Sunday, September 27, 2015

Amazing connections 1

Part 1
In the year that I was born, my grandparents and their friends built St. Michael's German Catholic Church two blocks from where I now live. It was an amazing feat for a small struggling group of immigrants. The church's interior is dominated by huge sad-eyed mosaics, created and installed by a Catholic nun and her assistants brought over from Europe for this project. I seem to remember that this artist was the birth sister of the first priest of the parish, but my grandparents are no longer here to confirm or correct.

(Why is it that by the time we're interested in family history, the family members that knew that history, and talked about it seemingly endlessly when we were kids, are no longer alive? I propose that from henceforth a compulsory part of grade school curriculum be to interview one's parents and grandparents and document this stuff!)

Part 2
My neighbour, Victor, celebrated his 90th birthday on September 4. All his contemporaries are gone now, and only his two sons remain to keep him company and give help when needed. When Victor was a young boy in the 1930s, the circus came to town. He told me about his class rushing to their schoolroom windows, all eyes on the empty lot across the street, all feet itching to get out there and watch the roustabouts set up the tents. (Note: alas, the circus pix are not Victor's; they're googled.)

 The kids would line up to see the wagons roll in carrying the big cats. 

No insurance concerns back then; the elephants were close enough to touch!

And where did this thrilling circus set up?
On the site where St. Michael's Church now stands.
Connections ~ MAGICAL!
Zirkus Magi

Thank you, Victor!
(And why did it take me 19 years to have a conversation with this interesting man?)