Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in an event organized by the Shuswap Writers Association and the Shuswap Naturalist Club. The event was well-attended and it was wonderful to read from Mnemonic: A Book of Trees to such an enthusiastic audience. There was also time to explore the area around Salmon Arm and Sunday morning found John and me driving down into the north Okanagan to buy cheese in Armstrong. We spent time in Enderby, driving slowly up and down its quiet streets. In the soft light of a Sunday morning, it was easy to see why people settled in the area. A wide arable valley, for instance — and evidence of a strong agricultural history in the fertilizer plant, the old barns and farmhouses. And a lot of brick! Houses, businesses, even this beautiful old drill hall:
There must be a reason for all the brick, I said, and sure enough we found ourselves on Brickyard Road, running more or less parallel to the Vernon-Sicamous Highway and the old Salmon Arm road. Why a brickyard and why Enderby? Places retain these small traces of their pasts, a moment when the sun illuminates a building in a particular way so that its bones, old and elegant, are revealed. And like an interesting elderly person, you want to talk to them, find out their story. When I googled “brickyard enderby”, I got the Enderby Museum site but somehow I couldn’t actually get there. The site is down or defunct, it seems. So this is a story that will have to wait.
And just so it’s clear that these rambles into fresh territory aren’t all about history, I’ll show you the shoes I found in Kamloops. They’re handmade in Spain and the style is called Rococo. Now for a suitable grand ball and a velvet gown to go with them…