Saturday, August 09, 2014



Had I not been standing right beside Pheebe when it happened I wouldn’t have known why she started acting the way she did.  We had stopped alongside the trail Friday night & I was debating whether to turn back because of a bunch of bothersome bugs.  Pheebs was poking around in some grass & an old downed pine branch.  Saw her lunge forward then quickly recoil back frantically pawing at her nose.  Immediately saw a couple Bees buzzing around her head.  We quickly made a short run for it & the Bees did not follow.  Home we quickly went & Kelly gave her an antihistamine pill.  It must have worked because she stopped itching her face & suffered no ill effects either last night or today from the possible/probable Bee sting.   This morning Kelly noticed a paper wasp like nest on the ground under the pine branch where Pheebs & I had stopped the night before.  By the way it was 3 years ago today we brought our little Pheebers home:))  



Been having us some super fine weather this past while & with today's 70F temps & a gentle warm breeze it just made for a relaxing day around the house with a bit of yard puttering.  I did check the water levels in our 4 coach batteries this morning & all was well.


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Sitting here at the computer on another passive Saturday night I remembered back to a time when Saturday nights were not quite so passive.  In 2009 I wrote a little piece about my old home town of Tavistock Ontario & called it 'Small Town Saturday Night'. 

ARCHIVE MEMORY::  It was back in the late 50's & very early 60's that I was living in the little farming community village of Tavistock Ontario Canada & times were a whole lot different from the way they are now. Especially on Saturday nights because that's when the farm guys rolled into town. Kind of like the old west when the cattlemen would ride into town on a Saturday night, hit the saloons & shoot up the bars.
Tavistock at the time had a population of around 1200 people with 3 grocery stores, a drug store where the Greyhound bus even stopped at, 4 gas stations, couple hardware stores, a bank, 2 butcher shops, 2 bakeshops, a clothing store, a local newspaper, plus an assortment of other little shops & business’s. The local restaurant & hang out was called Joe's Place & the 2 big booming hotels were called the Arlington & the Oxford. It was the Arlington & the Oxford hotels that mainly contributed to the exciting & wild side of Tavy Town’s Saturday nights.
It was a different world then with different ideals, ideas, morals, & ways of doing things. By late Saturday afternoon the local farmers, having finished up in the fields & barns climbed into the tub for the Saturday night special, shined up their best boots, & slipped into their best Wrangler jeans. With a clean shirt & some extra bucks in their pockets they loaded up the wife & kids in the car & headed into town for groceries, a stop at the hardware store, ice cream at Joes & a few beers at the Oxford.
Saturday nights were alive with people on the streets. Cars lined the curbs on both sides. Groups of people standing on sidewalks talking & laughing. Like I said, it was a different world. Joe's Place was the hub for everyone from kids to grandparents. A large squared off horseshoe lunch counter with about 20 stools made for standing room only. Two bowling alleys in the back were action packed with thundering bowling balls & flying pins. Four pool tables in an adjoining room were never vacant with all available chairs on the sideline filled. Hank Williams, Hank Snow, & Eddie Arnold boomed out of the old jukebox at Papa Joes. Tavistock on a Saturday night was alive……..and then came the entertainment.
It was the young farm guys with their Dad's car or their own jazzed up set of wheels that really livened things up. Early to mid 1950 Fords & Chevys were popular with the guys.  These were hard working kids who had spent the week out on the land in the hot sun, planting, ploughing, digging & tending cattle. They were up at the crack of dawn doing chores & just getting themselves wound up tighter than hot snare drum at a Gene Kruppa concert. By the time Saturday night rolled around these guys were headed for town......... & boy were they ever!!
It was usually the shrill sound of squealing car tires that first brought heads around to the fact that another action packed Saturday night was underway. Late 40's & early 50's flat head Fords were popular as were the Chevy's & Dodges. Fender skirts, moons, wheel spinners, dice on the mirrors, whatever these farm kids could fancy up their cars with they did. Patsy Cline, Johnny Horton & Marty Robbins boomed out of their big single bass dash speaker car radios. The beer was in the trunk, the girls were in the passenger seats, & the cars were layin rubber up & down the main street. Like so many other small towns on a Saturday night in those days…….Tavistock was alive!!
I was too young for a driver's license then & alcohol was hardly even a thought in my mind yet as I watched all the shenanigans from the sidelines. Four main roads & a street all converged in the center of town so all the cars racing around had to pass through that single Octopus like intersection over & over. On the south side of the street on one corner was an old store called Pepplars that had long since gone out of business. This was a favorite spot for my young friends & myself to sit & watch the goings on. From here we could keep an eye on both hotels & instantly spot the fights as they broke out later in the evening. Occasionally one of us would walk up the street to Joes Place to bring some pop back for everybody but I hated doing that because of the farm guys hanging around the doorway at Papa Joes.
I was afraid of these guys because some of them were always spoiling for a fight. They were bigger, stronger, & older. With a few beers or a quick coke under their belts they were looking to make a name for themselves by pounding out some of Tavy’s town kids. I got pushed around a few times & knocked to the sidewalk once so I had a real dis-like for these farm guys & their dorky hayseed country music but I sure envied them roaring around town in their souped-up cars. With big rumbling duel exhausts, windshield visors, wide whitewall tires, sexy looking girls, cigarettes in their mouths, sunglasses & long red scarves on the mirrors, these guys were cool. And seemingly no fear of authority whatsoever. They were the Blums, the Zehrs, Ramsyers, Rubys, the Benders, Baechlers, the Schmidts, & many more. They were our farming community. They were our young Saturday night half bad buckaroos. 
The only authority in town at the time was an aging retired Ontario Provincial Police officer with a black 1960 Dodge car & flashing red light. His name was Peter Grant but we all called him Peter Gunn. He was a good man & did his best to rein in the young bucks but there were just too many for him. By the time he got to where the squealing tires were another fight had broken out in one of the hotels & by the time he got that under control in one hotel parking lot there were squealing tires & dust flying back over at the other hotel.  Yep, it was Saturday night in a small Ontario town about 50 years ago & I was there as Jim Reeves, Frankie Laine, & Johnny Cash laid down the treasury of memories that I would learn to love so much  many, many, years later:))
GROANER'S CORNER:((  My job is in the Aerospace Industry, and it's always been a challenge to explain what kind of work I do.  At one gathering, I tried several unsuccessful attempted explanations before deciding to be as generic as possible. When the subject came up while I was talking with a group of guys, I replied simply, "Defense Contractor."   
The men nodded, and as the conversation went on, I silently declared victory to myself. Then, one of them turned to me and asked, "So, what do you put up mainly? Chain-link?"


  1. I guess all small Canadian towns are pretty much the same, you've brought back many memories. My home town was Carman Manitoba with a population of about 2500 to 3000 souls. We also had the Boyne Theatre so our Saturday Night usually included a movie.
    Thanks for the memories, you've taken me back many years.

  2. I read your last post while waiting for an appointment so I decided to post my comment when I got home. You are quick on the draw and you've already posted another blog.
    Anyway, I just wanted you and Kelly to know how excited and happy I am things went so well with the doctor. It is always a great feeling when they turn you loose for such a long time. Very freeing!! :-) We all have much to be thankful for. Take care guys!!

  3. Oh the memories of a much simpler time.
    That one reason we enjoy our times where we are right now, still great country folk enjoying the simple things in life.

  4. Bill and I had senior high classes of less than 50 students....the bowling alley was the place to hang (I never picked up a ball)with friends. We still get together with folks from our small town (which is no longer there)every April in Laughlin, NV. Saturday Night stories are always re-shared at those gatherings :-). Glad Pheebs survived her wasp/bee encounter!