Brendle (brendle) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Welland, Ontario

There are a lot of big cities along the shores of the five Great Lakes. Detroit, Windsor, Duluth, the Sue, Thunder Bay, Chicago, Milwaukee, Sarnia, Cleveland. Many had no water route to the ocean that the Great Lakes drain into. Unless they didn't mind Pocahontas-ing over Niagara Falls. They built some locks to lower a ship from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. And an associated canal. The Welland Canal. They took a bunch of poor Irish and set them to work. This was back when the Irish were the lowest of the low on the totem pole. No one counted the natives of the New World in that survey, of course. They plopped a bunch of housing and a few bars right at the center point of the planned waterway. The ditch diggers dug. The boats got through. They carried steel, cars and other heavy sounding things. When they were done, someone noticed that an entire, organized workforce was sitting around with nothing to do. They built factories. The Irish got some good jobs, they hired the French and the Italians to do the rest. The English owned em, Irish ran em, the new underclass got cancer and died. My grandfather was from Italy. That's what happened to him.

About the same time that he was dying, Canada, America, and Mexico created a 'free Trade' pact. My home town suffered and lost all but 2 of it's factories. There was once dozens of factories, and thousands of people working, now there is 800 jobs. 300 of them are done in a few months when the Atlas closes. My zio (uncle in Italian) wrote up his first resume in thirty-five years last week. There are fifty thousand people here, 62 bars, a very popular psych unit, a decaying downtown, rampant suicide, a transit system that has sold it's busses and runs vans, a huge Hell's Angels presence with the Ward family presiding, three strip bars, two whore houses, and a whole bunch of call centers that pay minimum wage - $6.85/h. And that's the good stuff.

I left here when I was seventeen. I traveled a lot, but eventually settled in the west, where, over stories we sometimes recant, I met graye. He introduced me to cybersphere. And many years later to livejournal.

I can't wait to get back to Victoria. I'm in Welland visiting my family, visiting some old friends from the bad old days, and taking a look at my old motorcycle to see if I can get it running again. There's a lot of time to kill, and not much to kill it with. Being here can be soul blackening, but I've actually been getting by just fine.

I'm excited to get back because I want to work some, I drive hack for Blue Bird Taxi, and make decent money at it, I also want to see everyone again. I live in Chinatown and love it. I have a good girl there, Chelle, and can't wait to jump back in with her. And my god, I miss the Ocean and the Mountains. (Sorry, I don't usually capitalize common nouns like that. I just really miss it.) Anyone who has lived close to either knows what I'm talking about.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.