8 a.m. Nine people wait outside the Centre of Hope, on Franklin Avenue. It’s minus 23C. Some walked over from the Salvation Army, where they slept the night before. Others slept in apartment building lobbies or around cars. It’s referred to as “sleeping rough.” One man says that he slept in the snow, and he invites you to feel his hands. They’re warm.
DURING THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH, NOBODY BITCHED ABOUT NOT HAVING A GO-KART FACILITY NEARBY…
For the most part, everyone was just pretty stoked about the potential to strike it rich. Well, not everyone. In history books and in folklore, there are records of people losing their minds: either from the extreme temperature, the crippling homesickness, or the gamble gone bust.
An untapped business market, a high-paying job, a rich husband: we all came to Fort McMurray in a quest for our proverbial goldmine. Maybe you were born here. No matter - your parents came here for the same reasons.
I COME FROM A LONG HISTORY OF CAR PEOPLE. My maternal lineage brims with the sort of people that spend their Sunday afternoons detailing their cars with q-tips; the sort of people that would never eat a burger within the leathery confines of their vehicles; and the sort of people that would never, under any circumstance, park next to a minivan. “Ugh. Minivans. A sure sign of rugrats with grubby hands,” scoffed my Grandpa Jimmy.