December 21, 2006
Just some end-of-the-year ramblings from my notebook of special emails. Thought I’d share some with you…
Remember when we were talking about dances, haircuts and so on, awhile back? Well Jack Pinsent had this special memory to add…
“I inherited my hair gene from my mother. It was like wire and uncontrollable. As a teenager you had two choices. Go with the James Dean/Elvis style or the good old GI flattop. Neither of which met my hair gene characteristics. And believe me, boys hair was important back in those days. We were like birds. The male had to be flamboyant. Not like girls. They either had the page boy, boy's bob or pony tail style. Nothing fancy unless you were blonde. Funny thing, boys were more interested in 'sweaters', not hair back then.
“Cec Lush had the perfect flat top or 'brush cut' as we called it. I wanted to have my hair like that but it just wouldn't stick up. I tried rubbing my hair with soap but no luck. Then I tried the James Dean look with the help of Bryle Cream. That didn't work out too well so I went with curly, semi duck tail, Tony Curtis look.
“Everyone used Bryle Cream back in those days. We invented the 'wet head'. Some guys even used Vaseline as a substitute. Bryle Cream was expensive. It came in a tube that had the same colour characteristics as Colgate toothpaste. Jack Squires's father found out the similarities the hard way. He tried to brush his teeth with the stuff one morning. Jack told me he was no longer permitted to keep his Bryle Cream in the bathroom, to prevent further accidents. I can remember laughing, hearing Jack describe how his father was spitting and swearing coming out of the bathroom, clenching the tube of Bryle cream in his hand.
“Back in the seventies when the "Afro" style came out, I had it made. I just let her grow wild. Saved a lot of money on hair cuts.”
- Jack Pinsent, Class of 1960
Ken Barnes wrote:
“Thank you Faye...What great memories David (Naish) brought back! Delighted to hear from him, and please pass along this message and my best wishes. I remember (I believe I'm right) David's terrific hair cut and watching movies at the base which his father organized. Was it a Navy base?
“I am living a boring life as a consultant in Toronto, and play as much golf as I can. But great to hear from him and to say ‘hello’.”
- Ken Barnes, Class of 1960
By the way, I hope Mr. (Roland) Clarke got lots of birthday cards from us ‘kids’. Who had him for a teacher and what do you remember about that? Jack posted a nice memory he had of Mr. Clarke on the ‘Teachers Page’. Mr. C. wasn't there when I got to Gander in Sept. 1958. I do think that he got as much of a kick out of the reunion as we "kids" did. Don’t you agree?
- Faye Lewis Raynard, Class of 1959
Time to get ready for the holidays…
Bob Pelley had this to say
My daughter-in-law who was here for supper yesterday asked my advice on how to do a project for Fred (My grandson).She wanted something better than buying a "house" type thing of plastic at 150$ each. We will make it with a wood frame of two similar cubes that can be put side by side or on top of each other. By simply changing the walls and roof which will be made of rigid cardboard, she can turn it into a fire hall / garage / hospital / airport / castle depending on whether Fred wants to be a fireman, mechanic, etc. That will give him 2,3,4, maybe more, great little places to do the pretending and learning a kid needs to grow up.
-Bob Pelley, Class of 1962
Hey Bob, that reminds me of when I was about 7-8 years old. Did you ever build 'forts', 'camps' as a kid?
“My thing was I always wanted a professional 'lemonade' stand with a bar across the top with little signs that hang down. My options were a card table out in front of the house and a package of "Kool Aid" (actually we called it "Freshie" in those days).
“So we dipped into the sugar crock to
make it and pulled out a pitcher and some cups and were in business. I
“It was my first lesson in entrepreneurship.”
“I wasn't into forts very much. Snow forts were definitely out because they always meant snow tunnels and no Gander mother wanted their kids getting caught in one of those.
And with all the airplane carcasses
around Gander we spent more time "flying" than being holed up in a fort.
When we got older and started to adventure out in the woods hunting with a
BB or single shot Cooey 22 (did
“I like your McDonalds /Dairy Queen image!! Were you the Queen back then too??”
-Bob Pelley, Class of 1962
“No, I was not a queen, just dreamed of being one. Always admired the queen and her court--they were our movie stars, of sorts. We would conduct Girl Guide newspaper drives, all over the (airforce) bases, in the early 1950s. . And I remember in Chatham going door to door and gathering newspaper in a wagon. (I think they were eventually shipped out to moving companies who wrapped everything in newsprint in those days).
Anyway I would sort out all of the Star Weeklies and make scrap books out of the ones with the queen and any of the Royals in them. I still have a couple of those scrap books. So queen I was not. Pack-rat, yes.”
So you must identify with that Red Ryder BB gun story. The Christmas classic?
-Faye Lewis Raynard, Class of 1959
And our back and forth brought Audrey Mingo into the discussion…
“Speaking of lemonade stands, that was my thing back in the mid-late 40's. My father's construction company was up the street from us, Albert Street in New Glasgow, NS.
On hot days in the summer, Mom would help Joyce and I make real lemonade, with sugar, and ONE cup, and a nice round pitcher. We slugged this up to the shop where the men were cutting wood with large machines, and I loved the smell of wood being cut.
We made our rounds with the one cup, no dipping into water to clean it, and got 5 cents per cup. (I have that lemonade pitcher in my cupboard today).
We would have
enough money to then get an ice cream from "Duncan" the ice cream man, who
came by our house almost every day, with his horse driven cart, and
scooped out the ice cream. Don't remember how it didn't melt, he probably
had ice junks all around the containers. Again, learning how to make
money. Dad never stopped us from going, but he probably wasn't in the area
anyway, he was always building houses in PEI, or Halifax, or somewhere,
all week, and home on the weekends. When he arrived home, all 5 girls
begged him to take us to the Drive in Theatre, and he did. So my growing
up stories are mainly in NS! Sorry about that. I was all grown up by the
time I landed in Gander, 15 years old.
And this final note from Bob Pelley
“P.S. Christine was out last evening and I profited from her absence to make up another feed of cod-tongues. I know you’re not partial to that smelly food but for me it is the food of kings!”
and to all a ‘Good Night’. Bring on the Jiggs Dinner…
(Hey, write to me, willya, I’m using up all my ‘stuff’ here. And need to replenish the ‘Old Memory Box’.—again firstname.lastname@example.org)