My Visit to Oak Island, Nova Scotia

I have watched the show “The Curse of Oak Island” on History Channel since its beginning.  The Curse of Oak Island on History Channel

I grew up in Nova Scotia and the Oak Island is about 90 miles from my boyhood home. I had heard the stories of the island, the rumors that Captain Kid’s treasure was buried there, and the treasure hunters who looked for it.

The History Channel series covers the most extensive efforts to date to solve the mystery and find what, if anything, is buried on Oak Island. Brothers Rick and Marty Lagina, along with their partners Craig Tester, Dan Blankenship and David Blankenship, work to fulfill a life-long dream and solve the 220-year-old Oak Island mystery.

While I was in Nova Scotia, Canada this summer I decided to visit Oak Island and see first hand the place I had seen so often on TV, while sitting at home in Georgia, USA. I found out from the Web  Oak Island Tours   that tours of the island were only available by reservation and only on Saturday and Sunday. Further 2018 tours were totally booked. However, anyone could visit the The Interpretative Centre on the island. The center is open from May 19 to October 14, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.


A view of the causeway connecting the island to the mainland.

Still seemed to be worth the 90 mile drive from my cabin in Nova Scotia. You may be wondering how you drive to an island. Well the island is only a few hundred feet off shore and the treasure hunters have built a narrow, one lane, causeway to the island to get construction equipment etc. to the dig site. The public is allowed to use the causeway to get to the Interpretative Centre on the island.

Interpretative Centre

My wife and I arrive at the Interpretive Centre

On July 16 my wife and I, along with two friends, drove to Oak Island. As I had learned from the information on the web, the area where the digging was going on was gated an only crew allowed in. I really enjoyed seeing all the exhibits in the Interpretative Centre. Artifacts that I had seen being recovered on previous television shows were on display.



However the highlight of the visit was when a number of the cast members from the TV show showed up in front of the “War Room”, which is also outside the fence, in the public area. Even more surprising, the stopped and talked to the visitors and even invited them to take pictures. The thrill of the day, I got to shake hands with Rick Lagina and introduce myself to him. Marty was absent. Then they let several people including me have pictures taken with the group. Some lady in the crowd was kind enough to take my picture with my phone.

Oak Island Crew

Myself surrounded by the crew from “The Curse of Oak Island”

The people in the above picture are, left to right: Paul Troutman, Doug Crowell, Craig Tester, Me, Rick Lagina, David Blankenship, Charles Barkhouse

Such a friendly group; and no, this was not the typical touristy scam where they take the pictures of you and then try and sell them to you. There is no charge to get on the island, no charge to tour the Interpretative Centre, and no charge to talk to the celebrities.

The Maud Lewis Memorial


Maud Lewis Memorial Selfie

A very poor selfie of my wife and I arriving at the Memorial Site

I am back from my annual summer trip to my birthplace in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada. I did not get to blog a lot while I was there but I am now trying to catch up with some of the more memorable moments from the trip. I had heard of the Canadian artist Maud Lewis most of my life. She lived and painted in Marshalltown Nova Scotia (near Digby) just a few miles from my home. There is now a memorial to her life, including a replica of her house, on the spot where she lived during her adult life. My wife and I decided we had to visit it while we were nearby.

Maud Lewis Memorial

My wife and a better view of the sign at the entrance to the memorial


Living in poverty with her husband in a small house most of her life. She was a prolific painter with a simple folk art style. Maud achieved national recognition in 1964 and 1965. Several books, plays and films have since been produced about her. Lewis remains one of Canada’s best-known folk artists. Her works and the restored Maud Lewis House are displayed in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. A more detailed description of her life and works can be found on the Art Gallery’s web site at:

Wikipedia also have a great description of her life:

Wikipedia story of Maude Lewis

Back in Canada on Canada Day

I am on my annual trip to Canada, where I grew up, visiting relatives. I drove from Atlanta, GA to Portland ME then caught “The Cat” ferry to Yarmouth Nova Scotia, Canada. Below is a nice YouTube video of The Cat

We then drove from Yarmouth Nova Scotia to Charlottetown Prince Edward Island to visit Donna’s Family.

PEI cabin

Royalty Maples Motel and Cottages


We rented this cabin for our stay in Charlottetown, PEI. See their web site here Royalty Maples Motel & Cottages

Fisherman's Wharf, PEI

Fisherman’s Wharf, North Rustico, PEI




Had a nice lobster dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf at North Rustico. Here is a link to their web site Fisherman’s Wharf



The Churchill Arms Pub

Also I can not visit Charlottetown without having a beer and an order of Fish & Chips at the cities authentic British pub, Churchill Arms. See their web site here Churchill Arms Pub



We spent an afternoon with a stroll on the Charlottetown water front but had to cut it short because of a rain shower.

Charlottetown Waterfront

LeRoy and Donna at the Charlottetown water front

Yesterday I had the the opportunity to spend some time with an old friends Don and Joy Spence. We enjoyed an evening at the racetrack watching some harness racing and enjoying a good meal.

Me and Donnie at the Race Track

Red Shores Racing Charlottetown

See the racetrack’s web site here Harness Racing in Charlottetown

We will be celebrating Canada Day today with a barbecue with family.  Next week it is off to my cottage in Nova Scotia.

GMA Can Not Define a Lie

I am really getting tired of the news media advocating widespread lawlessness. Again this morning on Good Morning America the news anchors were decrying the inhumanity of the current policy of arresting illegal immigrants at the US border. This is all part of the Trump administration’s policy of zero tolerance on illegal immigration. The focus seems to be on the policy of separating children from their parents when the parents are arrested. Come on. No legal system in the US, or most other countries, arrests the children of felons when the felon is taken to jail. Anyone who advocates this is simply not thinking clearly. A parent who brings their child to a foreign county for the express purpose of breaking the laws of that country does not deserve to be treated as a responsible parent anyway.

The Good Morning America personalities went on to state categorically that the President lied when he said he did not make the immigration laws, he is enforcing the laws made by previous administrations. In the same breath the commentator said that this was a lie because the laws were in fact enacted by previous presidencies but those same previous administrations choose to ignore them. What? Please explain that logic to me. Ignoring the laws of the land makes them disappear from the law books? All the drug dealers will be happy to hear that fact.

The media is so biased that even when they report that the president is telling the truth they proclaim that it is proof that he is lying?

Lawlessness the new norm?

I am bewildered by the new wave of protests in favor of lawlessness. Some examples:

Immigration law. We have had strict laws covering immigration for years. There is a well defined process for obtaining legal permission to come from another country and live in the USA. I know the process first hand, because I went through it. Unfortunately it seems that, for all the people who do it legally, there are just as many, or perhaps more, who ignore the law and enter the US illegally. Unfortunately the laws have not been enforced as aggressively as they could have been. Because of that there are a number of undesirable (shall we say criminals; I know, it is politically incorrect to call a law breaker a criminal these days) in the US illegally. Finally the US has a President that feels laws should be enforced not ignored. And what happens; we get large rallies and organized protests in the streets decrying enforcement of the immigration laws. The justification seems to be; these criminals got away with breaking the law so they now deserve a free pass, immunity from the law of the land. What? These are laws, not polite suggestions! Nobody gets to selectively decide which laws to obey and which to ignore. How can anybody suggest that enforcing the law is somehow inhumane?

In the Atlanta area where I live (and in other parts of the country) it seems like there is a story on the TV news every evening about the police attempting to arrest a criminal in the process of of committing a crime, or trying to serve a felony warrant. The police attempt a lawful arrest and the criminal fights back, tries to run, or both. Often a high speed car chase is involved, endangering the lives of countless innocent people. Because the criminal resists, the police must use force to effect the arrest. When the criminal is finally in custody, what do we see on in the news story? Not congratulations to the police for a job well done. No, we see protests again, well publicized by the media, claiming police brutality. The inference being that, even though the police took a violent criminal off the streets, they failed the public because they did not do it in a kind and gentle manner. People who advocate that the police allow a violent criminal to assault the arresting officer or to run rather than have the police use force to arrest them do not deserve to be the lead story on the 6 o’clock news. Again, lawlessness seems to be preferred to the rule of law and the police’s power of arrest?

If we believe the TV news, it appears that the tendency of a lot of people is to resist whenever a law enforcement person attempts an arrest. I don’t believe it used to be that way. There was a time in history when people respected the order of law and didn’t question it. If the police said you were under arrest, you complied. These days, where public opinion seems to be that we all have the right to pick and choose which laws we will abide by and which we will ignore, resisting arrest, in any way you can, seems like a logical extension of that attitude. So sad!

Racial Labels and the Royal Wedding

The whole world seemed to be enchanted by the Royal wedding. The marriage of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle took place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018. The courtship, wedding, and the beginning of their lives together was the stuff of fairy tales.

However, the American media just had to mention, on several occasions, Meghan’s ethnicity. Because her father was Caucasian and her mother was African-American they labeled her “mixed race”. What is this crap, there is only one race that we need to be concerned with; the human race. And, of course, virtually everyone in America, and the UK, are some mixture of various ethnic backgrounds. So what is the reliance of the term “mixed race”? In these times we should be morally and socially evolved enough that no further sub-divisions of the human race are required. The British press being more socially refined, did not mention this frequently like the American press did.

However, this got me to thinking of recent history and another “mixed race” celebrity. The past president of the US, Barack Obama. He, and the press chose to downplay his parentage ( Caucasian mother and African father). He was always referred to, in the press and elsewhere, as America’s first black president. He never got the “mixed race” label applied to him because it would not serve his purposes. Of course this was done because the collective consciences of the American people felt it was time for an African American to be president in order to demonstrate that racism was finally dead in the US. Of course, the very fact that he and the press felt that he needed a label is de-facto proof that racism is not dead.

So, two famous people with similar ethnicity get different labels by the media, depending on what distorted message they are trying to convey. I hate labels and I hate media distortions!

Misguided School Violence Protesters

I am getting increasingly bewildered at the recent wave of protests in the wake of shootings in America’s schools. Why don’t our school age children want to address the real issues in the recent wave of school violence. First the terminology. Why are they calling it “gun violence” and skipping school to protest in the streets. Yes there is violence in our schools; and the level is increasing. If the protesters were really serious they would be protesting “violence”, all violence, instead of trying to deflect the problem onto gun ownership and off the real issues.

Gun ownership by the general public has existed in America continuously since before it was America. However, the increasing violence in schools is a relatively recent phenomenon. So it is not possible to correlate the two.

If we are to believe the news media reports, virtually all the school shooters in recent times were loaners, socially outcast by their peers, even bullied in some cases. There are many factors in todays society that are promoting each generation to become more and more violent. They include the dissolution of the traditional family unit, violence on TV, movies, and in games, increasing peer pressure to conform socially, increasing prevalence of gang activity, increasing availability of narcotics, and and the list goes on. Being a high school student in urban America is a very stressful place and some people simply can not handle the stress; and some resort to violent attacks on their oppressors.

If the school protesters really wanted to curb the rise of school violence, they should first look inward instead of outward. They should work diligently to make their school’s social climate one that includes everyone. They should demand an end to social media shaming of others, bullying in all forms, and ostracizing individuals who they deem as social non-conformists. These are things that they could actually change.

However, it is easier to follow the example of our politicians; if a problem is hard to fix, try and deflect onto something that is easy to change but not necessarily relevant to solving the problem. Sure, skipping school and having a meaningless protest rally is fun, trouble is, it is deflecting from the real issue, and the problem continues.

School protesters please stop misusing the term “gun violence” to describe all violent behavior and make a real effort to create a more humane social climate for all students. This would do more to curb school violence that any day of skipping school could do.