Notes from Creston teens found under roof shingles after 25 years

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  • Nov. 9, 2013 3:00 p.m.

We have letters all over the roof!! OPEN NOW!


When Terry-Joe Henry and her husband were reshingling their roof on 24th Avenue North last spring, they came across an unexpected surprise. A series of notes appeared, tucked under shingles and having survived the elements as long as 25 years.

“It certainly surprised us — it’s hard to believe they have survived all this time,” she said, offering the notes to the Advance. “We thought it might make an interesting story.”


Today is June 30/88

This is my Grandparents’ house. We got out of school yesterday. On July 3rd I will be 12. Awesome huh? And I’m not supposed to be on the roof.


Miriam Anderson


Today, a quarter-century later, she is Dr. Miriam Anderson, having earned BA and MA degrees at the University of BC and her PhD at the University of Cambridge. She is an assistant professor and graduate student advisor at Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L., in the political science department.

“Oddly enough, shortly after my grandparents sold their home, someone who lived there” — possibly Becky Coates — “mentioned to me that her family had found our notes,” she said in an email after being contacted about the discovery of the notes. “I just assumed, then, that there were no notes left, but apparently there are! Her family must have either put them back or not found all of them.”


Hello there!

This is my grandparents house. I’m not supposed to go on the roof, but I sneak up. My cousin and I (when she comes) usually put letters under shingles. My cousin, Lise, isn’t here, but I’m going to put this letter under a shingle anyway. We have letters all over the roof! My name is Miriam Jane Anderson. I am 12 and will be 13 July 3! Today is June 17/89.

See ya!

P.S. I live here in Creston!


Anderson, daughter of Carol and music teacher Monte Anderson, said she has fond memories of summer in Creston.

“Many highlights of my childhood were the visits to Creston of my cousins from Calgary,” she said. “On my dad’s side, there are 10 grandchildren, nine of which were girls, and three of which were within two years of my age. I loved it when they came to town and remember many adventures at my grandparents’ home. I remember a pinecone fight in the backyard, picking cherries from an old Queen Anne tree, pushing a smaller cousin on a swing, doing puzzles and eating homemade buns and angel food cake. My grandparents’ home was old and large, full of nooks and crannies. I loved climbing into cupboards and broom closets and finding keepsakes that had been stored away.

“I remember getting up to the roof by climbing up on a woodpile. From the roof, we could look over the water reservoir that’s at the top of Crawford Hill. I remember going up to the roof with several of my cousins, but spending the most time up there with my cousin, Lise. We would have been 12 or 13 and just spent our time up there talking about friends, boys, our families and the future. I think I liked the roof because being up there was secret; we always enjoyed being out of the adults’ sight.

“I’m not sure whose idea it was to write notes. I remember writing them and thinking about some family far into the future who would discover them. I assumed they’d be curious about who had lived in the house before and I wanted them to know about all of us.”


May 20/90

to the shingle makers,

hi it’s me again except in 1990 (Lise Floer). I am now 13 and in grade 7. this is still my gradma’s (sic) house and grandpa’s house and with the same shingles?! (I can’t believe I’m doing this). I now live on the other side of Calgary at 132 Deercross Rd. S.E. My phone number is 271-2921. Oh, I have the most wonderful boyfriend, his name is Randy and we’ve been going steady since April 15, 1990. he is 15 and in grade 8, it is our first month together on the 29th of May 1990. Well I gotta go, lise.

Yo, I’m Lisa’s cousin. My grandparents still live here except, I don’t know for how much longer since it’s for sale. I’m 13 and in grade 8. My violin group, The Fiddlers Hatchery, got back from Washington D.C. a month ago. I’ll make a diagram of our family tree.


Miriam Anderson


Lise (Floer) Salatino, who still lives in Calgary and works in the lighting business, expressed similar surprise that the notes had survived all this time.

“I spent each summer as a kid packing up and boarding the red eye Greyhound out to Creston with my little sister,” she wrote. “I always looked forward to the simple life as I am from the big city of Calgary.

“Both of my sets of grandparents live in Creston so I had a lot of family to visit. I was very fortunate. My grandmother (who had the big house on the hill, with the notes) was very dear to me then and still is as I am so lucky to still have her in my life. She is now 97 and still remembers my birthday!

“That ‘big ol’ house on the hill’, as everyone called it, was my favorite place to be as a child. I still remember the smell and the sounds at night. I always slept with my Grandma, not sure why but immediately brought my bag right into her room as soon as I arrived. It was a second home. I loved those nights of reading Bible stories and praying with her little night lamp on.

“I remember the patio furniture was made of old tractor seats that my grandfather made. The trees were so large and beautiful and so full of fruit — the best jams were made from those trees! It seemed so far up and steep as a child, especially when we walked down and up from the pool. Grandma would make us pick strawberries in the morning to make the $2 entrance fee to swim all day. We would swim for eight hours sometimes … and never wear sunscreen!

“I don’t know what made us adventure up onto the rooftop, but I remember feeling like it was a safe and quiet place where Miriam and I could talk about everything and anything while admiring the mountains and the reservoir. I would love to sit there again and enjoy those memories. Especially with the smell of Grandma’s homemade cinnamon buns coming up from out the window.

“I cherish all those memories and still drive up that hill every time I visit Creston.

Thank you for the trip down memory road!”

“The discovery of the notes was a pleasant surprise,” Anderson said. “I hadn’t thought about them in years, and couldn’t believe that they’d lasted until now.”

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