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Friday, September 2, 2016

boyhood sketch 6. I OWNED THE CITY

Diana Sweets Restaurant 
old downtown St. Paul Street
At age nine and ten I owned the streets of St. Catharines, Ontario. I knew them. I rode them on my one speed bicycle. Alleys, lanes, quiet treed streets, and heavy traffic lanes presented no challenge. I would peddle uptown to St. Paul Street. It was really downtown St. Catharines but I called it uptown for no known reason. It seemed uptown because I peddled uphill to Church Street from our home on Clark Street. Coy Bros. Hardware was one of my favourite places. Entering the main doors from James Street we headed to the rear of the store where there was a counter with glass top and front face. Inside the case were tiny metal farm animals carefully painted. Each purchase was a mere ten cents when I was ten years old. Diana Sweets was the best place to eat. Our family seldom ate out but unknown to anyone, I could slip into the restaurant and for twenty-five cents (two-bits we called it) I had a huge high slice of Boston Cream Pie. There I would be, a small boy in a large dining booth, alone with a pie slice as large as my face.

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