Monday, December 22, 2014


Caledon, Ont., Christmas Day, 1988

IT BEGAN SNOWING DURING ON THE WAY TO TERRA COTTA. We were driving to my sister's place in the country and it had been a green Christmas up till now. That would change quickly.

Holidays with my sister were a refuge. It was almost two years since mom had died, and we were still feeling bereft, so these Christmas retreats up in the woods were solace. My girlfriend would always fly to California to spend the holidays with her parents so I was happy to get away from the apartment and the city and feeling alone.

Caledon, Ont., Christmas Eve 1988

The snow started falling on the drive north from the city, dusting the fields outside Georgetown. I was still working at the record store, but I was just a few months from being fired from what would be my last retail job and begin working full time as a photographer. I took my camera everywhere I went, afraid to miss the chance at any shot that might help me build a reputation.

We'd just moved into the place in Parkdale - the loft with the hostile landlord and the thugs he'd hired as superintendents. Eventually I'd end up there alone, the girlfriend and the landlord long gone, and the heyday of my career as a photographer would happen in those three drafty rooms overlooking Queen Street. And all that time my trips north to Terra Cotta were the closest I'd ever get to a vacation from either Toronto or the anxiety of freelance work and bachelorhood.

The next day the show had dusted every tree up and down the road. I took the dogs for a walk and enjoyed that fantastic winter silence, broken only by our footsteps, the panting of the dogs, and the shutter of my Spotmatic.

Caledon, Ont., Christmas Day, 1988


No comments:

Post a Comment