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Carter’s Hot Dog Stand
Carter’s Hot Dog Stand - Gary Shaw

We all know how some things are. As we plow through our lives we sometimes miss the blatantly obvious. Sometimes we miss some things that have been under our nose for a very long time. We grow used to, and comfortable with, some things in our community that we feel have been here forever, and with absolutely no ill intent, we sometimes take it for granted as we pick away at just living our lives.

From time to time, circumstances will deal a blow to a community that can change things, something that has been with us for a very long time.

We as an entire community have endured just such an event. We lost Todd Carter far too soon. He was a vibrant, community-minded member of our community of Labrador West who spent every day focusing his energy on making our community a better place.

This story is about Carter’s Hot Dog Stand. This little trailer parked down in the lot beside the old Ashuanipi Club is as much a cultural part of Labrador West as is the ore in the hills that surround us, that brought us all here.

We have had this piece of our community settled away here, every summer for the last 24 years. It has for all of these years been an important part of the fabric that has knit our community together, more than many will ever know.

On those summer evenings that give us the opportunity to get out the door and engage with our community and other folks who we share it with, it is something that we don’t want to miss. We do this without wading in snow and at temperatures in the crazy zone.  So many of us have over all of these years, been drawn to Carter’s Hot Dog Stand, to do just that.

Todd and Sheila’s daughter Kayla clearly has the same vision as her father. The Hot Dog Stand is in its regular spot; this is the second year that this important tradition has continued since Todd’s death.

Kayla is as busy as a Bee, preparing the hot dogs, sausage and other summer goodies that have always been there. She shared her reasons, which clearly demonstrate her incredible character and commitment to her dad’s vision and the importance of a family and community tradition that she won’t see lost. The tradition continues on Kayla’s watch.

When any among us visit the Hot Dog Stand for some of its great treats or are just driving by, it’s easy for us to see that it is an important part of our community. From our youngsters all balanced on their bicycles chowing down on a monster hot dog, to us older folks with our grey hair, and everyone in between, our entire community is represented. A gathering place for all.

Everyone, young and old is sharing a bit of nice weather which we can’t miss, with a number of different conversations, all occurring at the same time. The lifestyle and the culture of our community couldn’t be measured in a better place than beside this little trailer in a parking lot.

Kayla has created a Facebook page, Carter’s Hot Dog Stand, it has turned out be instrumental in keeping her dad’s vision ongoing. There are 1,300 members in our community so far and still counting.

Kayla’s dad’s vision of one of the “things that matter” has not been lost. She has the wisdom and energy, as well as the same vision, to continue this tradition. This is so much bigger than a hot dog. Kayla, we all thank you for that, for so many reasons.

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