Nobbly Boot
by R G Pelley



 

So who remembers the "Nobbly Boot" ?

 Back in 50s, going to the Old Terminal was always a happy time, even though it was often frowned upon when, especially as kids, we spent too much time in the passenger section.

 The usual route was in through a door roughly in between the two hangers, hanger 21 being the one closest to Deadman's Pond and hanger 22 being the one with the control tower, nearest town.  Just inside, we turned left for a while and then right, which brought us to the long corridor that went from one side of Hanger 21 to the other. 

 It was near the furthest end of the corridor that the passengers entered the terminal. But on the near end, just on the corner before taking the corridor, there was a restaurant (aka lunch counter) that served the best French fries on this side of the Atlantic... and it was all for the Ganderites because the passengers got off at the other end.  And, you wouldn't believe the "Coke floats" we could get there - who knows, maybe the ice cream was richer in the 1950's, before government inspectors started checking how cows were going about their job.

 But as much as we liked the lunch counter, the real action was in the passenger terminal. That is where you could stroll along beside cowboy heroes like Hopalong Cassidy and Gene Autry, or hobnob with a US, French or even Russian president.  If you were a boy of the appropriate age, you could ogle what seemed to be wonderful supply of beautiful girls, all of whom you were sure were movie stars.  And, in those days, with nary a terrorist in sight!

 But there was still was one part of the terminal area where I was given to understand that we shouldn't go very much - the "Nobbly Boot"!   It took me a while to understand what this place might be. No signs to give it away.

 And then, like a child learning about Santa Claus. I discovered what it was, the tobacco counter, the newspaper rack, the gum, the candy, the souvenirs. Ah ha... the "Novelty Booth" !

 And then I figured out why so many kids were told to stay away from there.  Very simple - the stuff in town was just as good....and much cheaper!

 

Robert Pelley. Coke-float expert