Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Other pilgrimages on the western border (Part Four of a Google Map walk through a childhood neighbourhood)

Aside from the trek to church, my Westmount childhood featured another weekly pilgrimage up the west side of my block, heading north along 127 Street to Eccleston's for the purpose of squandering my weekly allowance.
View Larger Map Geez, was it really that small? I remember it being crammed with candy. I'm sure there were other necessaries to buy there, but I only remember the shelves where I had to choose between, um... a Jersey Milk chocolate, wait... maybe an Aero bar or.... If I was feeling exotic, I might get some MacIntosh toffee or Turkish Delight.

We even hit Eccleston's for Hallowe'en, when prairie kids such as we would sing out "Haahl-low-weeeen Ap-PUULLS!" rather than the more pedestrian "Trick or Treat". Mrs Eccleston, a petite plain lady with short, permed dark hair would stare at us in horror and scoop sweets into our pillowcases. I, being dressed as a not-at-all scary princess, complete with gold crown and heavy chain painstakingly crafted out of cardboard by my mum, was bemused.

Across the street, but only in wintertime (November to April in Edmonton), was the outdoor skating rink where I never quite learned to skate. My mother always told me this was because I was too afraid of falling, that I should go limp and plop down painlessly like a rag-doll as my sister did. (My sister, an expert in cuts and scrapes, was covered in scabs up until her teens.) I would cling to the wooden boards, watching long whip-lashing lines of skaters hold hands and swing out from the centre ice I dared not breach. As the late afternoon twilight descended and the bright lights came on, a beautiful but tinny nameless song played over the PA system. I have never been able to identify it, though it stills plays in my head and I strain to hear the chorus.

(This is my continuation of the exercise suggested by John Reid at his blog Anglo-Celtic Connections.)

1 comment:

JoeinVegas said...

Ah, memories of childhood candy stores. I too remember one from long ago ..