That's Life with Terri McCormick
"Dad, what's in those little houses?"
I remember asking that as a kid as we drove across the Tantramar Marsh and would see the international radio transmission towersâ€™ little huts. They fascinated me.â€¨
"That's where the people who work in radio live," my father said, no doubt chuckling to himself.â€¨
And for many years after that, just about every time I drove by on the marsh, or saw the lights of those towers, I would smile and think about the little people in the huts or "houses."
And since recently moving into a house that overlooks the Bay of Fundy, I have become used to looking towards New Brunswick and seeing the tower lights.â€¨
For those of us who live in this area, looking out at the towers as we head to the border from New Brunswick also meant we were close to home. â€¨
As a child, do you remember peeking out the window from the back seat, all sleepy eyed from a long trip, and watching the familiar lights in the night sky? It was comforting in a weird way.â€¨But now the skyline between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick looks very different.
The towers, which were put up by Radio Canada International during the Second World War, are gone. They were there because of the magnetic pole and marsh which meant it was a great place for them because nothing could interfere with the signal.â€¨
"It's sad, it was such a landmark," one person remarked to me. And some of the best memories came from comments on the CTV website, where people lamented about what the towers meant to them in their lives.
One person said 35 years ago he didn't know what they were for, but it didn't stop him from wondering if they were able to talk to E.T. â€¨
The towers have been there since the late 1930s but because they aren't used much anymore in radio and are considered an old technology, they had to go.â€¨I guess many of us who liked the look of them and felt like their presence meant something, like the towers, are getting old too.
I guess for the next generation, the windmills will become the new landmarks; tall and white, with red lights flashing. The kids of today will one day tell their kids about when they went up, and, although it's not the same thing, the windmill lights, much like the radio towers,â€™ will signal that they are close to home.
Terri McCormickâ€™s column appears bi-weekly in the Amherst News.