CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Historic Mattawa

Historic Mattawa from old postcards shots from Vintage Postcards
Music from Artist: Stompin' Tom Connors singing Big Joe Mufferaw


Crossing The Mighty Ottawa River Railway Bridge

This is the bridge we used to walk across on the annual pilgrimage to climb the  mountain each May.

Thanks to hogger01 for his video posts on YouTube.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anything Can Open A Memory

  On a trip to the grocery store , we passed a yard where two preteen girls were volleying a shuttlecock back and forth .

Immediately , the memory of when I first used a badminton racket flooded back . Playing badminton in the low light after supper is not such a great idea.

A little brown bat flying about looking for its evening meal fell victim to a strong right hand and the working end of the racket. Unfortunately , it didn't make it through the experience . It was tearfully buried beside the CPR section house.

(I can't resist - that game could be called ' Bat-minton ,I suppose.)

That happened about fifty years ago .

The 'alpha' memory doesn't fade readily when it affects you emotionally , good or bad , as this one did with me .

Have you had an 'alpha' memory stimulated in you lately?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recognizing Basic Rights

"Society will always reward certain people/groups with unequivocal acceptance into the rhythms , laws, views and behaviours of the dominant culture . Constant vigilance and maintenance of this equilibrium is how a society strikes reasonable balance among its social and political groups."

                                       Shannon Thunderbird

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Still On My Mind

"Perhaps the most horrible effect of corporal punishment done to any child is that it is still in his/her mind . It will be there forever. As adults who suffered it , we may understand why it occured , justly or unjustly .  But it will never be fully reconciled . For every time it comes forward in memory , it is experienced as it first occured , before we can even begin to think about it." ...C. Powless

These are my words. Here are more words from greater thinkers than I that are worth some thought.

"We tend to forget at times that it is the littlest ones , the children , who do suffer the greatest hurt. If we cannot comprehend why certain sorrows are visited upon us , how on earth can they?"...Sharon Key Penman

"The fundamental condition of childhood is powerlessness."...Jane Smiley

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair a broken man."...Frederick Douglass

"Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives."...Maya Angelou

" There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats a child."...Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Corporal Punishment

 At the Penitentiary Museum in Kingston last week , we entered the second room on our self-guided tour.It displayed most of the items that were used for physical punishment of prisoners during the first century and a quarter .

Both my husband and I recognized the strap in the display case immediately as a standard fixture in schools when we were children .

Sunday, July 17, 2011


On Friday , we decided to venture out into the heat and humidity . July is quickly disappearing and my husband's vacation time is half over . A short distance outing to a small museum fills the requirements perfectly. It doesn't take all day( perfect for the teenager ); it doesn't cost an arm and a leg(perfect for my husband);and we are going to learn something historical ( perfect for me ).

Coming off the hill (Warden's House/museum
to the main gate of the prison
 This time, it is the Kingston Penitentiary Museum in the old Warden's House in a position of authority overlooking the oldest ( and still active ) maximum security prison in Canada .

The teenager next to the walls that were expanded
over time since 1830's. The walls are the giveaway-yes , it is a prison.

www.virtualkingston.ca ( attractions ) has a virtual tour of the museum should you be interested.

The small museum was surprisingly busy . Most of the visitors were teenagers trying out some of the corporal punishment samples on display. I imagine the authority in their lives sending them there with the thought "they think they have it tough" on mind. Perhaps with the intent to firmly establish lines of authority psychologically without really letting them in on it.

I watched their reactions (as well as those of our teenager) change from childish game playing to wide-eyed ,silent awareness as they imagined themselves on the working end of the tools of the trade. Over the next half hour, those looks changed further as the concept of being imprisoned and receiving corporal punishment registered. This was their first sensing of what ' the end of the road ' actually could feel like . And it was not pleasant.

What really came home to me was how the atmosphere created by the simple presence of the items affected every person who entered the museum. There were no explanations of why and in what context the items existed , just simple cards identifying them and telling how they were used . There was no tour guide to explain and rationalize ...just oneself on a self-guided tour through feelings and reactions...isolated .

At the end of about an hour , the group of teenagers was no longer actively and energetically voicing opinions and judgements . They were silent , thoughtful and even a bit fearful- caught in thoughts they had never really explored . No one told them what to think or how . They reached that place through absorbing the atmosphere of punishment .


Of course , being older by several decades , from a time when corporal punishment was still in vogue , I could not help but remember my limited experience with it through my childhood . I will share that in the next post.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bakelite and Hot Pink

 For 50 cents at a rummage sale , I got my first radio. It was a leftover from the 1940's that had probably broadcast many a war report , serial and the official time at least twenty years before I came across it on a table at the Anglican Church Hall in Mattawa.

Mine was even plainer than the one in the photo. No red dials and gold accents . Just a simple , no nonsense Bakelite tube radio to fulfil a function- not serve as an artistic statement .

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Moss on a Blog

I have been away for over a week in the 'bush' at my brother's camp . Totally simple existence . Concern for more basic things takes precedent over blogs and such . Although I did think of the blog momentarily on the first morning -perhaps withdrawal symtoms- it took me only a couple of hours to get into the swing of things at camp .

But , I am back and will start again in earnest tomorrow. Thank you for following , re-reading and dropping in while I was away .

It's time to push back the moss of inactivity.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Summer Break

Well , I am off for a week to my brother's cabin in the bush ...or Camp as mid-north to north Ontarionians call it .

Unfortunately , there will be no posts during that time . Not because I don't want to for I do look forward to this part of my day . Writing stories and reading stories . It's just that it is physically impossible for it to happen .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Side Tracked: Canada Day

It is July ! st and a day of celebration in Canada today - Canada's 144 birthday as a country - young by some standards .

Just up the road , in the capital city , Ottawa , in front of the Parliament Buildings on a hill beside the Ottawa River , 250 000 people or more will have made the trip from close by and far away to take in the spectacular events planned for this year . The fact that William and Kate will put in an appearance during their four day Canadian trip will certainly swell the crowd well beyond the usual quarter million .

But by far most Canadians will be at or near home celebrating with family , friends and neighbours . For sure , I won't be in the Nation's Capital as I don't particularly do well in crowds bigger than ten thousand free ranging people . Twenty to forty thousand at a hockey game is fine because everyone has a spot to claim and free range activity is limited by the twenty minute break clock .

No big crowds and city lights for me . It's small town all the way . Since , we live in the middle of many small towns in rural eastern Ontario , we have decided on a different one this year .

Kemptville , Ontario , a town of about 3000 people . Just think , each little place puts together a day of fun that reflects their community's make up . I think going to a different one each year helps me get to know the people by how they 'party'.

How do you party on your country's birthday ?