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Zuckerberg’s Island – A Youthful Memoir

August 23, 2011
By

A Kootenay pilgrimage remembered

Russian Chapel House on Zuckerberg’s Island, Castlegar, B.C.

The attached article on Zuckerberg’s Island is one of my early attempts at literary non-fiction in which I recount the story of a young visitor who popped up on my doorstep one day in the summer of 1973 while I was acting as the island caretaker on behalf of a grandson of Alexander Zuckerberg.

For many years I have made a pilgrimage of sorts to that place of my past in my home town of Castlegar, B.C.  It is now a city park and a museum but my memories were always of a special hideout, a secret garden, with the little elfin owner carving and shaping his nude stump figures and plaster figurines.

I was a young boy when I first ventured over to the island. Probably just starting Grade 7 at the time and about to start junior high school at Stanley Humphries High School. The island was just a short walk from SHHS with its much older population of seniors who congregated at the slightly off-grounds and somewhat notorious Smoky Hollow.

Hailing from the then neighbouring village of Kinnaird, B.C., I didn’t know about the island until some new-made Castlegar friends introduced me to it.  Back then it served as a kind of refuge from the competitiveness and taunts of the older kids. It was an idyllic spot that seemed to me like entering a wonderland of mystery and intrigue.

Here’s the story as published in the Kootenay (Rossland) Miner on April 5, 1973.

Zuckerberg’s Is 1973_pg1_081911

Zuckerberg’s Is 1973_pg2_081911

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