Sunday, April 26, 2015

"STAND BY ME" - A little taste of life in our home towns of Fort William and Port Arthur, 1955, 1947, and 1925.....

It seems as we get older, we love to reminisce more and more about our childhood years, be them bad or good.  I am no exception to the rule.  As I get closer to my birthday this June and feeling a little melancholy...I looked through some old family photos and came across one that stood out from the rest.  You will see it below, but it reminded me of one of my old favourite films shown in the two posters below.  Being only 11 years old in the photo I could put myself in the same place and time as these kids were in "Stand By Me".

I was very fortunate as a child to have happy loving parents that let me experience all the wonders of growing up.  This following picture was taken on my 11th birthday with "Stand By Me" friends sitting at my birthday table.  They are left to right.  Myself, Robert Cameron, Donald Wheatley, Mike McGuire, and Meyer Toole.  These were my bosom buddies when I was 11.  I told my mother that I didn't want the typical family, and female school friends in attendance, just the guys I hung around with at that age....I was growing up, you know!!

So now...looking closer at the photo (I love to enlarge small old photos to see all the detail), We are all drinking "Mission Orange" Soda Pop with the motto "Naturally Good".

We are also eating my mother Noreen's famous burgers - what else what a kid want on his 11th birthday but Mission Orange, my mom's great burgers and a nice little birthday cake.

I truly enjoy the old ads too, but also at the back of the table in the above photo you can see my mom's little windmill napkin holder.  I actually found one for sale on an on-line auction shown below.  It is identical to the one I remember.
Click on all photos to enlarge them!!!

Here's the same crew again with my 3 year old sister.

The photo below shows our old home and the exact steps where we were sitting in the above photo. We enjoyed many play days at Vicker's Park at the end of the block, and made our own fun without any cell phones.  I remember spending most of the 4 seasons outside, no matter what the weather man dropped on us.....and YES - The two family photos above will be 60 years old this June.

GOING BACK FURTHER - 1947 - When my father was discharged from the Army, we lived in a little apartment on Ogden Street.  Here is a picture of me in my Melton Snowsuit in front of Ogden Street School (long gone now) - you know, the one like the kid wore in "A Christmas Story".  We all had them.  The photo below shows pretty much the exact spot where this photo was taken, showing the playground of the present day and new Ogden Community School playground. 

GOING BACK ONE STEP FURTHER TO 1925 - My father lived in the east end in those days and went to St. Peter's School which is no longer there, but all the classroom photos of the day were taken on the steps of St. Peter's Church.  The wooden steps and hand railings were upgraded over time to concrete and steel however.  If you click on the picture below to enlarge it more, you will see my father, Jon Stephen Cano circled in red near the top left of the photo. 

This is what St. Peter's steps look like today.

Thank you all for watching....Look for more old Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Racing photos coming up soon, as well as stories on some old drivers not previously written about in these blog pages.
In the meantime feel free to look through over a thousand photos of racing, local history and just plain local memories on these blog pages during the Hot Rods and Jalopies years.  
Click on the picture below to view a trailer and listen to "Stand By Me" - 
As fate would have it, 2 days after I posted this story, Benjamin Earl King aka Ben E King passed away April 30th 2015.  RIP Ben E King Sept 28/1938 - April 30.2015.  The most famous song he recorded on his own was "Stand By Me".

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Easter Memories from back in the day when we lived in Fort William and Port Arthur.....

HR&J wishes you and yours A Very Happy Easter 2015 
We were always very happy kids and at Easter time it was always quite special.  Easter brought back thoughts of spring, green grass and leaves on the trees as well as tulips and flowers....but most of all because we could get our bikes out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.  Scroll down for more!!

 Bugs Bunny was always my favourite Easter Bunny anyway, and here he is, driving his Hot Rod in "Hot-Rod Hare".
I still have a few of these 10 and 12 cent Gold Key comics.

I really like this 1959 Easter morning photo.....My sister and brother are chowing down on their chocolate getting primed for their hyper sugar high for the day, and here I am, already to head out for Church with a not so pleased look on my face while I wait for everyone to get ready.  I always wondered why my parents let them eat all that candy before we headed out as they were absolutely wild in Church.  I remember those Easter Baskets were around our house for years......and often wondered where they got to.  (Love the curlers in my sisters hair).

It's too bad this picture isn't a bit clearer.....Here it is 1962, and my sister and brother are all ready to head out to Church on this snow-less Easter morning on Arthur Street in Fort William.  The car with the visor on the right is my first car...a 1949 Chevrolet 2-door sedan.  In those days everyone parked on the street in the 1400 block of Arthur Street in Fort William.

Here is another snow-less Easter in 1953.  My Easter present was pretty much the envy of all the kids on the block.  I never did get a brand new bike until I started to work, but my Dad would pick up a bunch of bike parts, bring them to Kam Motors Body Shop (where he worked)  to repair, and Canary Trevisan, the painter at Kam back then would paint and pin-stripe the wheels and frame.  I was a pretty lucky kid because I had the only custom bicycle in the whole neighbourhood.

Don't forget the movies of the day included this musical..."Irving Berlin's Easter Parade".  My mom would force me to go to these musicals under major protest.  She figured she could drum some culture into my life....LOL.  Be sure to click on the posters for full screen enlargements.

Pretty hokey.....but this is how the musicals were in the 1950s......."Easter Parade"
Click to play then X out any ads etc...then click the bottom right hand corner to enjoy full screen.

This next picture is of no one we know, but thought it was of the same era and shows all the kids dressed in their Easter finery, including their Easter bonnets.....and Mom's and Dad's two Fords in behind.

So....Have a Happy Easter - from our family to yours.  Enjoy Easter with your family.......