At the Hillary House National Historic Site, I call them scribbles on the wall; dated signatures, messages or notes left behind. I like scribbles on the wall. I like them a lot. Maybe just because they are black and white proof of one’s visit. “I was here,” the most common I have seen. It makes me smile, because “so was I.”
I left such scribbles on the wall myself in some places around the world. They are probably erased or painted over by now; that was like thirty five, twenty five or ten years ago. Some probably faded away with time; or rain washed them away. I stopped leaving them. I guess I started to read them more. I photograph them now. In high traffic tourist places the walls fill up every day. They change every hour. I must admit that sometimes I do try to find someone I know. No such luck just yet. I will let you know.
Last Saturday after the doubles tennis match at Hillary House National Historic Site I wandered away. I found myself again, as I have done in the past, looking at the Hillary House wall filled with signatures and dates, and unrecognizable notes, where at the same time guests were coming in and out of the house. Nothing has changed on that wall, at least I don’t think I saw anything new. No new names and no new dates, no new messages. I thought something is missing, a pencil perhaps.
I have never been back to look at my scribbles left behind. If you ever scribbled on a wall somewhere out there, did you ever go back and look for your notes; to check if they were still there? Did you ever find someone you know?
So next time when you are at Hillary House, have fun reading those scribbles on the wall, perhaps you will find someone you know.
Anna Lozyk Romeo
Comment by John Abel submitted 2015/07/22: “Interesting read Anna. This article was published in the Saturday Star July 18th. Names on the wall of an old underground quarry in France were uncovered recently. The names were those of WWI Canadian Soldiers. The Star tracked down the families of 2 of the soldiers, and one of them was Aurora resident Mark LaVigne. This too is very interesting and touching. http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2015/07/17/canadian-world-war-i-soldiers-legacies-etched-in-chalk.html