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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

boyhood sketch 2. RUSSIAN RENTERS


My home was at 10 Clark Street, a two-story rental. Mom and Dad and Murray, five years my junior, and I lived on the main floor. We rented the top floor to Mary Pankratz and her sister Elizabeth. Mary's daughter Betty was a four years older than me. They were religious people. In fact they attended the same church that we did, perhaps because mom and dad recommended it to them. They had not been in Canada very long when they came to live at our house. Their stories of persecution in Russia captivated me. Mary's right elbow was misshapen. A bone protruded noticeably. She let me feel the large bone covered with skin. She said that a soldier on horseback had charged at her, slamming her into a wall. These friends were quiet and pleasant. I liked all three of them. I remember that we shared an occasional meal together. Particularly on special days and seasons, Mom made enough food for everyone in our building to enjoy. ( the green house was our house. It seemed so much larger when I was a child)

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