Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEW PHOTOS......ALWAYS A GOOD REASON FOR A POST.....from Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario....

On Hot Rods and Jalopies, there is always a reason for a good story/post....be it that someone put an idea in my head, someone sent me some new old photos from around Fort William and Port Arthur, the guys our age got together to discuss one specific incident from our former younger days or even putting a group of stories together into one.  Well, this post kind of covers all of that.  These were our young cruising days, these were the 1960's....how lucky we were to have lived our teen years and early twenties during one of the most colourful eras of the 20th century.
Most of the photos in this post were donated by Joe (Joey as we used to call him) Cooper.  Joe was a neighbour of mine in our younger years, and as we grew into our driving years we hung around service stations to learn and to see what the other guys were driving which of course later became what they were driving on the dirt track as well.  Well, Joe ended up working for one owned by Charlie Miller and Ray Defoy (Ray Charles Texaco) which was on the corner of Victoria and now McKellar St....we all hung around there a lot....so thanks Joe for loaning me these photos most of which I had never seen before...but the stories I remembered very well!
We first start out here with something we all love to hate, and that is the Victoriville Centre.  The city built this monstrosity right in the middle of our cruising strip.  Yes, you heard this story many times before and it has been written about many time on this blog.....well let's get to it!!
 Oh Well!  We have to say it anyway pretty much with a smile now ☺..because we know it will never happen.  OK..this following couple of B&W pictures is of my '55 Chev Sedan Delivery...which for a time in the '60s was my Shaggin' Waggin' ☺ "Oh, be-have", my motor home, my Saturday night cruiser, and my stock car hauler.  I hauled many other stock cars with it as well.  I added these photos as they were only two of a very few I had until Joe found the other photos of it shown below.
I must say this...click on ALL of the photos or groups to make them screen size.
My '55 Chev Sedan Deliver circa 1968

Well...here we are in front of Ray Charles Texaco in about 1968, and the car on the trailer behind me is Ken Pawluk's Camaro late model stock car getting ready for an outing at our new fabulous dirt track Riverview Raceways.  The brown brick structure in the background was at the time, the Pilkington Glass building.
Note...the redish coloured license plate on the front...well, a sedan delivery was considered a commercial vehicle and you were allowed to license it quarterly.  Quarterly plates were all different colours, not the typical black on white and white on black.  I also could never decide whether the car should have the front bumper on or off. ☺
Here we have the same scene 46 years later...well actually not too much has changed.  Ray Charles Texaco is now Dave Knight Optical and the old Pilkington Glass building is now re-purposed for something else.....at least some great structures stay around for awhile.

Here is the second picture of the group from Joe that I never knew existed....another great colour picture of my Sedan Delivery with Ken's stock car in tow....but the interesting thing here is the Canadian Tire Store on the other side of Victoria Ave., and White's Drug Store to the left of CTC.
Another thing that was from the time frame is that if you had a commercial vehicle, you would need to actually put your name on the side.....as shown here.  The Canadian Tire Store as you will see below was firstly a Safeway Grocery store in the early 1950's.....and the photo below shows what is is now.
The Canadian Tire Store much later to become the Sylvan Learning Centre with a variety of different offices along the east side of the building.  The old White's Drug Store would later become a restaurant, a video store, a card collector store etc. etc., but now looks pretty quiet.
Be sure to click on the above to read the story attached.

 Now...looking towards the north and east is a fantastic photo of Bruce Tiboni's Camaro, Drapkin and Son's delivery vehicle (probably being serviced at Ray Charles), a fantastic to die for Texaco Porcelain sign, beautiful red pump with Fire Chief Gas sign, a Starburst Bonus sign just above the Camaro....the handy as hell Liquor Control Board store across the street, Hurtig Furriers, Nu-Fashon Beauty Salon and of course Chapples Store and a Victoria Avenue that went straight through Syndicate Avenue....we were so lucky then. ☺

.........and here it is now....a huge Courthouse....no Chapples, No liquor store, and NO DAMN VICTORIA AVE. to drive through!☺

Well....in the middle of Joe's photos is a picture of my '57 Chevy which I actually sold before I got the '55....well, they are Joe's photos.  I'm not sure where it was taken....likely Boulevard Lake or Chippewa Park.    I'm leaving it in anyway!  Scroll down for more good stuff.

This picture was in with the bunch too.....it is a young picture of Joe Cooper pumping gas one winter day in front of Ray Charles Texaco.  I love calling him Mr. Texaco....with the Buddy Holly glasses, the Texaco coveralls and no mustache....LOL  Sorry Joe!

This next group of photos is pretty much self explanatory....so click to enlarge screen size and read away......
I'm adding this pretty blurry couple of cuts from two of the photos above.  If any of you out there have a copy of this poster in any condition, I would like to get a copy of it for future Riverview Posts.
This is the final collage photo set which is also self explanatory...be sure to read the whole story....it's the best one yet!!!
Thank you to everyone who watch a follow Hot Rods and Jalopies....its been over 5 years of writing and I am sorry I have been falling behind as of late, but there are literally hundreds of posts that you can go back to read......look at the cloud list to the right as you scroll down to reference anything that is in this complete blog.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

More Clips from The Lakehead Stock Car Club.... 1952-1966 - the era of Hot Rods and Jalopies...

OK race fans.....we've put together a number of misc collages and newspaper clippings which you may have seen in September and October just before Championship season here at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Track from about 1954 until and including 1966.  These are in no particular order by year, but you can compare who were the top dogs and what the public paid to witness the most incredible years in automobile racing here in the Lakehead cities of Fort William and Port Arthur.  To read the fine print in all of these...click on each of the following 29 or so clippings once or twice to enlarge them.


 How they were advertised!!

These stories are great reading.....The newspaper staff covered these racing events like no other sport in their day.....There really was something besides Hockey back then.

This is how the old Husky Station at 441 S. Syndicate Ave looks today....quite a unique building.

Above are a couple of ads from the 1950's showing two of Barry's cars in two different years to compete in the Western Canada Stock Car Championships.

Bob Harkness had a very distinctive voice which was perfect for announcing the races at the old CLE track.....

Remember when races were held during fair week?  In addition to the typical fair entertainment, racing always was the most popular.  Also remember when they gave six cars away at the Grandstand during fair week?

Louis Tocheri, the 1957 CLE Track Champion was always controversial and loved to get into scraps with the other drivers which made for great entertainment for the public week after week.  Louis would say that in the beginning it was faked a bit, but as time went on, the feuds became very real!!

It was a sad day when driver Sammy Myronuk quit.......

This following clipping stating that Indy Speedway driver Russ Larson(Laursen)(Laurson) would be coming to race as a feature attraction.  I remember being at that race and felt so bad for Russ as you can read in this newspaper ad.  I believe the correct spelling for Russ' name is Laursen.  Sadly Russ was killed on September 16 of 1970 doing what he loved to do.  I can't believe that happened 44 years ago...and we will always remember him.

This last insert is from a 1960 program and it shows you who won what from 1953 until 1960.  It was a wonderful time to be alive.
HR&J hope you have enjoyed these notes and clippings.  There are many more that will eventually grace the pages of Hot Rods and Jalopies....thanks for the notes and emails...keep them coming.
NEW UPDATE...........

Friday, August 22, 2014

UNIQUELY FORT WILLIAM, Ontario, Canada......more hot rods and jalopies later.....

I'm not in any way trying to snub Port Arthur-ites (you know...people from Port Arthur) with this post, however, as I lived in Fort William and rarely ventured over to Port Arthur until I had my own set of wheels, or unless I was swimming in Boulevard Lake with my parents, I spent a huge percentage of time in Fort William.  In this post I am trying a new idea in posting a number of collage photo groups which I have been working on for some time. I tried to find one of my posts that would represent the uniqueness of Fort William in it's heyday.  I chose this old HR&J post, re-entered here as it looked back in 2009.
To me Fort William had the best cruising strip anywhere, and it was duly taken away from us baby boomers when we needed it most....well, you get the idea.....

This next group shows the beauty and excitement of a Shriner's Parade on Miles Street in Fort William.  I can't recall where this photo originated but I am very grateful that it was taken...it brought back a ton of memories when it was a bustling down town district.  BE SURE TO CLICK ON ALL THE GROUPS OF PHOTOS ONCE THEN TWICE TO ENLARGE AND VIEW.  A big thank you to my friend Al Yahn for checking on addresses and places for me in his 1950's Henderson directory.
 I had done a blog post about Bourke's Drug store way back when, but I recently came across a very old Bourke's Drug envelope while looking through my own archives from the era before dial phones were here at the Lakehead (I love saying Lakehead).  Note, the phone number is 1400.....pick up your phone, wait for the operator, then say "South 1400 please", and she would plug you in to Bourke's.  That was "the" place where my parents purchased all their drug needs back then....read all the details an data on these collage photos.

Fryer Studio was pretty much where everyone would get their photo finishing done.  In the 1940's if you wanted a colour photo, you would have to get a studio to hand colour or hand paint one.  Jessop's Pharmacy on Simpson St. is where my grandparents purchased all their drug needs, as they lived close to Jessop's address.....In those days it was pretty safe to head down Simpson Street....even at night to your corner store or drug store or even go to the movies at the Lake Theatre.

A recent yard sale find is this incredible brochure.  Read all the data as it was a very special event here in Fort William when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip came to open the St. Lawrence Seaway.  My great aunt Catherine Seppala was Mayor of Fort William at the time and as you can see by the seating arrangement at the bottom, she sat directly beside Queen Elizabeth.....Click twice to enlarge as stated above.

One of the most interesting finds this year was this Fort William travel brochure which I had never seen before.  The map and data about Fort William is below, and I kept it at a fairly large format so you could read about how we promoted our city back in the day....click twice to enlarge.

I found this Dominion Motors newspaper clipping showing the 1952 Pontiac and decided to show these photos again of Dominion Motors on May Street.

As stated on the next photo collage, I have never seen the full size card for this photo....so we have a photo drawing of the original "Fort" William.

These are the things I love to collect...little tidbits of advertising from our city.  There was a lot of it back in the day and it is getting more difficult to find.  Note the phone number is MA 2-6463.  MA stood for MAyfair and is actually 62 on the old dial phones.  DI - DIamond and MU - MUtual were also used.  The clipping below is from a 1961 Fort William phone book.

HR&J hope you enjoyed this post which to me is UNIQUELY Fort William, Ontario.