Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Memorable Day When I Was Eight

Perfect attendance at Sunday School had its reward the year I turned eight.  Of course, since my parents never missed a day of church in their lives, this was not a major accomplishment on my part.  Those of us with a pristine record were told we could be taking a trip to Toronto to see the sights for the day.  Mr. Kennedy, the Sunday School superintendent, picked us up in his blue station wagon.  While the details of the day are crystal clear in my mind, my companions are not, although I'm certain my next oldest brother was probably along for the ride.

The day didn't start out particularly well.  I'm not sure if I had a bladder infection or what the issue was, but twenty miles from home I had to pee like a racehorse.  But as I was as shy as a church mouse, I suffered all the way to just north of Toronto, the best part of three hours.  Finally I could restrain no longer, and burst into tears.  When the hosts realized my malady, they made a fortuitous pit stop.  I've never been so relieved (quite literally).  I do recall coming out of the restroom a new man, and being met with a bowl of chocolate tapioca  pudding (we always just had plain tapioca at home, so that was a major treat and sticks in my mind.)

The first stop we made was at the old Toronto Zoo.  This was the era when animals were confined in relatively small crowded cages.  But it was my first view of a lot of exotic animals that I'd only seen in books, to that point.

Next we went to the Ontario Science Center.  Here we saw all manner of amazing sights and fun experiments.  The static generator is the one I recall most impressively.  You touched the silver globe and your hair all stood on end -- yes, I still had hair at that point.  I also recall the plaster casts of the various stages of a human embryo development.  I thought them wickedly wonderful.

I then recall we toured a naval ship in the Toronto harbour.  I don't remember too many details here except that the ship and all its components were painted a dark battleship grey colour.

I'm quite sure there must have been another meal offered that afternoon, but its particular details escape me.

In the evening we went to Ontario Place, a new amusement park at the time.  The entertainment that night was Mr.Tommy Hunter.  We didn't have TV at home, but I was aware I was in the presence of one of Canada's finest entertainers in my eight year old mind.

I still marvel how so much was packed into one day, and at the generosity of the Kennedys to have taken a crew of country bumpkins into the heart of the city to see the sights.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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