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25 years later, Johnny Cash fan searches for lost photo with music legend

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Frank Davis is on a quest to find evidence of his first, and only, encounter with his idol, Johnny Cash.

It was Good Friday in 1993 when the musician from St. John’s ran into the Man in Black at the Halifax airport.

A stranger with a camera snapped a photo of the pair, but 25 years later, Davis still hasn’t seen the image and he’s hoping the power of social media will reunite him with the mystery photographer.

“The woman who took that picture could be living on the next street from me or she could be in Timbuktu. You have no way of knowing,” said Davis, who put a call out on Facebook over the weekend. “I know it’s a long time, that’s 25 years, so the chances are pretty slim, but it’s out there anyway.”

Davis is a huge Cash fan, so when The Highwaymen came to Halifax in 1993, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

The day after the concert, Davis had to return home for work, but his wife stayed behind to visit her sister. 

“The last thing that she said to me as I left the hotel room was, ‘Leave the camera with me because I want to take a picture of [her sister] Susan’s baby.'”

That’s how Davis ended up camera-less in front of Cash at the arrivals terminal. 

When Davis noticed him standing alone on the sidewalk, “I just about ran over people getting off the bus,” he said with a laugh. 

“When I walked up to him, I said, ‘Man I’ve been waiting a long time to shake your hand.'”

Frank Davis said after meeting Johnny Cash at the terminal, he bumped into him again at the airport lounge. (Frank Davis/Facebook)

Davis asked a woman who was standing nearby to take a photograph, and handed her his business card so she could send it to him. 

He believes she used a film camera, but other than that, he knows nothing about her. 

“Maybe she has that picture, maybe she lost the business card and has often wondered, ‘My god, I never got that picture to that man. I wonder who he is.'”

Over the years Davis has wondered, too. But it wasn’t until he heard about a fellow Newfoundlander who was reunited with his grandfather’s championship boxing belt that he turned to social media for help. 

Davis has been playing music since he was a teenager, and regularly performs Johnny Cash songs at open mics around St. John’s. 

“Johnny Cash, you know, he was just another country music singer, but he was different than the others. He had a different philosophy on life,” he said.

And what really irks him is that he has a friend who also happened to meet Cash.

“He keeps telling me about it, and he has a big picture hanging over his mantle piece of him and Johnny Cash, so I said, I’ve got to get my picture!”

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Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

For Masuma, the decision to keep her daughter home was complex: extended family members are immunocompromised and she worried the in-person learning environment would be unpleasant because of precautions. She also felt her daughter might benefit from being supported at home.

“She doesn’t necessarily enjoy school. I also found out during the pandemic that she was being bullied [last year],” said Masuma. “So I thought, why not try from home?”

To help her daughter socialize face-to-face with other kids, Masuma enrolled Hana in Baxter Forest School, an alternative education program where kids spend most of their time outside, one day a week. Hana also attends virtual Arabic classes two days a week after school. 

Masuma’s husband and Hana share the living room work space, and Masuma admits he does the lion’s share of helping their daughter stay on task. There is a possibility that he’ll be required to return to his office in the new year.

“When he goes back to work … it’s probably going to be a little bit more difficult.”

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No school closures after Christmas holiday break, says Ontario education minister

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Ontario elementary and secondary schools will not close for an extended winter break, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Closures aren’t needed given Ontario’s “strong safety protocols, low levels of (COVID-19) transmission and safety within our schools,” Lecce announced Wednesday afternoon. He said he had consulted with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and the province’s public health measures advisory table.

That ended speculation about school buildings remaining closed in January for a period of time after the Christmas break.

Earlier in the week, Lecce told reporters the government was considering having students spend “some period out of class” in January, perhaps switching to online learning.

In a statement, Lecce said that even though rates of community transmission of COVID-19 are increasing, “schools have been remarkably successful at minimizing outbreaks to ensure that our kids stay safe and learning in their classrooms.”

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Windy start to the week in Ottawa

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OTTAWA — It’s a blustery Monday in the capital with wind gusts of up to 50 km/hour expected throughout the day.

Environment Canada is forecasting a high of 4 C with a 60 per cent chance of showers or flurries before the wind dies down later this evening.

There’s a chance of flurries on Tuesday as well with a high of -1 C. The overnight low will dip to an unseasonal -9 C.  

Wednesday’s high will be just -5 C with lots of sunshine.

Seasonal temperatures return for the rest of the week..

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