Made in Canada
The house where I was born stood at the corner of Dibble and Edward Streets, in Prescott, Ontario. It was a huge, oblong chunk of gray stone, with walls two feet thick. In winter it was warm, in summer cool. Down in the dark basement there was a rich smell of apples in fat barrels and pickles and jam, and the hugely timbered attic was littered with trunks full of ancient clothes, hooped skirts, top hats, useful for dressing up in on rainy days, and discarded bric-a-brac and the musty smell of age. From the upstairs windows you could look through the elms of the garden down to the St. Lawrence and see the smoke of Ogdensburg, New York, on the far side.
In the winter we used to walk across the ice to buy things at the low American price in the stores of Ogdensburg, which seemed to us a city of great splendor. Then we would smuggle our purchases back through the Canadian tariff without serious official interruption. All the women of Prescott had enormous bags suspended from the waist under their skirts to carry this contraband past the sleepy customs officers, and sometimes my grandmothers would waddle up Edward Street from the summer ferry wharf so swathed in bolts of smuggled cloth that they seemed to have doubled their weight since morning and could hardly move -- pious women, the salt of the earth, who went to church twice on Sundays and spent most of their lives in charity, but the customs law was fair game. They always brought me a toy from Ogdensburg, stuffed elephants mostly, though they had little money to spare. Nobody objected to this