Hello from a former Eagle-ite.
by Vince Bury Jr.
(Grand Bend, Ontario)
Sunrise, South Western Ontario Style
I was fascinated to find a reference to Eagle Ontario on the internet. The three locations you mention hold fond memories for me. I grew up there when those locations were quite different.
The community centre was my first school, a one room school for all eight grades. What a magical way to have started my education.
The church was our "New" school and it boasted two rooms. We transferred to the new school when I was in grade three. What extravagance! Grade three's only had to share a room with three other grades.
It was my first introduction to the concept of "We" and "Them". We, in room one were different than Them, in room two. It was a hard lesson at first, until grade five when I became one of Them.
As for Swain's Greenhouses, even back then, they were enchanted. Mr. Swain gave me my first job. I worked with his sons for 25 cents per hour. At the age of twelve I had an income, a boss and responsibilities.
Before I was hired by Mr. Swain I had intimate knowledge of one of his greenhouses. It was set furthest south, just off the road. At the very end of this particular greenhouse, partially surrounded by pine trees, was a window panel about four feet off the ground that had half the window missing. In this greenhouse he grew cucumbers. Each year, from the time I learned of this, I would visit that spot and help myself to a cucumber.
I found it strange that the window was never repaired and that the vines would be empty of cucumbers, each year, to a depth of at least the length of the arm of a child. It was only later that I realized the glass panel had been cut and edges sanded to prevent cuts.
Mr. Swain's strategy became obvious after a time. When you place mischievous children in proximity to that much glass, there is a good probability that someone would eventually get badly cut. He allowed us our forbidden fruit, protected us from harm as best as he could and the price of keeping us safe from ourselves was a few cucumbers.
The taste of those cucumbers was unmatched by any I'd ever had and unmatched by any I've had since.
Eagle was a wonderful place to grow up.Thank you so much, Vince, for a glimpse of your childhood spent in Eagle - I loved your story about Mr Swain.