Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Memories part 2 and other Winter Events from our home towns of FORT WILLIAM & PORT ARTHUR, Ont....

While celebrating the upcoming Christmas season I'm happy to say that The Hotrods and Jalopies Blog pages are also celebrating that we have had more than 3/4 of a million views since the beginning in 2009...and while doing this for fun and enjoyment never expected the response we have received.....so with thanks HR&J continues as long as it can to reach the one million mark.  This site has also inspired many other local history pages in the last few years on line and on facebook as well.  If you are a facebook fan, visit the Dave Cano FB page to view more historical and interesting happenings.  Also be sure to visit the other history pages on FB as well.  Thanks again for the support. D.

CHRISTMAS 2016 post #2 .... click on all to enlarge

 Christmas has always been a great time to advertise many things .... such as automobiles.  There is a 1946 post war ad for Nash, about six months after VE day WWII.  Everyone was so happy the war was over.

Traditions are so important at Christmastime.  One such tradition through the years were "Japanese" oranges or "Mandarin" oranges.  They were originally wrapped in green rice paper and shipped in wooden boxes....in later years the oranges lost their green rice paper for the most part and are shipped in cardboard boxes mainly and come from China and a few other countries as well.  As a child you may have found one in the toe of your Christmas stocking.  The Seiko box to the right was in my garage for years filled with old car parts....

From my favorite Christmas film "A Christmas Story" comes the Daisy Red Ryder 1000 shot saddle carbine....and for only $2.95 (plus duty in Canada it says..LOL)  To the right of the ad is my very own Red Ryder wood stock rifle that I've owned for ....well....uh...oh.... "many" years, and haven't shot my eye out yet.

I have to tease my kid brother Corey as he wasn't born quite yet when this next photo was taken......my kid sister and I call those times "Christmases BC" (before Corey)   :) :)
This photo is circa 1955/6....we always had a beautiful tree that I remember and my dad would put on all the old "lead" tinsel.....we all survived lead poisoning.
We were very fortunate....My mother always make Christmas extra special with her baking and tons of love for the three of us until we lost her at a much too young age in 1974.

This next one of yours truly is the costume I used playing one of The Three Kings in our Christmas pageant in grade 6, and right next to me is our first DuMont B&W Television set....in later years in our rec room my future wife and I watched Elvis and The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show on that old TV.

This circa 1960 Christmas with my brother Corey playing with his Matchbox toy cars....and my sister is astonished at how those toys kept him quiet for a few seconds.....sorry bro...just kidding.  My brother still has that old Eaton's Hi Fi set on the left....In the day it was top of the line for musical and radio entertainment...it even had a short wave....I remembered hearing programs in many languages late at night...... Yes...Christmas helps bring back all those great memories.

Below is the last family Christmas photo on this post....It was taken after Santa Claus came in about 1957, with my sisters doll and doll house but also my treasured MARX service station, that was on every boys wish list in those days.

Jumping ahead past the 1962 Christmas season are these few February 1963 Winter Carnival photos.  Many photos such as these exist of this carnival but these are the ones my father took and I recently scanned the slides to extract them to digital.   They are quite good as far as quality.  The sign an button below are in my own collection.  The sign is about 10" diameter and the button is about 2 1/4".

As mentioned way above, click on all these smaller photos to enlarge them.  The photo above is the Lakehead Stock Car Club parade float.  On the float is Albert Massaro's #88 Popcorn Special modified dirt track racer coated with float flowers and sporting the number of the year of the carnival.  Albert and his pit crew are also on board.  The photo is taken just in front of The Dunbar Sign Store...the building to the left is the old Simpson Hotel on the corner of Dease and Simpson St.  That building is long gone now to a present day empty lot.

 The photo to the left is taken just a little more north of the old Dunbar Sign store.  The larger building you see is 411 Simpson and listed as The Coronation Block in 1959.  Nick Matwin(barber) was located there, as well as many tenants upstairs.
The photo is the old Fort William Fire Dept. Steam pumper.  That pumper is in need of restoration today and resides in the glassed in area adjacent to the Museum today.
The Canadian Foresters float is shown here also with the year 1963 emblazoned on the rocket, and taken in front of the Coronation Block as well.
In the same location is Port Arthur's Hammarskjold High School's Viking Ship float.....it's great to see floats decorated like these.  I totally miss these old parades.  It was a time when our twin cities (as two cities) would compete to see who would have the best shows and parades....then after amalgamation in 1970, it seemed that the competition ended and the quality of these events ended with that.

The present day photo below is the same location shown above....all the buildings are there except the Simpson Hotel and Simpson Taxi stand.  The businesses today are Import Auto Sales and Trims Barber shop.
In Christmas posts in the last few years I made up some tongue in cheek fake magazine covers with Hotrods and Jalopies as the title.   Here's one of the two I did for this year, and I will post all 7 from the last few years in an upcoming post.
Hope you still enjoy reading HR&J posts....I've rounded up many more vintage local racing photos and they will be posted with stories in coming weeks and months.  Thanks again for making these blog pages a fun success.  Merry Christmas to all....


Dave Cano said...

Hi Dave,

Just read your "Christmas Memories Part 2" in which you include a picture of your own BB gun, and your assurance that you haven't yet shot your eye out. I have no idea what happened to the BB gun of my childhood (I never shot my eye out either), and so I was thrilled a few years ago to find that I could purchase virtually the same gun now. The perfect Christmas present for my 8 year old grandson Connor. Of course I first got the approval of his parents; the conversation full of joking about whether he'd shoot his eye out. Good to go, I set up a little range in the basement so he could shoot right after the opening of presents. A target mounted on a sheet of plywood mounted on a cedar wall... it seemed like a good idea at the time. Christmas day with presents opened (much excitement and more don't shoot your eye out jokes) and safety discussion complete, he loaded the gun and lined up for his first shot. Squeeze the trigger - crack, and he jumped back. The BB had struck the target near the bull's eye, but instead of imbedding in the plywood per my plan, it bounced straight back and landed in Connor's shirt pocket. A close call for both of us.

Always enjoy the memories in your posts, Dave. Thanks for all you do.

Merry Christmas to you and the family

Dave Cano said...

George emailed this to me...I liked it so much I added it here ...thought you all would too. Thanks much George....great story....Merry Christmas

Dave Cano said...


Corey Cano said...

Awesome picture of Daryle and I big brother. Yes I still have the Eaton's HI FI set taking up space in my basement. I wish I still had those two matchbox cars complete with their original boxes. Christmas memories and love of family is what it's all about at this time of year. Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy 2017. Love Corey

Dave Cano said...

Glad you liked it Corey....some of these old slide scans are great...D.