Yesterday I drove up to Burke with my wife. She loves to go to Burke with me. Candy and I have been married for just one year, and I love sharing my past with her. She was born and raised in Baltimore and has always been a city girl. However, she loves the Valley and especially loves Burke.Figure that one out!
Anyway, as we drove up the canyon I "entertained"her with the history of Burke Canyon. We parked in front of what was once Lemiux's Grocery store.Ah yes,the grocery store. My first four years of life were spent in Burke before we bolted for the city life of Wallace,but I can remember that grocery store like it was yesterday.
The year before I was born, my Mother bought some Chrismas ornaments from Lemiux's.Several years ago when I was still living in Seattle, I went into a Christmas store that featured antique ornaments.My eyes bugged out of my head when I saw ornamnets identical with my chidhood ornaments for sale for lots of money. I called my Mother that night and said"you don't by chance have those old Christmas ornaments from Burke,do you?"She indeed did, and they were still in their original box.When she asked if I wanted them, I said yes please.
No, they are not for sale at any price, for they represent something far more important to me than money. They are my Christmas past.The days of magic,unbridled joy,the shere joy of seeing the glistening globes sparkling on our family tree. I have pictures from our Burke days of those trees with those ornaments hanging on the family treee. Ah, if we could only recapture that feeling today, that magic, that feeling of peace.
Ok, I know I was suppposed to write about the Bronx today, and I soon will, But this is where my pen(or should I sayKeys) lead me today.For you see, when I go to Burke, I see it not as it is now, but as it was.I feel the lives of those who once walked the street. I see the smiles of the Lemieux Brothers as they looked down at a four year old boy. I see our house buried in snow,windows frosted over, but I also feel the warmh inside that old house, and I see the Tree shining ,those old ornaments an eternal testimony for all the hopes and dreams of those who once inhabited the streets of Burke..