Hometown Dreams: Sky & Sea

My prairie roots were intertwined with people from various sociological, ethnic and cultural backgrounds who shared an upbringing in and around a rural east-central Alberta community.  Our great-grandparents and grandparents immigrated to Canada at the turn of the century, mine in 1902.   Their children, my parent’s generation remained and built a vital community, their efforts culminating after WWII with the boom of the 1950’s.  But the Boomer generation left home for the sake of further education and employment in larger centers and many towns faltered.  The subsequent development of corporate chains such as Canadian Tire and later Wal-Mart shut down what was left of locally owned businesses and the proverbial “Main Street” storefronts were abandoned.  Hardware stores, clothing shops, and the local five and dime store were no longer viable. Even grain elevators, historically the essential visual signifier of rural Alberta, were replaced with large more efficient, centralized systems.