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Showing posts from September, 2023

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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Ambition Number One – New Part-time Jobs Hot Dogs and Souvenir Hats (continued)   My dad’s friend also had other Ex concessions. These were during the CNE. He had two game concessions, “ You ring one, you win one! ”  and 2 “souvenir” hat stands. That’s where I worked, at one of the hat stands. My fellow worker and I would stand just outstand of the booth and yell out, “ Souvenir hats for sale, who wants one, one for little Willy, who wants, you get your name on free !” Over the two years I worked there, we sold hundreds of hats, I not sure who many hats we sold, or if we ever sold “ Little Willy ” a hat, but again, I was a great fun experience! We actually did put names on each hat. All it took was “ Elmer’s Glue ” and “ Glitter ”. One of the perks of working at the hat stand was that I got into the Ex for free, plus, I was able to get a free lunch and dinner at the Food Building . Back then a lot of the food was given out as a free sample. If not free, there were sold at very cheap

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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Ambition Number One – New Part-time Jobs (continued)   Hot Dogs and Souvenir Hats While I was working my part-time job, I got an additional part-time job. This time, I was back in the “ selling ” game! Not clothing, sort of, I was selling “ souvenir hats ” and “ hot hogs ”! Quite the combination, you might think, but I was not selling them at the same time. It’s really not that complicated. The man I worked for ( yes, another of my dad’s customers and friends ) had a contract with Exhibition Place for most of the year-round food concessions , especially in Exhibition Stadium . All of the food sold during the Argo games were his. That’s how I got to sell “ hot dogs ” at Argo games . I even worked one of the Grey Cup games. Frankly, I wasn’t too good sell in the dogs, Probably because I didn't know how to count the change and, more likely, because I was more interested in watching the games . I did get to learn the “ chatter ”; “ Hot dogs here, red hots, who wants one, say how

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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Ambition Number One – New Part-time Jobs Accounting   (continued)   I have two favourite memories of my time at the accounting firm. The first, was eating lunch at the restaurant located in the firm’s office building. It was a delicatessen that served amazing sandwiches, smoked meat on rye; lox and bagels and more. The second, was all about the “ tricks ” of “ student accounting ”! Back in those days, student accountants were not allowed to use adding machines. They had to add long columns of figures in their heads. This is a mammoth job with an adding machine, so you can imagine how difficult it would be doing in your head. These “ tricks ” were really needed during audits. Especially when the figures didn’t add up properly. They showed me the tricks, but time has passed on and, unfortunately, I don’t remember the tricks!  Besides, who needs “ tricks ”, when we all have " computers "! The “ real tricks ’ are making the computer work properly all the time, or just rememberin

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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  Ambition Number One – New Part-time Jobs (continued) Accounting So, I left the world of “ fashion ” and “ selling ” and entered the world of “ bean counting ”! Yes, you heard me, I started working for an accounting firm, another of my father’s customers and his company's   Chartered Accounting firm. They needed a “ grunt ”, and I guess I “ fit ” the bill. In school, I wasn’t too great with figure ( the math kind !), so working for an accounting firm seemed like an odd fit. Actually, I loved working there. The owner, Mr. Sprackman , had two students working for him, Larry Sprackman ( his nephew ), and Norm Eckler ( not related ). Both were great to work with. Larry was older than Norm, but not as accomplished in accounting. It took Larry several tries for his CA accreditation. He stayed with his uncle’s firm after graduation. Norm, however, received his accreditation on schedule. He eventually left the firm, and became the CFO for the sports equipment manufacturer, CCM . (to

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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Ambition Number One – New Part-time Jobs Fashion Fortunately, my dad had a lot of business friends. One, in particular, owned a chain of men’s clothing stores, Coward Clothes Shops . The chain had an opening in their North Toronto store. It was located on Yonge Street, north of the 401 Highway. Enter my new, trusty, T. Eaton Company motor scooter! I really enjoyed my job there. First, there were all the great clothes. They included all the latest trends. Then there was the store manager, Jack Fingerhut . Jack was a great manager and a lot of fun to work for. Eventually the travel became too much. The store was a long distance from where I live, plus the scooter was very slow. I started to look for another part-time job. (to be continued)   

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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  My “Eaton’s Scooter! I can’t remember how or when I decided to buy a motor scooter , but I did buy one!  The T. Eaton Company were offering them in their mail-order catalogue . ( Amazon didn’t exist ) I was sold that I needed one. It was going to be my “ freedom ” on the road! Even though I was only 16 at the time ( they were more lenient back then ), I had my driver’s license plus, I had a job. A part-time one, but a job none the less, and, I had CREDIT ! Actually, Eaton’s gave me an Eaton’s credit card , and that’s how I bought the new scooter. Now I was going to be able to fulfill all my dreams and ambitions ! During high school, I had a number of part-time jobs. The first two, as I mentioned before, were “ gassing ” jobs, Kelmar Marina in Baysville and my brother-n-law’s ESSO station in Toronto . When my job at the ESSO station stopped, that’s when my “ ambition ” kicked in, and when I decided I needed a “ T. Eaton Company mail-order catalogue scooter ’! I think that this i

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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My Driver’s License   (continued) Back then, there was no waiting period, so I was ready to drive, alone! I think that on the first day that I received my permanent driver’s license , I drove my mother’s car to a baseball game where my Appleby friend, Murray Cole , was playing. I was so “ proud ” that I could “ show off ” to my friend! Learning to drive, through Mr. Ham , has led me to a lifetime love of driving and of cars. That I am still here, and able to drive safely, is a tribute to both Hugh and my dad. The fact that Hugh and his driving school were customers of my father’s insurance agency, didn’t hurt!

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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My Driver’s License   At the end of 1960, I turned 16. It was the age I had been waiting for all my life! I had become a MAN ! And, I was eligible to get my driver’s license, and I did! As soon as I turned 16, I got my “ beginner’s ” ( 60 day ) license. Neither my mom or dad wanted the task of teaching me how to drive. They already gone through that “ fun ” with my brother and 2 sisters! Also, my father was an insurance agent and knew if he taught me, there would be no car insurance discount. My father was practical and thrifty! That’s when I was introduced to Hugh Ham , the driving instructor. Dad liked Hugh and knew, that if I got my driver’s license through Hugh, that I ( he ) would get a car insurance discount. He knew that I was determined to drive one of our cars. I don’t think that either of my parents wanted to drive “ little ” Gary all around town, mission accomplished. I passed my driver’s test and received my permanent driver’s license. I was ready for the ROAD ! (To be cont

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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Transition (continued)   Another bad part of my transition was school itself. At Appleby , I had structure, school classes, study time, cadets, sports, playtime, meals and, little or no TV. Also, the teachers were much more “hands on” and sticked. My time at Richview, on the other hand, was completely opposite. Yes, there was school time, no routine, no structure.   Did study, but not well. The teachers were definitely not as involved in the lives of their students as the Appleby teachers were. Richview did have a sports program, but it wasn’t as demanding as Appleby’s . And, there were other contributing factors, TV and girls. As you might have guessed, my time at  RCI did not go that well! ( More later )

Richview Collegiate Institute (RCI)

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Transition As I mentioned, the reason I wanted to leave Appleby College was not because I dislike the school. Honestly, I think it was all about my youthful ( and  na├»ve ) desire to learn more about “ girls ”. As it turned out, that part of the “ transition ” didn’t turn out that well. It wasn’t until my second year at Richview , that “ girls ”, well, one girl came into “ play ”. ( More later ) ( to be continued )  

Appleby College

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My Last Year at Appleby College I am not really sure why I decided to leave Appleby College after 5 years there. My parents wanted me to stay, but gave into my desires to leave Appleby and go to a public highschool. I had reconnected with my Thorncrest Village friends, especially Richard Lambert , and all my friends were attending the newly opened Richview Collegiate Institute ( RCI ). AND, then there were the GIRLS ! Appleby College , back then, was an all-boys school. As you can imagine, I was very inexperienced when it came to girls, but I was determined to find out more. I did, but that’s a story for future “ memories ”. At the end of my last year at Appleby , grade 9, I said my goodbyes and “ I’ll see you later ”. I did see Murray Cole on a few occasions, but not the others, that is until 50 years later at the Appleby College 50-year reunion . We were all a lot older, but the memory of those log ago days were still “ FRESH ”! Now, off to  RCI and GIRLS !  

Appleby College

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Memories of Appleby (continued) Free Time (continued) Another free time, well, I’m not sure that it was really free, was when I was feeling sick and sent to the school’s infirmary. Staying there was boring, but it did give me a chance to catch up on my reading! I think, that my most happy memory of free time, other than Daylight Savings Time in the Appleby woods , was during the NHL hockey season . After dinner we were allowed to watch hockey games on the TV in the Powell’s House common room. My favourite was Hockey Night in Canada on the Maple Leafs . Back then there were only 6 teams, two of which were Canadian teams, the Leafs , and the Montreal Canadiens . The games were very exciting, and because there were only a few teams. We all knew the players’ names and could shout out the names of the players we like, or disliked! The best games were the Maple Leafs against the Canadiens !

Appleby College

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Memories of Appleby (continued)   Free Time Even though I was a border at Appleby , most of my time was taken up by school work and activities - classes, sports, chapel, meals, and homework. We did, however, have some free time. I have already told you about Daylight Savings Time and the Appleby woods . Weekdays and Saturday were all about the school, but, Sundays, after church, we were our own. Most Sundays were spent with my parents, but when they didn’t come, I had most of the day, free. Frankly, I was bored most of the time.  However, I can remember one time, I think that it was in my first or second year at Appleby , that my parents were away on holidays and I had a free Sunday. It was winter and there was lots of snow on the ground. I decided to go tobogganing. There was a short hill off on the parking lots. At the bottom of the hill there a bump, or a snow jump, that you could go over. I decided to try it. I started off going as normal, going down the slope towards the jump.