THE LAND OF CEDARS- James Bay

A minor ditty, a memoir for a local writing contest. A winner?- be still my heart, wait and see… 

In the middles pages of my friend, the Vagabond Godfrey’s journal- “Canadian Road Apples”- I found a pressed sprig of cedar, brown and brittle with age.

“Cedar for luck”, I recall he whispered, “a noble and most forgiving tree”. Stalwart in muddy boots and old kilt, headed up Menzies Street with me, I desired a ticket for the lottery.

Being from Wales, Godfrey chuckled at the houses I called “old”. Arm in arm we two strolled, the bustle of December in James Bay. We greased our chins on fish and chips, and slurped milkshakes at a small cafe’. From a corner grocer, bought that ticket, won a free play.

Godfrey pointed out where once he had a “mishap with foam” in the corner laundry-mat. The cedar where ,” Larry the Free Advice Wino” sat.   I never cashed in that free ticket…

Last summer, a rare rainy, misty day. Riding the bus, through the narrow side streets of James Bay.  I looked out from the window grimed with spray, a young man sat, smiling up at me. Why would a lad on a July afternoon, touch his cap and nod to a passing old lady?

He wore baggy plaid shorts, muddy boots,  held a battered suitcase, old faded shirt, same missing tooth. The picture in youth of my Vagabond, Godfrey.

I could not get off at the light, another elder asked, “are you alright”?

Rarely now do I wander about James Bay-but oft sit neath the Advice Wino’s cedar tree, I leave it to you story tellers, share in her mystery.

With thanks to Ginger and Lonewolf- “in my friends house are many toilets”..

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8 thoughts on “THE LAND OF CEDARS- James Bay

  1. This is a heart-tugger, Sheila. Not often, but a few times, in a locale we shared, I have seen my mother, my father and, once, my ex-husband (who remained my friend until his death). Such a flash of joy I felt each time and then such loneliness. So I’m a believer: It was Godfrey. Good luck in the contest, my friend. Let us know.

    • Thanks Janet- I believe it to- that was the true part of the story. It is an odd old neighborhood, I always seem to pick it on very wet days. My home is being renovated, spent the weekend with no cable, drapes, or toilet. Camping but not really..I will let you know if we win.

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