by Sharon M. Kennedy
I was eight years old in 1955. I don’t remember much about the parade and festivities associated with the centennial celebration of the Soo Locks. What I do remember is men were encouraged to grow beards, something Dad would never do. Women got out their sewing machines and began making dresses reminiscent of the old days. Aunt Kate, Mom’s sister who lived in the Soo, made a fancy dress for herself and a plainer one more suited to Mom who lived on a farm. You can tell who’s who by looking at the photo.
In the afternoon, everyone gathered at the old homestead where Mom was born. Her brother, Frank, was a few years older and he might have been born there, too. Maybe even Aunt Kate. I don’t know much about family history. I never asked anyone when I was young, and Mom and her siblings have long since passed on. This photo was taken in the front yard to the south. The field is unrecognizable now. The last time Uncle Steve brush-hogged it was in the early 1990s.
My cousin, Jim, is between my aunt and Mom. He died in 1986. Everyone loved him. Jim was clever and kind, unlike his brothers who were miserable drunks even when they were young. And so it goes. We live the years we’re given, then pass on and are grassed down and forgotten except by those who loved us the most.