Wednesday, January 23, 2008

GPK and the Early Days

Morning Marty, some more reminiscences in response to some of your other subscribers postings.
(1)Although we of the Third Street gang had to travel a little farther than Bev Alexander and Liz Newbury we too did enjoy the big slide very much. If I remember correctly just beyond the end of the slide there were a set of see-saws(teeter-totters in today’s vernacular) and to the left of the see-saws was a set of swings for big kids ie the top bar from which the swings were supported was at least 10 feet off the ground.

The unique thing about the swings was that the supports for the swing seats were virtually indestructible, not small chains or rope but foot- long lengths of steel hooked one to the other. Strong enough to take the pounding that some of the older teenagers of the day gave them as they tried to swing so high that they would do a complete loop over the crossbar.
I never saw anyone do it but I heard that Ronnie Tombs did. Finally there was a set of monkey bars and smaller swings for the very young located to the left of the big slide at the spot where the bandstand b(site of the tailgate party for this past Sept.'s reunion) is now located.

(2) Bernie Geoffrions Le Bocage was later sold and Larry Moquin(one of the original local stars along with Johnny Rougeau of "La Lutte au Forum" predecessor of WWF) became the owner and changed the name to his. As an aside, does anyone remember the name of the Pizza joint right next to Le Bocage where we would repair to for a late-night carb-up before heading home?
(3)George Hollingdrake's observation of Jim Small's house reminded me of my first look at a real mongoose. Jim's brother-in-law, Sandy Powell , served in India as a member of the British army. To protect the soldiers from the deadly cobra snakes, each barracks had their mongoose
(little weasel-like animals) mascots which were known snake killers. I was at Jim's house for some cub meeting I think and spotted this little stuffed animal on the fireplace mantel. I asked what it was and got the answer that it was the mascot from Sandy's barracks.

(4) The Montreal and Southern Counties was really important to the McConachie family. it took my Dad to work at the Hydro station on Mill Street, it took my mother , brother Jim and I into Mtl a few times a year especially to Eatons Santa Claus' parade, it was generally the mode of transport for our family when we went into "The Point " to visit relatives and for the first three years that I was in Weredale in Montreal I used it every weekend to come out to "The Park" and back into Mtl. The route was really convenient—
M&SC to the McGill St Terminus, catch the Centre St streetcar
( #23 I think) at the corner of McGill and Wellington to the corner of Centre and Atwater by the Sherwin- Williams paint plant and a subsequent transfer to the 8 or 8a bus which ran from Verdun up Atwater to The Forum. I generally got off the bus at the corner of Atwater and St Antoine and walked up the hill to "The Home"

Thanks John

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