The Diary and the Mannequin: A Good Life

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Video Description:

This final video will tell the story of Byron Cooper Sisler’s life after the war.

Duration: 1:19
Codec: h.264
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  • A screen grab of Byron and Mildred sitting beside each other on large rocks
    00:00:00 - 00:00:34

    This voice-over is accompanied by a sequence of images showing various aspects of Byron Cooper Sisler’s life after the war.

    As a series of black and white photographs of Byron Sisler’s life appear, the voice of Byron Cooper Sisler as an older man begins to reminisce about his life. As he speaks, photographs of Sisler and his wife and family, with photos of his family and friends enjoying the family cabin. 

    Looking back, after all was said and done, I had a pretty good life.

    When the war ended, Mildred was back home waiting for me, just like she’d promised. She was going to be a nurse, and I went back to the bank.

    We got married and had ourselves a family. I built a nice cabin up north, spent the summers there with the family and friends, called it The Retreat. It was a good life.

    Hard to say, but in the end, I guess it was the gas that finally got me. 

  • A screen grab of Mildred Sisler sitting by a wooden fence with an inset image of Byron and Mildred
    00:00:35 - 00:01:19

    As Byron Cooper Sisler continues to narrate his story, a ghostly image of a soldier wearing a gas mask appears on screen.

    The memory of it was forever seared in my mind, the vapour drifting down towards us with its sticky yellow reach, then so many years later, like it was reaching through time, I could feel it, haunting my lungs, wearing me down. Guess I’d left the war, but it hadn’t left me.

    Through it all, there was Mildred. She’d waited for me during the war, shared my life, and took care of me when I was sick. She was there to the end. I can still see her through the fog of my sickness, there beside my bed, thinking how she always had such beautiful hair…