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You call her Rollande

Photos : CATHERINE GIROUX

Everybody in the neighborhood knows Rollande. A crossing guard at the corner of Van Horne and Outremont, she brings a spark of life to kids and adults alike on chilly mornings.
What would it be like to spend a winter’s day in Rollande’s shoes? We wanted to know. Because if anyone knows the tribulations of a good gust of icy wind, it’s a crossing guard.

 

How long have you been a crossing guard?

29 years. Have I ever seen my share of children! Would you believe that I’ve helped kids cross the street whose parents I used to take across when I started?

 

What do you love about winter?

I love EVERYTHING about winter. I love watching snowflakes fall. I think about how fascinating it is that there aren’t two alike. I love winter, even when it’s -30°c. Summers are much too hot! And there’s something else I enjoy about winter. People who know me will tell you just how much I love the Canadiens. You’ll see me proudly wearing my team jersey all
season. I’m a big, big fan.

 

One thing about winter you don’t like?

Ice! I’m scared of falling and breaking my hip. I’d love to work for at least another 10 years, so I have to take care of myself. And then there are the little ones. I’m always telling them to watch out for the ice. I often think of them… When I have to take a day off, I worry that someone may have forgotten to find a replacement. I try not to think about it too much.

 

What’s your biggest dream?

If I won the lottery, I’d rent a great big hall with a buffet. Then I’d invite the kids I’ve helped cross over the years and their little ones. You get attached, you know. Seeing them every day with everything from their smallest troubles to their greatest joys. The lost mittens, the little quarrels, first flirts… The stories I could tell! Come on down to the corner of Van Horne and
Outremont (laughs).

 


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