The meat of the buffalo tastes the same on both sides of the border
Apr 18, 2009
I have wonderful cousins from Prince Edward Island who visit me in Maine at least twice a year. Their company is all the gift I want from them, but two years ago they bought me this book in our favorite used book store near my town.
"Between Friends/Entre Amis" presents photographs of landscapes and people along the 5,522 miles of the International Boundary, embellished with quotes in English and French from a variety of sources (including my subject line, which is attributed to Sitting Bull, Chief of the Sioux). The original edition was produced in 1976 by the National Film Board of Canada; the photographers' brief was to interpret places and people where there is "a sense of the border present in the daily lives of the people that live there." The beautifully produced book was a gift to the United States on the occasion of the Bicentennial.
The book is divided geographically into five parts. The first few times I looked at it, I was captivated with the spectacular scenery shots; but over time I've come to treasure the photographs of people in all their simplicity and diversity.
Some of my favorite photographs, by section:
THE NORTHWEST -- Full of rocky peaks; the snowy Boundary Mountains; the braided White River that carves itself a new channel every year; Chuklat Village in the mist; a young girl in braids and a big smile in Eagle, Alaska.
THE ROCKIES -- A snowy, cloud-shrouded mountain road in Manning Park, British Columbia; two retired Olympic Peninsula loggers standing tall in front of a truckload of logs, one wearing a string tie with a starfish clasp; a Canadian ranch with a looming U.S mountain as backdrop; mule deer on a hillside near the British Columbia-Washington border.
THE PLAINS -- A small white church with leaded windows and a steeple, alone in a wheat field under billowing clouds; a sheep farmer in a dim barn with his flock of sheep, light slicing in sharply from a window; a rainstorm far across a field in Manitoba.
THE LAKES -- A woman fishing through the ice with a shiny silver pile of fish in front of her; The Outcasts, a cheerful-looking motorcycle club in Detroit; a group shot in a Boy Scout campground; a railway bridge over the Niagara River gorge; the St. Lawrence River.
THE EAST -- An "international pool table" straddling the NY-Quebec border; a ballerina whose kitchen is in Canada, her living room in the U.S.; snow geese migrating across the St. Lawrence River; a grinning team of ice hockey players; the members of the world's only international Masonic Lodge.
"Between Friends/Entre Amis" is a wonderful book produced to a fine concept. The edition pictured above is a limited re-release with a sky-high price tag, but I treasure my copy more because both book and slipcover are in mint condition from the long-out-of-print 1976 release -- and because it was a gift to me in love and friendship.
"Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes." Henry David Thoreau
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