The Birthday Kidnapping to Fort Edmonton

V had her birthday and the two women working with her at the library took the day off to ‘kidnap’ her for a birthday treat.  We agreed I should drive.  (I had a four-door, 2012 Ford Focus, with a sun roof.  I had to read the instruction book to work some features of the car.)

We headed to Fort Edmonton, a sprawling historical centre with a working train, reconstructed buildings, artifacts, and people in period costume acting as interpreters.  We went by train to the actual fort then walked through streets representing a different time period in Edmonton’s history.  We began in 1885 before coming down to 1905, then finishing in 1920.  We read the signs for each exhibit and made a few discoveries:

  • It seems people make their way to Winnipeg then high-tail it to Edmonton for better opportunities.  Some things don’t change.
  • The 1905 street had a tent city.  Edmonton expanded rapidly with people settling in tents while waiting for their housing.  Again some things don’t seem to change.
  • We visited a penny arcade in the 1920’s street.  According to the signs children and ‘decent women’ did not visit them.  I wanted to try the shooting range, but the place was full of school kids.  At least I had the opportunity to flout convention.
  • Speaking of convention, one of the interpreters portraying a WWI era nurse spoke with us like we stepped into the same century, even stating she voted for prohibition.  Her tenses remained present like things happened right at that time.  I nearly wanted to tell her the story of another WWI nurse from a good family, running off with the Irish chauffeur.  (At least she’s not as bad as the eldest sister.)

The birthday caper continued with a visit to Whyte Avenue.  We ate at a Greek restaurant in an area I can best describe as a combination of Osbourne, Corydon, and a little bit of the Exchange district in Winnipeg then fed  steroids.  V looked blissfully happy with her caper/birthday celebration.  Seeing someone happy is a great way to spend my last night in Edmonton.

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