I was reading a news article recently and it mentioned Harriett Todd PS in Orillia. The person being featured attended there before going off to eventually be a medical doctor. High praise for a public school and interesting that that person decided to include this little school in his comments.
I thought I would look up on Google Map what the school looks like now.
I was 7 when we moved to Orillia – and we lived, at least it seemed to me on the edge of town. We had no sidewalks, just drainage ditches on either side of the road. The local convenience store, or as it was referred to, the corner store, was kiddy corner from the house. By the way, Batman premiered on TV that year – in black and white of course – and if I remember correctly the Beatles were just being discovered.
I really liked the house we lived in. I’ve tried to think why I found it so appealing. It had a carport – I liked that – it had a big front yard with lots of big maple trees that rained leaves down each autumn. My best friend, John Giles, lived across the street and we did almost everything together. I wonder if he wondered what happened to me in the summer when I went to my grandmother’s cottage or the camp?
Ah, yes, Camp Newport. I have only fond memories of that place. The big old white house, the bats up on the third floor (I wonder who built that place?) and of course the porcupines wandering around the grounds, the wonderfully sandy lake, the big red pines, the wonderful smell of a campfire, the singing of camp songs and the joy of just being able to wander. I remember Butch, he lived in Barrie and was the lifeguard. He seemed 45 years old to me but he was probably 18.
Harriett Todd school was a good experience too. Having left St John New Brunswick seemed to be either surrounded in fog, snow, or rain, this part of the country was sunny and seemed so much more modern. And then there was Mrs. Timms. My grade two teacher lived two doors from us. She was a wonderful Christian woman and I stayed with her occasionally when Mom and Dad were traveling. Apart from wanting to cook me eggs I really liked her and liked staying with her.
Here’s the house – grabbed off of Google Maps..
I have nothing but happy memories from this house. Here is where Mom and I spent Sunday evenings eating TV dinners on TV trays watching Disney, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and Sir Francis Drake. Seems silly to say it but I loved those evenings and those little traditions.