Download PDF by Richard Valeriote: Alice Street: A Memoir
By Richard Valeriote
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Extra info for Alice Street: A Memoir
Silvio’s doctors had been treating him with chemotherapy and blood transfusions, but he had become so weak the treatments were abandoned and they were doing their best to keep him comfortable as he faded away. While my parents were away tending to Silvio, I stayed out of school to help Dominic with the business. I assumed I would be back in school in a few days, but Silvio lingered for a month and my parents ended up staying in his house in London for the duration. I visited once or twice, but he was so sick we hardly talked beyond greetings and goodbyes.
He spent most of his war service at the Canadian Forces Base in Valcartier, Quebec. I rarely saw Silvio after he went into the army, and heard little about him until I was fourteen. One day in the spring of 1944, Dominic phoned our house and told me I was needed right away at the store. Silvio, he explained, was sick – so sick that my parents were leaving right away for London, Ontario, about seventy-ﬁve miles away, to be with him. In my parents’ absence, I was to ﬁll in at the store. I hadn’t heard anything about Silvio being ill, and the last 36 / The Ward time I’d seen him he appeared to be his usual hale and hearty self.
I tread cautiously that year, applied myself, and ended the year with the highest grade point average among the boys. This won me an award from the Parish Ladies Auxiliary, given at a school ceremony. The president of the auxiliary said a few words and handed me a check while the audience applauded. I thanked everyone and walked tall all the way back to the store, where I proudly showed Dominic the check. It was for $25! That was equal to a hundred miles of trudging back and forth with my potato sacks and baskets.
Alice Street: A Memoir by Richard Valeriote