Summer has come and gone. I think a drawing Alison McCreesh did of Penny sleeping on the dock perfectly sums up my summer in Yellowknife.
Man, I sure do love where I live. Take tonight, for instance. I decide to go for a walk on the lake to pick up some fresh white fish from a local fisherman. The lake is still solid and I start to walk with the little white dog. About five minutes into the walk, I hear someone calling and three dogs running towards us. Alison and Summer were by the remants of the snow castle, skating on the last patches of sleek ice and letting their dogs run. We chatted, the dogs romped, and then I carried on.
Shawn, the fisherman, was home and sold me fresh, beautiful white fish filets. He was hosting a dinner in a little houseboat for some youth he took out on the land earlier that day so I didn’t stick around.
On the walk home, I bumped into Wade who was biking home on the lake. We had a brief, funny conversation about meeting up with old friends, the pressure to have children and stolen bicycles.
I got home and cooked it up on my little stove with olive oil, a wee bit of balsamic vinegar and a dash of maple syrup. Heavenly. Just as I finished eating, I heard the loud rumblings of a bomboardier outside my door. I looked out and it was Shawn and Mike getting ready to hook up my neighbour’s little shack and haul it down the lake to a nearby island.
Now, I’m sitting back with a glass of red wine. It’s ten o’clock and it’s not dark yet. The lake is still solid except for where the current rips through next to JY’s place (yesterday Vince hauled a canoe out there and tried fishing). Life is good.
Last weekend I launched the Old Town Soundwalk on 107.5 fm.
The hardy souls who braved the rain were woven through Old Town with the help of a transistor radio. The 2-watt transmission was courtesy of the transmitter technicians at CBC North (obsolete equipment re-tuned for the soundwalk) and the mayor, Gordon Van Tighem, and his wife, Carol, kindly allowed me to mount the antenna on their clothes line.
The walk starts in Willow Flats and ends at the Wild Cat Cafe. Total soundwalk time is about an hour and twenty minutes.
The radio station will be running sporadically throughout the summer but is only available in Old Town, Yellowknife.
To sample the soundwalk anytime, or to take a walk from the comfort of your own home, the pieces are all available for downloading or streaming HERE..
I have been having a dream of a summer. A busy dream, but a good one. My daily work is recording the sounds of Yellowknife’s Old Town and asking people to share their stories about making a life
here when the city was new.
I’ll spend most of July mixing the stories and present the Old Town Soundwalk during Ramble and Ride, a community festival.
Yesterday, I spent the morning out on the lake recording Tony ‘Snowking’ Foliot waxing poetic about life on the lake and his neighborhood – houseboat bay.
I have a new mailbox now. Please send letters, postcards and bumper stickers to P.O. Box 2503, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, X1A 1C0
If you are interested in learning more about Redfern Mianscum’s sweat lodge or supporting his legal case, please click here…
You can listen to Redfern’s story through The Current’s website..
Special thanks to Dick Miller (producer); Jaime Little & the CBC North Cree section and to Peter Skinner and Paul Andrew at CBC Yellowknife.
I adore this page from L.M. Montgomery’s scrap book. It makes me think of spring on the east coast and of my grandmother, Minnie Graham. When spring came to PEI, she would be in her little blue Ford, cruising all over the island looking for May flowers. May flowers are elusive, tiny pink flowers – usually found in ditches by those who know what they’re looking for. Grammy would pull over to the side of the road, grab her basket and clippers (which she always kept in the glove compartment for such occasions) and step down into the ditch. She’d snip them for a fresh bouquet to put on her kitchen table. She also loved bulrushes, pussy willows and L.M. Montgomery.