May 10, 2014

History lessons

We have come a long way / Photo. Lisa King / Near Dryden, Ontario / May 2014
A beautiful place to burn.
Leaving one's mark where one can.
Today's lesson: FUN with Mr. Wendt
Classic King.
This was the place for me.

A hundred year old schoolhouse sits atop a hill in the middle of the bush, perfectly preserved. Time has made it's mark, sure, but charm remains. When Lisa and I rolled up to Johnny Mac's, the new treeplant HQ nestled in the bush just outside of Dryden, Ontario to the northeast, I bee-lined for this very schoolhouse sitting on the edge of the property. Sharp intake of breath upon entering. Soul soaring. Instant peace. The door was unlocked and I stood in awe for many minutes as the smell of time overcame me. Word's cannot express the feeling. I shot many, many rolls in this place though one of them seems to have fallen through the cracks. While enjoying my solitude in the beautiful space, a young man slipped in unnoticed. He made his presence known with a modest clearing of the throat. I was sitting at a desk, a paper mache apple to my right, writing a letter to Simon when I noticed him. We introduced ourselves. He turned out to be the grandson of the Johnny Mac, John McArthur--the owner of the old one room schoolhouse and the very land it sits upon. Nick, the young man, grew up in those very woods I had just roamed and he was about to embark upon his first season as a treeplanter. (He is most likely rookie planting as I type on this warm Saturday, windows throw open). He kindly shot my portrait with the apple balanced on my head in lucky slanted light. I shot a portrait of him standing at the blackboard, pointing to a message he penned ten years prior to our meeting. It read: Dear Grandpa John, Can I own this school later on? It's amazing. I can't remember the rest from memory now, as the photos we shot of each other were lost in the shuffle. I couldn't help but feel I had stood in that schoolhouse before. Not in this lifetime, but another.

* Kiev 60 / 220 expired NPC 160