Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'll be there soon, although there won't be quite so much water. It is hot there. Eighty one degrees today so I will keep my shorts and sandals and beach attire.
Cathy and I went to her hairdresser last night. He gave me one of the best cuts I have ever had for ten dollars. He was in New York with a bunch of models and a photographer when the twin towers collapsed. Fearing a chemical attack, they taped up the windows and decided to carry on with the shoot anyhow. After several hours they emerged onto a street covered in dust to the astonishment of firemen and police.
He said that everywhere there were something angels, the people who normally run neighbourhood watch. It took them five hours to get out to Connecticut by train. At each station there were emergency crews ready to help evacuees.
Last week an electricity substation blew up here in Toronto. About a thousand people had to be evacuated and rehoused. Some people from my agency helped, although I refused to volunteer as my feet were still bothering me.
One of them told us that most people left in slippers or their bare feet. Hundreds needed shoes. A local bowling alley supplied their entire stock.
She said that she was told that after 9/11, people walked out of Manhattan over bridges. The bridges were later littered with thousands of pairs of shoes, as women could not walk far in heels and even men's city shoes turned out to be poor walking shoes.
Although not relevant, there is a shoe museum here in Toronto, housed in a wonderfully modern building, (did they mean to make it resemble some deconstructed shoe box?). It was financed by Bata a shoe company that had a whole community on some river East of here. I first heard of them because, when we had an influx of Tibetan refugees, Bata offered to house and employ them.
The Bata factory has now closed and Mr Bata's widow is trying to create a community of retirees in the village created for those factory- cobblers.

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