Salad days are over
Lehmann bids farewell to Fort Simpson

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Feb 18/00) - David Lehmann has left a legacy of great salad, ill-fated driving and friendship in Fort Simpson.

The gregarious Anglican minister has served the community for the past five-and-a-half years, even though the normal term for a newly-ordained reverend is two years.

The decision to leave, he admitted, was not an easy one to make.

"It was a great town. It was a great job," he said. "Staying five years has been a real joy, but it was time to move. It's a good opportunity for me personally."

He will now reside in Cold Lake, Alta. (pop. 31,000) and will also make forays to Bonnyville and St. Paul.

A reception was held for him in Fort Simpson on Sunday. It was his second as another had been arranged in his home community of Fort Smith the preceding weekend.

While living in Simpson, Lehmann had been the commanding officer of the army cadets, the secretary for the Historical Society and chair of the Friendship Centre Senate for a period.

As for his most prominent memory, he said it was "the good people."

And there are a couple of other memories he'd probably rather forget. He had been involved in seven accidents during his tenure in Simpson and made light of them in retrospect. He was not behind the wheel in five of them, he was quick to note. At one point, he went through a spell of four accidents in four weeks.

There was snow in the forecast for northern Alberta when he departed Monday morning, but he said he was planning to take it easy.

"I'm in no great hurry," he said, noting that all his belongings were packed in his jeep and in another truck and trailer driven by a friend.

Lehmann will also be remembered for his culinary flair. He was renowned for his scrumptious cheesecake. He never divulged the recipe but did admit Sunday that it came from a Philadelphia Cream Cheesecake book. He was also known for making a divine salad. The ingredients for the salad, to his chagrin, were discovered.

"Someone figured it out finally. They sat down with a cookbook and figured out my salad is actually an oriental salad," he revealed, and then recited the recipe from memory. "It was the easiest thing I ever made, but it was my most guarded secret because I didn't want anyone else to make it. Then I'd have nothing to make."

Lehmann, who said he hopes to visit from time to time, didn't know when his replacement might arrive as that decision is in the bishop's hands.