Vol.8, No.46, 2005 Skating By Diana Cousins Many older generation people learned to skate on natural ice. I wonder how many of our readers can identify with this experience. Before television on the farms of the Okanagan Valley in B.C., winter sports were very high on the things to do list. While Kelowna had a wonderful indoor rink with artificial ice, the farm communities near it had ponds. We would wait patiently for the cold days of winter to come, for the first frost and fine dustings of snow. And then, we would act . . . Read More
Vol.8, No.46, 2005 The Christmas Star - Italy - 1943 By Stan Scislowski At midnight we were on the move again, with at least five hours march yet to go. If we thought the going had been tough on the first half of the march, we were soon to find out that by comparison with the last half, we had taken only a leisurely stroll through the park. Marching in daylight is so much easier than any night march. In daylight a man can see where he’s going and rarely, if ever will run up the backside of the man ahead, tread on his heels, stumble on a rock, or make a misstep. A night march, on the other hand, almost without fail, ends up being a test of one’s patience and endurance, mainly patience. As always is the case when this happens, the night resounds to the angry shouts of men cursing each other for one reason or another. Such was the case on this particular night. We were so vocal, that if it had gone like this at the front, the enemy would have heard us coming from 10 miles away. . . Read More
Vol.8, No.45, 2005 Two Survivors: A Seafood Place and Old Neon By Robert Boyd The Downtown Eastside. To the people who live in the Greater Vancouver area, any mention about this area will bring about thoughts of poverty, despair, homelessness, drug addiction, and prostitution. The 100-200 block of East Hastings Street is considered Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. But amidst all of that despair, there stands a survivor. A relic of the bygone days when this neighbourhood was respectable and prosperous, where business owners could stand proud and put in an honest day’s living. I am referring to the Only Café, located at 20 East Hastings Street . . . Read More
Vol.8, No.45, 2005 Thanks Charlie By Jane Hebden “Cause I’m from Louisiana,” Nga replied confidently, as if that statement was the answer to every predicament in the universe. Noticing the lack of an awed response she continued. “You know, Louisiana, fried catfish an’ all?” Then throwing the car door open she bolted toward her prize. “Just take my picture Jane!” she yelled over her shoulder. Reluctantly I retrieved the camera from the trunk, taking time to swat horseflies with my free hand. Strange how they always seem to know when you can’t fully defend yourself . . . Read More
Vol.8, No.45, 2005 The Inspector's Visit By Ruth Zavitz I well remember the tension in our one-room school, engendered by our teacher, when she looked out the window and saw the School Inspector’s car coming down the gravel road. How he qualified to inspect schools I’m sure I don’t know. Even at a tender age I was aware that his educational credits left something to be desired. Certainly I had been taught never to spit on the floor but apparently he had not . . . Read More
Special Contest Issue #1, August 2005 FIRST PLACE The Centrepiece By Doris Riedweg So breathtaking was the sight of the sugar maple in the afternoon sun that Kate, carrying hot pumpkin pies to the back porch of the farmhouse, almost dropped the tray. “How perfect,” she breathed, “and just in time for Thanksgiving.” She set the pies to cool on a table, then turned again to the tower of brilliant red leaves. She would cut a few to go along with the last of the dahlias from which she planned to make a centrepiece for their holiday dinner table. . . Read More
Special Contest Issue #1, August 2005 SECOND PLACE Memories of Eden By Kurt Kaesmodel July 2001: Working his way down the pine-covered slope required care but a minimum of effort. Getting back up would be the tricky part. Now and again the old man leaned against a tree, as much to absorb the atmosphere as to rest. Lake breezes soughed through the forest crown. A thick carpet of pine needles underfoot emitted intoxicating perfumes, making him forget the trembling of his limbs brought on by exertion. He smiled, remembering the times he had charged up and down these slopes without raising a sweat. There had been no trees then, no shade and no sweet smell of pine - only weeds and patches of leached soil presenting a wasteland image. . . Read More
Special Contest Issue #1, August 2005 THIRD PLACE Full Circle By A. Gina Ross 1950: The grass whispered soddenly under his feet as Jim trudged through. A stone remained unyielding as his toe stumbled. A partridge whirred across his path. Still the dark pall of despair isolated him. His land, which had always been his joy, was doomed to alien control. His feet took him through the grassland and into the trees where the leaves rustled beneath his feet. He passed between the gaunt branches that had so recently been verdant. From there he came into the field where the grain had lately been a golden promise. Only then did his feet of their own accord stop and his eyes took over. . . Read More
Vol.8, No.44, 2005 A Fiddle And A Violin By William Wardill The country fiddler leads us through the dance -
step, hop, step, hop - twirl around and prance.
The schottische beat resounds throughout the hall,
with side-by-side couples moving to its call . . . Read More
Vol.8, No.44, 2005 Vine Hall Café By Cindy MacKenzie “It would be so wonderful to have a summer house again.”
Aunt Sadie and Aunt Irene were my father’s two maiden sisters who lived with us. They also had grown up in this home. They had grown up in a time when many homes had such structures in their front yards, and they longed for one. Their pleas did not go unheard. . . Read More
Vol.8, No.44, 2005 Fire Dance By Harley M. Reid Grandmother often told us this story. “Grandfather paid a ten dollar homestead entry fee for 160 acres of northern Alberta land. He lived there for three years, cultivated 40 acres and built a home before receiving the title to the farm. This picture was taken the day he almost lost a year’s work to the fire. He never blamed the photographer’s cigarette for starting it, but no stranger was ever allowed to take a picture of his farm again . . . Read More
Vol.8, No.43, 2005 Ocean Goddess By Fay Herridge She is a goddess, loved and feared
By those who know her well;
Like a moth to a flame, she draws you near . . . Read More
Vol.8, No.43, 2005 An Island Hommage By Jim Shephard (Prince Edward Island) White sand, still warm from the sun, soothes my back as I lie patiently gazing into the night sky. Full of dreams and promises, I wait in tireless anticipation, gazing up at the constellations, amazed that I can distinguish one from the other. My eyes are wide open, in witness to the vibrant display, free from the pollutants and lights of the city. I cannot recall a time when I ever felt so at ease . . . Read More
Vol.8, No.43 2005 Snapshots By Paul Nyznik (Manitoba) I am not sure why, exactly, but approaching my 80th Canadian winter, my thoughts keep returning to the North End of Winnipeg - and my life there as a young boy in the midst of the Great Depression - the so-called Dirty Thirties. Perhaps it’s talk of another Depression on the horizon. Nevertheless, the images - though largely unconnected - are clear . . . Read More
No.41, 2005 Dr.
McCann's Oxfords By
Jan Neilsen Something
I always admired and learned
from my mom was the attitude
that if theres something
you want or love in this
life, be passionate about
it. Not only did mom have
passion regarding good things
in her own life, she did
her best to cultivate this
same kind of enthusiasm
in all of us, which brings
us to Dr. McCanns
Dr. McCanns oxfords
were sold exclusively through
the T. Eaton Company
. . . Read
No.41, 2005 A
Walk In The Woods By
Hannah Clifford (Age 12) Crack.
The twig snapped beneath
my foot. The sound rang
out through out the woods.
The only other sound I heard
was Roxy, my golden retriever,
feet trotting behind me.
Mother said to be back by
dark and to stay on the
main path. So far Ive
followed all the rules.
Roxy stopped in her tracks
and pricked her ears up
toward the tree line. I
saw movement .
. ." Read