4.24.2002

Stream of Consciousness IV

Interior of The Spot, during it's heyday...
McCall's (Henniman's). Skogmo's. The Spot. Dick's Corner. The Hartz Store. The Tastee Freez. Coast-to-Coast hardware. Ice rink on the banks of the river, lights strung overhead. The dam. South Pembina. The airport. The museum. Crossing the Red, then the Pembina. Ukranian church dome. Old 81. Old Pembina with the vines growing up the side of the old Methodist Church. Ancestors' rocking chairs in the museum...the old museum that seemed like a treasure chest of old area artifacts. Many a summer was spent touring the row upon row of exhibits, taking in as much as possible. Imagination working overtime wondering who the people were that once owned that dress, that gun, that book. So MUCH stuff that each display area was a mini Fibber McGee open closet. Even the walls were covered with treasures all the way up the the ceiling. The Park nearby had a monument towards the back, almost hidden by the now older trees. The white pyramid-like steps led up in the center to a pillar. Names and a dedication, barely legible, told of a war to end all wars, and the local boys that wouldn't be coming home again. I would climb that monument thinking it was magical, touch the white stone, rough and hot in the summer sun. Who were these people who were just names now, I wondered as a child. I was in awe of someone who would sacrifice so much. Bike home over the bridges, daring to stop and look down to the river below. Such a long way it felt, and sometimes there would be a pull in the back of my mind to jump...jump! A little thrill would run up my spine at the thought mixed with incredible fear. I almost drowned once. I was with my mother and her friend Glennis Friebohle at the Emerson pool on a sunny summer afternoon. I wandered away from the wading pool area. I was little, but could see more people were having more fun in the big pool. I wasn't afraid to try it. I tentatively lowered myself over the edge into the pool, intending to hang onto the side. But the pool was very busy that day, many jumps, splashes, and waves. A wave caught me and lifted my body, and I panicked. My hand slipped, and before I knew it, I was floating away from the edge, I couldn't grasp it, and I was sinking...I was scared, but at the same time, as I went below the surface, I kept my eyes open...I was facing up, looking up, seeing the light above me grow smaller as I sank...The next thing I knew, I was laying on warm cement, coughing up water...Glennis was there. She had seen me as I began to sink and dived in and rescued me. Years later, despite still not knowing how to swim, I love water, and remember that day, and how peaceful it seemed. A few moments of panic, then quiet...