Way back in 535 BC a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus made a profound statement, “you can never walk the same path twice”. I believe every one of us who have re-visited old homesteads, neighbourhoods or stomping grounds will attest his words to be not only sage insight but living truth.
The Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor to Detroit, Michigan turned five years old the year I was born; the magnificent bridge was truly an engineering marvel but sadly, due to extreme deterioration from constant heavy truck and car traffic, a new bridge is needed and is presently under construction.
During summer months hundreds of men, women and children flocked to the Ford City bathing beach, a two story wooden structure with a wading pool on one side and a four foot deep swimming pool on the other. A short distance down river was Beaumonts, the best fishing spot for miles around. The beach is now a high rise apartment building and a parking lot has nullified the once well-known fishing paradise.
The Sandwich Coal Company truck came to our house in the fall to dump a load of the black gold into our basement preparing for winter. If we ran short Dad took our wagon and for .25 cents filled a few sacks to get us through the remaining cold nights. The coal company is now a fast food outlet.
A small neighbourhood grocery store where everything was wrapped in brown paper and tied with string is long gone, so too the dairy outlet. I remember a shoe maker shop and five and dime store, even a billiards parlour originally built to accommodate the returning veterans but one by one they disappeared into the dust of the fast paced future. One thing I certainly do not miss is the terrifying howl of the towering air raid siren that was tested every Saturday afternoon.
As time marched on I bought my first car for $150.00, a 1929 Ford. I could fill the tank for a dollar and if needed add a 25 cent quart of oil. If we wanted to haul a boat or trailer we just clamped a ten dollar hitch to the back metal bumper and away we go, with plastic bumpers today the same procedure costs mega bucks. We once followed a path through a dense bush to the nearest park or to the Royal Theater’s Saturday afternoon matinee. The theatre is a flea market and the bush has been replaced by a community of new streets and houses. My old high school is an office building, the bank where we purchased war stamps is a variety store, Wonder Bakeries where I got my first job is history and Father Time has even erased the church where my wife and I were married. Of course I fully understand it is the natural and accepted evolution of progress but it does prove Heraclitus’ adage, you can never walk the same path twice.
Russ Sanders firstname.lastname@example.org