The Gulch, Trail, BC (Darrell Noakes)

As long as I remember, these towering sentinels have stood watch over the town. At bedtime, I would gaze into the darkness to find reassurance in those patient silhouettes. Beneath them, the industry that gave the town its life and its livelihood banged and thumped and hummed hypnotically. Embraced in that lullaby, secure in the shadows of those dark sentinels, I could drift off to sleep.

It’s funny how the things we grew up with, become the familiar.  The rhythms we were born into stay with us all our lives.

Downtown Trail on a winter's evening. (Darrell Noakes)

Over the years, industry changed. The rhythm is gone now, replaced by a steady drone like a hive of nervous bees, an inescapable buzz hurled into every corner of the valley.

Teck smelter lit up in twilight and snow, corner of Daniel Street and Bay Avenue. (Darrell Noakes)

But the sentinels are still there, resolutely standing their ground.

Returning to the old neighbourhood, walking along Kootenay Avenue and Ritchie Avenue on a fall (early winter) evening: Reg Stone Park, soccer pitch at south end of Kootenay Avenue. (Darrell Noakes)

Smelter, Smelter Hill, Downtown Trail, viewed from Green Avenue at Spokane Street (Darrell Noakes)

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