Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Every summer since we have lived in Chicago we would go home to Toronto and visit with my sister Dorothy or Do as I called her and her husband Bill and their 3 children. They had a beautiful backyard with an inground pool so in those days this was a real luxury for our children. They always had a great time and then we would head north to Alcona Beach on Lake Simcoe to visit Grandma & Grandpa Butler. The kids could just run around, go swimming, exploring, etc. They are very good memories.

Thee years ago in July we went up to visit my sister as she was very ill. We had planned on going down to the old neighbourhood where we grew up but Do wasn't up to it. Harv and I did go and for anyone who knows Toronto we lived in the west end near Queen St. We were within walking distance of the Exhibition albeit a long walk but in those days we walked everywhere. We did not have a car so it was either walking or taking a streetcar. Well Harv and I found the old house that I lived in from 5 years old until 13 and went to Alexander Muir Public School. I was so pleased to see the little houses were still there and the family who lived in it were taking good care of it. Flowers in the front and a pretty glass door. It looked much smaller to me now as I am sure it always does when you go back. We also drove past my school and I couldn't believe it was the same school. They had added a new addition on to it back in the 50's. A couple of teachers came out as I was standing there with my camera. They asked could they help me and I said no I was just looking as I had gone there back in the 40-50's. The one gal told the other to go to lunch without her as she wanted to ask me questions. She took me on a tour and asked me questions about what I remembered. Not much except it was a 3 story brick building with steps going up and a lion on either side of the steps. Boys went in one side and girls in the other.She told me that Frank Geary the renowned architect had gone there ahead of me and my sisters and had just been back for a visit. He is world famous and at that time was working on the Royal Art Gallery in downtown Toronto. He did the Cleveland Rcck and Roll museum, plus had just finished the Jay Pritzger open air auditorium in Millenium Park Chicago. He did the Balboa in spain (if I spelled that right). I took some pics and she took one of me near one of the lions. I have also posted an old pic of me in my classroom I am the 3rd girl in the middle in the front. It looks like I had a blouse with a bow on it and a sweater. I imagine this was probably grade 7 or 8.
My sister was so happy to see the little house looking so good with flowers and all. My BIL is an avid gardener but Do wasn't yet certainly appreciated the beauty of what he did. they entertained extensively and always outside in the summer. My sister passed away that Sept. so it was the last time I saw her. Her husband Bill is dear to our hearts as he and my husband were good friends and Harv. was their best man. We see him either in Florida or he will come down here. He is coming down in August for our anniversery. He is still in the house and still gardening extensivley but is finally getting help with some of it like opening and closing the pool and mowing the lawn. Thought you may like some of my old memories.

1 comment:

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Thank you Freda, for sharing your memories. It's so nice to read about how other people grew up and to see your pictures.