Friday, April 03, 2009

Dipping into Memories

The wind blew and the clouds swirled, and it was definitely not a day for the garden. Most things are just staying sheltered, but there is a little clump of daffodils that promise to be blooming in a few days......and I have a scarlet wastepaper tin sitting in the big tub, full of forsythia in full bloom, as well as a couple of pruned branches from the maple trees. They have lost their vivid colour as the catkins emerge, but make a nice contrast to the gold and green of the forsythia.

Charles calls this bathroom the greenhouse, - it is such a lovely bright place for plants, - I can't resist.

But this is not what I sat down to write about.

Because it was such a discouraging day outside my attention turned to a project Charles and I are working on together. Over the years he has been faithful about interviewing old veterans and pioneers, all of them on tape. Recently we bought a machine that magically turns tape into disk!!!

Currently we are transforming a series of tapes done on various Remembrance Days when the still active veterans stash a few bottle of rum in their vehicle and are off for the afternoon to visit shut in comrades. And what a glorious time they have.

Towards the end of the afternoon the bottles of rum are sadly depleted, but the spirits they contained have morphed into all the nostalgic men who cherish their bittersweet memories.

The last visitee on the 11th of November, 1995, was a loquacious old military driver who had been many places, seen many things and had a wonderful grasp of all these memories.

The two visitors were no slouches themselves when it came to the retelling of WW11 adventures, and the tape drew us both into the computer room as it was being transformed into a medium that could be burned.

This was not the same Remembrance Day when a slightly unsteady visiting veteran tripped and required a visit to one of the local doctors, who shook his head in disbelief and reproof. Such goings on amongst the most sober and respected men of the village.

Of the three men who laughed, told tall tales, enjoyed the fellowship of shared experiences, only Charles is left, and so the voices that have been stilled lived again and the memories of that day were fresh once more. When they are burned to CD's we will give them to sons and daughters, and the sound of their dear familiar voices will give the same bittersweet moments to their children and grandchildren, ad infinitum....

1 comment:

The Weaver of Grass said...

The very nature of the word veteran means that they are getting less and less. I have an old friend in his eighties, a veteran of the war in Burma - he keeps it all alive for other old soldiers but each year they get less.
I loved your forsythia. The other day I went into a room where there was a white jug filled with cydonia japonica blossoms - it absolutely made my day - suc a small thing too.