Many a piece of juicy watermelon. seeds and all has been shared amongst family and friends during backyard BBQ's or family reunions while seated around the iconic picnic table. For one man in our small community the "power" of the picnic table moves past the memories of another time to the creation of something much greater in present day.
Dale Witherow, a long standing contributing citizen of Mount Forest was extremely disappointed earlier this year when a favoured resting spot, a picnic table that was crookedly perched on the corner of Queen and John was destroyed with the snow and cruelty of winter.
When walking home from his mornings at the post office or on a busy Friday night, Dale would often stop, take a moment, sit, observe and be part of the community around him.
The story of the battered and broken table was shared by Dale and his facilitator in hopes that others would lend ideas on how to replace the seating area . It didn't take long before Dales story reached the heart of someone in this giving community and a unanimous donor offered to replace the table. Moments after the offer, the search for the perfect table began and when found a small ceremony was held and the table was placed in a similar fashion, slightly crooked on the corner of Queen and John . For many, the absence of the table went unnoticed but for Dale each day without his spot was a reminder of the things he was missing in his community.
Dale has voluntarily sorted mail at the post office in town for 27 years. He is deeply embedded in our community and has given of himself to others his entire life. The donor of this picnic table contributed much more than an opportunity to sit. They created a genuine invitation. An invitation to be with others, a place to share stories or secrets, a cup of coffee or a first kiss. An invitation to be and take time to share in the atmosphere of our community. Thank you for this wonderful gift.