Elliot Lake is now most known for its reitrement housing. In the summers I spent there, in 1963 and 1964, it was quite different.

It was beginning to be a ghost town--street upon street of house just boarded up and left. The mines, which had grown up in the 1950's, in response to the Cold War need for uranium, if not directly from these mines, had created a boom here.

We hardly noticed this, spemding the summers all day at the beach, arriving home--we rented a house in the teacherage, where teachers, obviously, spent the winter.

The first summer was spent there courtesy of the Canada Council--a grant to allow my father to write a second book, which unfortunately, couldn't be sold. The second summer, he stayed in Toronto to write a children's program for the CBC.

The biggest calamity to strike us while there, was a leak of sulfuric acid, used in the making of yellowcake. The word came down to boil the water. Which we did. Very fortunately for us, the acid never made it to the water intake. If it had, the boiling would have made it worse.

In 1966, reports of the leak of radioactive wastes into Elliot Lake, the lake itself, were published in the Globe and Mail. This is the body of water in which we swam, every day, and from which the town drew it water supply.

Some help!

Upon occasion, I still make the joke that I glow in the dark, but only slightly.