Nelson, BC

Nelson is a small (pop. ~ 10,000) city in the West Kootenays.  The West Kootenays are part of the Kootenay region that makes up south-eastern British Columbia and parts of Washington State.  Nelson is to Spokane as Vancouver is to Seattle.

Nelson's history starts in the late 1800s after the discovery of gold and silver in the Kootenay area. It officially got its name in 1889, named after the current Lieutenant Governor of BC Hugh Nelson.  Prior to that the area was home to the Kootenai Indians who to my knowledge do not exist anymore, at least in that part of British Columbia.  Although many Kootenai settlements eventually became towns in the Kootenays there is no evidence to suggest that they lived on the site where Nelson is now.

Modern day Nelson is the Queen City of British Columbia (what is the King City?) and boasts 350 heritage buildings per capita.  Its streetcar, No. 23 is close to if not more than 100 years old and still runs along the lake side.  Nelson has also reinvented itself to be a community of artists and craftsmen.  The home of the Kootenay School of the Arts it has placed #1 in Canada and #4 in North America in John Villani's book The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America 5 years in a row.  It is also home to Streetfest, an annual festival of international street performers.  2002 will mark the 6th annual Streetfest.  Sometime in the 80s the Steve Martin interpretation of Cyrano de Bergerac, Roxanne, was filmed in Nelson and our fire hall has never looked the same since.

Nelson is situated in a valley and surround by lakes and mountains; summer weather is almost always sunny and in the winter the town blanketed by snow looks like it came out of a Charles Dickens novel.  It's an excellent place for nearly any outdoor activity from fishing and mountain biking to skiing and snowshoeing.  Like most of British Columbia Nelson is also famous for its pot.

Some links related to Nelson:

Nelson is a superstitious series of numbers in cricket. That's cricket, as in the English gentlemen's sport played by hooligans. The one with the bat and ball. Kind of similar to baseball, but without the spitting, the silly rules and the chili dogs.

Briefly, Nelson in cricket is the number series 111, 222, 333 etc. More accurately, 111 is Nelson, 222 is Double Nelson, 333 Triple Nelson etc. A team is said to be on Nelson where their score is 111 or Double Nelson on 222 etc. Unlike baseball, the score in cricket can go really high as cricket games can last for 5 days. But the differences between cricket and baseball are large. Larger than the similarities.

So what is the relevance of Nelson? Well, some people believe that Nelson is unlucky. They believe that when a team is on Nelson, bad luck is imminent, and not only for the team in question, but for all the people involved in the game, and indeed for the entire Universe.

Why do they believe this? Some people (incorrectly) theorise that Nelson (111) refers to Admiral Lord Nelson, the old English Admiral, who was unlucky enough to only have one arm, one leg and one eye (111). However, as unlucky as he was, Admiral Lord Nelson did indeed still have both legs, but was missing an arm and had a pretty much useless eye. Another explanation is offered that the number refers to three of Lord Nelson's great naval victories, Copenhagen, the Nile, and Trafalgar, thus giving us won-won-won (111).

However, all is not lost. There is a way to combat the curse of Nelson. If a team reaches Nelson, it is widely believed that if the rest of the team stand on one leg, that the two batsmen at the crease will be OK until they score one more run to get off the cursed number. However, since modern sport is a serious affair its not likely that a whole team will stand on one leg for what could be a considerable period of time. But there are umpires (most notably the crazy old goat, David Shepperton "Shepp") who will actually hop on one leg until the team gets themselves off Nelson.

And, thankfully, I can now stop hopping around on one leg and get on with my life, as this is my 112th node. :)

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