Glory Days in Carleton Place– Fooji Doris and George




Photo Linda Seccaspina and the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


I find the greatest things online and yesterday I found some great memory postings about Carleton Place. I have edited it a tad.:) If the authors of this conversation would like their names in print I will add it. Always like giving credit where credit is due. But, this was just too good not for everyone to share.


As a kid, I remember going to the downtown Tim Horton’s after Sunday School, where old men would smoke pipes and cigars at the coffee-bar. As an adolescent, I remember being too young to drink, but old enough to stay out late enough to watch drunks fight on Bridge Street during River Days.


stop2.jpgCarleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


I remember Wandering Wayne (who I sadly heard recently passed away), Doris the Crossing Guard (who was ridiculed by us kids for providing an important community service), and the Black Widow (who I always felt sorry for, but who was inevitably going to become a staple of the town). I remember the Carambeck School (and the sweet bike jumps behind it). George’s Arcade, bush parties and Tom’s Bicycle Shop.

ninjaqq.jpgPhoto from Terry Poulos —More pictures on their Facebook Page

Like so many other kids from the Valley, there wasn’t much in the way of jobs for me in my home town, and as soon as it started feeling small, I found my way to the city. But my folks still live there, so I go back often. And I have to say, it depresses me a bit to see the town becoming such an obvious bedroom community. But I guess every generation feels that way about change. I hope the kids growing up there today still get their fair-share of the memorable places, people, and general shenanigans that were the Carleton Place I grew up with.


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


How about when the Moose used to be Boomers? Or when Giant Tiger was on the corner near the cinema. Then there was Fooji, who was just an older guy, that wandered up the Main Street picking up cigarette butts and bottles and cans and stuff never really said much (that you could understand anyway) He was one of those small town characters that I wish now that I would have learned more about. Oh yeah – didn’t the town recognize him as a volunteer and give him a safety vest/gloves? He would spend hours everyday cleaning up trash around Carleton Place.



Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The Leatherworks used to be a hopping pub, but the owners sold it. The place changed owners until a year or so ago when it became The Waterfront Gastro Pub where the menu is decent again, good beer selection and live music, comedy nights, karaoke, etc. The place is starting to get a good rep.

13501631_724409814329340_4816198200988305881_n.jpgWe have a Farmers Market where the old Canadian Tire used to be, and it is crazy busy on Saturdays. Personally I think the town really cleaned up and is a cute place to live. It’s not the small town it used to be.


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


I still love the place, and I don’t pretend it didn’t have rough edges. Thing is, I sort of liked those rough edges. Granted, George’s Arcade was a place to play Mortal Combat and Revolution X, and Mississippi River Days became an alcohol-fuelled embarrassment for the whole community. But sometimes the rough edges are what help define a place.

I think you could argue that there is a modern focus on suburban development that’s coming at the expense of the small-town vibe I grew up taking for granted. But, I also get the reality that other towns in the Valley are struggling to keep people, so I’m glad CP is growing. But, we all love to complain about change.



Dale Lowe– Whatever Mr. Houston’s REAL name was, everyone simply new him as Foojee (or simply Fooj). Anyway, he was a regular at Skillen’s Bakery (where my mom worked)…and would stop in most days while out collecting cigarette butts or beer bottles. And…Foojee will always be remembered for his greeting…that seemed to be all one word strung together – – “Hello-and-how-are-you-today”??

Caroleann Lowry McRaeHis real name is David

Joann VoyceI remember him as the best pinboy at the Bowling Alley


Related Reading

Taking it to the Streets—The Crossing Guards of Carleton Place

Food Fit For Olympians in Carleton Place

RACK ‘EM UP —Do You Remember George’s Playhouse?

Rack’ Em Up Lads! Pool Halls ETC. in Carleton Place

Down on Main Street –Forgotten Photos of Bridge Street Past

Boomers of Carleton Place

Remembering The Leatherworks in Carleton Place

Remembering Your Smiling Face at My Second Place

RACK ‘EM UP —Do You Remember George’s Playhouse?

In Memory of George’s Pizza in Carleton Place

Twin Oaks Motel Opens -1959 — Highway 7 Landmarks

Let’s Have Some Curb Service!


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Related Reading:

Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks– Sharon Holtz– Part 2 

Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks-Canada’s Forgotten “Little Bunkers”-Leigh Gibson

Glory Days in Carleton Place-Sherri Iona (Lashley)

Glory Days in Carleton Place -Wesley Parsons

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

One response »

  1. David Houston was in the hospital at the same time as my mom was back in May. He is still living and hasn’t changed much other than he has gotten a little greyer. He had his worker there with him and I believe they said he was now 74. I can remember Jack Belisle working in McCann’s pool hall. Bit of a mainstay. I can remember my grandfather Carney O’Connor going in there and buying his Irish Sweepstakes tickets. He always bought one for my dad too. I can also remember the 5 cent pinball machine in there. Lots of rolls of nickels went into that machine. Never went in that Jack Bracewell wasn’t there. Earl Waugh was always there racking balls.

    I used to get my papers at Ernies too and then later at the Macs Milk on Moore Street. I can remember the Wednesday and Saturday inserts, lol with the TV Guide. Gordie Turner used to be the bread man and he drove the green truck that said Morrison-Lamonthe. His wife Sheila used to be the lady who took the money from us for our papers(for the Journal). My brother delivered the Citizen and Brian Martin used to come to our house to get the Citizen money. We used to have a lot of laughs jabbing each other over who had the better papers. I remember Brian teased me all the time about it.


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