Tag Archives: West Niagara

Drinking It In

ClubWest

(To view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

The sights, sounds & smells of Italy

By Lorraine Simpson

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The feature image with this article:
A gem in Tuscany, Potentino Castle.

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It’s incredibly difficult not to fall in love with Italy when there is so much incredible history to be explored, food to be savoured and wine to be tasted.

In Rome one can simply not go without visiting the Colosseum from inside or out, posing for a photo with a gladiator, or throwing coins in the trevi fountain…

Rome will inescapably grab you with its charm, history and character. We spent two jam-packed days here on our journey through Rome and Tuscany and would highly recommend getting the skip the line passes when you visit the sites you most want to see. Next we spent a morning in the town just outside of Rome called Frascati. This gem is one of several attractive historic hill-towns to the south-east of Rome known collectively as the Castelli Romani.

Every weekend these towns, and Frascati in particular, fill up with Romans looking for a change of pace, clean air, good food and wine. The wealthy built villas here, many of which are still standing although they’re not open to the public. The most impressive is the Villa Aldobrandini, designed by Giacomo Della Porta for the nephew of a pope. This palace dominates the town, hovering above the central piazza in faded splendour.

We were greeted by Alexander Minardi who is fifth generation winemaker at the Minardi Winery and he took us on a very interesting walking tour of his village before introducing us to some of the local delicacies such as the Porchetta on the wood fired focaccia bread which was to die for! Then we went to his family owned trattoria where we learned “hands on” how to make home made pasta and gnocci. This was such a fun experience in this authentic setting and our host was an Italian grandmother giving us her secrets to pasta making which felt all the more special. The pasta had to dry for an hour or so before eating so we went on a tour of the winery and tasted his wines before returning to eat a delicious antipasti platter followed by the pasta and gnocci we made ourselves with delicious sauces prepared by the chef.

The next day it was time to leave Rome and head for Tuscany.

When you close your eyes and imagine Tuscany, you’re likely to envision rolling, sun-kissed hills dotted with olive trees, grape vines and the occasional farmhouse or villa. It’s a place where time slows and you can savour the rustic, earthy foods and wines that prevail here. As with all regions in Italy, uniquely bold food traditions pervade the area, …

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(To read the full article, please click here to view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online.)

From the Publisher September/October 2017

ClubWest

(To view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

We all subject our family members and friends to whining.

Even the most level-headed among us break down and succumb to a little self-pitying once in a while. It feels cleansing, somehow.

But if you are in a rut or feel like you need a little boost, I am here to tell you to contact Werner Unger (wunger@cogeco.ca) at the Grimsby/Lincoln Special Olympics and volunteer some time.

Now, one might think it seems peculiar to add an element to what may already be a hectic schedule – that may be part of what has you feeling under pressure – but after one hour of working with these local athletes will clearly show you life is good. Life is what you make it.

When preparing this month’s story to note the steady growth over the 10-year existence of the Grimsby/Lincoln Chapter, I ventured down to Grimsby Secondary School for a photoshoot and series of interviews. Athletes were everywhere across the grounds – after running some sprints as part of warm-up. Some of the participants were quite young, most in their teens, and a couple were adults. No matter their age, they all= had a blast.

This was serious stuff for them and, since the provincial Special Olympics was held in July, some of then fully realize that effort manifests itself in results. Grimsby/Lincoln athletes earned a bunch of medals representing their communities and families very well. Congratulations to all for their efforts there!

As well, the parents and volunteers who make the organization go are deserving of appreciation. As noted in my feature, what started as a handful of athletes now numbers over 90 – very impressive.

Seeing these athletes in their element, working hard and taking great pride in what for many would feel to be a simple achievement, gives one pause to reflect and take stock in what we do have in our everyday lives.

As well in this edition readers will see the storied, 150-year legacy of St. Joe’s Church. Impressive to be sure. As well, for the foodies in the crowd, we have provided a “Best Of ” for Chef Jan Stulp’s “Chef In Residence” feature. Presented in this edition are the most talked about and commented recipes in the nearly three years he has been penning that feature.

Travel writer Lorraine Simpson takes you on a tasty tour of Italy – how could it be otherwise – and Beamsville’s own Brent Bochek highlights the exploits of a recent fishing venture. All in all, a diverse and intriguing effort. Enjoy!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

Good Vibrations: The Art Behind The Sound

ClubWest

(To view our July/August 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Bill Marykuca’s bows will be treasured for years to come

By Joanne McDonald

Aphilosopher, fiddler, and bow maker with a Rube Goldberg bent, Bill Marykuca thinks outside the box and his innovative techniques for making bows give musicians the poetic power to make their instruments sing.

The accomplished Beamsville luthier will modestly tell you that what makes the violin sound good is a good player. But his musical colleagues tell a different story about what happens when a Guillaume bow meets the strings.

“When you put Bill’s bow to the fiddle and you hear the vibration….there is something unreal, something so special,” says Waterdown Jam Session organizer and fiddler Howard Alderson.

“There are very few people that have the ability to make fiddle bows.”

Technically, a bow is a tensioned stick which is strung with hair and used to pull across the strings of a musical instrument causing vibration which the instrument emits as sound.

Artistically, it is the very life breath of the instrument and every stroke can draw deep emotion from the soul of an audience. The key to great violin playing is in the bow.

Everyone is given gifts says Bill and it has been his joy to recognize his God-given gift and make it useful to other people.

It was also the gift of a new life for Bill when a brush with a rare and serious illness not only changed his life and marked the start of his bow making career, but became the signature name for his musical creations.

He was stricken with Guillame Barré Syndrome. It rendered him paralyzed and in hospital for one month followed by four months of therapy while he
recovered and learned to walk again.

It was 1990 and Bill at the time was an executive with Red-D-Arc, the company he had founded and built to international reputation through the decades.

Bill credits the creative and innovative team of people who helped him build his business from a single car garage in Hamilton in 1957 to its present location in Grimsby, now as the largest provider of welding and welding-related rental products and services in North America. And therein lies the Rube Goldberg reference. Bill, always an innovator, developed industrial patents in 14 countries.

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For all the full article and more, click here for Club West Online.