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Prescott People - Allen Steinburg

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Allen_Steinburg_Michael_Bordt_1960_01b.JPG (45207 bytes)
Allen Steinburg (that's him, on the left and me on the right) was one of my best friends in the early 1960s. He mentioned recently that I should have some pictures and stories on the site about that era. This picture was taken, probably in September, 1960. Prescott used to have an annual "Kid's Day" when everyone dressed up in costumes and paraded through the town.

I'm not sure what we were supposed to be. Charlie Chaplin and Buster Crabbe, maybe.

There's loads of stories about that era. The most notorious one, my mother will never let Allen forget. One summer day when I was about 6, Allen suggested we play cowboys and Indians. He had a rope and it was time for a hanging. I was the Indian. I went along with it because I trusted Allen and because I knew it was only a game. As I was standing there on the chair, with the rope around my neck, the other end of which was tied to a tree, my mother came along. For such a calm person as her, I have never heard so much screaming. She obviously wasn't in on the game.

Allen_Steinburg_Roswitha_Michael_Bordt_1960_01b.JPG (71077 bytes) We lived 2 houses apart on Henry Street. Allen's Grandmother, Mabel, used to hate the name for the area: "Flanagan's Alley". It's still there, a strip of four houses on the south side of Henry Street between West St. and Centre St. We weren't rich but we were happy. There were always loads on kids in the neighbourhood. Always something to do.
Bill_Galenzoski_and_Martin_Bordt_1963_01.jpg (25779 bytes) Mabel's husband (not Allen's Grandfather, I never understood all these complications) Bill Galenzoski, was one of the kindest, gentlest people I remember growing up. This is a picture of him with my brother, Martin, in 1963. Bill is a whole story by himself.

One summer, about 1965, we stayed at Mabel's cottage across from the Blue Church. That led to a couple of events my mother loves to perpetuate and embellish on each telling.

Allen loved motorboats but his father, Jackie,  would only let him use the rowboat. One day, we started rowing across the river and made it all the way to the other side (about 2 miles!). We had a close encounter with a laker but all-in-all, it was grand fun. When Jackie found out where we were, he scooted over in the motorboat and towed us back--fuming all the way. In the final analysis, Jackie was right, we could never have returned to the same place against the strong current.

During the same week at the cottage, we had a great time exploring the fields and woods around the Blue Church. Hide-and-seek was  more of a challenge if you could hide in the long grass and crawl along to avoid detection. Unfortunately for me, when it was my turn to hide, I crawled though a few patches of poison ivy. Nobody else seemed to have any reaction but within a few days I was covered from face to toe in oozy, itchy blisters. My face was so swollen that my mother put a raincoat and hat on me and put up the collar when we walked to the doctor's office.

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