Aug 13, 2009

.......to continue with a comment  from July 29

I didn't know that Wilf Lambert lost three kids in a fire...must have been terrible, devastating.  Just found out reading the column. But I guess that is the raison d'être of the website. It tries to give us the reality of life in Gander in all its splendour, all its hope...and all its sorrow.

R.G. Pelley, Class of 1962

 

Next: I'd like to wander 'visually' through Goodyear's Store in old Gander, look at some of the things that used to be for sale in that first self-service store in NL (or was it Canada as well?) Can anyone remember the stuff that was sold there? Help me see as we take a walk around 'down Memory Lane'.

Faye Lewis Raynard, Class of 1959

 

Reference "Goodyears store" in old Gander, it seems to be that we are talking about four different things:

FIRST of all there was the Goodyear's restaurant (canteen)  on Patterson Road roughly between the administration building and the railway station. It was also conveniently located on the road down to the old terminal. So they got us coming and going, and even when we were standing still, waiting for the train.

I remember one Sunday afternoon when my family with, at the time, three kids plus an aunt and uncle all went to Goodyear's restaurant for ice cream. In simple terms, this meant a brick of ice cream with seven  small wooden spoons. To keep it from melting, we let the paper bag hang out the car window to cool it off until we got to a gravel pit out on the highway and we all dug in as best we could. Wasn't very elegant but sure was tasty!

Carol (Mercer) Walsh gave a better description than I ever could of the canteen at this address :

 

The SECOND store was of course the grocery store that was on Walwyn Avenue between Pattison Road and the railway station, in other words, across the street from the canteen. This was sort of a first shopping center because it had Jenkins drugstore kitty corner from the canteen. To go in to the grocery store you went up a small steps and inside, it was very much like a general store from the wild West, with counters all around and the cans and bottles on shelves against the wall. Completely to the right-hand side, it seems to me that the was a door leading to the warehouse section where they had the bulk items. To buy groceries there, one had to give the order to the clerk who wrote it down on a pad which then became the receipt.

The best thing about the Goodyears store was the very sharp yellow cheddar cheese. If I remember correctly the building was basically white with army green trim. See this for more info:

 

The THIRD  store was the dry goods and hardware store. It was located in the narrow corner between Jewett Street and Pattison Road right next to the north corner of runway 2, in building 127. This was an H-building with the east section being basically a clothing and shoe store if I remember correctly. I didn't go there very often as I didn't like going for clothing...and still don't  - maybe my phobia came from being tortured there as I was forced to try on clothes that never seem to fit! The west section was basically a standard hardware store with all the good stuff like guns and fishing equipment etc. that young boys liked.  I believe fishing equipment was in the northeast corner and the guns in the southwest corner. Between the  East and West sections that was a little hallway where very often boy met girl after their respective shopping sprees or dreams thereof.

 

The FINAL Goodyears store was located on the Canadian side just south of the drill hall (aka skating rink), near the Hunt Memorial Academy. Seems to me it had the attributes of the three other store combined. I'll let others talk about that one but I do remember one incident where someone had soldered a screw onto a 25 cent piece and screwed it in the floor just inside the main entrance. Twenty-five cents was a big deal in those days, so everybody tried to pick it up. They would try to push it with their foot to a more convenient place to pick it up unseen but it just wouldn't happen. It was quite a laugh to see the contortions that people went through to pick up that quarter!

 

The more modern store in "New" Gander was quite a revolutionary but weird idea. How could they actually put stuff out in the open where everybody could see and touch it and not get stolen blind?? And besides they were trying to complete both the Coop and Eaton's in the same shopping center...Would it ever work?

I leave it to people with much better memory than mine to fill in the details. 

Robert Pelley, Class of 1962

 

Bob: Thanks for sorting things out here. Wonderful memories of a place that I thought was one single store. See, only you historians know of such things. It is important that we not lose sight of that with all that as we move into the future and the past gets erased. I’d forgotten all about those ‘bricks’ of ice cream that often came in three colors, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. It  did melt quickly so had to make short order of it. First time I've heard of Walwin Ave too.



 

The Goodyears store near our school used to sell what we called "barrel "apples. They came in a large wooden barrel and were the best tasting one could ever find. ( I am sure that Audrey would claim that they came from Nova Scotia). Part of the fun was culling through the apples to get the biggest one. They were sold by the "each" not by weight so biggest yielded the best buy.


Jim Strong, Class of 1958

 

My father worked at Goodyear’s as the Office Manager so I had some familiarity with the place. The most memorable item they had for sale back in the early 50s was a TV set. The only TV station in Nfld was CJON in St. John's. Not quite sure what other programs they showed  back then but every afternoon I would go to the store at 4:30 PM and they would turn on that set too watch Howdy Doody. The reception wasn't all that good due to the distance from the station. Mostly snow but on some days it was really clear, so clear you could actually see the puppeteers strings attached to Howdy. This was my first experience with TV and it didn’t really turn me on. Or I should say, I wasn’t a big Howdy Doody fan. That was the only program I ever saw as a kid.

I don’t know if they ever sold a TV set back then. It was just an expensive novelty that was located too far from the TV station to provide adequate reception to attract any sort of an audience. TV never made it big in Gander until CJON placed a repeater transmitter at Rattling Brook near Grand Falls. By that time Goodyear’s was located in the new townsite and they sold lots of TVs after that.

Jack Pinsent, Class of 1960

 

I sure remember the old Goodyear’s canteen, when it was located down by the old CN Railroad Station.  One day I was late for school, grade three, Mrs. Richard’s class. Pearl Strong was just in front of me when we got to the door, it was locked and there was a dog by the door. Pearl was afraid of dogs so it didn't take much to convince Pearl we would get into real trouble for being last so we shouldn't go in. 
I had a nickle, big money in those days, and talked Pearl into joining me in a trip to the canteen - on the way there we had to cross the old ballpark and came out by the bridge not far from the Canteen.  A car stopped and offered us a ride. Like all "Good" girls at the time we were told never to accept rides OR talk to strangers.  Keeping my head "WAY DOWN" I politely said "No Thank you Sir" and kept walking, urging Pearl along with me. 
We accomplished our task and purchased 3 for a penny candy sharing them on the way home. After school I arrived home at the usual time - smart enough not to arrive too early. Dad was waiting for me, and promptly inquired "how was school and what did I learn today?" 
 Not quite sure now what answer I gave him BUT the man in the car was "Dad". Needless to say I couldn't sit down for a while - in our house the "wooden spoon" applied firmly to the "sitdown" was punishment of choice. Being the sweet/cute child I was - I was frequently on the receiving end of the spoon.

I never heard nor inquired what happened to Pearl  - I wonder if she remembers the incident.

Jane Dempsey Donnelly, Class of 1960

 

OK you ‘rink rats’ no good Gander column goes without a little hockey talk…so…..

 

The name "rink rat" brings back some nostalgic memories to me. I wore that title proudly back in Halifax during the Second World War years. Every spare minute I had was spent at the rink until finally management put me to work cleaning the ice, flooding the rink - this was a time before jambonis - and doing any number of odd jobs.

At that time many of the NHL players were in the military and stationed in Halifax - must admit that it used to bother me that, while my dad was in a war zone and under fire - these guys were still able to play the game - some of them for two or three years at home. Being a rink rat gave me an opportunity to get into the games free and this was no small compensation since, as you can imagine with players like Milt Schmidt and Bauer from the Boston Bruins Kraut line and many other high profile NHL players playing, the rink would be packed to capacity every game night. In one of those games I witnessed probably the first slap shot used in a game. Bingo Kampman used it but he called it a golf shot and it really did look like a golfer teeing off. The golf shot has been modified now to more of a snap shot.
One thing for sure, back in those days, mom knew exactly were to find me if she needed me. Whenever I go home that rink is one of the first places I visit - it brings back so many wonderful memories.


Dave Gilhen, RCAF Gander 1957



 Gander Allstars  1960-61

Back row: Angie Caroll, Eric Stratton, Gerry Hancock, Leo Lannon, Gerry Mills

Middle row: Wes Trainer, Reg Hennan, Bill Ireland, Carl Bursey, Ray Lush, Pat Shallow, Freddy Burke, John Bursey, John Dyke, Benny Doyle

Front row: Jim Davis, Nate Dyke, Bob Dean, Ron Elson, Charlie Bradbury, Lester Kelly, Cec Lush

 

I may have missed someone else tell this story b/c I'd be surprised if it wasn't already mentioned. I think it was around '56 when the Boston Bruins did an exhibition  tour of Nfld. This included Gander. Names like Leo Boivin, Leo Labine, Vic Stasiuk, Flemming Mackell, Fernie Flaman, Terry Sawchuk, Don Simmons come to mind.

It was awesome. Here we were as snotty nosed kids within reach behind the bench of all these real life original 6 hockey heroes (not that you wanted to reach out especially with guys like Leo Labine!) I think the score was about 10-0 for the Bruins after period one. During one of the intermissions (2nd period I think) half the Bruins changed jerseys with half the Flyers and finished off the game in good spirits. It was pretty awesome at the time.....hockey was IT for most guys growing up in Gander and the original six NHL then, was supreme.Those were the glory years and in a small but awesome way, we got to see it live. I still think about it. 

Cheers

Angus Taylor, Class of 1962

As a post script to my last, is there anyone out there who knows who would was playing for the Flyers at the time?

A.T.

 

Yes folks, next time we have more Goodyear memories to tell. Also welcome your recollections to add to that. Simply write to faye@villagereporter.com  to add any comments or ‘hockey talk’. Angus would really like to find out who played on that Flyers Team. Can you help.