A raucous lunch across the tracks — Don and Isobel revealed 

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Need I mention the obvious? Don and Isobel MacLaurin are Whistler treasures. I know. I know. There are others on this list too. But short of Andy Petersen, Peter and Trudy Alder or maybe Ornulf Johnsen, these two long-time Westside Road residents have more local stories up their sleeves than most of us combined.

But it's not just their stories that enchant. It's their attitude. "Do you always wear your hair that wild," Izzie asked me out of the blue at a recent community function. I nodded, surprised a little by her forthrightness, and wondering where she was going with this. "I knew it," she responded. Laughed happily. "You really are crazy, dear. I love that. Wanna come over for lunch one day?"

Not any day though. When I phone the next morning to set up a time, Don quickly passes me to Isobel. "She's the one," he confides, "who makes all those decisions around here. Better for you to talk to her directly."

It only takes a moment for her chirpy voice to come on the line. "Michael — you want to come today?" she asks. Three beats. "But it's raining and grey," she says, brooking no opposition. "You can't come today. I want you to see the ol' place when it's sunny and at its best."

But what about my deadline? She pauses. "Don't worry," she says. "The weather will change eventually. And then I'll call you, dear. And then we can have a great lunch together and enjoy each other's stories."

The conversation is over before I know it. I've been dismissed. At least for now...

Fortunately, the good weather soon returns and my invitation to visit Sno-Use (the vintage A-Frame in which the MacLaurins still live) is once again proffered. While we sit on the sunny deck, happily admiring the stunning mountain view across the lake, Izzie pipes up in her inimitable way: "We always get a kick out of people paying millions of dollars for an 800 square foot place at Whistler." She looks around at her home. Her pride is evident. Her sense of humour strong and true. "Well, this deck alone is 750 square feet," she says with just a tickle of laughter in her voice. " I think we did pretty well with our 1961 investment. Don't you?"

— Michel is away this week. We hope you enjoyed this previously printed column —


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