Sometimes a few jokes emphasize the lighter side of life and are welcome in these troublesome and depressing times. So, apropos of that we must record the latest development in a long standing exchange between Karl’s Grocery and Rooney’s Tobacco Store.
Last year these enterprising business neighbors (across the street) under cover of darkness posted signs on one another’s doors on the 17th of March and the 12th of July. – The first one on K arl’s door read “Gone to New York for the Irish parade.” Brother Woermke of Karl’s staff was not to be outdone so when Mr. Mike Rooney arrived on the morning of July 12th there was a large placard on his door saying “Closed—gone to the Orange walk at Smiths Falls.”
The other day, the the mail, Mr. Rooney received a present of a paddy green tie from the staff across the street and he was asked to wear it at the next meeting of the Lions Club. He sent an orange colored monstrosity back to Karl and told him If he would wear it to the Club dinner if he would drape himself in the green one.
Mr. Paupst forgot Tuesday night to put on the Orange creation so to mollify the outraged Mike, glorified in his green neckerchief, he stood up and identified himself as “Karl O’Paupst.” But Mike insists that Paupst must wear the Orange tie on the 12th of July which Mr. Paupst has promised to do even if he is not an Orangeman. , —— 1952-03-20
May 25, 2019 · Passing Rooney’s Pool Room corner and seeing the empty storefront, I wonder if guys and gals play pool anywhere these days?In days of yore when it was a pool room it was an active hang out for the young men of our times, a place to gather and advance their skill with a pool cue and hit those hard, brightly colored balls into the side pocket and win the challenge placed!The corner itself had a status, an image. It was ‘the’ place for adolescent boys to be seen, to gather, to smoke and look like Robert Redford in the Hustler, or the like! Boys would hang out and watch the world go by or maybe whistle at a few pretty young ladies passing by whose parents had warned them not to be standing around the pool room corner. The less than welcomed Halloween’ egg throwing antics could also be executed from the pool room corner adding to it’s reputation. Karen Hirst
Hi Linda, Harold Woermke was Karl’s partner in the grocery store and my uncle. I can attest to humorous antics between the billiard room and the grocery store – all in good fun. These antics were very creative and well executed. All were members of the Lions Club and the good natured antics would continue at the monthly meetings. My uncle Dinty Scott and his brother Ed, were owners of The Superior Restaurant and the hijinks would draw in both brothers as well. Happy days and happy memories.
My father cheered for the losing Toronto Argonauts until he died and even when comedian John Candy took over as owner, he still could not resurrect their life-force.
There is a difference between the CFL and the NFL and it has something to do with the size of the field but don’t ask me about it.
Upon leaving a Canadian University, my best friend’s boyfriend got picked up to play for the Edmonton Eskimos and after a week of practising with men that were double his size he left. The town of Cowansville, Quebec talked about it for at least a year.
I once was a cheerleader for the *Cowansville, Quebec Colts, who only won one football game in two years. I had no idea what they were doing on that field but I can still remember the cheers word for word.
American lobbyist J. C. Watts once played for the Ottawa Rough Riders and was dating one of my staff at the same time. He came to dinner one night and absolutely hated my Italian soup. Watts played football the next day and blamed my soup for feeling ill. No one else was sick so I cursed his game.
When the clock says there is 5 minutes left in the game you know that it’s really somewhere in the neighbourhood of at least 22 minutes.
Superbowl Sunday February 5, 2102
I have always been on a stadium free diet and knew that “The East Coast Bowl” extravaganza would be on all day. The only thing I cared about on Superbowl XLVI was the commercials and seeing Madonna. My joys would be the halftime show and eyeing the linesmen bend over during the game. Between you and me there is nothing better than seeing a man in tight pants blocking other players.
If it were not for the commercials and Madge I would rather watch a faucet drip or knit a sweater for the Easter Parade. Tom Brady’s wife, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, did send me one of her mass emails begging me to send good vibes and prayers so her hubby could win the game. Stupid is as stupid does.
Of course I have already watched most of the commercials online but still enjoyed watching David Beckham once again for the same reason I like the linesmen. I still think some of the commercials should be more geared to women. Women are the ones who are busy dishing out stadium style snacks with the Slim Jims lined up in the dip like goal posts.
There is nothing worse than listening to hours and hours of male cheering for those on the field that are getting beaten up and tackled. I have also heard them say that the next best thing to being in the stands is sitting on the couch with friends. Their fragile egos are so geared to sports that if they can’t be out there playing then they like to watch. Note to all the women is that particular view on football seems to be the same way they feel about sex.
This year was the best lip synched show thus far, featuring Madonna and friends. The “Like a Virgin touched for the 3000th time” is nothing but an icon to me. People complained that Madonna could have been the mother of any of the players and everyone wanted to hand her a cane. May I remind you of former older entertainers who also did Super Bowl appearances, like Bono, Springsteen, Aerosmith and the list goes on. I scream double standards and age discrimination and was shocked Betty White was not joining her on stage to do squats and ride the male ponies.
If you were not into football there were the alternatives from the puppy bowl to marathons of AbFab and Downton Abbey. Personally I would take Patsy and Edina’s drunken insanity on AbFab over football any day. I did however vote for Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey for MVP.
Does the football game really say that there is less aggression in women or is it really a matter of a man’s dreams and personal glory? I understand men do not like to explain football to women and I have absolutely no interest in asking why the man in my life does the end zone shuffle screaming,
“We’re number 1!” We’re number 1!”
In the end I may not care for the sport, but I do cherish the few moments during a football game when you can watch a loved one “move like Jagger”. Got to love your personal linesman and worth every second of the irritating sporting event.
Notes from the Peanut Gallery:
What “self-respecting guy” would shell out $14.95 for a pair of Beckams briefs? I can get a 5-pack of boxer briefs at Wal-Mart or Target or Costco for about $12.- Walter B
*Yamaska August 8, 1962
Brome-Missisquoi Junior Football League Schedule
Aug 5 Cowansville Colts vs Farnham Frontenac
Aug 11 Farnham Frontenac vs Knowlton Larks
Aug 18 knowlton larks vs cowansville colts
Aug 25 Farnham Frontenac vs Cowansville Colts
Sept 1 Knowlton Larks vs Farnham Frontenac
Seven 8 cowansville colts vs knowlton larks
Sept 15 Playoffs
Sept 27 Playoffs
Oct 8 Playoff
Yamaska, August 29, 1962
Cowansville Junior Football Club, after a long stand, will host its first game in Cowansville on Saturday, September 1st against the Knowlton Larks. This game will be played at the Municipal Playground, located on Bernard Boulevard, and at 2 PM. There will be a parade if the weather is favorable. She will depart from City Hall at 1hr 15p.m. leading Cowansville Youth Harmony, followed by the league, executive club and players in convertibles. If sometimes it rains, there will be no parade but the parade will still take place at the usual time of 2 P.M. The parade will be rescheduled to next week when Cowansville hosts Farnham Frontenacs.
The Colts will try to hold on to the top spot in the league, having a slight lead over the teams.
Come support your local football league.
The Yamaska Sept 5, 1962
Cowansville Colts play their first game at home. Knowlton Larks win 21-18
The Cowansville Colts were hosted by the Knolwton Larks this past Saturday, September 1. The game took place at the Stadium on Bernard Street in C’ville. Spectators witness a football game being held for the first time in Cowansville. Even though the Larks defeated the Colts by a small three-point margin, these teams displayed a well-balanced game.
The ride was preceded by a parade that rocked City Hall formed by the Cowansville Junior Harmony. She was followed by convertibles carrying Brome-Missisquoi Junior Football League executive and Cowansville Colts Club executive, as well as Horseman M. Armand Beauregard reppin’ the city. Plus the Cowansville players in their blue and white uniforms followed.
The referee was under Mr. Hubert Dubois former Assistant Chief of SRFU and assisted by Dick Ferris of Farnham, Rupert Dobbin of Sweetsburg. A large crowd of supporters were present to support the local club, as well as supporters from Knowlton Larks and Farnham Frontenacs. The latter being the club that will meet Cowansville this week on September 8th at 2 p.m. in the Cowansville township.
Thank you to Cowansville Junior Harmony for showing out during the parade as well as at halftime convertible owners who provided their free help during the parade. Thanks also to Mr Hubert Dubois of the QRFU Montreal has provided his good competition in terms of professional arbitration and it is understood that he will come for future parties. Although the Cowansville Colts lost this game, they are still a great team in the league, and that will be proven at the next game in Cowansville Saturday, September 8th at 2 p.m. vs. Far Frontenacs. Lava.
Come along and support our local club.
The Yamaska 19 Sept 1962
Farnham Frontenacs defeat Cowansville Colts in the last minute it was a surprise 21-19 definite record
COWANSVILLE – In a surprise final, the Farnham Frontenacs lined up to make the winning touch over the Cowansville Colts who will play strongly into the end of the game or the Frontenacs made the final touch to do so win the game. It was apparent that near the final minutes Cowansville’s defensive line was considerably weakened and Farnham’s backfield used a bit of strategy to lock in all the winning points. Colts scored 6-0 in the 1st quarter, 7-6 in the 3rd 19-15 But in the end, the Colts just didn’t look like they were able to go ahead enough to stay near a touchdown margin.
While it was another disappointment for the Colts who just missed a loss to the Knowlton Larks last week, the Colts will play next week for a semi-final first leg, the first ever will be held in Knowlton next sat 15th sept. The second leg will be held at Cowansville, the semi-final will be the series total points between the two clubs. The semi-final winner will play first place with the Farnham Frontenacs in a 2 of 3. Today’s points were counted for Cowansville by: M. Liberty (13), D. Peacock (21), each having a touch, and P. Jordan scores a hit. Farnham was G. Harrison (31), one touchdown, R. Pie (25) two touch, D. Root (27) and H. Takeda got one and two points, respectively.
Colts cheerleaders supported their club perfectly like Farnham’s well organized. M. H. Dubois de Montreal QRFU referee was umpiring the game with the help of Dick Ferris from Farnham and Rupert Dobbin from Sweetsburg. M. A. Just from cowansville was taking minutes and M Ray Tetreault of Farnham was the corrector on these. Young football fans are invited to go to Knowlton for English school semi finals.
Come and support your local club.
Yamaska Oct 17, 1962
In the Brome-Missisquoi Junior League Farnham’s young representatives finished their season in style by winning the Grand Final at Knowlton Larks 24-19
Everything I do these days seems to get a roll of the eye from the younger generation. I honestly don’t know how I got this old, but it beats being dead. I’ve been told by my sons on previous birthdays the candles on the cake cost more than the birthday cake itself now. So what?
Of course it is a different world these days, and there is no just turning on the AM radio in the morning, or listening to weatherman Percy Salzman at night on the black and white television with only three channels. Now we have computers, social media and cellphones to babysit until we doze off in our living room chair at night.
According to my sons I drive way too slow and should not be on the road. Well, there is the fact I drive only in the radius of the county, but either I am not pushing the gas pedal hard enough, or I am talking and pointing to something without checking what is coming my way. Yes, sometimes that can be a problem, I admit it.
Then there are my oversize glasses. I bought them specifically for style as it hides the bags under my eyes and I am getting more bang for my buck with large lenses for vision. Yes, it is one step under needing a seeing eye dog. However, one day my eldest drove by me on the road and my glasses were way down on my nose, and he said the next time he saw me like that he would disown me. I told him someone must have sent out a memo stating that after 65, wearing huge glasses is in. I reminded him that people start to shrink as they get older, and glasses need to grow in the opposite direction. He wasn’t buying it!
I have also learned that in most cases if you call your kids and leave voicemail, good luck to you. If you send a text you should get a return message in 3-4 working days if you are lucky. It’s similar to laundry: washing- 30 minutes, drying-60 minutes and putting it away-7-10 working days.
How can you convey to your kids that we are now older? It takes longer to get out of the chair, or off the couch with possible sound effects. They need to understand we have aches and pains and maybe cleaning my fridge is not at the top of my list. Yes, I am not a young Mum anymore— but that’s the journey talking and one day their strange noises will be a lot louder than ours.
Then there is the debate about Instagram and Facebook. Yes, I am on Instagram so I can see my grandkids photos where the younger family hangs out, but I am, and have always been, an enthusiastic Facebook user. Instagram just doesn’t seem to have my age-group variety of Memes, photos of other folks’ grandkids and funny cat photos.
Bottom line is, even if my kids think I am old and out of touch, that’s nonsense. In our heads we are anything but. We are just all enthusiastic, and just love remembering and telling stories about our childhoods:
“Jell-O moulds with fruit trapped inside, and drinking out of the hose and the outdoor street lights being our guide to go home at night. Those are experiences that kids today just won’t have”.
At my age I am going to continue to fumble and mumble and tell people to speak up for the rest of my life. Criticisms of me slowing down will not bother me at all either. Last week I wore my underwear backwards all day for some reason, but I knew in my heart it didn’t matter. That’s because I still remember the old days of being told to make sure you have clean underwear on– no matter which way it faces. In the olden days it was the fear of accidents, now it’s the possibility of meeting up with a full body scanner somewhere. It’s cheaper anyways to go through the airport than setting up an appointment with your doctor.
I have been sick the last few days and I decided to order my groceries online. I always make lasagne, but in that particular moment I was feeling like I just couldn’t. So seeing a special in the Independent Grocers flyer I decided to order one this week.At 4:05 Pm I get a concerned call from Steve who is picking up the groceries, saying he thinks they might have screwed up the order as there is a frozen lasagne in one of the bags. I reassure him all is well with the order and just bring it home please.Unpacking the groceries I see that the lasagne is FAMILY size and frozen like a very hard chunk of ice. There is no way we are going to eat all of that in one sitting so I sit on the chair at the kitchen island fretting what to do. It’s suddenly like me and this giant Lasagne against the world.How do I do this?How do I make it into meals?I wish my Grandmother was still alive. Mary Louise Deller Knight was a pro at things. She knew what to do, and would have handled this for me. She had a freezer that was the size of a case of canned drinks and yet could fit the neighbourhood’s frozen food into it.Sometimes she would be outside the kitchen door with her axe. A prime turkey or any other large food item would be sitting on a tree stump and she would cut that sucker in half with one fell blow. There she had it– all good for a few meals and easy to fit in the freezer.After the final blow she would take out my Grandfather’s round shaving mirror and pluck her chin hairs. It was a weekly tradition to the soothing sounds of Mantovani because the light was better outside. That is something I learned from her— to try and tame growing forest on my face, good lighting is the answer. However, I guess I should have watched her more for the keeping of large frozen items as this Sunday morning I am still thinking of what to do with it LOLOL. It looks like it has more horsepower than my car.
As I see my granddaughter Tenley sit at her Dad’s desk I remember my days of sitting at the desk at the F. J.Knight Company on South Street in Cowansville. My grandfather and dad had a business of being electrical contractors for over 60 years. They also had a retail store where they sold fixtures and whatever you needed for electrical work in the front of the house. I sat at the front desk in that store every Friday night for 14 years selling lightbulbs and whatever while my Dad Arthur, chewed the fat as they say, with his customers.When I was 12— I was promoted to working summers typing out invoices with carbon paper (three layers). There were so many pieces sold per invoices it drove me nuts. I also did the window/ window sills display for them… pretty funny when you think of it. At 3 pm every day my Grandmother Mary Knight came into the store with cheese and crackers and a glass of milk. Friday nights,when the store closed– it was Tommy Hunter on TV and then more cheese and crackers. I was always trained to work hard, respect people, but have a damn opinion please LOLOL– So it gives me great joy to see Tenley ‘helping” her Dad, and I already know she has opinions.
Words About Not Smelling Like Teen Spirit….Linda Knight Seccaspina
Just about every home in the world had a bottle of “Evening in Paris” somewhere in someone’s bedroom. Once upon a time even the perfume machines in women’s restrooms had them. If you put in a coin and pushed the buttons a big squirt of perfume would come out. My Grandmother would always get a bottle for a gift when I was a kid and I never heard her say she didn’t like it.
My Grandfather would take one of us girls to Varins drug store on South Street on Christmas Eve to buy a gift for her. We would come home reeking of many perfumes he had tried on me, but he always bought Evening In Paris as a special gift to win Grammy’s heart with its enticing scent.
How wonderful I felt when Grammy dabbed the fragrance from that cobalt blue bottle on my wrists and behind my ears before sending me off to school. I also remember when the vial shattered and spilled inside her coat pocket —-you could smell her long before she approached you in the preceding months.
One of my favourite flowers, Lily of the Valley, grew everywhere and after my Mother died they sent home her belongings in a blue Samsonite suitcase. When I opened it a bottle of her favourite perfume Coty’s Lily of the Valley had broken inside. For years, each time I opened that suitcase, I relived the rare hours spent with my Mother, in the many hospitals she lived in during my childhood before she died. Fragrances made me feel loved. Nothing is more memorable than a smell, sometimes it’s the key to our memories.
This is exactly where I should pump the brakes in my written journey about scents you remember. Last week I told my 7 year-old granddaughter that when I passed she and her cousin could share my collection of jewellery and hats. She was ecstatic, and then she turned to her mother and said,
“Mum, are they going to smell like Gammy?”
I was shocked and wondered if I had begun to smell musty or bad.
They say when a person approaches old age, they are more likely to start suffering from a distinctive whiff which is often described as a greasy or grassy odour, or ‘old people smell’. I remember going into my grandfather’s bedroom and it always had a certain scent to it. Concerned, I looked it up and they report it’s called– wait for it–Skin Gas. Apparently it’s 2-Nonenal gas, emitted by skin, which is a byproduct of the normal ageing process.Of all the things I thought I’d be thinking of in the new year, this wasn’t one of them. But, last week’s conversation with my granddaughter really made me think about what she was going to remember what Gammy smelled like. Getting to the bottom of it– she just didn’t care for my perfume.
Evening in Paris contained “bergamot top notes and middle notes of jasmine, Turkish rose, violet, iris, ylang-ylang, and a hint of peach and woody cedar that gave way to a sensual, powdery base of soft vanilla”. My Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet on the other hand, was supposed to be a “peony-rose sprinkled with some juicy apricot, an airy floral scent with clean white musk” wrapping it up. The first word that comes to my mind when I wear it is “celestial”– to her I smelled the opposite.
Trying to evoke my scented nostalgia for her memories would never be possible. Every once in a while a gal gets a yearning for a little powder, roses, and violets. Now, all I think about is that older people’s skin and smell will contribute to greenhouse gasses.
I don’t have many photos from my childhood, but this photo above is a favourite of mine. I have often wondered what this doll was as I have never come across it in my research journeys until last week. There it was, staring at me from the 1954 pages of the Almonte Gazette. I remember my doll talking, but it wasn’t 24 inches long so I assume it was a fake Trudy doll bought at the local 5 and 10 “The Ritz Store” situated on the Main street in Cowansville, Quebec.
My people didn’t travel much, so my beloved doll was a knock off, just like the knock off purse I got myself last week. But, my friend Stacey says we shouldn’t call anything fake anymore— you call it “designer inspired” as it’s all about the verbiage. Sovthe Trudy doll I had was “designer inspired” LOLOLOL.
This doll meant a lot to me as my mother was in the hospital a lot so she was a constant friend. I even used her on my book about cancer, because I never forgot her.
Trudy is long gone, so when I tried to find about the doll I found out that one of the Trudy dolls became haunted. This is nothing new to me– seriously…. read-The Spirits Are Alive and Well
On one of my excursions, we headed to a well known haunted area of the Maine coast called Wiscasset. Naturally when I saw a lawn sale at a run down house directly next door an old run down cemetary I had to stop. The toys were being ‘sold’ by the girl in the family who was maybe 7. She had all her items displayed on a blanket and was sitting with them. I thought it was strange that she had a doll in a box it didnt go in so I decided to ask this girl about it! I asked how much she wanted for the doll, and asked her if that was her original box, knowing it wasnt.
She looked at me point blank and said: “No, I put her in the box to keep her still at night”. I said, “Well did it work”? She said, “Not until I put the tape on it”. I have left this this taped up and have never opened the box.I could tell this girl was dealing with something supernatural in her life. She felt that whatever entity was in this doll had been contained to the box. There is immediately something scarey or strange about this doll in the box. The box was made of tin & plasticand I did not buy it.
I later saw a similar crazy doll on EBay (in a box) sell for $500.
Double, double, toil and trouble; no more Love Potion Number 9’s but we can still buy these silly dolls. I wonder if the sales of “Jesus or Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich” will now have restrictions? Cheesus Christ!
Well at least each eBay sale is protected through PayPal; but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scammed by a Craigslist soul. Sadly these people that once bought these new prohibited items are now going to have to settle for an out-of-eBay experience. I used to think these things were scary– I realized real people are LOLOL
Advertising is the greatest sales force that ever has been discovered. Of course it must be admitted that advertising will not sell an article that isn’t in demand, is of poor quality or priced too high. But let those three requirements be met satisfactorily and advertising will produce the buyers in numbers that are sometimes embarrassing. Take for example an experience we had at The Almonte Gazette office recently.
A farmer living a few miles out of town brought in a Marian 25-20 rifle and advertised it for sale in the columns of the newspaper. Rifles are hard to get, the season was right, deer hunting days being at hand and foxily enough he threw in an offer of 7Q cartridges as an extra incentive. Because he lived in the country and it would be difficult for prospective purchasers to see the rifle at his home, the owner of the weapon asked us if we would keep it in the office and show it to such interested parties as they turned up.
In a moment of weakness we agreed to this arrangement and then hell broke loose on wheels. No sooner was the paper published than the parade started on foot, over the telephone, and through the mails. We were called out of bed late at night by the shrill summons of the telephone bell to answer a voice demanding to know how much we wanted for “that there” rifle. Phone calls came from Calabogie, Carp, Balderson, Lanark and many intermediate points. We even received a telegram from Sharbot Lake and several air mail letters from eager sportsmen who felt that the rifle might spread its wings and sail away before they could get their offers on the record.
But, it was the boys who walked into the office asking to see the gun who really got us down. Knowing nothing about a rifle we had to produce this weapon for inspection and tell each prospect to look it over and judge for himself as it wasn’t our property and we were incapable of hazarding an opinion on its condition. It was a revelation to watch and listen to these great hunters as they put the gun through its paces. We thanked a kind person over and over again that the owner had left no shells around or the demonstrations would have taken on a truly terrifying complexion. It was bad enough anyway.
Believe it or not during the week the gun was in the office it was nothing for the editor or his assistants to look up from their work and find themselves gazing into the muzzle of the 25-20. Now even if you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that a gun is not loaded you still get a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach when you find yourself confronted with the business end of a wicked looking black barrel.
What a procession of experts passed through the office during those hectic days and examined the fierce looking weapon! There they were peering down the muzzle to see if the rings were all right; holding the hind end of it up to the light or putting a piece of paper into the magazine to increase their powers of detection. We don’t know yet what the idea of holding the paper to one end of the breach was but we know we tore up several reams of newsprint in our efforts to accommodate our visitors.
“Ah, it doesn’t look too bad,’ one chap would say, gazing down the barrel as if he had a telescope and was searching for a new heavenly body. The rings don’t look very clean they may be leaded,” another prospective customer would opine hoping we would soften the price if he cried down the condition of the firearm. “I have one like it, only it is a Winchester,” said another pal of ours. “With my gun I have often shot two deer with one bullet. Do you suppose I could shoot two deer with this gun if they were standing end to end.”
My accounts of prowess in the woods evoked by the inspection of that gun were truly edifying. We asked on several occasions if it would be all right for us to publish stories describing their deeds in the great hinterland. Without exception they thought, and hastily exacted a promise that we would not mention either their names or their claims. This seemed passing strange to us because it is certainly no disgrace to be able to kill a deer a mile away or knock two over with one shot. We concluded that the huntsmen were very modest -a trait that somehow or other we never before associated with hunters or anglers.
There seemed to be a unanimous —old and young—who inquired about the gun that its owner wanted too much for it. So finally the man called and took his rifle home. We could have sold it a dozen times if we had had the authority to cut the price a little. Since then we have been directing traffic out to the farm occupied by the owner of the rifle. For all we know he may have sold it to some chap who is killing deer a mile away or knocking them over two or three at a time.
Any man who says advertising doesn’t pay is all wrong. This incident proves it although we will admit that an advertisement for a man to do a little hard work at moderate wages or for a furnished house to rent is not apt to produce the stampede that would be created by a printed intimation that you had a rifle and shells for sale just prior to deer hunting season or that you were prepared to give away a bottle of gin or a case of beer on Rooney’s corner at high noon.
In the old days a farmer was liable to find his wagon sitting astride the roof of his barn when the sun came up the morning after Halloween. This entailed more work than the boys would have cared to do in a legitimate cause. Many a young man who shined at hoeing potatoes didn’t mind doing a lot of heavy work in the interests of hilarity. The mysterious occasion—Halloween—passed off quietly in Almonte. The weather was good and the children indulged in the modern pastime of calling on their neighbors looking for treats. Owing to wartime conditions they did not fare so well this time. It was difficult for people to get candies and the old standby—peanuts —were out of the question.
Those who were fortunate had a store of apples on hand but they were expensive this year and it was impossible for most people to hand them out with the old time prodigality. So far as is known the town was free from the old time tricks—tricks of a destructive nature. In years gone by it was the practice for the town constable to swear in a number of deputies to keep down rowdyism. Nothing like that was necessary on that Saturday night. Chief Wm. Peacock had no trouble coping with the situation because, as it turned out, there was no situation to cope with. The Clayton Bear in Clayton however was one funny incident that people there were still chuckling over.
A well known practical joker of the village decided he would give the children a scare. In town they were going around visiting the various houses. This young man got under a buffalo robe and walked on all fours down the Road accosting the crowd of youngsters. He growled like a bear and hoped in the darkness he would be mistaken for the real McCoy. The boys and girls listened to the ferocious grunts emanating from under the buffalo robe and then they got wise.
Arming themselves with sticks and stones they chased the bear off the road helping him along by applying kicks to that part of the robe under which they surmised a certain part of his anatomy showed. The growls of the bear changed to genuine howls of pain as the robe and its contents sought safety in flight. It is said one of the sad experiences of the bear was that his forepaws passed over a spot where cows had recently mooched along in their homeward journey with consequences that can better be imagined than described.
And that wasn’t all. A vicious dog decided to take a hand in the game. That was the last straw so far as Bruin was concerned. He suddenly emerged from under the robe and the last seen of him he was going over a fence with more speed than any bear ever could display.
Taking it generally the war had its effect on the observance of Halloween this year. There were fewer entertainments on that night than of yore and in the towns the absence of young people in the armed forces and in positions -which made it necessary for them to Jive, in the city was painfully apparent.
There are still a few copies of my book available for those who haven’t gotten a copy yet, or as a Christmas gift to someone with ties to Clayton. They are available at the Clayton Store, the Mill Street Books or from me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Sharp--While we’re talking about Carleton Place families, Bill Findlay and his wife were touring Scotland once and ran into the Queen of England who broke down in her Landrover and apparently was invited for tea afterwards.
David Jeanes-–Hey Jim Sharp I thought from the movie “The Queen” that Queen Elizabeth knew how to fix Landrovers from her work as an army driver during World War II.
Jim Sharp–David Jeanes– Guess she didnt have the right wrench
I have been writing and documenting community history for a very long time with over 6,300 blogs about history. I believe humour is important telling history sometimes, as people seem to remember what is written longer. Everybody knows the tragedy of history, yet, there is no denying that the past is often very funny and yesterday Jim Sharp’s comments on Old Ottawa And Bytown Pics not only made me laugh, but I will never forget the story.
Do we think that serious textual stories are better, more “literary,” whereas maybe something in a lighter fare is for the under educated? If so, then we have a problem. Today’s generations are not interested in facts, and to get them, or a lot of other folks to read about history, it has to be interesting. I don’t know about you but reading traditional text really doesn’t inspire me to want to know more, so I decided to take the ‘vanilla’ out of some history. I mean what would you rather read–
“A faintness came over him, and together with the evacuations his bowels protruded, followed by a copious hemorrhage, and the descent of the smaller intestines: moreover portions of his spleen and liver were brought off in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died.”
Well, maybe that is a terrible example–but today, one of the younger generation would ‘text’ that sentence something like this:
“Hey! That man just %^&* out his internal organs and I will never eat Pigs In A Blanket again”.
What about a local lad who was so popular that the crowd at one of our local Ottawa Valley threw so many various items at him out of adoration that he died of asphyxiation? What will you remember? Pie Winners? I don’t think so. But, interesting tidbits sometimes helps you remember the rest of the story.
Mill of Kintail Road off Highway 28
Of course we all remember Brothel Bertie (King Edward the VII) who probably exercised his prowess around the local Lanark area, including Ottawa. When he visited in 1860 he might have ended dying from bow chicka wow wow when he had a drink at Bennie’s Corners. Apparently, a certain lady from a local Ramsay farm had caught his eye. I don’t know about you, but reading about those “old community spirits” keeps my interests up and makes me want to know more. Read more here-Taking Sexy Back with Brothel Bertie aka Edward the VII
Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby All right stop, Collaborate and listen
On the 18th of 1897 Carleton Place was advertising for someone to introduce military drills and exercise in the public schools. For $600 a year the individual they hired was to instill serious discipline into the local school child. It was mentioned that 15 minutes a day plus the occasional ‘polite and necessary’ beating would increase the brain function from all that sitting sideways and slouching forward that a normal child does during the day.
As Maestro Fresh Wes once said: “Let your backbone slide!”
The Central Canadian newspaper wanted the school system to hire Joseph McKay, son of James McKay, Carleton Place Bell Street baker for the position. He rose in his long militia service here from lieutenant of No. 5 Company in the late 1870’s to lieutenant colonel of his regiment at the turn of the century. The Rifle Ranges at Carleton Place were constructed during Lieut. Colonel McKay’s command and the newspaper said it would be hard to find a more efficient man for the position. A no nonsense man I believe was quoted in the newspaper.
So what else did I remember when I read the newspaper article?
I somehow saw Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Mackay who had risen to Major by that point in time looking something like Black Jack Jonathan Randall from the hit TV show Outlander instructing those Carleton Place children with a snap of his crop.
I don’t think there is a “chance in Inverness” that I will ever forget this story now–nor will you.