My Story
Mysterious Memories

The Sleeping Giant

The Sleeping Giant

I was born in Fort William, Ontario, which is now part of Thunder Bay. The city is an inland port at the head of Lake Superior. Our family sometimes went to a park or beach on Lake Superior. The park overlooked the Sleeping Giant, which is a large mountainous landform on the south end of Sibley Peninsula. The profile of the landform looks very much like a resting man with his arms over his chest. I think this is maybe at the present location of Marine Park across from downtown Port Arthur. Back in those days, it was a natural beach, a good place for picnics and beach play.

I remember us spending one summer day there. The weather was fairly warm but the sky was rather gray and dreary. At some point, someone was talking about the legend of the sleeping giant, how the giant was a chief who had turned to stone. My brothers and I had an argument about whether the chief was dead or was just asleep.

As I looked at the stony resting chief, this triggered a most unusual sense of knowledge about death and sleep, like a lesson I had been told, long ago. I remember telling my two older brothers that "When you die, its like going to sleep. When you wake up, you are a baby."

My brothers argued that this was not true. One saying "When you die, that's it."

I argued "What about the soul?"

My brother answered "Your soul goes to heaven. You don't come back."

Somehow, I didn't see it that way back then. I'm not sure why it was. As we played in the sand, I kept looking over to the sleeping giant, and I remember a sense of foreboding and mystery troubled me the whole day. At one point, I was looking at the Sleeping Giant and a thought came to me about some mystery that happened long ago in the sky behind the Sleeping Giant, out over the lake. I may have even thought that it had something to do with an airplane. …

I have confirmed with my father that they used to take us to this beach on the shore of Lake Superior where we could see the Sleeping Giant. We also used to go to Boulevard Lake, which is located in Port Arthur, close to where my father's twin brother lived. From this park, you can also see the Sleeping Giant, but I know that this memory was not from this location, as we were that day on a beach on the shore of Lake Superior.

The beach is still there, but they have added a new marina and totally changed the shoreline by placing stones on the sort of muddy shoreline. They have also planted grass there.

I believe the event I remember occurred in the early part of the summer of 1957.