Saturday, November 29, 2008


Cool weather and Cooler guys.
Looking back at some of the people who grew up in Parkdale, we sure had some cool characters. One who sticks out in my mind is Robin Clay.
I delivered the paper to Clay’s and I recall going to the back door and Robin would be sleeping on a bunk in the back porch.
He was the type of guy who spent a lot of time combing his hair & was a cross between Fabian and James Dean.
In April of each year we all wanted Summer to arrive and fore-go Spring. Robin did something about it. One sunny day in April we watched him shovel the snow on his front lawn to make a bare spot to lay a blanket down to work on his tan.
He drove a Volkswagen and I can see him now tearing down St Peters Road, turning into Barry’s, slamming on the brakes and jumping out of the car and going up to the counter.
Cool guys never called Barry by his name they called him B
“Hey B”
“Hey Robin, what can I get you”?
“Ice Cream B”
And Barry would proceed to get him some, not in a cone, not in a cup, no way! not for Robin.
He had his ice cream in a paper bag. He would roll down the paper bag just like we did our rubber boots. How cool is that???
We were always a little scared of him as he answered to no one and was always on the go.
One April my friends and I wanted summer to arrive but weren’t ready to give up all of our winter fun.
It was early evening and Roger, Knees and I had our bicycles out, even though there was still lots of snow. We were up by Cuddy ‘s Restaurant, The Tea Cup, which eventually was home to the first Parkdale Pharmacy.
The three of us had our bikes and were making snowballs to throw at cars.
To our delight we spotted a small car tearing down the road...our prey.
One problem though it was Robin in his Volks.
Jim Croche in his song speeled the rules out,
"You don't pull on Superman's cape, You don't spit into the wind, You don't pull the mask off The old Lone Ranger and You don't mess around with,(in this case Robin).
Now I can see why dogs chase cars and cats tease dogs but I can’t comprehend why anyone would draw Robin’s attention to them.
But there was the Perfect Storm, A kid with a snowball ready and a speeding car; impossible to resist.
The next few minutes went by in slow motion. Roger wound up his arm and let go with all his might at the speeding Volkswagen. We watched that snowball arc to the sky and with the accuracy of a Cruise Missle it found it’s target.
The world was silent as that ice missle flew but I don’t think I have ever heard a louder sound when it hit Robin’s car.
He slammed on the brakes and spun around on the road and in an instant he was in front of us.
There was no escape, no time to mount our bikes and scatter.

"Who threw that Snowball?"

Roger, to his credit, confessed immediately.
Robin whipped back his coat reached into his waist band and pulled out a hand gun, pointed at Roger and fired.
Roger fell backwards off his bike, Robin put the barrel of the gun to his lips blew on it, put the gun back in his waist band, jumped in his car and sped away.
Knees and I stood there in shock holding on to the handlebars looking down at Roger laying in the snow.
We noticed the front of his pants was getting damp, oh no he is bleeding , no that’s not blood!!
Parkdale, at this time, barely had TV, let alone hi tech sporting equipment. When we wanted to start a race we used the traditional method of
Just to clear things up Robin had a Starters Pistol and Roger peed his pants.


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