When Dave Heath wrote the preface to his seminal A Dialogue With Solitude in 1962, I doubt he thought his words would ring as true as they do 57 years hence:
Mr. Heath was an extraordinary street photographer in his heyday (late 50’s, most of the 60’s) in New York City and Chicago. Always working candidly, he managed to capture the true emotional states of his subjects. A common sentiment runs like a thread throuh all his images: solitude. Even when people are in a big city and surrounded by people, they’re all alone. You can pick up the melancholic aloneness throughout his entire body of work.
Picton, the seat of Prince Edward County is known for its bucolic setting, great restaurants, quirky boutiques and overall great vibes. Over the past few years, Picton—along with the rest of PEC—has started to gentrify. Retirees and tourists from Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and beyond are moving in, setting up, and driving prices out of reach for long-time residents.
It’s the same old story that’s being played out in cities and towns all over the “free” world. (Turns out that free is getting expensive.)
An early morning walk off the main drag reveals what’s changed, what’s changing and what will surely change in the years to come.
I really like this place; I hope it doesn’t lose its soul.
So a little over two weeks ago, I hit one of those milestone ages (you can guess). When asked by my wife what I wanted for my birthday, I really couldn’t think of anything. I consider myself very lucky and blessed and certainly don’t need more “things.”. So I told her that I wanted an experience.
“But what kind of experience?”
“I dunno. I’m sure you’ll think of something.”
Ever since we moved to Ottawa 11 years ago, I’ve always wanted to take one of those biplane tours offered out of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, but my wife never wanted to let me go.
“They’re not safe!”
“How old are those planes? They’re going to fall out of the sky…”
And on and on…
So on my birthday, I was quite chuffed to see that my experience gift was indeed just that: a biplane tour of Gatineau Park and the Ottawa River. Woo-hoo!
I guess that means i’ve fulfilled my usefulness and am now considered expendable… oh well.
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