesn’t mean I will change or stop caring about the place I’ve grown up. However, I don’t think the people who give a shit can be as forgiving as in the past.
Lisa had a late start this morning. We spotted a few Meadowlarks and Ospreys, while heading into the bush. Less snow than the other day. Willow and I walked down the mountain getting muddy.
Real estate is going crazy in the valley with many listing selling the same day they hit the market.The property I grew up on has just been listed again.
I come from a long line of men that buy high and sell low. There truth is I’ve always felt the same regardless of my bank account. With that said, Lisa and and I have been lucky enough to have never seen our kids go hungry.
I have tried to instil in my children that money can give you freedom and nice things. I’ve done this mostly by posing as a negative example. Believe me a negative example is just as powerful as a positive one.
My brother and sisters sold our family property and house after my parents passed away many years ago. We sold it for a price recommended by the realtor. It sold the day before it hit the market. The realtor made more money on the deal than any of us did.
It was bought by a couple small time local developers. Lisa and I knew them well. Our kids even went to school together. We knew them for what they were. I would run into them here and there and they would say how they were going to turn into a Bed & Breakfast with nature paths around the property. In short a bunch of bullshit. Which was fine with me. The only thing that bothered me was that they thought I was stupid enough to buy their shit.
After sitting on the property they sold the property for a cool $200,000 + profit. Not a bad take and who can blame them.
The second Alberta developer had grand plans, buying the 3 adjacent properties and proposing a large 10 story resort.
The Mayor and town council of the day was all too happy to rezone the property salivating over the taxable business they promised. Of course it was, as well, bullshit.
They kicked the renters out of old family home and left it unlocked and vacant. Its turned into a crack house. Police were called often. Nobody complained to the Developer because the promises they made were still in play.
It was heart wrenching to watch the home we grew up in being abused in such a way. I called the developer myself and told them to board the place up. I had a newspaper at the time and wrote editorials about corporate responsibility, that did not endure me to our advertisers that were waiting on the developer to deliver on the 10 story hotel that would put Invermere on the map.
I remember going down to the house late at night and walking through it. It was like I was a ghost. The inside was graffitied, garbage everywhere, crack heads had started a fire in the fireplace and burnt part of the mantle, a cedar plank from a washed out bridge in the Palliser my father and I found and spent days sanding by hand.
There were bodies in every corner passed out among garbage and feces. It crossed my mind, just briefly, to bash their skulls in. It would have been easy, but the truth was I was angrier at the developer for letting this happen.
I do have a regret. I gave it a great deal of thought, over the year the house was used as a crack house, I considered getting the derelicts out and burning the place down. Again it would have been easy. The only reason I didn’t was I knew the fireman and first responders would have to charge in to try and save the people who were using it.
Eventually, after many phone calls, I shamed the developers into tearing the house down. These people and our own Mayor and Council were some of the worst people I have ever had to deal with. Absolutely blinded by their own ambition and the pipe dreams sold to them.
Regardless, of that history. Our house was a place of love, flawed at times, but nothing, looking over the sun coming up over the lake, or walking into the surrounding bush couldn’t cure.
The property, thanks to the previous developer is zoned for just about anything, condos, commercial, multi or single dwelling even a 10 story hotel. The realtor I talked to said they expect it to sell to a wealthy Albertan looking for a lake view. There is no shortage of those guys. Guaranteed, like usual in the valley, they will care less about the history that came before.
The property is offered for 1.2 million. It’s not for me. I buy high and sell low.