Sunday, November 20, 2016
Photos: November 18, 2016
I was driving home after visiting a friend when a wave of nostalgia swept over me. I realized I was driving very close to the neighbourhood where I grew up and decided to take a slight detour. This is the house where I grew up. The window on the left was my brother's room, the one on the right was mine. I lived there until just before my last year of high school when my father decided he would love to live downtown. As it happens, the house was sold to the mother of a friend of mine. She had been widowed and was remarrying. I went back to see it once - a mistake I will not repeat. I like to keep my memories intact - I can see where every piece of furniture was. Some pieces now live with me. I like the connections.
I drove past my old elementary school - Willingdon School. It was the height of the baby boom and schools were over-crowded. This old bulding still had desks fastened to the floor when I was in grade one. Some of us had to change schools part way through the year as a new school was built. For a year and half I went to Somerled School which in turn was bursting at the seams. As we lived on the border, we were shipped back to Willingdon where I started grade three. By that time they had replaced the desks with free-standing ones - though they may as well have been nailed down as they always were kept perfectly lined up in rows. In those days there were separate entrances for the girls and the boys and the playground was also divided so the girls and boys did not play together. Fortunately times have changed.
I discovered, in researching the artist Fred Taylor ( I own a couple of his paintings) that he had a connection to the school. He had a four month summer job as a clerk while the school was being built; he had to make sure the school was being built according to the architect's specifications. He found himself in some difficult situations, but saw the job through until he returned to university. I like finding these connections.