Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sparks...of Recollections

 How often is see a truck signage as you drive along a city street or busy highway?  The company name triggers a “flashback” to a once-upon-a-time in your life.  Perhaps it's a bumper sticker...a licence plate catch-word...a news article caption...a billboard sign...a media advertisement.

The mind replays...what the heart can't delete.

FLYNN (seen in Classified Section)...caught my attention a few weeks ago.  John, an almost-forgotten school friend, attended both  elementary and high school with me. My family lived on a farm along Hwy. 53, east of Burford.  Part way into the village from my home, sidewalks were provided.  Mrs. Flynn lived in a stately two-storey yellow brick home with her son, John (and seemingly without a  husband).  Always well dressed and gracious, she was, to me, the epitome of someone quite well established. A warm and friendly person,  she adored  her academically bright boy. 

One evening, John and a school friend were driving a half-ton truck around the Burford Fairground's race track...for kicks and freedom of enjoyment!  John, standing on the running board outside the passenger door, fell when his driving buddy speedily swerved...and hitting his head on a curve-post, was suddenly killed.  His mother was were all the village people...questioning WHY this foolish teenage adventure resulted in an unexpected death!

AUDREY Grant...a well-recognized and professional Bridge Instructor and author of several Bridge Books, came to Burlington to visit her mother.  While here, she conducted a seminar for bridge player enthusiasts at the Roseland Club.  The AUDREY name carried me back to teaching days.  This AUDREY and I were best friends.  Meeting the “man of her dreams”, she told me that the following summer, she was travelling to Turkey with him to meet his family.  Unknown to me, until just prior to her departure, she was carrying with her a wedding dress.  She didn't return to Hamilton for her teaching position at summer's end.  Telephoning her school, I was told she was no longer on staff. I considered she must have advised the principal about remaining in Turkey. Next year, contacting the Board of Education, I was advised that she was positioned  at another school. The receptionist at said school stated that AUDREY requested she be contacted only by parents of her students.  Sadly, I was unable to locate her...and lost contact...a true mystery!

ESQUIRE MOTEL: A few weeks ago, returning from Hamilton to Burlington one dark evening, it was raining.  The Plains Road West street lights and the oncoming vehicle headlights glared on the drizzling wet pavement. Approaching the Esquire Motel, a memory flashback to-a-several-years-ago similar wet evening, a woman ran from this motel and without stopping, dashed in front of my marine-blue MGB...narrowly I missed her as she precariously ran across the other three lanes and disappeared into the black rainy night.

Life is very complicated!  Don't try to find answers ~
because, when you find answers, Life changes the questions.

 GREEN (on an environment sign).  This reminded me of a Georgian Court town home neighbour family who lived adjacent to us.  They had a little girl, Stephanie, same age as my daughter. Constantly trying to make friends, when they were both about 4 years old, Stephanie stated to my daughter who was enjoying an afternoon snack on our patio, “If you give me a cookie, I'll be your best friend!”

The Green family had a striped tabby cat who was daily put outside for fresh air.  We called him Tiger!
On bad or cold-weather days, he came to our door, claw-hanging onto the screen with front paws seeking admittance to visit our two Siamese cats and for afternoon respite. He would sit in front of our pets' food and water dishes in the kitchen...looking at me with eyes requesting to be fed.  After helping himself to what was given, he retreated upstairs to afternoon-nap on a bed with one of our Siamese.  When he considered his “outside-time” was up, he padded down the stairs, waiting at our patio door to return his family the understanding he'd been enjoying his “outside fresh air.”

So frequent were his visits to us and the cat-ship with my Siamese, I shot pictures of their interactions, organized them in logical sequence to create a story...wrote some narration and selected  background music (believe it was The Baby Elephant song).  On Photo-Essay night at  a local camera club, I presented my little masterpiece,  Didn't win...but given Honourable Mention...for “originality”.

McNally (viewed on TV advertisement):  I hadn't heard that name in a long time.  When my son studied at  University of Windsor,  he attended a church whose minister was Al McNally.  To me, he had been an acquaintance from Hamilton.  I was most pleased to be informed of this connection.  The church congregation became my son's  “family away from  home”.  Frequently, they invited him for lunch and/or dinner; as a result he became involved in the church activities when his time permitted.

Not fond of obituaries, I noticed in today’s Spectator this name with a basketball photo of Robbie Croft wearing a Tennessee Volunteers shirt numbered 40, dribbling the ball and with alert eyes on the basket. Robbie, an extremely tall boy well over six feet tall was a Grade 8 student in my class at Hampton Heights.  Here he was introduced to basketball and continued his love of this game throughout High School and beyond. Gentle, kind and always respectful, I felt akin to him…his birth date of March 17th  same as mine!

Croft, Bob:  Bob passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Carpenter Hospice on March 23, 2014.  A much beloved and loving partner and best friend of Jean Bennie, his daughter Debbie Croft and  son Rob Croft............ A star basketball player at Hill Park Secondary School, Bob still  holds the record of 62 points scored in a championship game played against Delta at McMaster University.  He played for the National Team when he was in Grade 11. Bob was the first Canadian to be offered an American Scholarship to a Major Division 1Basketball University at Knoxville, Tennessee where he became team captain in his 4th year.  Bob was touted to be the first Canadian destined to be All American and  regarded by some as the top prospect in USA.  He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the NBA draft.  Bob played in the A.B.A. for the Kentucky Colonels and the Texas Chaparrals.  After several years with Dofasco, he returned to the Hamilton Basketball Community and shared his considerable knowledge and skills working with a boy’s  high school and University teams.
(Excerpts from a lengthy Obituary)  
Isn't it amazing what one's 'memory bank' holds???
Perhaps you've encountered similar experiences.

People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out.
But when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed 
only  if there is a light from within.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written March 25, 2014
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