From childhood I have been fascinated with all different fungi. Being a child who climbed trees and would sit for a time and take in her surroundings, I was conscious of Nature and growing things.
I came from an Irish background and a grandfather that did instill the magic of the imagination. I travelled on many adventures with him, touring his workshop and watching him create his many talents and thoughts. Grandpa always found a lesson in everything he did and always shared his knowledge.
He was a man of many talents and one thing he did was make Dandelion Wine. He had his recipe which had been in his family for years. Come Dandelion season, he would be getting ready to pick his blossoms, he would ask if I would like to help. Out to the woodshed he went and picked up an old apple basket and away we would go,
It seems to me the best place for the blossoms was the green space by the railway track. We did have to walk the path at the end of the field across on the other side of Gardner Street. The field/bush had many things to be discovered and one thing I had noticed was the fungi growing on the side of the tree. Because my Grandpa was always so smart and had the answers, I asked him about it. As we were walking, we passed an old tree and there it was a charming growth on the trunk of the tree. When I asked about it, he said well you see that is where your leprechaun lives.
Now I did believe that this is where my interest came from. He explained that every little person had a leprechaun to watch over them, but they were hard to find, as they sometimes became invisible. They did not like to be found as they were always watching out for your well being. He told me if you approached the fungi and looked under it you might just find your little leprechaun sitting there. I do have to admit as we were on a mission for those yellow blooms from the dandelion, I did not get the chance to look.
I have to admit I never did find my Noisey O’Really in all my time of looking, although there were times I felt someone on my shoulder.
You know things do come back into your life again and teachings you received as a child do come back to be. When my nephew was about six years old he would come to visit for a week during the summer and stay at our home. He was a delightful child.
At the time we had a dog I would walk and Kevin would come with me on a tour of our walk around the block. One day on a tree by the spot between the sidewalk and the street there was a fungus on the trunk of the tree. It was much too close to the ground for me to bend and look for the leprechaun.
Like any Irish descendant, Aunt would pass the story on, and she told him that If he was quiet and did not make too much noise, he might find a leprechaun. It seems to me whenever he visited he would come on my dog walk. The only thing was the leprechaun also eluded Kevin.
I guess we were not quiet enough and I am still waiting to find my Leprechaun.
The first TV program I remember watching as a child was the Mantovani Show, and not only was it boring, but it was in black and white. Because we lived 14 miles from the Vermont border in Quebec we were lucky to be able to receive some American television, and not just the staple Canadian three.
Cartoon Corner and Howdy Doody were favourites of mine back in the day on CBC. I also remembered having to unplug the TV when a thunderstorm occurred as my Mother said it was “going to blow the house up if one of those bolts wrapped around the venetian blinds”. Of course, I still think of that when it’s storming outside sitting in my lazy boy chair that’s pointed at the television along with every other piece in the room, and still with decorative venetian blinds.
Every night at 5 in 1961 I would watch the CBC TV show Razzle Dazzle hosted by Suzanne Somer’s husband, Alan Hamel. I had entered a writing contest and was eagerly waiting to hear if I won a pen with my “meatless meat pie” essay. A few weeks later I found out that I had indeed won a Razzle Dazzle pen for my story along with a photo of Howard the Turtle.
One day in the 60’s my father went to Keith Lachasseur’s Appliance store on the Main Street in Cowansville and came home with a colour TV. I didn’t really care one way or the other as I was actually used to the rainbow hues of “the plastic sheet” on the front of the television. It ‘simulated’ full colour along with rabbit ears covered in tinfoil to stimulate even better viewing. Of course it was sold as a cheap alternative to buying an expensive colour TV and its promise had sucked my father in. I think he immediately knew he had the wool pulled over his eyes, but never knowingly admitting a mistake, he insisted that it was ‘just as good’ as the real thing.
In our family he was the only person allowed to touch the new TV and he was always up on the roof adjusting the antenna to get the best
picture. After seeing everything in black and white while we simultaneously hunted dinosaurs in those days my world had now progressed to technicolor with a new neighbour coming in every night to see ‘the TV.’ Some of the highlights were: ‘Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Colour’ when Tinkerbell would splash colour on the screen and of course the burning map on the TV show Bonanza was priceless.
One night my father went out to a Lodge meeting and my friend Sheila came over to watch The Man from U.N.C.L.E. David McCallum, who played “Ilelya Kuryakin” on the show, had been dubbed the “British James Dean” and was the only reason I watched that show. The fact that I had always seen him cast as a delinquent was a bonus for me since there is nothing like a bad boy. Sheila and I sat down and got ready to watch. The NBC Peacock came on and it remained in black and white. Where was the colour?.
Was my father really not at the Lodge meeting and adjusting the roof antenna so I could not enjoy the show? The Man from U.N.C.L.E began and I started fidgeting around with the buttons. Instead of black and white the show suddenly turned red and then blue and I wondered if the rainbow plastic sheet had found its way inside the TV. Was I doomed? After fidgeting some more the picture started skipping and I had to play around with the “horizontal hold” button. I think all of you remember that particular button with joy and happiness.
Illya still stared at me in glorious black and white, and I stopped playing with the buttons. Fifteen minutes before the show ended my father came in and tweaked his magic and it turned from black and white to colour.
Once you had colour TV you never went back to black and white- you just went to “upgrade”. Some of my friends in the late 60’s used LSD instead, and their whole lives became Technicolor — without television. My family just continued to ‘upgrade’ and in lieu of Don Messer’s Jubilee we watched Tommy Hunter on Friday nights. Who knew a
Hoedown, Tommy Hunter and Brenda Lee could all exist in colour together?
McLuhan once said,“The medium is in the message”– or was that ‘the massage’. But now we are confronted with all sorts of media so pardon me while I check my Facebook Twitter and Instagram and watch a season of something on Netflix real quick. Just remember if someone had not invented the TV we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners.
Hi Linda, my name is Amy Thom, my husband, Wes Thom, and I bought a place on Ramsay Conc 8. Our summer kitchen is now a play area for our kids. When we looked through the floor boards on one side, it revealed years of ‘recycling storage’ and many many old cans/bottles/ointment containers! Today when looking through , I found this receipt and was wondering if you had any info on ‘Almonte Cold Storage’. Thanks! Amy
Cold Storage Plant Almonte
Memories..The largely attended funeral service for the late Lester Boyd Jamieson who passed away on Friday, February 14th, 1975, was held on Sunday afternoon, February 16, at Almonte United Church. Mr. Jamieson suffered a heart seizure and passed away a short time later. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Robert McCrea of Almonte United and Rev. Ray Anderson, a former minister of the Almonte Church. Interment was at the Auld Kirk Cemetery. The well-filled church was a fitting tribute to one who had served his church as an elder for some 50 years and as clerk of the session for 35 years. Mr. Jamieson was born in North Dakota on October 23, 1890, and came to Canada as an infant. He was a son of the late Robert Jamieson and his wife, Sarah Dworkin. He received his early education at the school at Hopetown and later learned the art of cheesemaking at Kingston dairy school. He was married at Watson’s Corners in 1912 to the former Mary Euphemia McDougall, and for the next 13 years resided in such places as Perth, Prospect, Malakoff and Clayton, following his trade as a cheesemaker. The following 28 years were spent farming on the farm outside of Almonte where his son Boyd now resides. After moving into Almonte, Mr. Jamieson was for three years in the Registry Office, followed by some time in the Almonte Cold Storage plant. In later years, he worked at refurbishing old furniture at the Pinecraft shop. Besides his wife, Mr. Jamieson is survived by a son, Boyd, of Almonte; two daughters, Mrs. Eileen Russell of Kingston, and Mrs. Beryl Riddell, Cardinal; a brother, William, at Hopetown, and two sisters, Mrs. Clara Miller of Timmins and Mrs. Percy Currie of Radisson, Sask. He was predeceased by a son, Lionel. Pallbearers at the funeral were Ross Craig, Larry Command, Weldon Kropp, Wilbert Monette, and nephews Melville Dowdall and Mac Dowdall.
After a few years spent apprenticing in the North, fur trade employees were sent to the Fur Training School. The School opened in the late 1940s to provide instruction in all aspects of fur buying such as grading, pricing, and more. Originally six months long, the course was later shortened to three. Beaver was always the primary focus of the curriculum but all species were covered. Graduates went on to store management in the North or to work in the Raw Fur Department or Fur Sales Division.
And in 1991, faced with dropping sales due in large part to the anti-fur movement, the Hudson’s Bay Company announced it was ending its fur business.
With that announcement, it brought to an end nearly three centuries of its connection to the fur trade.
Amy said:”The Mum deodorant actually still has a little in it, and you can see the marks from fingers having swiped through it!”
Rexall Milk of Magnesium
Soon after its invention by Charles H. Phillips in 1873, Milk of Magnesia became Phillips’ most popular product.
REXALL Bronchial Syrup
Remember the Rexall ONE penny saled?
Coal tar was one of the active ingredients in Mazon. Mazon Cream is a by-product of coal processing. The skin cream does not appear to be available in the U.S. but can be ordered online ..
Medicated anti-itch cream for effective and long-lasting relief of itching and scaling of Eczema and Psoriasis.
Carnegie Drugstore- Miss McKee
The prescription bottle has ‘Miss McKee’ on it, my understanding was before the Morton’s bought the farm, it was owned by his uncle Issac McKee, they had a daughter who passed away as a child? So the prescription bottle would of been hers from when she ill? Pretty interesting! -Amy Thom
Amy, we found her.It looks like she died from Tuberculosis
1952, Thursday January 17, The Almonte Gazette page 8 Miss Agnes McKee On Tuesday, Jan 8th, Agnes Jane Isabel McKee, only daughter of Mr and Mrs Isaac McKee, passed away at the home of her parents, followed an illness of four month’s duration.
Carnegie’s Drug Store
Joan ArmstrongA lot of memories, I wish I could remember it all ….Irval motors where Don Coady is, oh – before that Snedden’s drugstore, NS Lee Hardware – across the street Peterson’s Icecream, Hydro office – McCormick’s ladies wear, Proctor’s shoe store on corner of Brae and Mill.BMO, I forgot Carnegie’s drug store before now
The Misses Hogans had a military shop somewhere in the area of Baker Bob’s today.Going past BMO all I can remember is Needham’s shoe store, Graham’s drugstore, The Superior.Of course the Pool room corner where Subway was (across from Keepsakes:Cashmere Rose)A garageLots of ???StedmansI hope someone can fill in the blanks.Oh, forgot the Almonte Gazette!
The highlight of the year was the birth of David at the Rosamund Memorial Hospital on February 17, 1954. The doctor was Dr. Schulte, a German doctor who eventually returned to Germany. (His associate was Dr. Rolf Bach who remained a friend for many years until he died in 2010) Doug was busily teaching a class at school the afternoon that David was born. He was a wee one but the delight of family and new-found friends in Almonte. Read FAMILY TIME: 1956 – 1964 (PART 2)
NEW HOSPITAL’S 1ST BABY
On Friday, May 12th, the first baby was born in the new Almonte General Hospital. She was Katherine May Eriksen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Eriksen, nee Olive Elliott of Almonte. Dr. 0. H. Schulte was the doctor in attendance. The Eriksens also have a son Jimmie, aged two years.
Remembering Courage Strength and Love- Linda Knight Seccaspina
By the 1930’s 90% of the urban population was dependent on a wage or salary, and most families you knew lived on the edge. Living in the city meant reliance on a male family member with a job to stay alive, and if you lived on the farm you counted on what you grew to feed everyone.
As a child, my Grandmother used to tell me all sorts of stories about the Depression. Each morning she made sandwiches for the hungry people knocking on her door, and her weathered screened verandah sometimes became a shelter for homeless people during rainy nights. The train station was just a few blocks down from where they lived on South Street in Cowansville, and those that rode the freight trains would get off daily to see if they could find work or food.
I was always told that we had a hobo mark on our side door, and Grammy Knight would also take in needy families until they got on their feet. Grampy once said that he never knew who would be sitting across from him nightly at the dinner table. Each time my Grandmother asked him to go to the grocery store to get another loaf of bread for someone in need he went without complaining.
One day Grammy hired a young homeless woman named Gladys who worked for her until she died. I was barely eight years old when Gladys passed, but I still remember her like yesterday. Gladys was an odd looking woman who tried to hide her chain smoking habit from my Grandmother. The manly-looking woman would talk up a storm while she cleaned with stories that young ears should have never heard– but I always did.
Gladys would tell me all about her days during the depression as a teenager, where she would hide along the tracks outside the train yards. She would run as fast as she could along the train as it gained speed and grab hold and jump into the open boxcars. Sometimes, she missed, and sometimes she watched some of her friends lose their legs, or their lives, as they jumped off as the train was reaching its destination.
There was nothing left at home for her during those horrible years of the Depression. One Sunday they were without money for the church collection plate and under one of the old rugs they finally found a dime which they proudly placed on the collection plate.
There were just too many mouths to feed and Gladys knew she wasn’t going anywhere if she remained at home. So she just rode the rails as it was free and she knew she would find food somewhere, which was more than she was going to do at home. She cut her hair, wore overalls and a cap, and survived life on the road until my Grandmother hired her.
Gladys ended up dying in her sleep in ‘the back room’ of my Grandparents home. After she died, my Grandmother promptly labelled it ‘Gladys’s room’. When I was older and came home on weekends, that very same room was where I slept. You have no idea how many times I thought I saw Gladys in the dark shadows scurrying around with her feather duster, and yes, still chain smoking.
When I was older my Grandparents would make a simple dinner for themselves. My Grandfather would cut up tomatoes, add mayo like a dressing with salt and pepper. While I watched him eat, I would say, “is that all you’re having !!?? He would reply to me,
“I’m from a time when you looked in the icebox and you put together what was in there and that’s what you had. Remember that “my birdie” … it isn’t always right there for you when you get home . Money was scarce and we had to survive on what we grew in the garden. We learned to use everything and had no waste”.
My Grandparents taught me a lot about life. I never thought I would be my Grandmother, but here I am now. They taught me to count my blessings, not my troubles, and to “show up” for people. Your ancestors that lived through those times were brave and they never judged a book by its cover. You just never know as they say, the things you take for granted might be something others are praying for.
Girls Just Want to Have “Fun-gi” Linda Knight Seccaspina
I stood there and peered through the chain link fence watching the cutest boy in town make a spectacular dive into the town pool and melted. The summer had begun and I had yet to make decisions between sitting at home reading my books, or doing something really special. Would it be sitting under a tree reading the latest Nancy Drew or would I be learning how to be an Olympic style swimmer? I wanted to stand on the diving board, jump into the air and amaze my friends. No one was going to stand in my way even though I was petrified of water.
Anyone that knows me is quite aware of my fear of anything to do with water. It began the day my late mother stood me on the end of a lake pier much like Patty McCormick from the film The Bad Seed. Over and over she told me not to stare into the water less my reflection pulled me in. Of course I stared into the water, fell in, and needed to be rescued.
After telling my best friend about my summer vacation dream she told me I should start small by conquering a lake first. So the next Sunday at Selby Lake I slowly ventured into the water inch by inch. I thought that swimming might not take all that long to learn until one of my friends came roaring out of the lake covered in blood suckers.
As I stood on terra firma and watched a few men try to burn the suckers off the boy’s body with a lighter I suddenly thought that this might not be the best idea. Sure enough, that first day I stood there at the Cowansville pool feeling quite alone, shuddering from fear and looking very uncool wearing a rubber swim cap.
Not only am I afraid of water, but I also have an issue with feet, germs and wetness. After exiting the change room I had to figure out how to walk to the mandatory shower and exit without my feet touching the floor. I tried very earnestly to put my foot down on the wetness of the concrete, but all I could feel was imaginary bacterial ooze crawling through my toes. I closed my eyes, ran under the shower as quick as I could, and then stood by the end of the pool.
Actually I stood on the edge of that pool for about 7 days and then graduated to sitting on the edge until the instructors became very concerned. Was Linda ever going to swim, or would she end her summer vacation still being a landlubber? Finally one day I courageously stood on the ladder and slowly descended into the blue water. For another two weeks I spent most of my time in the water but now only desperately clutching the edge of the pool with my hands.
Every lesson I would assume the same position until one day I made a miraculous headway. As I approached the pool one morning for lessons I saw the town fire truck parked right next to it. It seems that someone either polluted the water with their bacterial laden feet or there had been way too many “accidents” in it. The fire trucks were filling the pool, which was now only 4 inches deep, and I quickly ran through the germ laden floor, down the ladder and into the pool. With the water lapping dangerously around my ankles I mimicked every swimming style known to man air guitar style. I was finally in my element and was achieving my summer goal. I was swimming!
To this day I do not swim in lakes and still have fear of water due to the movie Jaws premiering years later. However, my biggest fear was met that very day I achieved my first diving board jump. I did not drown, but a week later I had a strange rash on my face that grew with the speed of light. I had contacted what is called Staphylococcus Aureis, or in layman’s terms- Impetigo. Some people blamed the water, but in my mind I knew where I got it from–it had to be the concrete changing room floor. But, in the end strong delusions travel around like cold germs on a sneeze. As my Grandmother treated my rash she said to me:
“Just wash your hands my birdie and say your prayers, because germs and Jesus are everywhere!”
Marlene SpringerThat’s how I remember the beach part of the park when I took swimming lessons
Peter BradleyRemember the “buddy” system when you were doing swimming PE at CPHS
Linda Gallipeau-JohnstonTook swimming lessons here – would spend all day long here in summer months – wasn’t allowed to swim in Aug though. Remember the twirlers on the other side of the road and the old change house. Those metal slides on hot days!
Ann Stearns RawsonI remember those trees and the benches. My mom would sit there while we had swimming lessons and played in the water afterwards.
Dan WilliamsLinda Gallipeau-Johnston Isn’t it odd that something as simple as taking you for a swim could make a memory that lasts forever. I have a similar one with my dad taking Pat and I swimming but not at the beach. Somewhere near the railroad bridge. I remember Pat seeing a bug and throwing a fit.
Paul HodginsOMG I remember that yellow bench that was between the trees. My Mom would sit there for hrs watching us kids swim.If we were good got to go to canteen. Always went to canteen LOL
Barry TraffordI remember those days! They even allowed camping there around. I remember when the water tower overflowed and us kids would run underneath it. Good old days.
Liana Gallanti climbed part way up the ladder on that water tower once, until the cops came along and td me to get down! I can’t remember who was with me but I’m sure I wouldn’t have done it alone! I’ve told my kids about this feat, but they tease me unmercifully, because the tower is no longer there and they tell me I made that story up – lol.. Anyone here help me out?
Dan WilliamsLiana Gallant Just tell them it was the thing to do. They can ask most anybody in CP and they will have either climbed it themselves or know somebody who did.
John ArmourUsed to have to walk down hot oiled roads to go to the booth for a sundae, milkshake or Coke. Early 1960’s.Can remember every year, (when I was around 4 years old-really young), Jackie and Georgie Baker, along with Colin Julian, maybe Murray Hedderson, placing me (lightweight) in a homemade go-cart (wheels nailed on 2×4’s, rope steering, as I was light (age 3 to 5 or 6). They would annually, push me from Frank Street thru Leigh Instruments (even before it was Leigh Instruments) up to the beach and park on the sand beach. They would quietly scoop sand into the cart, (keeping an eye out for Chief Herb Cornell) and then take us back to their house, to unload the sand for the bottom of their tent. (Canvas tents had no bottoms in those days). Even with a lightweight like me riding to steer, the weight of the sand still broke the wheels off by the time we’d get there.I loved the Baker’s. The boys looked after me and the girls (Elizaberh, Joanie and Jeanie all babysat me, as a tot). They were great people on Frank Street and I think of them often.
Andrea NephinJohn Armour Elizabeth Baker babysat Johnny & I many times & the twins, Jeanie & Joanie were great friends. Many fond memories of the Baker family who lived across the street from us in our childhood.
Susan Mary RiskThat raft used to buffer the deep spot between the far shore and a big rock where everyone rested. Now there is just a rock but the water is still way over the head close to the baby shore.
Karen RobinsonI do remember the park like that. My Dad would take us swimming when he came home from work in Ottawa. Swam across the river many times when I got older. Love that park.
Mitzi BrownstoneI think this is the place that my grandfather would take us to visit . Did they sell ice cream there?
Ruth Anne SchnuppI remember those days! – in those times all we had was the Park in the summer & the arena in the winter . But we sure had fun !
Thelma SavardJack hurdis used to take us in the evening after we spent the whole day there
Thelma SavardWe were sent out early morning for our lessons stayed all day packed a lunch
Lever Brothers Ltd. has sold 170,000,000 towels in packages of powdered detergent during the last 15 years in Canada, company executives told the Senate-Commons prices committee yesterday. John C. Lockwood, president, said the premium is so popular with housewives that when the company tried to sell the same brand at a lower price, without a towel, sales dropped so rapidly it had to be taken off the market.
Lever Brothers sells the towels and detergents under the Breeze label. It is their biggest and most profitable seller. Soap plus towels top seller .The normal price is higher, to cover the cost of the towels, and the company can’t get as much detergent in the box as it can with other lines not carrying premiums. The towels were bought “by the millions, at a price cheaper than the housewife would pay retail”. To answer complaints that detergents are packed in odd – sized packages, Lever Brothers told the committee they put a new product, Four Square detergent on the market without advertising gimmicks. The Canadian Association of Consumers urged housewives to buy it, but the company took a loss and had to withdraw it.
Dolly Parton said
On being on “The Porter Wagoner Show,” pulling out giant towels from boxes of Breeze detergent.
We used to have to do our own commercials on those shows. But I still have some of those towels that I’ve kept through the years. Those were the days — “And you can only get them in boxes of Breeze!” And honestly, with that towel inside, there probably wasn’t more than half a box of Breeze. But people didn’t care because they were getting something free.
And Now for Something Completely Different– The Junk Drawer……. Linda Knight Seccaspina
Across vast countries, mixed into every culture we all share one thing, one dirty little secret throughout time. That, my friends, is the junk drawer. No matter if you move, don’t have junk, or even aspiration to have one, that drawer is with you– sometimes forever. Someday you might even have enough of a variety in that drawer to make a spaceship– or even save the world.
Let’s be totally honest, is there anything you would really miss in that drawer? The nails and bolts, the bits of string, and yes, even small packages of Ketchup when you always keep a fresh litre in the fridge. If a global condiment packet shortage comes our way, my junk drawer will reign supreme. I can’t even begin a conversation with you about that strange light bulb in my drawer that could possibly be useful 20 years down the line— or the fork with two missing centre prongs that is used to unjam the dishwasher as seen on YouTube.
That’s where the birthday candles are kept, keys, keys and more keys that fit nowhere and lots of twist ties.One day down the road some archaeologist is going to find all these bread and twisty ties and conclude it must have played an incredible role in our society. Sometimes just the right whatever-it-is can be found in there, but how many old pens do you have in that drawe,r and actually how many work?
In all honesty, that drawer never started out to become a junk drawer, it probably had high hopes to be a utensil container and somehow it became a vast memory capsule for your family. In one fell swoop unexpected visitors called one day and whatever was hanging around on the counters got thrown in that drawer for a last minute hiding place and its fate was sealed forever.
In my drawer I have a flashlight with no batteries, but flashlights without batteries also exist in various places around my home. They are all awaiting the first storm so I can complain about them not working.There are scraps of paper with written notes on them I can’t read, like the poison hotline centre. Menus from restaurants along with enough mouse traps to catch The Mickey Mouse Club constantly jam the drawer each time you attempt to close it.
My sons are in their mid 30s yet rolls of hockey tape along with a remote control that controls nothing still lie at the back of that drawer. Instructions for the old BETA VCR and batteries that we just aren’t sure if they are dead yet lay next to markers that are half dead but not dead enough. There are small pieces of metal with no purpose that my late husband put in there along with matching pieces of similar plastic with elastic bands that no longer stretch around them. A Tim Hortons ‘Roll Up the Lid to Win’ remainder is in there along with things that came from the bottom of pepsi bottles caps for contests that ended at least a decade ago.
If anyone uses a tool, the mandatory protocol seems to be to give it a home in the junk drawer instead of putting it back. I swear my grandson who is now 3 will do the same in 10 years if I am still alive. It’s just the family traditions that will never be broken. Why are we still saving the extra buttons that come with sweaters, and various blouses even though the chances of using them are null to void? Odd band aids used to be in that drawer until I decided cleanliness needed to be next to godliness and some of them just didn’t stick anymore. I just threw out the small ancient Nerf gun with two bullets as I realized protection while cooking dinner is no longer needed.
No matter how you argue that your junk drawer isn’t like mine– this drawer exists in every household and you know it is the staple of every happy family. Right now you can go to this drawer and whatever you are looking for is right beside the old roll of duct tape that is next to the empty BIC lighter. I am sure we could empty out that drawer for the good of mankind, but in all honesty how could you break the news to the junk closet or the junk room? To those that say they haven’t opened that drawer in a long time I would suggest that you go take out that half broken rogue potato masher or spatula that is keeping the drawer stuck and investigate. If you really think of it junk drawers are mostly like opinions– everyone has got one and they are mostly full of crap.
One day sitting at the Bluebird Restaurant on Main Street in Cowansville having french fries and a coke I had an epiphany. I was too young for Harry’s Poolroom just around the corner on South Street, but hopefully not too young for my dreams glancing back at me from a Seventeen Magazine.
The centrefold that month in 1962 was full of cheerleaders from all over the country and at age 11 going 12 my summer goal was to be one of them. Being in the chubby category and not enjoying sports one bit– it was going to be a challenge to achieve my dream. I told myself that cheerleading was not a sport, and I should be able to wave pom poms quite effectively without a lot of sweat.
In those days there were no tumbling or fancy pyramids, and to be quite honest it was basically just a girl’s fan club for the team. Comparing the cheerleaders now from the 60s with their pleated skirts and modesty, who knew what it was going to evolve into?
Later that week I found out that a junior league summer football team was being formed called the Cowansville Colts and they were looking for cheerleaders. If you look on Facebook, not much can be found about the team. Actually, people seem more interested in remembering what the old A & P looked like on the Main Street rather than a local team that won less than a handful of games. In 2017 on Facebook’s Ville de Cowansville page Jacques Giarde asked for any photos or memories of the Colts from the Brome-Missisquoi Junior League. Nary a one came up. It goes to show you in those days when the cheer section started for the game we didn’t turn into Beyonce. History would have always documented ‘Beyonce-ness‘ no matter where or when it was.
Somehow I was picked to be a cheerleader for the Cowansville Colts team and some of the mothers took our waist measurements for our pleated white skirts being teamed up with a blue sweatshirt. Of course there were mandatory oversize white bloomers that looked like they came from granny’s underwear selection. There is no doubt that my waist measurement was as big as my dreams, but no one said anything about it. The first game was to be held at the Bernard Street ball park which was just around the corner from my home on Albert Street. This was the place in town that everyone in Cowansville went to– from baseball in the summer to a huge skating rink in the winter. If you were involved in any kind of local sports this was sports central in town.
All week long we practised at the ballpark with cheers I can only find on Google now from some game in Pennsylvania in 1959. But, even though I will be 70 this year I can still remember every word of those cheers and the moves. Granted, if you ask me what I did 10 minutes ago, I can’t remember, but ask me to recite those cheers and I can replicate them- without leg movements though. Coordination is now gone with the wind.
That summer we cheered at games in Cowansville, Knowlton, Sutton etc.– and at the end of each game I went from well kept cheerleader to looking like an apocalyptic disaster trying to cheer this team on to win. But, win they did not. In two minutes and thirty seconds at half time of each game we tried to make the team understand what we gals with the pretty white bows in our hair wanted. But, our cheers never seemed to catch on.
In 1962, may it be recorded, the Cowansville Colts only won one game– the last one, and the next summer of 1963 I was shipped off to Seattle, Washington as my mother had died that year. The Beatles suddenly replaced cheerleading in my life and when I returned home in August I wanted nothing to do with football or white pleated skirts.
I guess that summer of 1962 was all about trying to be successful in what you dream about and especially losing the fear of failure. You have to start somewhere, and maybe that push in cheerleading led me up to touching Paul McCartney’s hair at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle in 1963– or having the nerve to sit outside Alice Cooper’s house in Greenwich, Conn. All I knew was that I had figured out that no matter what you look like: If you are chubby, short or tall, it just doesn’t matter. In reality the best cheer in the world is to cheer somebody else up- remember the power is never given to you– you just have to take it!
Bring it on!
From Ville de Cowansville on facebook
Le Yamaska 19 sept 1962
Les Frontenacs de Farnham ont défait les Colts de Cowansville, en dernière minute, ce fut une surprise avec un record définitif de 21 à 19.
Cowansville – Dans une finale surprise, les Frontenacs de Farnham se sont arrangés pour faire le toucher gagnant sur les Colts de Cowansville qui joueront fortement jusqu’à la fin de la partie ou les Frontenacs ont fait le dernier toucher pour ainsi gagner la partie. Il était apparent que près des dernières minutes, la ligne défensive de Cowansville éyait affaiblie considérablement et le champ arrière de Farnham usa d’un peu de stratégie pour enserrer tout les points gagnants. Les Colts dans le 1er quart, marquèrent 6 à 0, dans le 2ème, 7 à 6, et dans le troisième, 19 à 15. Mais à la fin, les Colts ne semblèrent pas capable d’avancer assez pour rester à côté de la marge d’un toucher.
Bien que cela soit un autre désappointement pour les Colts qui venaient juste de manquer une défaite avec les Larks de Knowlton, la semaine dernière, les Colts joueront la semaine prochaine pour une première partie de semi-finale, la première qui se tiendra à Knowlton, samedi prochain le 15 septembre. La deuxième partie se tiendra à Cowansville, la semi-finale sera le total des points de séries entre les deux clubs. Le gagnant des semi-finale jouera en première place avec les Frontenacs de Farnham dans un 2 de 3. Les points d’aujourd’hui ont été comptés pour Cowansville par : M. Laliberté (13), D. Peacock (21), ayant chacun un touché, et P. Jordan entra un point qui fut un succès. Pour Farnham se furent G. Harrison (31), un touché, R. Tarte (25) deux touchés, D. Racine (27) et H. Takeda eurent un et deux points respectivement.
Les majorettes des Colts appuièrent parfaitement leur club comme celles de Farnham qui sont bien organisées. M. H. Dubois de Montréal arbitre du QRFU arbitait la partie avec l’aide de Dick Ferris de Farnham et de Rupert Dobbin de Sweetsburg. M. E. Viens de Cowansville prenait les minutes et M. Ray Tétreault de Farnham était le correcteur de celles-ci. Les jeunes adeptes du football sont invités à aller à Knowlton pour les semi-finales dans la cours de l’école anglaise.
Venez supporter votre club local.
Le Yamaska 17 oct 1962
Dans la ligue Brome-Missisquoi Junior les jeunes représentants de Farnham ont terminé en beauté leur saison en remportant la grande finale aux dépens des Larks de Knowlton par le compte de 24 à 19. See Less
— with Jacques Giard.
Un appelle à tous…. Si vous avez des photos ou autres articles des ces ligues de football… Pourriez vous poster le tout ici…Je fais une recherche sur le football et son histoire dans la région…Merci
Dirt was always my grandmother’s enemy. Mary Louise Deller Knight could never tolerate a child with a dirty face or a runny nose. She always said that under her watch I would never look poor or uncared for. When you walked in the house graced with dirt and she spotted it– you never ever pulled away. Even if you thought it wasn’t there, trust me Grammy Knight found it.
I was never the neatest kid in the world and I’m still a messy eater. I don’t think I was ever around for hand to mouth education. There isn’t a meal where I don’t drop something on me and my husband agreed while I was writing this– so no wonder she was busy all the time scrubbing my face and various food spots on my clothing.
Thankfully she was not like some parents I had seen who would have their kids stick their tongue out and then their mothers would dab it with a napkin or tissue. Then there was the dreaded spit thumb which thankfully I never saw. The worst was when I was with a school friend and Grammy tackled something on my face she didn’t care for. I remember that particular friend telling everyone at school what my grandmother did— so I responded that she got her freckles from standing behind a cow when it pooped on a rock.
My mother was nowhere as bad as my grandmother and at least she used a damp washcloth, but my grandmother had the enthusiasm of a carpenter sanding a large two-by-four. To this day, I would swear that I have one less layer of skin because of her. I am so pale and glow in the dark thanks to my grandmother and her persistent scrubbing.
My grandmother like myself always had something to clean with. I have heard people tell me they always will remember me having a tissue in hand or always able to pull one from the sleeve of any garment. I learned from my Grandmother that it was a necessary life accessory and sometimes Grammy stuffed her ‘cleaner’ in her corset bra.
People of a certain age will all have one distinct memory that no self-respecting lady of any age ever left the house without a hanky tucked into her purse, a dress pocket or her cleavage. Goodness knows, one couldn’t be seen putting a finger anywhere near one’s nose without a hanky.
Really a bit of spit on a hanky never hurt us, but there had to be some health and safety regulations about this horrible habit. Wasn’t there? All I know is in those days there wasn’t an antibacterial wipe in sight! According to my Grandmother I was given life out of my mother’s intestines (?), and the salvia/hankie ritual wasn’t going to kill anyone.
Did these “unsanitary” actions help us build our immune systems?
Now they run around with antibacterial this and antibacterial that and kids have colds, flus, pneumonia, and other illnesses that only have letters. I read there was a new cleaner called Mom’s Spit and that it was great for faces, necks, clothes, shoes, floors, counters, bathrooms, automotive degreasing and more. I thought it must be amazing, and then I found out it was just a funny ad for 409.
In 2018 news reports from KXAN in Texas reported that mother’s saliva helped stop allergies and people argued that kissing your baby too frequently could pass on a mother’s oral decay. In the 50s and 60s mom or grandma’s spit was an all-in-one cleaner and we never thought anything about it. It was always on hand in an instant for dirty faces, Formica counters, mirrors and even spit shined shoes. My grandmother always warned me however if you were going to spit clean like she did, never spit up because whatever goes up always comes down.