|Butch, Joy, Sharon Swanson at 2012 CHS Reunion|
And the wheel comes full circle in more ways than one. When Joy and I were both attending Chapleau High School, we collaborated on a weekly high school column for the long gone Mid North News. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org MJM
By Joy (Evans) Heft
Butch grew up at the corner of Birch (Main) and Aberdeen Streets two doors from the Evans family home on Aberdeen. In fact at one time their back yard backed onto our side yard but sometime before my recollection there was a smaller home moved to the property which was lived in by the Lapp and Moyle families and later the McEachren family. Butch was a bit younger than my brother, Jim, and a bit older than me. I remember playing with the neighbourhood children, mostly out-of-doors. Sometimes the girls and boys played together – i.e. the girls were allowed. Kick the can and hide and seek numbered among the games and I remember one fierce water pistol fight when I would have been about ten. I think I got called in by my mother likely because it seemed unbecoming.
Our back shed was a frequent venue for some of our games and the loft provided a great hiding place as well as a place to explore to discover what was stored up there. Jim and his friends used the shed more in winter when the boys were a bit older to play hockey or take shots on goal there. When I occasionally played in the Pellow home I had a terrified fascination for the bear rug in one of the rooms.
One of my memories is of a solar eclipse when our family, the Moyles and the Pellows congregated in the Moyles’ back yard early in the morning with our rolls of film through which to view the sun moving behind the moon without damaging our eyes. I think we were about ten at the time and it made a lasting impression. Butch and I reminisced about this event during a recent visit.
Another of our activities was going as a group to the Saturday afternoon movies.
My Aunt, Sister Gabriella, recounted an incident which she found very cute. Butch had come over to our place before some of us were heading off to the ‘show’ as we called it. Butch piped up, ‘I have Joy’s money’. Why he had my money, a dime at the time, I think, is anyone’s guess, but it presaged his lifelong habit of generosity from which many of us benefited in many ways, not the least of which were the number of Chapleau parties held at his and Brigitte’s Toronto home, the most recent in October 2014.
|CHS "Girl Cadets" from 1950s with CO Neil Ritchie|
|Butch, Jim Evans, Doug Slievert, Roger Mizuguchi, Donna Lane, Alison McMillan, Joanne Moyle|
|Butch and Roger at the Eighteen|
|Butch with record player, Gordon Bolduc, Mabel Doyle|
During ensuing years when Butch and others of us were young adults home working in Chapleau for the summer we would ‘hang out’ together enjoying our freedom in the Northern landscape creating lasting memories of our treasured roots.
His appreciation of that youth and the personalities that enhanced it were evidenced in many ways for me not the least of which were the letters he wrote regarding some of my own family members at the time of their death in which he recalled some of their attributes and/or idiosyncracies and the events involving them that impacted his own life. That he would take the time from his busy schedule to share these is again a mark of his enduring generosity of spirit.