the train to SSM
March 31, 2013
1st entry – apriglianesi
To read this series in chronological order,
click on the category title – apriglianesi.
I was in Sault Ste Marie the last week-end of March and went driving down old Highway 17. There is now a by-pass north of Garden River and Echo Bay and the old highway had become the local road through the small hamlets and reservations along the St. Mary’s River. I always drive the old highway, because it’s the road I remember from when I lived there. It’s also the road with the declaration – THIS IS INDIAN LAND – scrawled on the rusting train trestle over the Garden River.
Parallel to the old highway are the CPR train tracks and for the first time, I realized that those were the tracks we rode on the last leg of the journey that brought us from Aprigliano to Sault Ste Marie.
We had begun the journey in Aprigliano. As my childhood friend said, the walk from our home to the town square where we got into a friend’s car was like a death march. He and I held hands as we walked in silence. Two little boys not knowing what the future would bring.
We got onto a train in Cosenza and the next stop was Naples where we boarded the boat that brought us to Halifax. And from there we were put onto trains to make our way to Northern Ontario and my grandparents’ house.