Tuesday, June 3, 2014
North for the Summer!
[The picture at the top is of Cochrane, and the picture right below it is of Moosonee on James Bay.]
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, my family used to vacation in Canada. My favorite vacations were in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, but the most interesting trip was to Moosonee, the Gateway to the Arctic. We had to take the train from Cochrane. To travel any further than Moosonee, one had to fly, something that most of my family will not do. In fact, the only place my mother would willingly fly to was Ireland. (She was of Irish descent.) Even my father was not too keen on flying. Don't know about my brother. He may love to fly. He may grit his teeth and fly. At any rate, these days, he is the traveler in the family--by default. My husband even prefers to do his traveling on the basketball court.
Here is a poem set in Cochrane. It was published in Kind of a Hurricane Press' anthology, [Insert Coin Here]. I wish that my family had been as athletic as the speaker's family! One may now swim with the polar bears. I don't think you could back in 1982 or 1983. Naturally, there is thick glass between humans and polar bears. Timothy Treadwell is not running this enterprise.
The Last Galaga
The last Galaga on earth
with the empty New Coke machine
and broken Shop-Vac
in the avocado green basement
of the Cochrane Motel.
So he tells himself.
While his family swims with the Polar Bears,
until the tractor beam sweeps him up
Tomorrow he and his family go north,
past the end of the highway,
to where there is no
Galaga no Centipede
no Space Invaders
not even Pong.
Like his brothers and sister,
he will have to play
Frisbee under the near-midnight sun.
He will have to run.
He will have to sweat.
He will have to romp
like the stray dogs on the sideline.
Tomorrow the Galaga will be replaced
by a treadmill
a stuffed polar bear
a Gatorade machine
just not a video game.
So he tells himself.
Tonight, while his family grills
veggie burgers and shish kabobs
on the shores of Lake Commando,
he will take
a swig of Surge,
find another Loonie,
and continue to play.
In addition, here are links to some blogs about Cochrane and Moosonee:
Most are about Moosonee. I wish I could find one blog entry by a man who worked there back in the 1980s. I also wish I still had my t-shirt I bought there.
Actually, I think that the avocado-green basement was at the motel in Timmins where we stayed afterwards. That basement contained the pool, one of the creepiest places I've ever swum. Only a dermatologist would approve of it!
I'll finish with a picture of Lake Commando:
Just curious...who is reading this blog?