Cochrane’s vistas, memories’ treasures

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, October 22, 2020

Cochrane’s Men of Vision statue invites visitors of vision to bring their cameras. Photos by James Harbeck

This week we are being treated to another guest column by our Toronto-based son, James Harbeck, writer, editor, linguist and photographer — and webmaster for these columns. He loves Cochrane’s vistas and makes sure he has his cameras with him whenever he comes for a visit.

I GREW UP IN the Bow Valley west of Calgary, and so I grew up in a land of vistas.

From the broad farmlands and ranchlands, the valleys and benchlands, I could see the hilltops and mountains in the distance. And from the tops of hills and mountains I could see the farmlands, ranchlands, parklands, and rivers stretching below.

Vistas. The word “vista” is from Italian – it means “seen,” as in “I have seen it.” And I have, and it is all the landscape of my memories.

Now I live on a high floor in a tower in downtown Toronto, so I have substitute vistas: something above the horizon – the tall buildings stand in for mountains – and something spreading below me – Toronto harbour instead of the sweep of Alberta.

But I am always glad to come back when I can, and visit my parents in Cochrane and refresh the sights of my memories. I can walk the trail along the river to the edge of town, or climb the hill above the Cochrane RancheHouse, and my eyes will trace the vistas I am glad to see once again.

THANKS, JAMES, for inviting us to see Cochrane’s vistas through your eyes and heart. — Dad


© 2020 James Harbeck

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