The years when our boys were overseas was hard for a lot of families. Whispers would run through the neighbourhood when the boy on the bike* would ride through and knock on doors. When I was small, Mother and I were walking somewhere when we heard a scream followed by an intense wailing. I looked up at Mother but, from the look she was giving me, I knew not to ask. I will never forgot that sound.
By 1946, things were starting to become more normal. Mother heard that Barbara Ann Scott was coming to town to skate at Border Cities Arena. She hadn’t known Barbara but Mother grew up in Ottawa and she and Barbara had skated in some of the same arenas at the same time. All of her memories of Barbara and her skill were glowing. I had never seen Mother so excited about anything. By the day of the event, I expected to see an otherworldly creature on ice. The reality exceeded expectation. Barbara was beautiful and glamourous and the definition of grace in motion. She embodied the elegance of her sport. The ease with which she flowed over the glassy ice and executed the moves required with smooth precision was astounding. The world around us disappeared as Mother and I watched Barbara execute her moves. For years after, we followed Barbara closely and cheered for her when she won the European Championships and Olympics. We so wanted to travel to see her when she skated in Chicago in the 50’s, but timing did not work in our favour. The Border Cities event was something we talked about until Mother passed in 1971.
Muriel – 84 – Windsor
Picture from the Star – click here to see source.
*The “boy on the bike” would deliver telegrams to the wives and mothers of soldiers.
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