In the little town of Morrisburg before the advent of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Sunday afternoon entertainment was often provided by a local band in a park. A hill sloped down from the bandstand which afforded listeners on blankets or canvas lawn chairs a good view of the musicians. For the children it afforded wonderful opportunities for rolling while the trumpets pierced the air. What they did was lie horizontally in front of the bandstand, clasp their arms over their chests and roll down the hill and woe betide anyone who was in their path. The feeling was akin to spinning which gave them a giggly sensation. Mothers were indulgent but later were not happy about having to scrub out grass stains.
When summer hill-rolling was past, sliding down a snowy hill was the next best thing. The children gathered in the short days of December at a gully on a farm outside the town with various conveyances such as wooden toboggans, sleds with sharp runners and steering gears or just pieces of cardboard. Lights shone from the farmhouse windows and screams of delight punctuated the dusky twilight. Nobody minded trudging back up the hill for another “go”. When wooden mittens were soaked and many a galosh filled with snow, the rosy-cheeked children trooped into the warm farm kitchen for hot cocoa and home-baked buns fresh from the Findlay cookstove. Eventually, the mittens had to be put back on even though they were still damp and it was time to be collected by parents. The enchantment of the hill was waiting for them on another winter evening.