11 Happy Montreal Memories From the 1950s… and 7 Unhappy Ones

A little trip down Memory Lane… both good and bad.

11 Happy Montreal Memories From the 1950s

(in no special order)

  1. Big brother Dan “riding” me on his bike (I sat on the crossbar in front of him – not too comfy) to see the fireworks on Victoria Day at night, in Trenholme Park. Thrilling!
  2. Brother Dan again, taking me with him when he went “collecting” for his Montreal Star paper route in the vicinity of Marcil, Terrebonne and Oxford Avenues.
  3. Occasional lunch with Mom at the Maryland Tea Room, across from my parents’ store, Monkland Dry Goods. My fave was omelet and fries with a chocolate sundae for dessert, no nuts. “Jerry” the waiter got to know my choice as it never varied.
  4. Snacks from “Tom’s” – the store next to my parents’ store: Black Beautys (chocolate cakes loaded with transfats, I’m sure!), Mello Rolls (Lowney’s ice cream) and Mackintosh caramel bars. It’s a wonder my teeth didn’t fall out.
  5. Riding my bike all over NDG. Total freedom at 10 years old! (Look Ma, no helmet!)
  6. Learning to swim (sort of) at the NDG YMCA, at age 8. I made it across the width of the pool (20 feet) but that’s as far as I could manage. (I flunked Beginners’ B. Sigh.)
  7. Roller-skating (with key)! Everywhere! See #5!
  8. Halloween – no houses were considered unsafe. This was before razor blades in apples!
  9. Lilacs I used to steal for my Mom, from various back yards, every May.
  10. Ballet Class on Saturday mornings. Loved the pretty costumes and dainty pink ballet shoes.
  11. Movies at the Monkland Theatre where my dad knew the manager (so I could get into kid-friendly shows even though I was nowhere near the mandated age 16).

7 Not-so-happy Montreal Memories From the 1950s

(in no special order)

  1. Not being allowed into my friend’s house to see their Xmas tree, because (as I was told) I was Jewish.
  2. Being teased for having a sandwich made with ‘yellow bread’ (challah) at lunchtime at school. (Most of the kids weren’t Jewish and only had white bread, apparently.)
  3. Ballet Class on Saturday mornings. I never knew what the hell I was doing. 😀
  4. Almost drowning at Plage Laval one summer, due mainly to my father’s obliviousness.
  5. My cousin ripping up my paper dolls, and his mother excusing him: “He’s only playing!”
  6. Developing a stutter during grade 4 because a teacher took a dislike to me for some reason and was nasty to me all year.
  7. My grade 5 teacher shaking me (for talking during a fire drill while we were lined up outside) so hard I thought my head would fall off.

5 thoughts on “11 Happy Montreal Memories From the 1950s… and 7 Unhappy Ones

  1. My stutter began before school; and it never left me. The result was the ability to interchange words that I knew would cause problems. My vocabulary soared like an eagle in free flight; after a while, I became quite adept at public speaking, loving the limelight.The only bad memory was being shy to ask for a protractor in Geometry class during an exam, failing the exam…and ultimately the year…grade 9. I still stutter, but it comes and goes…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s amazing., that u were able to turn a negative into a such a positive! Bravo!! My own stutter left me after the end of grade four when that horrible teacher no longer held sway over me! Btw, yeah, grade 9 geometry came close to doing me in! Poor u!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh do I relate to ballet classes being both a positive memory and a nightmare all in one (for pretty much the same reasons you list). I wanted to be an actress as a kid, and the school I went to would only let you take acting classes if you took dance, too. After I played Scrooge in my fifth grade play (beating out a room full of boys for the part), I realized I’d pretty much peaked on stage, and that was the end of my acting career!

    As to the stutter, I had one, too. A speech therapist told my mother it was my brain thinking faster than my mouth could talk. Either my brain slowed down or my mouth sped up, and I’ll give you one guess as to which it was! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Heh, another thing in common – I also acted – but I “peaked” in Kindergarten as Little Red Riding Hood! 😀 But congrats to you, 5th grade, and beating all the boys, yay!!!

    Yeah, stuttering’s a tough thing to deal with but how lucky we were to get rid of it however possible!!

    Liked by 2 people

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