Growing up in the North End, Esther (Dolgoy) Korchynski was a devoted user of St. John’s Library. Even today, this landmark has a special place in her heart, and even driving by stirs memories from long ago. Here is the first of two recollections she shared with us.
“This incident was told to me, since I was too young to have a reliable memory of the entire sequence of events. I do have one visual memory of this day.
“When I was three or four years old, which would have been in 1936 or 1937, we lived on Manitoba Avenue near Salter. One day, I went missing from my home – I simply disappeared. It was late morning or early afternoon when it was noticed that I was gone, and when a quick look around the house and yard turned up nothing, my mother and other family members were very worried and enlisted the neighbours to help in the search. When my dad came home for lunch, he immediately joined in, using his truck to ferry willing volunteers around the neighbourhood. There were very few phones at that time, which made communication difficult.
“Hours passed, and I was nowhere to be found. My family was frantic, and their panic wasn’t eased for more than five hours, until police finally came to tell them that I had been found by a woman who had noticed me wandering on College Avenue. She became concerned, so had taken me into her home and had contacted the authorities.
“When my relieved and grateful family came to collect me, they found me sitting in a highchair, being fed a comforting supper of scrambled eggs. I don’t actually recall walking what must have been over half a mile all by myself, but I do clearly remember those scrambled eggs!
“When I was asked why I had gotten lost and where I was going, I told my family that I was going to the library! You see, my sister (who was 8 years older than me) had taken me there in the past, and I clearly wanted to go again. I made it more than halfway there, too!”