July 20 Tuesday
Landing on Mars
Letter from Danielle to Ralph, addressed c/o their grandfather in Holland, postmarked Pointe Claire, 25 VII 1976
July 23-4 1976
I hope this gets to you at grandfathers otherwise.... You haven't written yet boy!!
The news here is dull. The gov't made a new offer in salary to the teachers. The Africans pulled out of the Olympics and Holland won another field hockey game. Your marks came and you failed Paquette's class and passed everything else (133). I actually passed german + everything else.
The local news: Mike got a job at a camp for those retarded kids from Beaconsfield [definitely not PC. The most likely intended reference is to a camp run by the Garry Taylor Centre, a popular source of part-time employment, especially among John Abbott students, most of whom should not have been trusted with children of any kind]..... Pete Fiset is going out with Rachel [Rachelle was Mike's ex]...Rob has been arrested and will be on trial for assaulting a cop Aug 21 or there abouts...Alan is a janitor...The Maples Inn has checkered table cloths [not to mention a checkered history] and a new owner etc.
The Rob Fenhoulet [sic] story is he drove to work and in the parking lot a cop asked for ID and registration [it is my recollection of the story that he may have been speeding and that he definitely drove through a stop sign at the turn into the parking lot]. Rob asked "Why". The cop repeated his request. Rob asked "Why". The cop repeated his request with a warning that this was the last time and Rob asked "Why". Cop no. 1 hits Rob. Rob faces him + cop no. 2 hits him. Knock[s] him to the ground. Handcuff him. Throw him in the cop car. Take him to Cop Shop; beat him up some more and throw him in cell and charge him with assault. I got this from Mike + Pete when they visited me last Friday. [I have a recollection of Rob showing me the polaroids his father took of him after his release-- the pictures showed lots of bruising on Rob's face and arms. I think the assault charges were thrown out after Rob pled guilty to a traffic violation and paid a fine.] Last Sunday Mike left for camp + I've seen no one since.
Seen alot [sic. Did everyone think this was one word?] of hockey games [field hockey], 2 soccer games, 3 handball and a round of fencing.
Also went out with 4 of the Stefan Batory kids last Sunday and went to a barbecue with 2 others the Wednesday (last) we got off the ship [the Stephan Batory was a ship of The Polish Line by which Danielle and my parents sailed from London to Montreal]. That was fun. So was the boat. Everyone was 14-18 years old. [Everyone?] I knew some of the older set too 23-32. They were nice. Laval 32 (I think), an ex Maisoneuve [sic] CEGEP teacher, had taken the Trans Siberian Railway too [to ride the TSR was also the ambition of Frank Macdonald, a Californian Danielle had met on the way over to Europe, with whom I ended up travelling after meeting him in London just prior to Danielle's departure]. He's definitely neat.
Quarrelling with mother and the games [Olympic Games] fill my days. What about yours?
P.S. My best to the Grandparents and say happy birthday to Opa for me.
July 26 Monday
Bought a ten speed bike. My weight is 150 lbs.
July 27 Tuesday
Power failure at 5:25 pm because of high winds. I was driving Mich down to Pointe Claire at the time, the storm chased us down St John's from Dollard. [A wall of black clouds, wind and rain].
133. Ralph's note: Wayne Paquette's Philosophy of Existentialism class at John Abbott: Wayne had said at the beginning of the term that a zero in this course would indicate mastery of the subject. I took him at his word, obtained a zero, but failed to get a credit. I have never again put any faith in the word of a defrocked monk (are monks defrocked, or merely de-tonsured? De-cowled? Disrobed?)