Oak Ridges was a a sleepy, unremarkable little town of about two thousand throughout my childhood. The only reason most non-residents ever bothered even stopping in the place was to fill their cars at one of the five gas stations lining the length of Yonge Street, which divided the settlement into two distinct halves - Oak Ridges proper and Lake Wilcox.
I grew up in a house located right on Lake Wilcox, a lovely, small kettle lake the last glacier carved into the landscape as it receded. This ensured I had a wonderful childhood filled with summers of swimming, fishing, and canoeing and winters of ice-skating, hockey, and ice fishing.
But I have to say, Oak Ridges was a fairly dull place otherwise. Aside from having the Oak Ridges Moraine named after it, the town has only two notable claims to fame. The first is Ivan Reitman's 1973 horror comedy disaster Cannibal Girls, for which Oak Ridges provided the setting.
The film itself is so awful it easily falls into the 'so bad it's good' genre of B-movie filmmaking. The trailer begins with the following: "Once upon a time, there was a little country town, where folks had a very strange diet . . . Strangers who stopped for lunch ended up staying for dinner."
The town's other claim to fame is the song Oak Ridges written by The Sadies, a mostly obscure but otherwise terrific band. Two brothers from Aurora, a more affluent town about five kilometers north of my hometown, make up half of The Sadies. I went to high school with both, and though we were not friends, we had many mutual friends, which meant I hung out with them every now and then - usually at some beer-drinking party.
For reasons I will never understand, The Sadies wrote a song about Oak Ridges. Well not really. The song is named after the town, and it describes witnessing something traumatic in the town (perhaps beautiful women eating people or something), but it actually reveals nothing about the town at all. But then again, when it comes to Oak Ridges, there isn't all that much to reveal.
It's a strange little tune from a strange little band, but I like it. And I would like it even if The Sadies called it Aurora instead of Oak Ridges.
As for the town itself, I agree with one of the lines from the tune. Though I have many fond memories of growing up in Oak Ridges, at this point in my life I don't ever want to go back there again.
I'm still not sure what I should try to keep it all from coming back to haunt me
If I can't get away from harm's way I'll deserve whatever they unleash upon me
The only thing that's left to do is try and keep on walking
Even if it means I came way out here for nothing
It's not the kind of thing you'd want to run from
No matter what it might have been, I don't ever want to go back there again
The things I can't remember are the same things that I do not want to believe
And in my eyes will always be the things that weren't meant for me to see
And all that's left to do out here is try and keep on walking
And just forget that we went all the way out here for nothing
It's not a situation you can run from
No matter what it used to be
You'll never find a way back cause you don't know where you've been
But you won't ever want to go back there again