Welland Water Walls
I'm going to explain a couple of things about my life so you can understand what I'm going to tell you.
My father and mother waited for a year to get married, wanting a Reverend from Scotland to officiate for their wedding. And then they waited a year before they had me, born a month overdue by natural childbirth,
on May the 1st, a Mayday baby. My parents shared their love, and I was born with the same love inside me.
All my life, and theirs, I never heard them raise their voices against each other, or speak with angry words.
Not like most Europeans, by like most natives in their ancestral lands, my parents come to me in dreams.
We are Sons and Daughters of the Gael, who speak Gaelic, natives of our island, now known as Scotland.
My father, my heavenly father, visits me the most. He is part of Welland Water Walls. When my father and mother are together talking about me, when I can only overhear. I would be insane not to do what they say.
My dreams changed when I was over thirty, when I left Toronto to move back to Welland. I have always had dreams that were like a morning, afternoon, or day of my life. These dreams divided into two different types. I would be walking around an abandoned factory, mall, without any other humans around. I could look at machinery, items in stores, go anywhere I wanted to just to see how it looked. Or I could be walking through a forest or city, again, without any other humans, looking where I wanted to go to see how people lived, and what life would be like without humans. I remember these dreams more than the days of my life.
They never had any special meaning, nowhere I went was ordinary reality, and I didn't feel lonely, knowing I was just a witness to the world around me for what mankind has done and what the earth has become.
The other half of my dreams involves a landscape and city beside Lake Erie, not Port Colborne, but where Port Colborne is. This landscape and city with everything you could think that a city and landscape could have, never changes. I visit where I want to go, along a river, up cliffs, on boat docks, a cemetery,
the downtown, bars with bands, abandoned old factories, a cement plant, sometimes being driven in a car.
That's a fast explanation of my dreams. The other aspect of my life I want to explain is my bike-hikes.
Ever since I was a teenager I could pull an all-nighter at least once a week. Now, when I feel the sorrow of life in Welland, or just feel good, knowing I won't sleep, I'll take off on my bike and bike-hike around the peninsula, going through the next day and into the next night, usually getting back after midnight. After doing this for so many years the Niagara Peninsula feels like it's my backyard. I'm drinking the water and chewing my way through the scenery and I'm feeling better when I get back. Lake Erie air is revitalizing.
Welland Wonder Walls
I first saw water walls in a dream, and now I can see them in my imagination. I have only had five dreams where I'm out there on a bike-hike, and only one bike-hike dream where I saw my father.
It was a hot sunny day with no wind and in my mind I was riding my bike in Thorold, only it wasn't Thorold the way Thorold is, it was flat fields with crops starting to grow, seeing wheat and corn and squash and strawberries, but mostly wheat, golden in the sunlight. I saw a road with trees lining the side, seeing them as shade from the hot sun, and the road was slanted downward, not even having to pedal, just sitting back on my custom psychiatric seat as designed with Dr. David Salanki, a chiropractor in Port Colborne.
I was drifting along when I saw my father standing there beside the road, and he was smiling at me.
This made me feel so good right away, seeing him smiling, as if everything in my life was going to be all right.
He was wearing one of his Sunday suits, what made my mother say he looked as neat as a pin. I was just looking at his face when he lifted one arm and pointed down to the road. When I looked there was a word spelled out with red and black cherries. The word was communicate. I knew what he meant right away. Members of Cindy Forsters' family, with the maiden name of Forster that I didn't know, had poisoned me
at their home, after forcing me to visit. My mother was dying of cancer and it was painful for her to get
up to answer the phone, but as my secretary or agent, as I called her, she thought it was the one thing
she could still do. One of these Forster women called her every fifteen minutes all afternoon until I came back for supper, so I had to visit to get them to stop. That was Dorothy and Kathi Male.
You might not know it, but you can drug overdose someone so that they are unconscious for over twelve hours, and when you come to you start dislocating the first bones you move. That has happened to me twice. This time, I came to in their rec room, after talking in their front room, with a telephone on the floor beside me. I was laying on the floor. When I was conscious enough to turn and answer it I dislocated my spine between the fourth and fifth vertebrae. They just sat upstairs in the mothers' bedroom with their television up loud, ignoring my cries for help. It took over twenty-four hours before I dragged myself along the floor, up seven stairs into the kitchen, and into the front room where I could phone my father.
My brother had already been murdered, and their threats about what could happen to my father and mother were enough to keep me from complaining to the police. These were my first thoughts about what seeing communicate meant, standing up for myself and acting legally to create problems for them. The other meaning was starting to talk to the people of Welland about the canal, what the Seaway Authority wanted it to be as a federal-provincial park, and what my concepts for industries and products for the canal could be.
There was a pile of cherries at each end of the word, one red and one black cherries, my favorites, and they were there for me to eat, not the word communicate. When I bent down from my bike to get some, when I straightened up my father was gone. This was such a beautiful encounter I just sat back on my seat and started drifting down the road in the shade of the trees. I could see what looked like a forest in the distance, so I turned right at the bottom of the road and started pedalling there.
When I pulled up at the end of that road, it became a smaller road along what I thought was a small lake. The water was about fifteen to twenty feet away from the road, with tall trees along the edge, and there were a lot of people having picnics along the shore. I started walking and talking with different people, asking them where they were from, an ordinary conversation for me. I could see tall stone walls across the water to the right, and the forest to the left, so I went right, seeing more people along the lake.
When I got to the stone walls I could see they were man-made, not like an old quarry, but like old concrete works, looking the same as the old downtown swimming pool behind the new city hall, but bigger.
I thought it could be an old quarry, but there was a red brick building on a foundatioin that took it out into the water, so I went in there to look around. I saw turbines and machinery for the water, and more water coming down walls like the first one. They were mossy with growth where the ridges were, how big concrete is poured, and people were working with this machinery, using syphons to move the water from the lake into retaining ponds. This reminded me of the Atlas Steel water intake along River Road in Welland, where I filled in for a high seniority employee who was on vacation, going to clean the grates that filtered incoming water.
I kept pushing my bike around this building, going outside and around the front of the water walls, into the forest and kept bike-hiking away. This was wonderful. As I'm typing this I'm seeing everyone I stopped to talk with and everything I'm describing as they were in my dream. My father is still out there in my heart.
Welland Water Walls, what they could be for Welland and southern Ontario.
What I'm seeing as concrete construction for the basis of any Welland Water Walls, and what their use could be, the existing construction and downtown location are parts of the aquaduct. Now that the canal no longer has ocean and lake boat use, it could be reconfigured for smaller business and personal boating.
The canal is huge. I doubt if any country, with our modern internet economy that is bringing down every country except The United States, and even the United States, could afford to build such a big waterway just for recreational use. Yes, the canal is so big, just developing that can take generations into the future.
But think about this. What if the canal was linked to Chippawa Creek, with its' headwaters in Hamilton?
That would allow Lake Erie access through Dunnville, and think about all the lands and rivers and streams there are along that length of river. If non-Welland boaters and floaters could be ascended or descended from the river to the canal, many populations from other cities and townships could have river travel to the downtown of Welland. When I say downtown, I see the canal as past the aquaduct as staying at the same water level, with a new canal division that allows Water Wall construction across the canal from the Niagara Street side of the aquaduct to the Merritt Island bridge across that side of the aquaduct. With a lower water level for the downtown section, docks could be built on exposed shore. The city could provide over-night dock accomodations as secure low rentals on this new shore, making any long river run an overnight stay.
If you are thinking what about the other end of the downtown water level, yes, that would lower the water all the way to the end where the new railroad tunnel is built. I don't recommend that. I would build a new canal divider using the Lincoln Street bridge as existing architecture. This newer section would be where a fish farm could grow, and lower water would mean a new shore along the canal, nice for local residents who have City Hall registration cards so they can fish for free and keep what they catch, if they want to.
The many apartments and housing along this section of the canal could have docks or walkways, using the exposed rock as foundations, so anyone can get down to the side of the water, not just looking at it from the recreational trail that is up on top of the mainland.
I can see the city having secure boat storage for locals with canoes and other human powered vehicles.
With fish growing in this separate section of the canal, having people floating around or sitting around the edge are a natural combination of uses that can only grow as canal use grows. And no, I'm not imagining a company from St. Catharines or the United States being paid to draw blueprints for boat and floatation device storage that would rival the Titanic in size. That kind of out-sourcing financing has already brought Welland to a state of bankruptcy, by any ordinary definition. I can see smaller storage units, as made by Welland Water Way, scattered along the banks on both sides, so users don't have to walk very far to access them. They also wouldn't be blocking any view as much as something huge, and different locations would have different people responsible for their use. You also have to consider all the robbery that goes on in Welland, especially along this section of the canal. Having smaller units that are easier to secure only makes more sense about using this design. Having floating units secured to the shore means they could also be moved to where they are used the most, and new Water Way construction would be new construction, not governed by any existing by-laws, where I would rather see money going to new employees and storage construction, not as new taxes our City Hall will spend outside of Welland.
The Water Walls of Chippewa River and The Welland Water Way, if these bodies of water aren't joined,
could simply be a way to raise and lower boats from the river into the canal and back again. The concrete along both sides of the river is in good shape, and would be easy to work with. The aquaduct could be used as is with only small changes to allow boating traffic. I'm not really promoting this lesser option, because I'm thinking that if the water levels of the river and canal were co-joined, the river that runs past our aquaduct to the aquaduct at the new canal could be used by boaters and floaters. And if the Seaway ever agreed to rework the aquaducts there as Welland Canal Water Walls, boaters could continue on through Chippewa to the Niagara River, and that would include any small business and pleasure boat traffic from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, or boaters from the American side of the Niagara River.
This would truly make Welland the center of a vast waterway system, and as a long view for construction, is something that could provide work for many generations of Welland people into the future.
The City of Welland slogan is "Where Rails and Water Meet". If we continue recreational trail development and create a system of water travel, that could be updated to "Where Trails and Waterways Meet".
How nice would it be for the citizens of Welland, if they could get on their Water Wheels, sailboards, canoes, fan powered river-boats like they have in the Everglades, any kind of shallow water vehicles that won't disturb the riverbed and shore, and make it out along the river, up to Wellandport, that could truly develop into a port of call, with their own docks and overnight stays, easy get-aways for a small vacation in upper river country, unless you want to go all the way to Hamilton or Dunnville and water and lands beyond.
That's where cities and townships have adapted a tartan, and they would once again greet me as a
Son of the Gael working for the benefit of all, and that would only be better if I was the Mayor of Welland.
The Gaelic spelling of wet is watt, and water is watter. This only feels like my kind of world I'm typing about.
If this city was free as an open society with a legally acting city hall, it could be as free as you can be too.
Life-giving waters. What controlling the canal like a big aquarium can be. Let Welland provide them for southern Ontario and the world, to become known for our Welland Water Way destiny.