Madmen and Dreamers

Madmen and Dreamers
Beer Break – Rudy Couture
There are quite a few interesting stories that can be told about the various town councils. I don't know if this ever happened in any other council in Canada, but one story that comes to mind happened at one of our meetings in Faro.

An urgent call for one of the councillors interrupted our meeting. The emergency, it seemed, was that the local pub had run out of beer and they needed someone to tap a new keg. After all, we couldn't have the local beer drinkers breaking stride.

The mayor recessed the meeting, this particular alderman took off to answer the pub's request. He returned later and we carried on with our meeting.

Doc's Dog Accused of Murder- Dr. Larry Otto
Faro holds for me some of the most unique memories of my life. I first visited Faro in 1970 when I flew in to hold a clinic there, before there was a regular doctor. I had been up all night delivering a baby in Whitehorse the night before and kept falling asleep in front of my patients. Understandably, they weren't impressed.

One beautiful sight I recall was in 1972 when I drove in one night. After many miles on the Campbell Highway, which was dark, you could see the twinkling lights of Faro in the distance as you descend from the "summit" coming from the west, about ten miles out of town. The road has not changed and the image is still enchanting when I drove in New Year's Eve 1990-91.

My heart smiles when I recall memories of the Faro area. Canoeing down the Pelly from Ross River to Faro after my Ross River weekly clinic. The beautiful, untravelled "Cat/Horse" trail on the north side of the Pelly. This trail starts from near Blind Creek and ends 45 miles later at the old foot bridge in Ross River.

I remember going for a run at minus 57 F when the soles of my running shoes froze hard. And skiing down from the Grum through uncut powder snow on the old Vangorda trail. "Discovering" Mount Mye Lake nestled on the eastern edge of Mt. Mye. And after a ski tour to the top of Mt. Mye, being greeted by only the wind and a pure white snowy owl perched on a rock 20 feet away.

One afternoon in mid winter, Corporal Bill Harrington of the R.C.M.P. came to my house on Ogilvie St. "Larry" he said, "I wish this was a social call but it's not. I'm here to serve you with papers to appear in court."

Needless to say, I was quite shocked and after I sat down he explained that it was not me but my husky dog Taku that had committed the felony.

It appeared that the night before, Taku was purported to have slipped his leash and, "together with an unidentified dog", had killed a cat up the street. The owners (whom I didn't know very well but who later moved next door and became friends) were understandably upset and wanted to see justice done. Taku was the only dog they thought they recognized.

Court day arrived a month or two later, so canceling my office for an hour, I walked up to the Legion to take the stand on behalf of my dog. I was offered legal counsel as the "defendant" couldn't appear. The outcome of it all was a one dollar fine, which I paid.

Faro was a special place for me between 1979 and 1983 when I was one of two doctors there. I have been back several times to locum since then and still find it and the spirit of the people there, very special.

The Last Laugh- Ann Laroque
One evening my husband & I where visiting our friends Wilf and Irene Kerr at their trailer. Wilf decided to tell a Ukrainian joke. He stood up and asked me, "How do the Ukrainians pull up their socks?"

When I said I didn't know, he proceeded to pull down his pants to pull up his socks. Unexpectedly, his shorts came down too! Needless to say, the last laugh was on him!

Axe Man of Faro – Phyl Forbes
There are those around Faro who'd say this story is true, with one hand on the bible, they'd say it is so. I'd not be the one to call anybody a liar ….. especially if they seemed to swear out an oath. I do know the story having it heard once or twice in the Legion, once in the Pit Lounge, a few times in Totem Lounge and once at a Faro Church Ladies' tea.

It seems that a few years back when Faro was a fairly new town, a certain miner and his wife settled right in. Things went much as things go for miners and their wives. The harsh Yukon winter gave up to a glorious warm Yukon summer. Back yard barbecues at midnight in the sun light, along with Parties at Fisheye Lake on days off were the order of the day.

This certain miner took to contemplating while at work, as to just what his wife might be doing at home while he was up the hill. A dreaded dark cloud of doubt began to follow him shift after shift. Some of his fellow workers fueled the black cloud by making a few remarks.

The day came when his suspicions had to be faced. It was a cold fall evening, frost in the air when he left the hill in the middle of a shift and drove back to Faro. The sky was clear, a million stars danced above. Arriving in town, he drove to his house, all was in darkness. He stopped at a bar inquiring after his wife. He was told by more then a few, she had been there and left with so and so.

Now the search began in earnest; he was looking for a certain car and its occupants. Slowly, he drove all over town peering up drive ways, checking alleys, all to no avail. Back home he drove, packed an axe and a shot gun into his vehicle, then proceeded to drive out of town. After crossing the Pelly River bridge, he turned his lights out and coasted to a stop. Arming himself with the axe and gun, he walked down the approach leading to the right, off the access road. He spotted the car parked in the bushes, the windows all steamed up from the inside. Laying the gun down, he swung the axe with a deadly rhythm. Every strike biting into the metal of the car. Terrified screams echoed up the Pelly River valley and met themselves coming back down again. Methodically, the car was axed, window glass went flying.

Two terrified people sprang from the car and ran up the approach across the bridge and across country the bush back to Faro and freedom. Some say shots were fired just behind their heels to encourage them to hurry.

It is said they both left Faro that night, never to return.

As far as I know the only casualty was the car, which at this writing, has not been removed from the bush beside the Pelly River. It is still there and still bears the axe marks which are so numerous you won't count them in a hurry!