Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Remembering Great Eastern Oil - a story from Donna Bishop



I sat in a restaurant along Water Street yesterday, and looked out across the street towards Templeton's Paints. It took a second for me to realize that I was seeing a viewscape I'd not really looked at in quite the same way before. The southeast corner of Bishop's Cove and Water Street is now empty, the building that stood there for a couple generations is gone. I had never been able to see Templeton's in quite that way, because there had always been a building in my line of view.

Best known recently as Fabulous Fifties, the building was once the home of Great Eastern Oil. Sitting in front of the now vacant lot is one of the speech-bubble shaped signs for HereSay, the narrative map project that was curated by myself and local radio documentary producer Chris Brookes. It is now the only tangible reminder of the building that was once there, and if you stand on the spot, dial the HereSay phone number on your cell phone, and punch in the three digit code on the sign, you can hear Donna Bishop's memory of the place.

Our physical landscape can change almost overnight. Although the Great Eastern Oil building was perhaps no architectural gem, its loss is a good reminder to us that the places in which we live are peopled with stories, and those stories, those memories, are important to preserve.

You can share in Donna's memory of Great Eastern Oil on the HereSay website at:
http://www.batteryradio.com/Heresay/331%20Water.html

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