December 7, 2017
after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
Back in the late 60s and throughout the 70s, every time I went back to Canada to visit my parents, I would fly into Pearson Airport, take the bus down to the Islington Subway station and hop the eastbound train to Jane. I’d get off at Jane and Bloor and walk the 5 long blocks to my grandparents’ house and stay with them. I would visit with them; I would visit with my cousins; and I would visit with Frank.
It was great to fly in and get into town on public transportation. The airport bus and the subway allowed me to get to know my grandparents and to maintain my friendship with Frank and later his family. (At Norma’s memorial, Frank mentioned how through all the years – from grade-school on – we were able to stay in touch.) Toronto’s bus and train systems were an amazingly cheap and convenient way of getting around. I was a poor university student for many of those years and public transportation gave me options. (I remember meeting my cousin Gabe, after he and his family had moved from Calabria to Toronto, on the subway and us going out to lunch.)
Also, because of public transportation, I was able to nurture and expand my friendships into the extended Zinga family; I met, two or three times a year, with my cousins Gina and Renato. And 50 years later, I still see Renato and keep in touch with Gina through social media. I built a whole friendship group in Toronto and public transportation allowed me to come into town and visit with these friends regularly.
And, 50 years later, I’m repeating the process. This time around, I’m talking the UP – Union Station/Pearson Airport – train from the airport to the Bloor St. station and walking up to Frank’s. The trip cost $2.00. And it’s a 10 minute walk from the train station to Frank’s. This morning I did the reverse.