Lake Simcoe, ON - Malka Rozencwajg
Reflecting upon the era preceding 1970.. I recall a retreat upon Lake Simcoe’s shoreline setup as a break from urban living for postwar emigres from Europe. Adults reminisced about their world preceding the war. Children partakers spoke of times ahead within the affluent ‘60s.
The kids partook daily in swimming lessons within a section buoyed from a drop into deep water as adult relatives might congregate to socialize away from their charges. I was no tadpole the last year attended and had we returned I would’ve been CIT age. Long before I was drawn during free-times to fish from the dock in barely head-covering water harbouring plenty of inedible-sized fishes. Routinely I'd hook flat sunfish too small for frying— My mother frequently chided I left my catches set adrift back into the lake with sore lips removing fish hooks. I recall patrons either smiling amused via my vain efforts or others watching might grimace in agreement with my mother—
We didn't boat in the small buoyed marina.. however I retain images of billowing in the near shoreline breezes summer dresses clad via my mother and another setting up a tea trolley a summer friend and I at times wandered to. Our mothers also donned sun shielding hats despite seated under a shade tree to not tan smiling warmly while overlooking swimmers and recollect during the evening a crystal dispenser containing alcoholized beverage sat upon the trolley utilized for afternoon teas during after dusk socials whence adults alongside some staff and of age youth partook in open air dancing to wartimes rag standards. I recall lying in a bed in our assigned cabin overhearing in the distance songs of past eras one might waltz to throughout the evening at times lulling me into sleep. At the approach of 10:00 sounds of the social fainted.. Partakers dispersed—
I recall crafts activities in the shape of sculpture and clay vase coiling sessions along with arranging mosaic tiles in metal forms.. to name a few. In a gathering hall having a stage annexed to a parlor stocked with relic novels I performed baton routines Friday evenings to rows of seated audiences. We had a theatre group I was picked to join after a reading of paragraphs from an ancient novel. During a heartfelt reading I was catapulted into the role of a male villain to the embarrassment of my mother vocalizing such a role to be unbecoming for any female apologetically to her social group citing needlework and of course partaking in tea-time discourse to be desirable indulgences for developing future ladies.
I recall the waters edge drew as did always my futile fishing attempts—
Reentering the cemented city near the end of summer at the start of each new school year I experienced a sense my world changed and I matured.