The bright November sun danced along the Mississippi River, lighting up the last few pops of colour clinging high in the maples; a gentle reminder of late fall’s stark beauty in Lanark County.
It was a perfect day for a drive to the picturesque village of Lanark for a ‘Meet the Author’ event at the Lanark Learning Centre.
The Lanark Learning Centre at 67 George Street, offers a variety of sessions, workshops, and interesting local events, with something for everyone – from guest speakers, crafts, card-making, writing workshops, carol-singing, community dinners, as well as author readings & book-signings.
Anne Graham, co-ordinator, along with Thelma, provided a warm welcome and kindly assisted in setting up the book displays for the event.
The book-readings were held in a lovely, cozy room, complete with homemade treats and drinks for everyone. Anne’s delicious cherry loaf was definitely a highlight, along with Thelma’s tasty lemonade.
I had originally intended to read from my newest release ‘Lanark County Connections: Memories Among the Maples’, but instead, because of the setting of the event, chose to read a story that takes place in Lanark Village. The story I read was ‘Lanark Sweaters – Soft as a Kitten’, and tells the tale of our family’s annual back-to-school trek to the Glenayr Kitten Outlet in Lanark to shop for sweaters, and also purchase shoes at Quinn’s shoe store. It was interesting to meet Betty, whose family operated Drysdale’s Shoe store, also one of the shops we frequented back in the 1960s and 1970s.
My story touched on the early days of the Glenayr Kitten Mill, the construction of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, and a bit of the history of the devastating fire in 1959 that destroyed over 100 homes in the village of Lanark. Also mentioned in the story were visits made to the Balderson Cheese factory, and the Mammoth cheese, also the annual turkey suppers at the Balderson United Church – always a highlight of our family’s autumn rituals.
Randy was next to read, sharing a chapter from his dark romance novel, followed by Steffany’s reading from her illustrated children’s books
The readings were followed by a ‘meet and greet’ and book signings. It was a great opportunity to meet some new friends and chat about local genealogy and family history, along with discussions of some of the early settlers to the region.
We discovered several names and connections to those present who were listed in the index of two of my books.
It was a lovely surprise when our niece Meaghan and her husband Sean stopped by after their visit to Wheeler’s Pancake House. It’s always a pleasure to see them, and they enjoyed their visit to the Lanark Learning Centre. Anne kindly snapped a photograph of us all, as my husband Kevin is usually busy on the other side of the camera lens at our book events.
As the sun dipped lower along the horizon, it was time to say good-bye to Anne Graham, Thelma, and our new friends at the Lanark Learning Centre.
Driving up the Lanark Road we were reminded of the peaceful beauty in this quiet time of year, between the busy harvest and the upcoming hectic and wonderful Christmas season. Muted pink skies glowed softly in the distance, a perfect end to a lovely afternoon at the Lanark Learning Centre.
‘Lanark Sweaters – Soft as a Kitten’ – a story from “Lanark County Kid: My Travels up and down the Third Line” ISBN: 978-0-9877026-16