Saturday, July 1, 2017

Old photos on a rainy day

(Storm over Balsam Lake, Ontario, late 1980s)
Today is Canada Day and it is pouring rain out. The summer season is always a very busy time for me and every day that it does not rain I have outdoor chores to take care of: yard work, gardening, firewood, dog walking, painting and repairs... So when a spate of rain happens I am grateful for the chance to cease all of that busyness. Why I'm here now.

(Leaving Yellowknife, 1973)
One of my sons recently started a new job flying medevac out of Yellowknife, specifically the Stanton Territorial Hospital, which is where he was born. My husband and I lived in YK for two summers and a winter; I got pregnant almost as soon as we arrived and we left a year and a bit later with a toddler and an infant (toddler came with us to YK as a soon-to-be-walking baby). Anyway, the grown son with the flying job works two weeks on and two weeks off, returning to his family in Alberta between shifts. When he's not actually in the air he spends a lot of time hanging out in YK, so he asked me for photos of what YK was like when I lived there. He wanted to revisit some of the locations and photograph what it looked like now. I have watched 'Arctic Air' on TV, an adventure show set in YK, so I know that there has been a lot of change. I recognize a few places and the general landscape but the town has grown and changed a lot.

A couple of days ago I posted all the photos I had online to Facebook, then yesterday, also a rainy day, I went through my old print photo albums looking for more. Those albums are all higgledy piggledy because over time I have raided them for photos to scan to digital format and then neglected to return to their proper albums. I pulled out all the Yellowknife photos to scan, then posted some them on Facebook so my son could retrieve them. One of the photos was actually a postcard showing an aerial view of the town. I don't remember when I acquired that postcard, it may or may not have been when we actually lived there. But it's a pretty close approximation of what the town was like then. Unfortunately it does not show the part of YK we lived in over the winter and second summer.

(aerial view of Yellowknife, date unknown)
I'm looking forward to seeing his versions of those old photos. I know that our winter home was torn down to be replaced by a much fancier home by the new owner of the property. It was really a prime location, being one of the few residential places in the town with its own waterfront (we had a small dock and I did go for a brief swim there before the lake froze up, nearly drowning my son in the process).

(Pirelli the family dog, 1960s)
Since the YK photos were scattered through several albums I also got to sift through a lot of old photos which of course stirred many diverse memories. I posted a few of them just for fun. My oldest son with a junior high school 'girlfriend' who he is still in touch with. The now-dead parents of a Facebook friend from over thirty years ago. My youngest son as a toddler. A cat I used to have when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I've got a few more which I may or may not post.

(Mum and I a few months before she died, 2001)


Wisewebwoman said...

Fascinating photos Annie. You sure got around and your son completing the circle with his job up there. Wow!


Annie said...

Really full circle WWW, he now works out of a base a 5-minute stroll from the shack we lived in when he was born!

George Ott said...

I believe the story goes that when the Pirelli picture with the Long Point Gate Post and crouching Peter on top was taken, Peter was told he had to be "lower, still lower, no, lower still" in order to fit all parties in ;-) Best Dog, by a whisker, we ever had. Gunner and Duffy right behind. For those that don't know or remember, In the early 60's Dad Owned the Pirelli tire and distribution centre in Toronto and when we picked up Pirelli in the company car, plastered with Pirelli logos and tire treads, what else were we to call him :-D

joared said...

What fun going through old photos and being able to compare with "then and now" photos when your son sends them. I usually find myself wondering where those years went so fast.

Annie said...

Yes George, I believe that is so. Thank you for remembering. Poor old Duffy, he came at a bad time, but he had spirit.

Annie said...

Joared, I got totally lost to the present when the 'now' photos started arriving. The 'then' photos are so fuzzy and the 'now' photos so clear and crisp. Like memory itself.