“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength,” so said author and feminist Betty Friedan in her 1993 book The Fountain of Age. I would like to add to her wise words…that it is also a new stage of growth. The Living History Project, along with all the myriad activities and learning opportunities at the Atwater Library Digital Media Lab headed by Community Outreach Librarian extraordinaire Eric Craven and invited guests, offers the motley crew of seniors, students, university professors, filmmakers, advisors, and whoever else drops in and decides to stay and get involved, an amazing opportunity for growth.

Inside the venerable Atwater Library…that present day incarnation of the 19th century Mechanics’ Institute movement…we are challenged to try stuff and see where it goes…. and thus, we find skills and hidden talents we didn’t realise we possessed. We also find we suck at doing some things but we battle on regardless; since the whole process is, at its core, a lot of hard work and a big bunch of fun. “Try it you might like it…or not” is the mantra we live by. Growth is as much about finding out how bad you are at doing stuff as well as how good. During my time there, I’ve made some awful films, helped create a website, written poetry and a riddle-poem with accompanying digital images in the spirit of the Vikings but otherwise has nothing to do with them, performed an early morning monologue about a famous apple and my connection to the neighbourhood for a group of visiting Oral Historians in Montreal for an international conference, learnt how to create an interactive map (with the help of a kindly student and the ubiquitous Google) and even written a book, a draft of which you can explore below (excuse the typos). The next challenge is to create the actual book…watch this space! But most of all, I’ve found a unique group of people who have become friends and colleagues, who have taught me a lot about myself and what I’m capable of and what I’m not, and about whom I care deeply. Thanks everyone…your enthusiasm, encouragement, support, and respect is greatly appreciated. Onwards and upwards! 





Companion Piece to the Promenade-parlante, October 12, 2018
Work in progress – Every Building Has A Story – Part 1: The Heart Has Reasons, click on the cover icon to access a PDF of the first draft in Word of the storybook containing 30 additional stories with photos.

Tentative publication date: Spring 2019




For the Interactive map showing the location of all 30 buildings or stories in EBHS – The Heart has Reasons, please click here.


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