Sandy shuffled over to the far table at Betty’s Chips where the view of the Ottawa River was spectacular. He was trying to remember when the train station was demolished – just one of the things the archivist was pestering him about. Sandy pulled the folded list from his pocket and squinted at the questions she’d written: Who was Arthur’s Hill named after? When did Bethune’s Store close? He remembered many things, but not these.
Sandy could still picture the front of Menzie Stewart’s store before it became Braeside Home Furnishings. It was one of the few businesses left in the Village that was doing well. Sandy opened his mother’s old photograph album that he’d brought along with him. He traced her neat handwriting with his fingers and thought it was a shame they didn’t teach penmanship anymore.
He paused at a snapshot of the old school yard full of children. The bell that he and his friends had rung at Halloween was sitting silent now, like a scolded child, beside the old municipal building. He roamed through the village in his mind, from the schoolyard to the Orange Hall and over to the rink down by the Club Rooms and stables that were long gone now. Sandy stared at the river and longed to see tug boats hauling log booms once again.