DAYS GONE BY
Lorna Nash remembers the old milltown days
By HELEN GAJEWSKI
Standard staff writer
Lorna Nash and her husband, the late Thomas Nash were among the town's movers and shakers in its early and more recent days.
Before she retired 15 years ago Mrs. Nash ran Nash Electric, was the. president of the Horticultural Society and the secretary-treasurer of public library. Her involvement in both organizations spans a few decades.
Mr Nash is perhaps best known for founding the town's first radio station in what used to be his family home. The 10-room brick house on Lawton street was converted into two studios, a record room, an announcers' room and offices, in 1958 when CKNR came into existence.
Mr Nash started the station with Gene Marcon and Stan Kurisko, and sold his shares to these men five years later because of poor health, says Mrs. Nash.
She remembers the first staff at CKNR. There was Paul Leonard, "a local boy who handled the sports and the French-speaking parts of the program," she said. "He did a good job."
The head announcer was Jack Reid. "He played good music" she said. This included classical, popular and some western music. "They didn't play rock-and-roll music over and over," she
The latest music of the time was played by disc jockey Steve Emery. His trademark was his fondness for saying "Hi ho, Steve Oh!"
A favorite with the children at that time was Auntie Gwen, who was in charge of the radio's children's program. Her full name was Gwen Mayling.
Mrs. Nash remembers Blind River when it was primarily a mill town for the logging industry. Her father, Lorne Burk, moved to town in 1906 and she was born the following year "My mother said when she came here there were at least six lumber mills here."
Mrs. Nash remembers when it was possible to walk across the Blind River on logs. She also recalls how the mills used to close in October and not open to the spring. "The men would go away to the camps (in the winter) and leave the women here," she said.
Her father was the town harness-maker and owned and operated the Star Picture Show. Her mother used to play the piano for the silent movies, and Mrs. Nash was raised watching Mary Pickford on the big screen.
Mrs. Nash laments the disappearance of the town's older buildings. She says people always complain "we have no history," but then many beautiful old buildings have been torn or have burned down.
Lorna Nash and her husband the late Thomas Nash were active participants in Blind River's lively past. Mrs. Nash was awarded a plaque by the town for her contributions to the horticultural society and the public library. Picture shows the couple in earlier days.