A Robin comes out for Spring

Originally published on May 4, 2004 | Winnipeg Free Press | written by Gordon Sinclair, Jr.

DEAR Robin Williams,

In case you haven't noticed, the Heart of the Continent is all aflutter over your arrival.

I know because ever since you arrived last week to shoot The Big White, we keep getting "Robin sightings," which is something usually reserved for the birds at this time of year.

For some reason people like to know where your famous feet have trod.

Which is how a friend of a friend's daughter came to tell me that on Friday afternoon you dropped by Olympia Cycle on Portage Avenue, where you bought a courier bag and chatted about your pal the world champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong.

Then Q-94 DJ Tom Milroy, who's kind of famous himself around here, mentioned that you dropped into Microplay, at Portage and Moray Street, that same Friday. He knows because his 20-year-old son Kyle works there.

Kyle thought you seemed genuine, even low-key, buying a bag full of computer games. By the way, Kyle didn't ask for an autograph, which was thoughtful. "I just said I was a big fan of his," Kyle recalled yesterday. "I didn't want to embarrass him too much."

Hopefully, that's the way most Winnipeggers will treat you.

Respectfully, from a polite distance.

Then on Saturday the husband of one my co-workers saw you buying video games at Polo Park Shopping Centre. And Sunday you showed up at The Forks where Ivan Berkowitz, who has a pottery place there, says he was kind of expecting to see you, because that's what tourists do on a Sunday in Winnipeg.

Berkowitz reported that you were just wandering around, in sunglasses and a camouflage jacket that looked like a leftover from Good Morning, Vietnam.

You shook Berkowitz's hand and at precisely 2:48 p.m., according to the digital camera, you graciously posed for a photo. So those are some of the places you've been. But now one of our rural readers wants to tell you where you can go. There's a famous place one hour and 15 minutes--as the Robin flies--outside the city where you can see one of the wonders of the natural world.

The Narcisse Snake Pits.

Although, come to think of it, you're from a town where watching millions of snakes slithering over each other to get ahead is as common as gridlock and smog.

Anyway, welcome to Winnipeg and please relax. In this city without freeways, we're really not into reptiles.

We're really more into bird watching.

In case you haven't noticed.

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