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MEET YOUR NEIGHBOUR - From DIY projects to mountain biking, Truro's Ben Cumming is a busy guy

Ben Cumming having fun with daughter and hockey player Janelle, during a public skate at the Rath Eastlink Recreation Centre in the late fall.
Ben Cumming having fun with daughter and hockey player Janelle, during a public skate at the Rath Eastlink Recreation Centre in the late fall.

TRURO, N.S.

When COVID-19 forced a lot of folks to stay the blazes home last spring, many began doing long put-off household chores, such as finally getting that living-room wall painted.

And when they made that decision, they visited stores such as Cameron’s Paints on Brunswick Street and talked to longtime employee Ben Cumming about their tool and paint needs.

“It was busier, but it was a lot more work to sell paint, so that is what made it busy too,” Cumming said, noting the safety procedures added to what would be a simple retail transaction otherwise.

He added all employees were pleased owner Martin Cameron didn’t have to go the route of so many other stores in laying people off.

“We were lucky, but we did lose a lot of contractor business and it was just as much work to sell a quart of paint as it was to sell 10 gallons; it all had to be done over the phone with manual credit cards, stuff like that,” Cumming said.

“So that is what made it a lot busier but, certainly, there were a lot more people painting at that time of the year and doing work in their homes … more than normal. But, at the same time, it made the summer a little quieter because they (customers) already had so much done. It was a trade-off but, like I said, we were lucky, so it was a good one.”

And was he among those doing the home improvement projects? Absolutely, Cumming said.

“Non-stop,” he said with a chuckle. “You have to sell it, so you have to know how it works. Then you hear from other people how they do their projects, so you pick up a lot of stuff working here, for sure.”

Hockey fans of two generations will connect the name Cumming with talent, as Ben followed in dad Jim’s footprints as a successful player.

“Played right up to junior, mostly with the (junior B) Elks, but I played a handful of games with Truro Jr. A,” Cumming said, reflecting on his serious hockey days.

As for a year that stands out, he noted his second year of bantam playing ‘AAA’ (now known as major U-15).

“We had an awesome team,” he said. “We kind of choked at the end of the year, but our line finished one-two-three in the scoring race; we put a lot of pucks in the net … it was a blast. And you knew people were watching you, so you had to perform, had to come through.”

While he’ll still lace up the skates every now and again, Cumming said his go-to athletic activity now is mountain biking.

“I spend a lot of time in the park, but there is a lot of places just around the area,” he said. “I would say in a 50-kilometer radius, I can leave from home and do some pretty good loops around here. It’s an amazing spot for (mountain biking); people from all over come to Truro for it.”

Cumming said while the goal was always to play hockey long into the spring, because it meant your team was on a playoff run, he knew when it ended, he, at least, had his bike waiting.

“You were sour about that for about day but then it would be, for me, now it’s mountain bike season,” he said. “I always really enjoyed being on a bike and in the woods.”

Cumming participated in our Q & A.

Q. What is your full name?

Ben James Cumming

Q. Where were you born?

Truro

Q. Where do you currently live?

Truro

Q. What’s your favourite place in the world?

Home

Q. Who do you follow on social media?

Athletes and DIY accounts

Q. Can you describe one experience that has changed your life?

Having a daughter (Janelle).

Q. What is your greatest indulgence?

Junk food

Q. What is your favourite movie or book?

E.T.

Q. How do you like to relax?

Mountain biking or trail running.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Heights

Q. What is your most treasured position?

Bikes

Q. What is your best quality?

Logical thinker

Q. What is your greatest regret?

Can’t think of any

Q. What three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Brett Hull, Barack Obama, Nino Schurter

Q. How would you describe your personal fashion statement?

Casual/comfortable

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