Face north

96 St. 
A bicycle ride to the north end is, unavoidably, intriguingly, deliciously, sadly, sweetly, a journey into the past.





Easter Sunday
The Byzantine rite domes of St. Josaphat Cathedral rise above the roofs of McCauley.


Trees
In the distance, through the arch of bare trees, Commonwealth Stadium sits waiting.


Odd jobs done
Simple and straightforward. No wasted punctuation. Eavestrough might be candidate.


Window into the past
Tran's Foodland, fading.


115 Ave
White door, black-and-white address sign, rust mailbox, black plastic garbage bag in the sun.


Northlands Colisuem
The Coliseum is ground zero of the Oilers mythology. 


Canada Packers smokestack
The exclamation mark is all that's left of Edmonton's meatpacking district. 


Still life on 66 St
A lagoon of winter melt mirrors the brick tower.


Underpass
Like, later, words from foreign languages, train cars from beyond told boys riding bikes that there was a beyond.

Detail
We saw, we heard, we watched trains. I learned later that some words carried anhydrous ammonia.


St. Francis of Assisi
A friend to the birds, wheeling and cawing above.


School field
An incinerator used to stand right here. We played football and soccer out there.


Road to ruin
One route home from school in those old days was through Windsor Park. Those were the first speed bumps I had ever seen.


The old Mac's store
Behind the old Mac's store we learned Yoyo tricks. Rock the baby in the cradle was the most complex maneuver I could pull off. In the townhouses nearby Tracy hosted a party for boys and girls, and her mother was there.


The old alley
In my time, I knew every inch and crack and contour and puddle of this piece of alley. I knew every tuft of grass, oil stain, knot in fence. If there is a patch of land I am from, this is it.


Driveway
Backing out of that far garage door one day, I turned the wheel too soon and hooked the bumper of the 1965 Ford Custom inside the structure, bringing a big chunk of the garage down on the car as I wheeled out. I was on my way to see Shelagh for dinner with her parents.


Londonderry field
Who knew in those days that Londonderry was a contested word? A hot air balloon once landed in this field. We pedalled our bikes over and watched it wither onto the ground. In a recurring dream, I see a plane crash in this field.


Getting ready for spring
A northender communicated with a length of hose in his driveway.


Interior
Part kitchen, part workshop, part museum, my dad's garage is the portal into the house and Easter dinner with the family.






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