The Village around the Bandstand

Yes, it was a village, allthough its core was situated at about six kilometers from the center of a provincial capital. Mind you, the country has nine provinces and it is only a bit more than three hundred kilometers wide from its west to its east extremity. So when I say provincial capital bear in mind that we are talking about a town with a population of less than sixty thousand people. Yet, in those days, the early sixties, ours was definitaly a village, and not suburbia.

It was the village where my dad grew up and my grandfather still lived. My father brought us back from the outskirts of Brussels, after having lived there for a few years. He had finished his training in the army and as a non commissioned officer had been sent to work at a radar control system, some ten kilometers from our village, that we had moved back to. It was the summer after which I was to go to grade one, five years old, going on six. Dad probably got stationed so close to his home village with some help from an uncle of mine, who was both a city and a provincial councellor. Anyhow, I suspect because of that, he probably felt obliged to send me to the village public school, as my uncle may have advised him to do.