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Wednesday, 5 February 2014


There were two little boys, sons of my cousin Sandy and her husband Gus Schmidt.  Carl was three, Allan, one. It was summer, 1971, and my parents, brother, and I drove to Thunder Bay, Ontario to visit my Aunt Muriel and her family.

                                      Gus, Allan and Carl

The boys were Aunt Muriel (Pretty) and Uncle Wilfred, (Babe), Sauriol's grandchildren. Muriel and Babe lived on the main level of the house on Dease Street while Sandy, Gus and the boys lived upstairs.

I have fond memories of those little boys. Allan, being younger, wasn't as 'grown up' as Carl so wasn't as mobile. Carl and his grandfather were inseparable. He followed Babe everywhere and was often a passenger in his car. Carl knew Thunder Bay really well. The first time we went out with Babe and Carl, Babe asked Carl for directions to the place we were going. Babe drove along and Carl pointed to the places where his grandfather had to turn. He could direct his grandfather wherever we went.


Once, we headed to the store with Carl alone, and he sat in front and pointed the way to the place and got us home too. (This was in the days before child car seats). He was a child of few words when it came to directions. He chatted continuously however when he followed his grandfather around, always asking questions. 


Carl was a bright, sweet, little boy, with blond hair, who often went around the yard or in the car, barefoot. He liked it that way. We were amazed by Carl. You could see that Allan watched everything he did. It looked like they'd be great buddies as they matured. Their grandparents adored both of the boys and were very proud of them.

                                                    Muriel (Pretty)  and Wilfred (Babe) Sauriol

A few years later, Sandy and Gus added a girl, Melissa (Missy) to their family. While I have never met Missy I saw pictures of the three children as they grew up.  There was a strong family resemblance. I often wondered what it was like for Missy to have those two boys as older brothers.


Sadly in 1995, just two months after the birth of his daughter, Bailey, Carl died in a tragic accident.  He was only twenty-seven. His sweet baby girl did not get to know her Dad. As a parent and grandparent now, I cannot imagine what Carl's loss must have been like for his family. Everyone was heart broken. Bailey helped them get through it though.

                                Missy, Allan and Carl

Memories of that sweet little boy often surface for me but are ever present for his family.

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