Tag Archives: boys

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

That’s what friends did in those days-at least I had near-neighbours that were quite belligerent and liked to tease. It was entertainment perhaps-Joe Louis was one of our heroes but we fought, wrestled mostly (I was a good wrestler but at boxing not so good).

On at least one occasion we were paid 25 cents to stage a match-some drinking buddies promoting their much younger (my age) brother. On another, a couple of us, the younger brother and I were horsing around with his older brother and we managed to force him to the ground and when he couldn’t dislodge us he became enraged. We were holding him down as our lives were at stake which enraged him further-neither of us could let go, no way. Fortunately, attracted by the noise, an older, much larger, more mature brother came too our rescue.

“Can you hold him down long enough for us to get away?” he did and we did, avoiding Doug for a couple of days after.  All was well for many years, even participating in the Tarzan caper, until we went our separate ways in the pursuit of life.

Larry Clark

When I was a child, back in the Stone Age your parents were the most important people in the family. They paid the bills, bought your clothes, prepared the food you ate, took care of you when you were sick, drove you to where you needed to be, tucked you in, and kissed you good night. They were essential.

Your parents acted like they were bigger than you were too, like they knew what they were doing and didn’t need your help making decisions. In fact, your opinion really didn’t matter much. When they spoke to you, they didn’t bend down, grab their knees, and ask for your cooperation in a wheedling tone. They spoke in no uncertain terms, and they thought you were smart, so they only said anything once. The rule was very simple: They told you what to do, and you did it, because they said so.

You were a satellite, orbiting around their solid presence. They even told you, on occasion, that you were just a little fish in a big pond. You didn’t understand what that meant, of course, until you got out in the big pond and began to realize that putting oneself into proper perspective greatly improves one’s life and the lives of those around him.

They bought you very little, so you appreciated everything you had. And you took care of it. When your bike broke, you figured out how to fix it. Or your dad fixed it. In either case, you understood you weren’t getting a new one, not any time soon.

Things were just different.

Related reading:

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

New Year’s Eve ’68- Thrills and Spills with the High School Golden Boy

New Year’s Eve ’68- Thrills and Spills with the High School Golden Boy


Memories of Au Bon Marche in Sherbrooke - PressReader


Linda circa early 70s  in Sherbrooke, Quebec when she was manager of Le Knack at Au Bon Marche.

I stopped celebrating New Year’s Eve during my seventeenth year on this earth. That year was so traumatic it cured me for life of participating in any future celebrations. Well, maybe I did do a brief stint in my nineteenth year and it was exactly thirty three minute participation and no more than that. That was the actual time it took to jam eleven people into a Mini Austin. It was snowing hard that night and people did need a ride home.

For approximately four years in High School I loved a boy and he was no ordinary boy. He was “The Golden Boy of Cowansville High School”. He was blonde, French Canadian and handsome as all get out. When he smiled, you could see the stars glimmer from his teeth and when he walked down the hall girls melted into puddles. Of course I had no chance of ever snaring this magnificent creature as I was about 102 pounds overweight. I smiled, I curled my hair, I used deodorant and he would never ever look my way. I was so huge he probably thought I was a school corridor column and not the girl that loved him.

At age sixteen I left school, went to Fashion Design School and all thoughts of Golden Boy left my head. I worked part time in a fashion store, lost about a zillion pounds and had the wardrobe any mod in the 60’s would die for. That was probably one reason I lost so much weight. It was either food or clothes and the clothes won out hands down.

So before the year 1968 ended, it found me holding an invite to the coolest New Year’s Eve party around. It was to be held in the basement of an old A & P store in Granby, Quebec and I knew my old school chums would be there. I was so excited to see them and dressed very carefully. I wore a black velvet “Twiggy” mini dress with a front zipper and white collar, black fishnets and patent cuban heel shoes with a big silver buckle on them.

As I walked down the stairs and into the make shift teen club people’s mouths dropped and screamed when they saw me. Taking off my long black Dr. Zhivago style midi coat carefully I slowly walked up to the dance floor in all my glory. I happily danced my feet off to a half dozen Creedence Clearwater songs until I was a sweaty mess. To cool off, I went outside to get air and of course icicles started forming on my hair from the cold frigid air.

I don’t smoke so I tried to lean against the brick wall seductively while the icicles were quickly multiplying in my hair. Maybe this year I could honestly snag a guy to dance with me. I prayed silently, “Just this once God, before I die, let me dance with a real boy.”

Through the haze of cigarette smoke clouds and ice fog I saw a shadow following me. He was tall lean and boy was he blonde. Yes, dear readers it was none other than Golden Boy. Golden Boy in all his glory was approaching me from 30 degrees north.



Illustration from the East Bay Express they did for my story


The icicles in my hair suddenly started to melt and I became tongue tied as he looked at me and then hugged me. I just couldn’t savour this moment I had yearned for as I was too busy worrying if I stunk from perspiration. He spoke in a low sexy voice that made the earth shatter and the heavens suddenly opened. My heart was beating on overdrive and I was about to explode as he said,

“Linda, you look just fabulous!”

Wait, was he talking to someone else? I looked around and saw no one, so yes he was talking to me. More icicles started to melt from my hair as my body overheated. He grabbed my hand and we went inside where we proceeded to slow dance. I could feel his heart beat and we were so close I could smell his Aqua Velva and his Gitanes. We proceeded to dance the rest of the night away and he rode home with me in the bus holding my hand tightly. The heavy snow had turned to a deadly freezing rain but he insisted on walking me home.

We walked up the short path to the handmade death defying wobbling concrete steps that were now a skating rink. He took my head in his hands and kissed me. In fact he kissed me a lot. Yes, he kissed me so much he wanted more.

Instead of being in lust, angry thoughts suddenly flooded my brain of how badly he had treated me in the past. I suddenly started to rage that if I wasn’t 100 pounds thinner he wouldn’t be kissing me right now. In reality I was aiming for the snow bank on the right when I poked him hard,  but instead he fell down the icy concrete steps. Yes, the very same steps I had fallen down years ago and cracked my head open. Golden Boy lay there and was most definitely knocked out. In fact he was knocked out good and cold, like the freezing rain that was coming down quickly.

I called my father to drive him to the hospital. He was fine, except he had one problem. He was having a hard time remembering anything. Everyone blamed the slippery conditions and no one even thought that a former chubby stood up for herself that night. Yes, she had given her all for every other high school or college girl that had loved a Golden Boy once in her life and was treated badly.

So after that I never really celebrated New Year’s Eve again. I decided what happened that night was enough for me. I mean, you only get once chance sometimes in life, and that was it. So now every New Year’s Eve I celebrate with Dick Clark and remember. When I see his name pop up on Classmates.com, I smile. I smile that same sinister smile the night Golden Boy became not so golden and ‘slipped’ down the wobbly concrete stairs. I bet after forty years he isn’’t so golden anymore. Frankly I bet he is a tad tarnished.


This was first published as a prize winner in a competition for the East Bay Express in 2009 and the illustration in the centre is from the East Bay Express.

Memories of that evening



Groovy Hints on How to Catch and Keep a Boy – 60’s style




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Yesterday I found an old yellowed book that was hidden away, and by its dog-eared condition I had used it well. Not being the most attractive girl in school my “crushes” were legendary and they carried on for years. One of my “prey” was a local French Canadian boy whose name was Alain Jacques. I stalked him for almost two years in High School and now I look back on it and feel terrible that this poor guy was put in such an awkward position.


“Sew yourself a big fun bold print dress- and make a necktie to match for him.”

I designed and made most of my own clothes from the age of 12 on, and they were styles you might not even wear on Halloween. One day I remember walking into the local hangout in a baby blue floor length Granny Dress (6 months before they were popular), white go- go boots and a buck tooth smile. In my narrow little fashionista mind I was sure Alain would swoon over me immediately. But once he took a good look at me I could tell there was no way I was ever going to be asked to make him a matching tie.

“Does this boy play the guitar? Ask him to drill a small hole in one of his guitar picks and wear it around your neck.”

I honestly tried to let him know how interested I was in music by changing the location of my weekly piano lessons. I dropped my old teacher like a hot potato when I found out there was an instructor right next door to where he lived. I would sit outside after my lessons and gaze at his bedroom window for an hour or so. One day he caught a glimpse of me and quickly pulled the curtains closed. If I would have had a ladder it would have put up against his house and I would have climbed in. There was no way I would have settled for guitar picks either.

“Want to meet him? Start a petition and ask him to sign.”


In my own artistic way I wrote a song about him to the tune of The Beatles’ “Nowhere Man.” I believe it went like this:

“He’s a real Nowhere Man,

Sitting on his garbage can,
Making all his nowhere plans
for him and me,

Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a lot like me?

Nowhere Man please listen,
You don’t know what you’re missing,
Nowhere Man, my world is at your command!”

Signed: Mrs. Alain Jacques

We used to literally hang out of the High School windows at lunch time staring at all the cute French guys that used stand across the street. You could not miss Alain as he was tall with a blonde Beatle haircut and always sat on a garbage can. I had hand written many copies of my love poem and gave this “masterpiece” out to a few friends. One of them immediately thought he should know of my brilliance and gave him a copy. He looked up at me after he read it and I waved frantically having no idea I was about to be mortified for the rest of my life. When I found out what happened I slithered out of the window to my desk never to be seen again- for at least 48 hours.

“Always, repeat always, leave a party, dance or anything else with the same boy who brought you. If you meet a groovy boy during the evening there is always next time.”


Because I was overweight, had large teeth and smelled sometimes there was no way any guy was going to ask me out. I was the girl that wrote stories that were seized by the teacher, had bad marks and talked a lot. I had no family life so I lived in a fantasy world with an imaginary beloved and I ran with those thoughts daily. Eventually I hoped that Alain would join me in my world in a small home with Sears furniture and ready made kids.

To learn if he likes you, gather two acorns. Scratch his initials on one, yours on the other. Toss them into a pond, river or lake. If they float close together-yes he loves you; if they float apart-sorry ‘bout that.

I had a friend whose mother was into some mumbo jumbo stuff and she told me if I wrote his name 500 times a day he would finally succumb to me. So for 7 days I wrote: “Mrs. Alain Jacques” over and over in my notebook instead of doing homework. Alain never did come running and my friend suggested that perhaps I should have dropped the “Mrs.” for it to work.


“If you follow only one rule, let it be this one. Be yourself. The really strong boy-girl relationships are based on what people really are, not on what they pretend to be.”


The problem was that I was a freak and I scared him off by being a stalker. If I am 64 then Alain must be 67 and I wonder if he ever thinks of me and laughs. Maybe he has lost most of his hair, is not as cool anymore and been married a couple of times. I swear I will never forget him and I can bet my last bottom dollar he has never forgotten the crazy stalker whose name was Linda Knight.

Dedicated to Roger and Alain Jacques where ever you are.