by R G Pelley
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