Thursday, June 18, 2015

KIPLING AND KRECSYS

            I’ve got a couple of milestone anniversaries coming up in 2015. On July 1st of this year it will have been 45 years since Mom and Dad and their three youngest children, Gordon, Perry and our little sister Michelle, (Shelly), moved to Kipling from Marquis, SK, where we had been residing since 1965. That move to Kipling was in 1970 and, as it turns out, it would have a large impact on my life.
            July 2015 also marks the 30th year since my own little family moved back to Kipling after an eight year absence. I had kicked around Kipling for a few years after high school living with Mom and Dad and working in construction before heading to do the Alberta experience, or experiment, if you prefer, for a year or so. By 1979 I had returned to Saskatchewan, or more specifically, to Regina, sharing accommodations and a workplace with my good friend, Ron Balogh.
My wife Debbie is from Windthorst and in 1985 we decided we’d like to move “home” so we packed up our stuff, our first-born daughter, Meghan, and we took up residence in Kipling as I went to work for Larry Walker at his Quality Millwork and Building Supplies retail outlet.
            It would appear that having lived in six other communities over twenty-some years took the wandering out of me. Once we moved back to Kipling in 1985 we stayed. Between my birth and my thirty-seventh birthday I had lived at twenty-two, that’s 22, different residences during that time period. I was both really good at, as well as, sick and tired of packing and moving.      
            The move from Marquis to Kipling was a bit of an adjustment for us. Marquis had a population of less than 100 and Kipling was over 1000. Being awkward teenagers and having just recently settled into a different school in Moose Jaw, Gord, Shelly and I weren’t all that happy about the move. Moving to a bigger town was kind of exciting for us but going to another new school and finding new friends was getting a little old, too.
            During one of our early bike tours to get familiar with the town we noticed a sign in the back lane leaning up against the Co-op Grocery Store at 601 Main Street and it looked to us like the sign said “KRESGE’S”, a huge store chain, WOW, this place must be pretty big because it has a “KRESGE’S”, we said. We were close, but the sign actually said “KRECSY’S”. The Co-op had recently purchased the land and building from Gerry Krecsy whose family had run a general store business since 1909 and had built the “new” store building in 1949. Gerry recently had quite a milestone of his own, you see, on June 3rd he celebrated his 90th birthday. 90 years! WOW again.
            The Krecsy family, like the town of Kipling, would also impact large in my life over time. It turned out it wasn’t hard to make friends in Kipling after all. Max, Gerry’s son, and I became friends in 1970 and were business partners at one time and we remain best friends to this day. His older brother Ward and my brother Gord were best friends through high school and while their lives have taken each of them in different directions whenever they do get together the years fall back easily to their old high school days. I served on town council with Gerry in the late ‘90s and early 2000’s. When Gerry and his wife Maxine’s oldest son, Mark, married my sister Margo in 1976 it really cemented the family connection.
            Gerry and Maxine and my Mom and Dad, Lowell and Rose Hubbard, had a great relationship and they were great friends who had a lot of good times together. Gerry, as life would have it, is the only one of the four still celebrating birthdays.
            Gerry’s family put on a community tea for him this past weekend and they followed it up with a little shindig at Gerry’s house. He celebrated in style. A lot of stories were circulated about Gerry’s life and the Krecsy family history and their legacy in Kipling and area. Stories were told about the Krecsy family’s compassion for families suffering through hard times, their commitment to King and Country and about how Gerry’s father Louis had been a hard-working community builder and how he passed that down to his sons and grandsons with Louis, Gerry and Max all having served terms on town council. And, I must say, Kipling is all the better for it.
90 years and counting! Thanks for everything Gerry. Happy Birthday!

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