Halloween 2022

pull up a chair

Walking the side streets in east end Toronto I see that Halloween decor is getting as popular as Christmas decorating. Houses with strings or orange lights, some with illuminated spiders, ghosts or skulls , plus the growing variations of inflatables. Giant grinning cats with heads that rotate back-and-forth. Shelves of candy – now mostly little chocolate bars – at Shoppers, WalMart & supermarkets. 

As a youngster in Sydney, Cape Breton the only decoration one might see was carved pumpkins with candles inside. We used pillowcases to go door-to-door for trick-or-treating. The candy was usually those toffy/taffy kisses, apples or oranges, & if you were lucky small bags of chips. Sometimes a small bag of unshelled peanuts. Those little chocolate bars hadn’t been invented then lol. Now one has to provide bars that have no nuts! I guess soon we’ll have to find some sort of sugar-free chocolate bar too, or ones with no trans fats. Sorry, but I’ll leave the sorting of treats to parents.

Store bought costumes – cowboys, pirates etc. Or something homemade – old sheets reprised as ghosts, your Dad’s oversized sports coat sort of things. Rarely a superhero & nothing that lit up with led’s. Costumes to school if Halloween fell on a school night. It was an innocent time. At that age I had no awareness of the pagan roots of event. I later discovered it was one of the few ‘old religion’ holidays that the Church couldn’t erase turn into their own – they did try with All Saints Day but well, we don’t see illuminated Saints on peoples front lawns. A giant inflatable St. Teresa hovering in the air would be fun though.

In the past decade, here in Toronto, the decorating for the event has gotten bigger & more macabre – severed hands, feet, heads suspended from trees, skeletons hanging on front porches, zombi arms digging themselves out of the ground. Bats, spiders, plastic skeletons of dogs, owls, dinosaurs even spiders (which have no skeletons). It is easy to guess which house has children by the number of doll limbs dangling in the trees.

Halloween 2021:

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Cape Breton Calendar Boy

Cape Breton Calendar Boy

I recently ordered a scenic Cape Breton 2023 calendar. (from: The Best of Cape Breton Gift Shop: https://bestofcbgiftshop.ca) I love the photos but I’m more into the ‘old times’ not the ‘today’ on the island – I doubt if these pictures will ever show their ‘age’ & could be for any of last 10 or next 10 years. I prefer vintage photo calendars like these promotional political calendars from 2000, 2009, 2010. My Dad sent me the first one, then my sister sent the others. Were they published in the between years? I don’t know. 

But these were very smartly put together with excellent, fun archival photographs. Many photos of streets in Sydney. My favorite shots are the groups – high school hockey teams, well-dressed teens at a high-school prom, cadets in formation. Looking at them I think ones similar to these would be great fund-raisers. I would certainly buy one of, say, Sydney Academy class photos over the decades or one of local hockey teams over the decades, pee-wee baseball anyone?

On some of these are notes of things I was doing here in Toronto. The August 2000 reminds me that I went to the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-lake to see a production of Lord of the Flies. The July 2009 reminded me I saw Chekov’s Three Sisters at the Stratford Festival that month. June 2010 – nothing noted so a quiet month, I guess. 

But in July 2010 I attended the Writer’s Workshop that was a part of The Loyalist Summer Arts program in Bellville. This was all before I started the TOpoet blog so no links to these past events 😦 I only know I saw Lord of the Flies by checking the Shaw Festive web site to see what shows were in that season. Calendars – thanks for the memories 🙂

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Buried Moons Drums and Caramel 

Over the past year of so I’ve rediscovered some of my childhood treats at a local supermarket – things that Shopper’s never has on their shelves. I can’t say that I longed for them but trying them again after decades did bring back some sweet memories of growing up in Sydney.

I can remember buying the individual Half-Moon’s at Flubs (I think that’s what it was called) a family run corner store (St. Peters Rd at Ashby). Cellophane wrapped & merely a sugary cloud with nearly no texture or much flavour. There was also a chocolate version but Preferred the bland vanilla. The current version is smaller, has less cream filling & remains relatively flavourless.

I was allowed one a week & would usually buy it on my way home from school. It took less than a minute to eat but was totally satisfying. For some reason there has never been a 100% whole wheat version lol. Flubs also had home-made molasses candies I loved & super moist molasses cookies.  

Another one is Ah Caramel – the name of which I forgot until I saw a package on the shelf – these are smallish squares of cake with a ring of cream filled with caramel on top & all dipped in chocolate. They came in cello packs of two, so you could share one. Like the half-moons these are smaller than I recalled. Thanks to the chocolate & caramel they actually have flavour & though the chocolate shell is too thin to give it much of a texture.

Then there is the Drumstick – ice cream filled sugar cone dipped in chocolate & the top rolled in peanuts. In my day there was only one vanilla kind – now there is a range with chocolate, crushed oreo cookie, fillings but still dipped in chocolate & rolled in peanuts. I’ve tried them all but I prefer the traditional. Sadly another one that has been sized down but still large enough to satisfy.

Finally, one that I haven’t found is Buried Treasure – orange sherbet & vanilla ice cream on a plastic stick. As you ate the ice cream, a figure, your buried treasure, would appear on the stick. As I remember it actually tasted like orange! I wish I still had some of my treasures – I loved the circus lion. Buried Treasure is no longer available 😦 I guess it is not the sort of hand-held device to keep children amused.

What were your favorite childhood treats.

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Did anyone every send away for these gifts?

(Buried Treasure/Popcicle images sourced from internet)

Wicca

join the circle

One of the FB groups I joined is a Wiccan group that posts information on each of the full moons & the various solstice rituals. One of the members offers a simple kit for each sabbat to performing one’s own ritual. With my strongly Welsh heritage I was drawn to see how this sort of philosophy would fit into my recovery spiritual path.

wicker not wicca

When I lived on the east coast I toyed with some of this without really becoming invested in anything beyond reading. It was more interesting to have Aleister Crowley’s books that it was to really read them. Over the years I ‘dabbled’ in various new age things like crystals, native teachings etc. Of course to know when Mercury is retrograde is always a good.

So I ordered one of the solstice kits, which does much of the work for me as it had a candle, incense cone, essential oil, herbs, crystal & booklet with incantations & affirmations. Each solstice/equinox kit is limited edition. I like the simplicity of it.

ghost leaf

For Christmas I bought the Llewellyn calendar, datebook & almanac to add to my research. I discovered buried in my books two earlier Llewellyn almanacs that had been Yule gifts for 1993, 1998. I’ve also added their Sabbat Essentials – a series of 8 beautiful books each one devoted a specific sabbath. Excellently written & easy to read. Highly recommended if you are interested in exploring the Wheel of the Year. Though if you find gendered spirituality difficult these will present a challenge.

shine a light

My own approach remains simple. I now have a greater awareness of the both the full & new moons. My observances are ‘rustic’ as opposed to complex rituals. Intentionality is more vital than having the right colour candle, or getting out a compass & protractor to make sure everything is laid out on the exact spot.

Some of this fits into my spiritual path but much like theories of recovery I take what I like & leave the rest – leave, not discard, as you never know when it will illuminate the next phase of the moon.

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I Love My Shirts

A few months ago I watched a British series ‘ Stitch In Time’ in which the fashion historian host, with her team of specialists, replicates clothing worn in famous oil paintings – giving us a context for the painting & the fabrics used etc. Sometimes they went to an archive that had actual clothing made in the period in question. It led me to think of the oldest clothing I now owned.

My mother was a seamstress, making clothes for herself & my sisters most of the time. She wasn’t fond of the construction of collars or putting in button holes but I did get her to make me a few shirts. On my semi-regular trips from Sydney to Halifax I would buy albums & fabric. The stores in Sydney didn’t carry ‘fun’ prints & as far as I remember, there were stores dedicated to fabric just departments at Zellers etc. I found these at a sort of Fabricland in Halifax.

I had two of the movie star shirts. This one in blue with the brown insert & one in brown with blue insert – both in this sort of western style. I made sure it had the Frankenstein monster pocket. The fabric is a heavy cotton, almost denim. I loved wearing these because of the campiness of the print & because they echoed my job – I worked at the Famous Player theatres in Sydney. This one still fits me, if I don’t button it up, but the thread is ‘delicate’ with age.

The dashiki style with the racing cars still amazes me. I love this kids pj print, though it is cotton not flannel. I also had another with a cowboys & stallions print but has been lost to time. My mother liked this pattern because it had no collar or buttons to bother with. I’ve kept my eye open on visits to Fabricland or something similar without success. Truly vintage I guess. this one doesn’t fit & the fabric itself is now delicate with age.

The tie is made from another of my Halifax fabric finds. Another cotton print that I may might have had a dashiki made of too. I have worn this tie a few times to perform at poetry readings. My mother wasn’t too sure of the construction of ties so it lacks the interlining fabric that keeps the tie in shape so it never really knotted properly so it proved not to be practical for tying someone to the bed 😦

In Sydney at this time men weren’t wearing prints expect plaids. Shirts were nondescript in mild colours. Mine were attention getters. I see now how these print choices were a part of my coming out at the time with their tres gay sensibility.

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Picture Perfect 103 

Picture Perfect 103

The Historic Society table was on the cafe side in a corner by the window. Two period costumed manikins, one male one female, flanked either side of table. 

“Good morning?” A middle-aged man explained. “These are original manikins. The lady is from Jacobson’s Ladies Wear. The other from Crowell’s mens’ wear department. She dates from the twenties and is in pretty good condition for her age.”

The hands were chipped and white plaster showed under the beige-pink of her skin. She was wearing a  black beaded flapper’s dress.

“Not exactly daily street wear.” Dan said.

“Well, no … but we Capers didn’t wear kilts all the time, if that’s what you mean.”

“No. But he seems more appropriately attired.”

The male manikin had on a brown worsted wool suit, high-collared blue shirt with a dark red tie underneath it.

“I would agree.” the man said.
“The clothes are from the stores the manikins are from?”

“No.” Someone said from beside Dan. It was Stan. “Even if they had period garments having them on open public display wouldn’t be wise. These are approximations. The real are behind glass.”

“Thanks.” Dan finished his tea. “I better get rid of this.”

He found the recycle trash bin for his cup. It was near the books. He had hoped to find out more from the Historic Society man but with Stan there he wasn’t comfortable. Cliff Dingwall, owner of the 2nd hand book store was behind the table there.

“Great day if don’t rain.” Cliff said.

“East Coast sunshine is what my mother used to call it.” Dan said.

“Right she was.”

“I was wondering if you had any books on the history of New Waterford? Even a photo history would be great.”

“There is some that deals with the area but never heard of one about Waterford in particular.” Cliff answered. “Let me just check on line for you.” He took a lap top out from under the table and did a few taps on it. 

“Marvellous,” he said, “to have me whole catalogue at m’finger tips like this. And if’n I don’t have it I can find it pretty good too.” 

Cliff scrolled through a few pages. “Don’t seem to be anything still in print. There’s some that can be ordered if’n you want to pay for it. Not that they is rare books but scarce.”

“Don’t need them that much. Here’s my card. Could you send me the links. I can check them out when I get back to Toronto. Might find them in one of our libraries there.”

“Sure thing. But I do have a couple of similar things here. This pictorial history of Hans County ….”

“We’re about to do the draw for next prize.” Came over the sound system. It was Gracie from the snack bar. “If we could have the tickets, Flo m’dear?” 

Flo was the teen who greeted him when he arrived. The tickets were in a squared cookie tin.

“Shake’m up good this time.” Someone called out.

“Jim you come up here and make the draw.” Gracie said. “Prize this time is place setting for four made from Cape Crafts.”

She held up one of the place mats.

Jim shook the tin again. Gracie opened the lid so he could draw a ticket out. He read the number slowly. Dan found his tickets and checked them. 

“Not even close.” Dan shook his head.

Jim repeated the last three numbers again. 

“It’s me!” Someone called out.

“Okay folks. We have a winner. Don’t forget, all tickets go in to the big draw at 5. Next draw in thirty minutes. Get your tickets now if you want a chance to win a selection jams from Gracie’s Kitchen.”

“Thanks Gracie.” Someone called out.

“We have young Gordie O’Neil here now. He’s going to play us some songs.” Gracie said. “Let’s give him a big hand.”

The tea had gone directly to Dan’s bladder. He looked for washroom signs. He didn’t want Stan to spot see him going to the men’s room and follow him there. He wasn’t usually pee shy but the less pressure the better. 

The men’s room was up two short flights of stairs at the top of the building. One flight at either end of a midpoint landing. The view overlooked the floor. He took pictures of the swirling iron work of the stair railing and the leaded-glass transom window over the door. A sign said the washrooms had been maintained to keep the original tile and fixtures but the actual plumbing was new. 

There was nothing particularly distinct about that tile. There was ice in the dual floor level urinals. He glanced at the toilets and they too were nondescript but clearly of some period other than this one.

There was another door in the washroom with ‘showers’ over it. It was locked but the window in the door allowed him to see where the fireman would have showered. Here the tile was black and white. He got some pictures of the shower floor and the shower heads. How much head did they get in those showers? That’s a lost history he’d find interesting.

“Next raffle draw in ten minutes. Get your tickets now for a selection of Gracie’s Jams.” Came over the PA system.

Dan checked his cell for messages before he left the sale & went back out into the rain. 

“Oh! Mr. James.” Cliff called to him. “I remembered than I have some albums you might be interested in.”

“Photo albums?” Dan walked over to the table.

 “Yes. I bought them in an estate sale a few years ago  in New Waterford.” He pulled a largish cardboard box out from under the table. “You can look’em over at the Gracie’s.”

He handed the box to Dan. It was heavier than it looked.

“I usually don’t buy this sort of thing but it was part of a lot deal.”

Dan found an empty table at the cafe & plopped the box down. Inside was a lot of loose photos, some in their original envelopes, many loose & two large albums. He did a quick glance the loose photos. Many were in colour & several were in black & white. He loved at them a litter closer. At glance he could tell they were from the forties or early fifties.

He gathered them into a pile so he could take out the albums. The top one was one of those eighties  spiral bound. The other was older & the covers were laced together. 

The first pages had pictures with dates underneath – beginning with 1919. He took pout his loupe to examine them to make sure they were authentic to the dates & they were. A quick though the pages showed family photos, baby showers, picnics, school graduations. Many with first names or events written underneath. He filled back to the inside cover but there was no last name. It was the same with the envelopes of developed pictures – first name, drug store rubber stamped. Someone who used the same drugstore often enough that last names weren’t needed.

He flipped open the more modern album. More family gatherings, Christmas trees, birthday parties. Then one set of three pictures stopped him cold. Three girls in their late teen or earlier twenties on a lakeside wharf making faces at each other r& the camera. He recognized one of them as the woman wielding the in his father’s photos.

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Snow Forts

A major snow fall on Jan 17 halted the return to classes in Toronto schools resulting in a couple of extra days of play for the kids. This resulted in a boon of snow fort & tunnel building. These are all east-end Toronto in the Greenwood/Coxwell/Danforth area. Brought back memories of snowed in days in Cape Breton & building snow forts.

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2021 Recap

Over the past year by TOpoet.ca following blog grew from 445 to 468! Doesn’t sound like much but I did a cull of followers who are no longer active on WordPress. The WordPress map show my hits have come from over 70 countries around the world. USA still tops the list but that China & Bangladesh are in the top 10 is a surprise. Nigeria in the top 20 – but behind Malawi! Kazakhstan! Still no hits from North Korea 😦 My Tumblr is at 346 followers. 229 Twitter followers.

My top ten posts of the year include 2 out of the archives! Born To Be Blown – from 2014 – https://topoet.ca/2014/01/24/born-to-be-blown/; & Sydney Academy 2 from 2019 https://topoet.ca/2019/08/12/sydney-academy-2/.

I made a few changes in my blogging routine to give me more time for actual writing 🙂 At the start of the pandemic blogging daily was an excellent way to get through the lockdown. Then it became work I had to keep up with & was no longer fun, so I cut way back.

In 2020 I did 322 posts; in 2021 I only 260 blog posts – of course having no live poetry readings or Stratford show to review reduced the quantity. Though on of the highlights of 21 was seeing Three Tall Women on stage in Stratford. Martha Henry’s tour de force final production.

Picture Perfect: Picture Perfect:  98 sections, about 142,000 words posted so far with approximately 45,000 to be edited then posted. I’ve been enjoying the slow process of edits & have made some major cuts in the final set of rough drafts. As usual my biggest issue is keeping names straight – what did I call that rcmp constable a hundred pages ago? I’m really enjoying creating the weekly graphic for each section. I do have an endless supply of frame & paintings that people have thrown out.

Like many people I’m weary of the pandemic, of people’s reactions, of the roller-coaster of restrictions, & now the paranoia. Is it allergies? A cold or covid? How ‘sick’ does one have to be to get tested? Who pays for it? By the time you get tested, have the results, early onset treatment is too late. How long before neo-citron markets a neo-covid hot lemon drink?

Highlights of the year: contributing a forward to Philip Cairns book Hollywood Poems; having some pieces of mine included in Pandemic Poetry. Extensive work on my garden. Deep house cleaning in a lock-down pandemic purge of the house top to bottom, in particular a basement full of stuff – some not touched since we moved into the house some 40 years ago. 

I did get used to zoom recovery meetings & now seriously doubt if I’ll go back to face-to-face. I do meet up with fellow recoveries for face-to-face conversations & sharing. Going up to my room for a zoom is much easier than getting ready an hour or so in advance to get there with the hope the TTC hasn’t shut down. 

What am I looking forward to in 2022? Good question. Travel out of the country is out of the question. Even for travel within Canada testing rules can change while I am landing so I might never get off the plane or end up living in a tent on the runway until I can get an appointment for the right test. But I am considering another week or so in Cape Breton if pandemic travel rules loosen up enough. Stratford has a tentative season with a couple of shows we’re interested in seeing but will it end up a repeat of last season’s open air productions?

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Picture Perfect 99

Picture Perfect 99

Dan pressed the doorbell at 412 and there was no answer. The mailbox had the Donaldson name on it so he hoped this was the right house. He knocked and waited a few minutes before pressing the bell again. He held his ear close to the door and could hear it ringing in the house.

He gave up and went to the front door of his old house. Well, if his sister was still visiting it it must still be in the family somehow. He tried the door knob and it was locked. He rang that bell and it chimed in the house. He started back down the steps when the door opened.

“Sorry, I was in th’basement.” An out-of-breath women said.

He went back to the door. “Mrs. Donaldson?” he asked.

“The same.” she replied. “Marge Donaldson to be exact.”

Except for the black hair she could have been Cassie McLeod.

“Daniel James.” He introduced himself. “You’re … uh … Cassie’s sister?”

“Cousins.” She pulled a pair of wire framed glasses from her apron and put them on.

“Daniel?” he squinted at him. “Let me get a good look at you.” She came out of the house. “Skoot back a bit so as I can get a good look at you in the good light. I suppose it is. What brings you to these here parts.”

“Wanted to visit the old neighbourhood.” He said.

“Time to see those you run away from.” She said.

“I did not …” he stopped himself. He had nothing to defend or explain. “Comes a time to stop running.” he said.

“I suppose you want to see the inside.” 

“I’m not sure.” He really wasn’t sure what he expected to see or find when he came here. “It’s been so long I only have vague images of my life here. Linda comes back regularly enough.”

“Been awhile for that one too. Ats why I’m here. Says she’ll be here next week or so and wants things aired out. She was always one for puttin’ on airs.” Marge laughed at her own joke.

“You might as well come in. If’n you plan to sleep over I can make up the bed in yer old room. New mattress on the bed mind you.” She opened the door to let him into the house.

“That won’t be necessary. I’m staying at La Promenade in Sydney.” 

The hallway was exactly as he remembered it right down to the starburst mirror over the hall vestibule, the spiked silver light fixture still hung there. His mother couldn’t get over it the first time she saw it. It was the future with its space-age promise. He expected to see his book bag and sneakers under the hall table.

“Some of this was in storage y’see.” Marge explained. “Your sister, Linda, only wanted a few pieces though. So she said. Which was what made the antiques guy happy. Sold most of that stuff. If you’re not living in a place, no need to fill it up with furniture that gonna get stolen or mouldier year after year.”

“I understand.” Dan went into the living-room. There were two recliners facing the fire place. No carpets, nothing on the wall. A table lamp on the floor in a corner by the window.

The discoloured shadows of where pictures once were mottled the walls. 

“Don’t let me keep you Mrs. Donaldson. You were working on something.” Dan wanted to be alone to re-acquaint himself with the house.

“Was just finishin’ up. Got some things to takeout of the dryer in the basement. Washing dust out of the sheets. “I only be a coupl’a minutes.”

She disappeared into the kitchen.

He tried the light switches and there was power. Water ran in the kitchen. There was a couple of large coffee mugs in the cupboard by the sink. The water tasted like water. It didn’t spark any memory. The kitchen counters were the same. The floor tile was the same. Time had stood still. No, it had moved enough to shake the house free of its contents. The dining room was clean but empty.

The stairs to the second story were still solid. They never creaked. That was one of the things his father always bragged about. How solid the house was. There was an unmade kingsize bed in his parents room. Sheets were folded neatly at the head of it with some pillows. He recognized the wildly floral print as his sister’s taste. Something his mother would never have liked. She liked colour, solids, not prints. Busy prints would keep her awake she claimed.

The dresser was empty. There was a bathrobe on a hanger in the closet.

In his sister’s room was a work desk. Not one he recognized from his past. There was a wireless router on the window sill. A file cabin in one corner. Nothing in the closet.

He stood at the door to his room. The other doors had been open but this one was closed. It had been cleared off all the pictures and stickers he had covered it with. Gone was ‘ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK’ in letters that dripped blood.

“T’isn’t locked.” Marge stood at the top of the stairs with a laundry basket full of folded towels.”

“I’d be surprised if it was.” Dan said. His Dad had removed the mechanism and let only the door knob when Dan started locking himself in and his family out. He wants this privacy so badly then. Not that he had anything to hide from them but he so wanted a space that was his and his alone.

He pushed the door gently with his toe the way he did as a kid. It opened. Dust motes danced in the sun.

“I’ll be going then.” Marge said before he could go into the room. “You can drop the key at m’place when you leave. Or give it to m’cousin Cassie. You was talkin’ to her afore you came here. I saw you from the window.”

‘Still no secrets on this street.” Dan walked down the stairs with her.

“You ever find out what happened them Atkins. The guy who bought up your Dad’s school business?”

“Atkins? He never mentioned anything about that to me.”

“Seems some party from Montreal gave them a real hard time. Busted up the equipment.”

“Montreal?”

“Tough types. I saw ‘em at the tavern one night glaring at everyone that came in. They was waiting for Atkins. Beat him real bad, too. They, the Atkins, I mean had come from Newfoundland to buy that business. Moved here and everything. Did real well that first summer and then those frogs showed up the next spring.”

“I’ve never heard a thing about it.”

“They was gone fast. But I guess it wasn’t to do with you folk, if’n you didn’t know about it. Didn’t being your Dad back.”

“Linda was still living here though. With our Aunt Sissy?”

“Oh, no! They was at her place in Westmount.”

“That’s right. How could I forget.” What I never knew. “Thanks.” He put the keys in his pocket. I won’t be long and I’ll drop these off when I’m done.”

“Sit awhile, love. I’m sure the ghosts have lots to tell you.”

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I Got You Covered

I Got You Covered

I wanted to throw

the book across the room

the brown paper didn’t cooperate

as I folded it over the cover

one side was too big to fold

the other too small to cover

I tried to slide the book

so everything was even

so when I had it covered properly

it would be neat tidy

the real cover protected

I wanted it to look as perfect

as the book my mother

had done in minutes

<>

I lacked her eye-hand coordination

perfected by years of knitting

of dress making

I couldn’t even colour between the lines

now here I was

with a pair of scissors

a roll of heavy kraft paper

brown

attempting to make covers

for my school books

as demanded by the school

if they weren’t kept tidy enough

we would have to pay

I wasn’t even supposed to write on the books

not even to underline

couldn’t dog-ear the pages

<>

the book wouldn’t fit perfectly

I managed to get it wrapped

taped the corner to keep it in place

it was bunched up

that there was a crease 

on the back of it

I hid it at the bottom of the pile

went to bed

<>

in the morning 

it was covered perfectly

The brown paper covering of school books is a real memory of growing up on the east coast. Grocery stores were still using good quality brown paper bags in those days. Life before the plastic bag! My mother would save them for garbage & also for wrapping packages to mail to Wales at Xmas time plus for the all-important covering of school books. 

I can recall doing this until I left high-school. School issued books had to be returned at the end of the term & checked for condition. The same books, in each grade, would be used year after year until they wore out. Apparently keeping up on the latest development in science wasn’t a priority.  Grammar & spelling books didn’t need updating.

Some years my folks would pay a damage deposit on the books & get it back if they were return din good enough shape. Though I don’t recall ever having to pay for a damaged book. If a book had been in circulation for a couple years I would end up with one that was a little tattered & once I lucked out with one that had important passages underlined & even a few answers on the margins.

Some years we were given already cut covers that had been donated by various business which had their advertising on both sides of the paper. Of course ads appropriate for our ages. I can see the layout of these ads with a space left for writing the name of the book etc but I don’t remember what any of them were for – clearly a successful campaign. Maybe for local dairy, clothing stores. 


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