Monday, February 20, 2006

A walk down memory lane

A variety of newspapers cross my desk every day. I cast a cursory glance at most of them before I toss them into someone else's inbox. Today, this article caught my attention, and sent me on a little trip down memory lane.

It turns out that the Arden elevator is for sale. If it's not sold, it may face demolition. Why is that significant? Well, I grew up in Arden, a tiny town in Manitoba. In fact, this picture is taken from a spot just down the street from my elementary school, my church, and the community centre - all places I spent many hours of my youth attending. Many, many times, I've driven past this elevator - most recently to visit my Dad's grave just a few miles north. In most of the classrooms of our elementary school, we could sit and gaze out the window at it. In the green space at the front of the picture, we would hunt for crocuses - the first sign that Spring had arrived in the prairies. I remember running out of church on Sunday mornings, trying to be the first one to spot a crocus. Arden is known for its crocuses - Manitoba's provincial flower.

There are so many memories this photo conjures up in my mind. I'm sure my siblings (who all read this blog, by the way) are by now almost as nostalgic as I am. Remember walking past the elevator on the way from school to the curling and skating rinks? Remember the rare occasions when we'd get a note from Mom that we could walk to McCamis general store at lunch time? Remember the excitement around town when the annex (the part of the building nearest the photographer) was built? That was my first experience with catcalls from a construction site! Remember putting pennies on the railroad tracks in front of the elevator? Remember sneaking under the train cars to take a shortcut, hoping the train wouldn't start to move just as we climbed underneath?

Ah, sweet nostalgia. Apparently, this is one of the last remaining woodframe elevators in the province. It really would be a shame to see it disappear. Arden would never be the same without its sentinel standing guard at the centre of town.


Simply Coll said...

Many elevators in many small towns are disappearing. It is sad to see them go. They have always been so much a part of our prairie heritage.

Linda said...

I can't think of anything that better describes the prairies than grain elevators such as this one. I hope somebody buys it and restores it-like they've done with others recently.

bbb said...

Thanks, Heather! That really was a nice little nostalgia trip. :-)

Dale said...

Oh dear! When we Easterners think of the prairies, we picture endless fields of grain, blue skies, and of course grain elevators. They're a part of my heritage too, Heather, as a Canadian.
Your tale of climbing under rail cars made me gasp.

ccap said...

Doesn't quite seem right, losing that.