The GG is reading The Firekeeper’s Daughter. He’s a bit late to the game. I read it… When did I read it? March 2021 says goodreads. Fair enough.

He has mixed feelings about it. I did too but it was a good enough read that I gave it five stars. One of the best things about it was that it was set in my home town. I love reading books that have familiar landmarks. The young female protagonist ran along the escarpment shown in the pic and that was one of my walking routes when my parents were still alive and we stayed at their house when we traveled there in seasons when the moomincabin was closed. The sun is about to come up in the pic.

I was a bit sad that the South Side was never mentioned but it’s the authors story, not mine. The South Side is where I grew up and it is a big grid of streets and avenues. My grandparents lived there and the Boults and the Pingatores and the McInnesis and the Obermans and countless other people. And Aunt Marion’s grocery, owned by relatives of the Pingatores. Candy and popsicles and don’t go there when Uncle Angie is working because he’s a big grump. My grandparents had a pretty grand house on the south side but a lot of us lived in shabby little bungalows and the like.

We ran around like crazy, running and jumping and playing kickball and riding our bikes and doing crazy tricks on them. In the winter the basketball court across the street from my house was turned into an ice rink and for a while, we had a next door neighbor who made a big ice rink between our houses.

We had a bunch of elementary schools in Sault Ste. Siberia. I went to Stinkin’ Linkin’ across the street. There was also Washington, Garfield, McKinley, Jefferson and, a couple that honored local folks, Malcolm and, uh, Finlayson, named after my grandfather. I think the only ones left these days are Lincoln and Washington. McKinley was replaced by a fancy assisted living facility. Garfield is constantly targeted by developers to be morphed into apartments and stores, etc. but seems like nothing ever happens. Jefferson was torn down. Not sure about Malcolm but Finlayson is now a charter school owned by the tribe. My grandfather would probably have approved.

I have vague memories of attending the festivities surrounding the Finlayson School grand opening. I was in third grade. The Washington School sixth grade band played and my cousin Mac was in that band. The band was terrible according to The Commander. The story goes that it was so bad my dad was totally cracking up in silent laughter. The always proper (in those days) Comm was mortified until she noticed that my aunt Katie, a pillar of the family and community, was ALSO silently cracking up. Okay then…

I have been married to the GG for more years than I am strong enough to count but he doesn’t know enough about Sault Ste. Siberia geography to know where the South Side is. Oh well.

One Response to “Dawn”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Great memories! I too like reading local authors who set their stories in my area. (usually Seattle or Tacoma and sometimes my city is mentioned!)