Oh The Places You’ll Go

Ok, I haven’t added content since March. The folks at Newstext are going to stop paying commissions.

"La Chasse-galerie" at La Ronde

I was talking to my mom last week. In the wake of the Batman massacre in Colorado (and, man, that guy looks like a young John Lydon) she was saying how lucky I am to live in a place where that kinda stuff doesn’t happen. Say what?  We may not have James Holmes or a Luka Rocco Magnotta, but stuff like that happens fairly frequently here. It’s been just five years since the Eve Carson murder. Walking around UNC campus last week I had a jolt of reality when I stumbled upon her memorial garden.  Just a short walk from that garden a woman was raped last winter crossing in back of the Ackland museum. Chapel Hill had a mass shooting 17-years ago when Wendell Williamson opened fire on Franklin street.  The University of North Carolina law student, dressed in camouflage and armed with an M-1 sniper rifle and hundreds of bullets, walked down the street shooting at random, killing two people.

Still, I feel pretty safe where I live. I am not fearful for my children. I feel pretty safe anywhere really.

We were in New York City earlier this month. I took my daughters to a broadway show. We took a Port Authority bus back to where we were staying in New Jersey. The Port Authority at eleven at night is just as scary as it was in the early 80s, but it’s safe. You just have to stay alert.

And still…

I have a hard time forgetting about bad things. I visited my brother in Montreal this month. I took my children to La Ronde. I hadn’t been there in 30 years. I forgot that to get to the park, you leave the car in the lot, then walk under the Jacques Cartier bridge. Looking up at that bridge my mind immediately travelled to Chantal Dupont and Maurice Marcil, thrown from the bridge Independence day, 1979 (as it happened, we were there the day before that anniversary).   Gilles Pimpare and accomplice, Normand Guerin were eventually found guilty of killing the two 16-year olds. In 2005 they were denied parole. I do not know if they are still serving time.

And I apparently have a hard time forgetting good things too.

I took my kids on the Pitoune. It is one of the original rides from 1967, and kinda tied to the Quebecois legend of La Chasse-galerie. Standing in that line I remembered being there with my family sometime in the 1970s. My mother and father, my brother… and Theresa. It all came back. Except for the minirail I don’t remember too much from those times. But I suddenly recalled all of that very vividly.

Strange what you have in your mind, and what triggers can activate it.



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