Thursday, October 18, 2007

O'Brother Where Art Thou?

My brother Ernie had these pictures of Niall, Gord and me that were taken down home.
The one of the three of us in the backyard brought back more memories to me of funny stories from my childhood.
One year Dad bought and old pickup truck from Rankin McLaine that had been leased to Maritime Electric.
His intentions were to use it for a while , fix it up and sell it to make some extra money.
I recall that Dad made $40.00 a week working at Maritime Electric and raised his family on it.

Me being the youngest brother by default made me the most gullible.
One day Soupy Campbell and I were playing around this old Fargo truck Dad had bought.
Gord came along and said that he could do magic, “no way “ we said.

“Just watch” said Gord.
“I’m going to put the keys to the truck in the ignition, wind up the windows and lock the doors, then I’ll say the magic words and presto the door will unlock”
“WOW, really, truly?” we said.
“Yes I can do magic” Said Gord.
He then put the keys in the ignition, wound up the windows, and closed the door, (This is the gullible part)
He told us the doors were locked and pretended to try and open it, and it sure looked locked to us, but he would not let us test the door to see if it was really locked. We just believed him.
Then he yelled “ABBRA CADABBRA” grabbed the handle and the door opened..
WOW, were we impressed.
“Let me try” Said gullible Pex.
I made sure the keys were in the ignition, checked the windows, locked the doors and slammed it shut.
I waited the required time , closed my eyes,
and yelled “ABBRA CADABBRA”
grabbed the handle, BUT it would not budge,
it still would not budge.

It then occurred and me that Gord didn’t really lock the door.
It was then noon and Dad pulled in the yard, wondering what we were doing around the truck, we told him what happened. He didn’t say much, which was very scary, and told us we had till supper time to get the keys out, then he went back to work.
Soupy and I tired everything we could to get the door open, the battery was under the floor and we could see through the floor up to the keys.
We tried to use a coat hanger but could not reach the keys.

Time passed. Dad came home.
Soupy and I hid behind the barn, Gord was long gone.

O’Brother where art thou?

Dad tried the door, looked in side saw the key in the ignition and walked to the barn.
Now to an adult getting the key out would not be too difficult, you could pry the vent window open with a screw driver or even break it, not a big deal.
But a Father who has all afternoon to stew about this, a simple solution is not enough.
Dad went into the barn , came out with a shovel, went up to the back window, drew back , and let fly.
Barry Bonds, does not swing the bat as hard as Dad swung that shovel.
Oh, well it is only one window we thought, but suddenly the shovel came out of Dad’s hands and was not content to just break the rear window, but travelled through the cab and out through the windshield.
The sound of smashing glass filled our ears and then suddenly it was quiet. Dad reached in and took the keys out.
He went down to Walter Burhoe’s and sold him the truck.
I think dad paid $40.00 for the truck and sold it for $20.00.

The story I wrote about the circus and Gord out running the Clown, he is a picture of Gord and me with Gord's ribbons he won at Track and Field.
I rember one saturday Dad, Gord and i were at Victoria park where gord was in a track meet, he won the race and broke the record that had been held by our Uncle Lorne Callbeck.

This is Niall in our living room down home, we had a TV.
A few years earlier when televison was new to PEI, very few people had one.
A company from Halifax called , Forrest Hill opened up an appliance store in Blair moore's bike shop up the street. Niall got to work there in the early evening while the owner went home for supper. It was rare for a retail store to be open nights during the weekat this time.
I recall it was winter andwe would go up to the store and wait out side , Niall would put the TV up to the window and we would sit out side on a snowbank and watch it.
Butsy Dennis worked there also as well as delivering milk, he would tell his customers about these wondefull TV'S and ask if he could bring them one to try.
Shortly after, Barry bought a TV and put it in the snackbar down at the back. there was no local station. The nearest one in Moncton and you needed an aerial on a tower in order to get the signal. I think the station began brodcasting at 5 or 6 pm daily and stayed on for a few hours.
I recall they only had one camera and rolled it up to a floor lenght mirror so the viewrs could see what the camera looked like.
The biggest suprise we got from seeing Barry's TV for the first time was that it had sound also. we never heard the sound through the window.
Is it just me or was TV more exciting then? Maybe it is how we watch it now, laying down on a sofa in a warm room.
I think I'll dig out an old pair of rubber boots, slip on some leggins and go out side and sit on a snow bank in front of the living room window.


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