And so we moved to Canada's capital. I silently sobbed from Lloydminster to Lashburn, my father's birthplace, and a distance of about 25 miles, and then I just couldn't sustain the sadness for the loss of my first love anymore. I was, after all, moving to Ottawa, the capital of Canada! Totally exotic and beyond any pre-conceived, not conceived, and any other -eived
notions. Ottawa had big department stores and skyscrapers. For a child of the prairies, this was heady stuff. Oh. Ya. It was also the capital of Canaduh...what-evvv-errr.
We arrived in early summer - time enough to get enroled in school -advancing a year to accommodate the fact that the prairie system only took 12 years, but in Ontario, kids needed an extra year to learn everything . Who knows? And 50 years later? I don't care. I got to skip a grade.
And all of a sudden I was a big city kid, knowing absolutely no one and in high school. I learned very quickly how absolutely alone one can feel in the middle of 1000 people. And immediately on the heels of that lesson, I learned that the creepy term "Peeping Tom" was rooted in reality. As in someone was in our backyard, staring at me sleeping, night after night. CrapandshitI'mscared!
So big city living meant that this whack job (WJ) liked to look through the bedroom windows of teen-aged girls. I discovered this thanks to the next door neighbour's dog, whose barking woke me one night. In the morning we discovered that pervert WJ had dragged cement cinder blocks under my window. The next time it was huge sawed off tree stump, and then later a cement sewer conduit...all under my bedroom window, so he could stand on the peeping aide and watch. Me. Sleep. I was 13.
I won't drag this particularly tawdry incident out. The police were called, stake outs were set up...did I say I had to act as bait one night? I did.
But he was in fact caught just down the road from our home, on a ladder, peeping into the 2nd story window of a blonde 14 year old.
I don't know if he ever went to jail, or court, or even received much more than a reprimand. I hope so.
I know when I hit "publish" I will be sharing this incident with friends, acquaintances, and a few strangers. I've decided, after much consideration, that I'm okay with that.
So, my first year in Ottawa was interesting to be sure,and I think that experience may have influenced me in some ways.
Ed...to be continued