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Re: GG: Canadian weekends and vacations

Hi, Junichi:

Re:  Weekends
The "weekend" consists of two days, Saturday and Sunday.
Many people have these "off" (away from their jobs) if
they work a typical 40-hour work week.  Also, public
schools do not usually run classes during these days, so
students also have those days off.  Sunday also represents
a day of religious observance to many; a day when people
go to church.  The Toronto of Gould's youth was a fairly
conservative town (often refered to as "Toronto, the Good"),
so Sunday did have the feeling of a day of relaxation from
work and, for many, a day centered around religious expression
and/or committment.  During the 50's and 60's, most stores
were not open for business on Sundays as a religious observance.

Re:  "Going to the Cottage"
Yes, this was a pretty typical way to spend a weekend,
or a longer vacation period.  When I was growing up in
Southern Ontario (just 50 miles south of Toronto) during
the 60's, one either went to Lake Huron (great Provincial
Parks!) or Georgian Bay or the Muskoka Lake area for
vacations.  Many people (like GG's folks) owned small
cottages and would spend vacation time boating or swimming
or just relaxing away from the city. Very "reposeful".
And yes, I even recall having gone *ice-fishing* on Lake Simcoe at least
once when I was young (can't really see GG doing that!).  Unfortunately,
Lake Simcoe pretty much "died" as a result of acid rain in the late
60's/early 70's, so it was not considered safe anymore to eat fish taken
from the lake.  I'm not sure if this is still the case.
Can any Torontonians comment?

Re:  GG and Weekends in Ontario
Weekends seemed to be special times for GG.  As a child,
he clearly *hated* attending public school and dreaded going
back there on Monday mornings.  It seems also that many of
his most vivid musical memories from childhood involved
travelling to and from Lake Simcoe while listening to various
live music telecasts on the car radio.  I remember the artwork
from the original vinyl release of a set of Beethoven sonatas
(Pathetique?) as being a very stunning photo of Gould in full
winter clothing out on a vast expanse of blue-shaded ice and
snow.  He stated many times that this image of Beethoven as
being linked to Canadian winter vistas came from his childhood
memories of hearing Beethoven on the car radio driving back
to Toronto on Sunday afternoons.

Just some thoughts...hope this helps.


On Mon, 27 Jan 1997, Junichi Miyazawa wrote:

> Dear friends,
> Yesterday, on TV, I saw a news on Lake Simcoe that the ice 
> surface was split and people were left on the isolated parts.
> I hope all the people will be rescued safely.
> Now, I would like to know something about Canadian way of life.
> I hear many Canadian people who enjoy urban life go out of the 
> town every weekend to their cottages in the country side.
> Is that true?  I know the young GG used to spend his weekends 
> and holidays at his cottage on the Lake Simcoe.  Was it a very 
> usual way?  Is there any difference of weekends 
> between in his days and these days?
> Could anyone describe the Canadian (or possibly, Torontonian) 
> way of spending their weekends and vacations? 
> Also, give me the definition of "weekend."
> What is the "weekend" like in Canada?  
> Any difference from in any other Western countries?
> As I once visited Canada only for a week or so, and 
> have never lived there, nor in other countries,  
> I cannot imagine such usual aspects of your daily life.
> Regards, 
> Junichi, Tokyo / junichi@poetic.com