Song reminds us about positives

Subject matter can always be turned around to lift our spirits

The old Chemainus sawmill loading shed being torn down. (Photo courtesy Chemainus Valley Museum)

The old Chemainus sawmill loading shed being torn down. (Photo courtesy Chemainus Valley Museum)

We’re here for a good time, not a long time.

It’s hard to think of the last year as much of a good time, but the song title by Trooper is a reminder we need to take the positives wherever we can find them these days.

Trooper is foremost on our minds this week, with the release of the song The Day They Closed The Old Mill Down by former band member Frank Ludwig, a graduate of Chemainus Secondary School in 1965.

Ludwig stressed he didn’t want to dwell on the doom and gloom of the Chemainus sawmill closure in 1982 that’s the subject of his song. Instead, he found a silver lining in a situation that many communities across the country have faced and continue to face with mill and manufacturing plant closures. He turned it into a sort of drinking song with a toast to folks for their perseverance in overcoming obstacles.

With COVID hitting us over the head so hard, it’s nice to sit back, look around and be grateful for everything we have in our own backyards. We still must err on the side of caution right now until enough people are vaccinated before we can drop our guard down a bit.

Even though Ludwig’s song focuses on a tough time for the town, it comes as somewhat of a breath of fresh air. It gives us a chance to celebrate all that is good about living here.

And, besides, Chemainus was already evolving into a tourist town at the time of the mill shutdown with the evolution of the mural project and it wasn’t actually very long before another mill of a smaller scale opened on the site.

It’s a bonus some of that industry returned to give the town balance and a return to vibrance.

It’s also great how people like Ludwig never forget their roots. Despite a long career in music that involved extensive travels, he obviously has special memories of the time he spent here as a youth, playing organ at the church and generally being involved in the community that paved the way for many great moments in his life.

Take it from Ludwig and Trooper. “So have a good time, the sun can’t shine every day.”


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Frank Ludwig in the control room of his home studio. (Photo submitted)

Frank Ludwig in the control room of his home studio. (Photo submitted)

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