My new favourite people- Betty and Mel Kruse
One of my most favourite memories of this election will be meeting Mel and Betty Kruse. Let me tell you why I have come to love them!
Dad and I were out door knocking in Broxton Park when we met Dave Kruse. As he watered his lawn, he told us about some concerns he had with the city and we wrote down what we were hearing. Dave told us “but if you’d really like to know about some issues, you should go and visit my parents!” He told us the address, thanked us and we were on our way. We had a lunch break and decided that we should go and visit his parents after lunch.
Meeting Mel and Betty
We arrived at the house and walked up to the door. We knocked a couple of times. Nothing. Disappointed, we walked away. Suddenly, we could hear some yelling. Mel was at the door waving us back. We hurried back to be welcomed with a cute chuckle and Mel telling us “I have two speeds- slow and slower.” We sat down with Mel and chatted with him for over and hour. He is one amazing story teller and at 88 years old, he has a lot of stories about Spruce Grove (he’s lived here since he was very young). I learned a lot in that hour and was thrilled to learn more history about our city. We also met Betty and she and my dad hit it off as if they were two long lost siblings. They gave me their support and we were on our way.
Not even a couple of days later, Betty called me asking if I’d want to put up a big 4’ x 8’ sign up on their property. The Kruse’s live on a very busy road so I was beyond thrilled that they offered to take a sign. We got it ready and headed over.
By the time we arrived, Mel was waiting for us on his cute little ride on mower. It was beyond adorable. Earlie, he had gone out and cleared tree branches along the fence line to increase visibility for my sign. He even helped my dad and I put up this giant election sign. And he always had a smile on his face, telling us stories as we worked away. I loved every moment of it. His only disappointment was when my dad told him it was against the sign bylaw to light the sign up. He couldn’t believe it.
The next day I got the funniest voicemail from Mel that I’ve ever had. Mel had found a way around the election bylaw! He figured out a way to light the sign (by lighting up his address, as he’d “heard” that people were finding it hard to find his house so he had to light it, and it just so happened to throw a fair amount of light on to the sign not far away. Totally legit, and not breaking the bylaw. I loved it and laughed out loud— the old man had found his way around it!
And who goes out of their way like this for a complete stranger? Mel does. And I love the guy. Betty and Mel are just amazing people, active in the community and were quick to get out and vote as soon as they could. That is truly inspiring.
I can’t wait to get together with them and thank them for their support. Hands down they are the highlight for me from this election.
Update 1 (December): I have gotten together with Mel and Betty to thank them. Unfortunately, Mel is in the hospital and will be needing long-term care. But we still managed to have a nice visit and brought along some Tim Horton’s donuts for him!
Update 2 (Christmas): Mel has moved into a facility closer to home which is easier for Betty and the family to visit. We had a short visit with Mel and that is where he proceeded to see my new hair colour and tell me I could use it as “ass wipe”. He’s not a fan and I can’t stop laughing it. When you’re 88, you can get away with saying that!
Update 3 (January): I’m heartbroken. Mel passed on January 1, 2018. Betty called me to let me know. She is such a strong woman. She is honouring his wishes so there is no memorial service but I wish to memorialize Mel if I may. Thank you Mel for your heart, for your passion and for your support, even when I only knew you for a few short months. You were an amazing human being and I really enjoyed your stories and am privileged to have met you.
As for Betty, we’re going to visit her soon as she’s now stuck with us! She too is an amazing person and I’ve enjoyed the chats I’ve had with her and again, learning the stories and history of Spruce Grove.
Blessed. And rest in eternal peace my friend.