If my grandmother thought that Sarah was the perfect teenager she was greatly mistaken. In whispers, Sarah suggested we get her brother to haul her parent’s boat out on Lake Washington to the harbor. It was nothing short of a dangerous attempt to get near The Edgewater Inn, where the Beatles were staying. If I was scared to walk 200 feet across the floating bridge, there was little hope I was getting into a boat on Lake Washington.
That I-90 floating bridge just mesmerized me. Once a week I would attempt to go just a little farther on it with the waves sometimes slipping over the edge and the gentle swaying under my feet. I have been petrified of deep open water all my life. The fear began one hot summer day when I was 6. My mother Bernice Ethylene Crittenden Knight warned me over and over not to stare at the water as she prophesied that I would fall in. While everyone was enjoying their picnic lunch I immediately returned to the edge of that dock to test her theory. Like a flying duck making a fell swoop into the water I fell in head first. That was the day I nearly drowned and water and “boating” became a fearful enemy.
That summer in Washington state, it wasn’t only all about The Beatles and German Chocolate Cake. I also ran away to San Francisco for a week and lived in Buena Vista Park. Sarah and I also managed to see the Beatles in Vancouver, and I touched Paul McCartney’s hair at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle. But could I cross that bridge? No, because I was always afraid that bridge would sink with me on it. Word was the bridge had to float on pontoons because the silt at the bottom would not hold anything. So that meant if I went all the way down, I was still going to go down even farther into the abyss and never rise to the top.
Was I without merit in my thoughts? No, in 1990 after a half-century of commutes, Lake Washington’s original floating bridge sank. Fierce winds and strong rain during that Thanksgiving weekend broke the bridge apart, and sections tumbled into the water. It finally broke up and sank into the mud on the bottom of Lake Washington.
I never did go back to Seattle. Frankly I don’t think my Grandparents cared if I did, as my step- Grandmother said she had never seen the likes of someone like me. But she never understood that life is always like crossing bridges. It’s always which bridge to cross or which bridge to burn. Frankly, I’ve always waited until I came to the edge of the bridge and then tried to conquer the fear of the unknown. Some bridges I cross, some I don’t– because there will always be some troubled water under some of those bridges and trouble has always been my middle name.
We walked up to one young swain and said, “That’s sure a swell burgundy Ringo cap you have there.” The youth, who would identify himself only as “Bill,” said, most soberly, “This is a John Lennon cap. Ringo caps have some braiding across the front.” We stood corrected. 1966
Marty Taylor– I bought a Beatles cap in Almonte and wore it proudly
Linda Seccaspina- Marty Taylor where did you buy it?
Marty Taylor– Honestly, I bought it at a clothing store very close to the old pool hall but the other side of the street. Any ideas?? Remember any clothing stores located there?
Dan Williams- Was Timmins’s
Marty Taylor- I can picture myself walking out of there with my Beatles cap on but I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the store. Could be Timmins’s. I assume it was across the street and just down from the pool hall?
Dan Williams ––Marty Taylor yep. You mean a dutch boy cap. I believe that’s what John’s hat was
Dan Williams– Donovan wore one and Dylan
Dan Williams– I wanted one so bad but I could never find one. If I’d had the internet then I could have had one in 24 hours. I’m still a hat wearer though so maybe it’s not to late
Barbara Joan Cook– Dan Williams or was it Smolkins (sp) before Timmins?
Dan Williams– Barbara Joan Cook Could be. I wasn’t an Almontonian that far back. A Carleton Place boy me but I was going to high school here at the time. I just went to school and beat it back home.
Sandy France– It was Johnson’s Clothing beside the Superior. Became Timmins. Smolkin’s was beside the Bank of Montreal. Worked there one summer for Moses Smolkin.
Sylvia Coones– Marty Taylor I believe it was called Johnstons back then. Carson Johnson owned it
Marty Taylor– Sandy France Must have been Johnson’s then. That’s the location.
Brian Sonnenburg– It was Johnsons clothing….I bought my black Beatles hat from Carson Johnson.
The Akron Beacon Journal
11 Mar 1966, Fri • Page 24
The Morning Call
08 May 1966, Sun • Page 42
Stores in Almonte by Sandy France
Sandy France This was the makeup of the South side of Mill Street in the fifties….the order may not be exactly correct and I may have missed someone…but it’s close
Dominion Stores later Mappins/Baker’s Jewellry and Flowers
Milady Beauty Salon
Karl Paupst Groceries
Jimmy Moreau Magazines
Albert T. Gale realtor
Bell Telephone exchange
Ivan Duncan barber
Carson Johnson Men’s’ Wear
Lewis Carr butcher
Art Smith electrician
Phil Needham shoemaker
Cliff Graham pharmacist
Doug James Confectionary
Winnard (Winnie) James barber shop
Raymond Jamieson Attorney (upstairs)
Moses Smolkin Men’s’ Wear
Bank of Montreal
Harold Proctor shoes
Howard Giles Western Auto store
Stafford Law Office later CJ Newton Attorney
N. S. Lee hardware store
Elmer Carnegie pharmacist
Kinsella’s Esso garage later Irval Motors
Almonte Public Utilities
McCormick’s Ladies’ Wear
Ed Scott furniture later John Kerry
Wilf Snedden pharmacist
Ab Lotan restaurant
Johnny Erskine cold storage later IGA
Eugene O’Reilly had a store on the corner of Mill and Brae Streets and they closed out their business in 1928. Later on J. H. Proctor opened a boot and shoe store, also a harness shop in the back part of the building. On the other corner of Mill and Brae was the Bank of Montreal, then Smolkin’s store, Jas. Cochrane’s Men’s Wear, W. James Barber Shop, George Eades Boot and Shoe Store (Needham and Son, bought out Geo. Eades later on), A. B. Lotan’s Butcher Shop and on the second floor of some of these buildings were four places of business – A. Allan, tailor; R. A. Jamieson, lawyer; T. R. Patterson, dentist; Greig & Greig, lawyers. Mr. Pittard’s printing office was next. He once was editor of the Almonte Times paper. Then was W. D. Lea’s bakery and Laura and Nellie Hogan’s Millinery shop. Though the Hogans now are retired from business they will long be remembered, not only for their millinery work, but also for the kindness they showed to all who called at their shop.
Further along Mill street was Peterson’s Confectionery, Ivan Duncan’s Barber Shop, Telephone Office, W. Lawford’s Store, James Moreau’s store, then the Dominion Store. The last store on the block was Fred Robertson’s, who sold out to Wm. Pimlott in 1928.
“Seriously close call tonight! Like, please don’t kill me- I’m nice.”
People seemed to think this was a tad over the top, but I did not even bat an eye when I read it. Growing up in the Beatles era, it seemed to be the norm for me and millions of other girls. If you got the chance to get near a music star, you just stood there and screamed your heart out.
In 1964 I was sent to Mercer Island, Washington for the summer, and my grandparents hoped that their best friend’s daughter, Sarah, would keep me out of trouble. When we started plotting an imaginary trip to Vancouver, Canada for a Beatles concert, they knew what a mistake it was to mix us together. The Beatles were set to perform August 12th at the Seattle Center Coliseum and we had not been able to get any tickets. The 14,300 five dollar tickets were sold out in no time and some were even scalped for $30 later on. Instead of tickets, my step- grandmother came home with a Paul McCartney “Beatle Bobbin’ Head” doll. It did not take her long to find out that the little rubber doll was not going to cut it with me. An immediate call to Sarah was placed, and we began plotting our next move.
If my grandmother thought that Sarah was the perfect teenager she was greatly mistaken. In whispers, Sarah suggested we get her brother to haul her parent’s boat out to the harbor. It was nothing short of a dangerous attempt to get near The Edgewater Inn, where the Beatles were staying. If I was scared to walk 200 feet across the floating bridge, there was little hope I was getting into a boat. Plus I had already figured out it was too dangerous to get her brother to maneuver such a feat and I insisted she come up with another plan.
In my dreams I wanted Paul to exit out of that limo and save me. Was that not what every girl wanted in those days? Instead we were hauled into a police car and my grandmother was called. My mother had died in September of 1963 and my grandparents had been told to handle my sister and me with kid gloves. The gloves were off that night and I was sent to my room without dinner. This was the second stunt I had pulled and that was it for them for the summer holiday.
“When I watched “Behind the Candelabra” this week on HBO I realized most of Liberace’s life had been a gigantic cover-up. The one truth he was unwilling to share with his vast and admiring public was finally outed to the public upon his death– never mind the fact that I found out he was on the TV show Batman”