Those were the days, my friend

The other night as our band made up Mutts of the Round Table by member in good standing Rick “Nash” Kalil— enjoyed a sumptuous Italian dinner at Billy Petepiece pad on island 17, talk, like he always does, go back to the good old days, or like Brian “The Cat” Roll likes to say “Back in the day”.

As the song says, it was my friend’s time.

It made me think of the question asked by one of the carpet rats a few years ago, “What is a baby boomer?”

Well, a baby boomer, or someone in the older division, remembers the soft drink dispensers that dispensed glass bottles. The milk was delivered in glass bottles with cardboard caps. The children were smoking candy flavored cigarettes. Two cents got you a Wax Coke-shaped bottle filled with colored water. We drank Kikk cola.

Having to write “I won’t be bad in class” 100 times, standing in a corner for 20 minutes, being given detention or not being allowed out at recess was having an “easy time”. The real punishment was to arrive home and learn that your parents had received a call from the principal. This is because, in almost all cases, the parents sided with the teachers. This is why the student-teacher ratio was not an issue.

When a child left in the morning on a non-school day and did not return for lunch, no one considered organizing a search party. They were having too much fun at the park. Everything was fine as long as you were back when the streetlights came on. The city has imposed a curfew for those under 16.

A child with a pocket knife did not cause the school to be locked down. The “weapons” of choice were peashooters and slingshots stowed in a back pocket.

Friends were not collected by the dozens on Facebook. Friends have won.

Texting was like slipping a note to a classmate.

We had party lines and three-digit phone numbers. After 20 minutes, a mother was shouting, “You’ve been on the phone long enough. The Bell Telephone Co. was nicknamed Ma Bell.

Clothes were washed on Mondays in a wringer – Beatty was the big seller – and hung to dry the clothes on a rack or clothesline. Thursday was grocery day where the bread winner was paid by check. Families bought potatoes in 50-pound bags.

To be old was anyone over 20 years old.

And the older we got, the smarter our parents got.

THIS MONTH AROUND 1958—one of Cornwall’s oldest family businesses has been sold to two Cornwall businessmen. Georges Kaneb and Ralph Whitehead were the new owners of Beach Furniture, established in Sydney and Eighth streets in 1908 when CA Beach purchased Cornwall Furniture Co. At its height the business had 88 employees manufacturing bedroom and dining room furniture. … It’s not every day that a prime minister shows up to cut the ribbon at a paddling pool, but Prime Minister John Diefenbaker cut the ribbon for the new Kinsmen Wading Pool at Memorial Park. …After several weeks of painstaking excavations on Cameron Island in the St. Lawrence River, a team led by Royal Ontario Museum archaeologist Walter Kenyon discovered three ancient native settlements. Excavations yielded dozens of artifacts, including pottery, arrowheads and flints. Kenyon thought the colonies were hundreds of years old. … Branch 297 of the Royal Canadian Legion officially opened its new hall, which was built at a cost of $90,000. …North End Fastball League pitcher Doug Taillon was in fine form as he threw a three-hitter and hit two homers, as Brookshell Motors routed Hodgins 20-0. …Bob Turner, a former professional baseball player, was Cornwall’s new director of recreation. Turner, 31, a graduate of New York University, was director of recreation in Colbourne, Ont. for four years before landing the job in Cornwall. He had a stint with the Chicago White Sox as a catcher a year later. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and played in the Mexican and Pacific Coast leagues.

1958 PART TWO—A busy weekend for the Cornwall Police Traffic Department, all three Cornwall Ambulance Services were utilized. Exclusive Ambulance, Miller’s Funeral Home and Boulerice and Payette Funeral Home ambulances transported the injured to hospital. In one incident, a four-year-old girl was transported to the Montreal Neurological Hospital with head injuries. During the day, funeral homes provided ambulance services as a supplement. … Considered Cornwall’s only dining and dancing club, The Oasis (formerly The Wonderland) held its grand opening with the Jimmy Thompson Orchestra concert. The club belonged to Ed Andrews and Eric Richardson. … The new community of Long Sault had a new restaurant. The mall’s Long Sault restaurant was owned by John TouchetteLionel Touchetteand Jimmie Hickman. They also owned the Long Sault IGA and Paul’s IGA at 854 First St. E. in Cornwall. … Brunet brothers, Gerald, Arcade, and Agnos, opened the new Cardinal Motel at the intersection of Highway 2 and Power Dam Drive. … The Louis Emard gas bar on St. Andrew’s Road has reopened and gas is selling for 38.9 cents a gallon. Montreal Road east of Saint-Félix Street had the heaviest traffic during peak hours with 1,323 vehicles. … CKSF on-air personalities included John Larocque, George Heath, George Williamson, Bill “Night Train” Gallant, Bill LaSalle, Don Passerby, and Hall Lee Jr Heath later became the voice of the Cornwall Royals, calling the 1972 Memorial Cup victory.

HERE AND THERE: The other day at the gas station, a guy filling up his van yelled at me, “Do you have a cell phone?” I said yes. He said “Do you want to call 9-1-1.” I said, “What’s the problem? Pointing to the pump, he said, “I want to report a theft. … A local conspiracy theorist claims Queen Elizabeth died just before the big birthday celebration and news footage of her attending a few events has been faked. Hey, why ruin a good party.

ANSWER TO TRIVIA: ESSO used the slogan “Put a tiger in your tank”.

INFORMATION: This July 1, 1958 event in Cornwall drew a crowd of 70,000 and received national and international media coverage.

QUOTE : “A tranquilizer is one that feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat it last.”
– Winston Churchill.

About Richard Chandler

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