We ranged far and wide, to investigate the gals of Almonte, Perth and the Smiths Falls. Beside the point, the Almonte girls and twelve girls in Perth likewise Smiths Falls’ girls were not likely to have anything to do with a carload of boys from Carleton Place, however our dreams took us! The boys grouped in a car, probably because they were too timid to approach a girl on her own and the girls grouped for protection from these roaming boys: a protection that was hardly necessary (not considered by either).
Along came recognition that the weekend dances were a better opportunity to actually socialize with the opposite sex- no pressure; you could participate if you found the courage or just watch from the sidelines until something/someone moved you to contemplate an approach to a girl bereft of her protectors (six or dozen)-it happened.
We went as far afield as Constance Bay, Rideau Ferry, a variety of Fall Fairs, upstairs at the Richmond arena and all of the aforementioned towns, but the favourite for me was Mulligan’s barn; located on the Carp road (long gone).
We drove to these places in our jalopies amid a myriad of hiccups- 39 Plymouth, the exhaust/ muffler fell off onto the highway, so hot had to be kicked to the side and picked up on our rather noisy return. The repair was a bendable pipe that left the noise behind us. Same car (not mine); armed with a bucket and on arrival at Mulligans, placed it under the rear of the car. The plan was to not get so involved in the dancing and socializing that we would forget to return to the car and empty the gasoline that was dripping into the bucket- some close calls. Another close call was my getting kicked off the dance floor for, “swinging to hard”. (rock and roll in its infancy was not always appreciated). A really close call not ending in my favour either, was when we were cooling off after a dance, a girl and I decided to visit the car (ostensibly to check the bucket), had hardly settled in when there was knock at the door, which I reluctantly opened, to face a young lad about ten years old, speaking the dreadful words;-“Mom wants you to come with me and you are going home” I forgot about the bucket! Never saw her again, which turned out to be a good thing!
I must have had a reputation.
Constance Bay dancing the night away with my girlfriend (future wife) while trying to ignore her sister (our chaperone). Venturing from the hall, I had trouble finding the car, the fog was that thick and finding the road, problematic but I had to get the girls home. Settled on winding the window down and steering by white line, creeping along for what seemed like hours. Finally able to transfer from Hwy 7 to Ashton’s main street? and made the right turn at Campbell’s house, but I must have been so tensed with the drive that I didn’t t let go of the wheel after the turn and ended up in the ditch-I had a reputation for ditches at the time and this just added to the history.
Now my brain is getting foggy and will end.
Thanks Larry Clark
read– Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s Arlene Stafford
The Dawn Patrol on Local Dance Halls
Dance Hall Fire Blakeney
Larry Clark Stories
The Summer of 1956- Larry Clark
The Carleton Place Night Patrol: Aka Skin Dogging — Larry Clark
Larry Clark — Upper Bridge Street in Carleton Place
Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire
Update to the Charles Lindbergh Story — Larry Clark
Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place
Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark
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