Rotzy basks in the warmth of more Memories of the EX
More Memories From ‘The Ex’ Circa 1950-55
Had some good feedback on last week’s CNE item, so here’s some more. Memories. As kids we all had our favourite cowboys and indians (*indigenous and/or aboriginals hadn’t yet been heard of) from the movies and TV, and I saw all of mine….LIVE (!) at the grandstand matinee during those years. Hopalong Cassidy….Cisco and Pancho….Tonto and The Lone Ranger…..Lash Larue (my fave, but don’t tell Roy)…..Gene Autry with sidekick Gabby Hayes. But none of them could even hold a candle to Roy’s grand entrance! Roy on Trigger, leading the charge up the cinder running track right in front of 10,000 screaming kids….Bullet right at Trigger’s thundering hooves. Dale urging Buttermilk along half a length behind….and Pat Brady bringing up the rear in Nellybell, the WW II Willys Jeep, and tho it had no speedometer, I’m betting he was doing 50 +! MPH, as km/hr hadn’t yet been invented! (*see below) Now, don’t forget, Trigger was leading the entourage! Such an amazing/beautiful animal!! Still is apparently…’cause when Trigger died, Roy took him to the taxidermist and had him stuffed…. Rotzy recently heard that at an ‘R/R estate auction’ somebody wrote a 1/4 Million Dollar cheque so that he could have Trigger in his rec room, or standing (bucking?) on the deck beside the pool. Too cool, eh? Bye the bye, here’s a couple facts about Roy you may or may not be aware of. Roy never lost a fist fight! Ever. Hell, he never lost ANY kind of fight. In fact, he never had his Stetson*(tm) knocked off. Word has it he was known to use his boots (he could kick the eye out of a snake with those pointed toes) and even his spurs. Yet he never shot a man to death….except one tyme in Cheyenne….but the guy was such a wastrel/crook/bad guy, Dale prayed for Roy….for a week….and dont-cha know, it was “Happy Trails” all over again and there was peace in the valley. But I digress….back to The Ex. The Midway….food/rides/games of chance to win big $, perhaps a ‘Betty Boop-like’ kewpie doll, or a stuffed animal the size of an NFL Middle Linebacker!! Young Bobby was a sucker for tossing those “F/N ‘wooden donut thingies’ over the top of family-size Coke*tm bottles….I must’ve spent hundreds!! OK, OK, OK….not quite, but a lot. Then, I WON!!! A huge bear….beige….and it was smiling. BUT….I don’t remember what happened with/to it? A blank…still. There is no way it’d fit into the storage locker….hence, ‘sell’ it back to the Game Guy? Not interested. Give it to some stranger? I know damned well I did NOT show a fit of anger with my DAD….because…..well because you just didn’t do that! Bottom line….I simply don’t remember what we did with him/her?? S–t. So….SO….how about ‘Midway Food’….not those concoctions somebody dreamt up these days. I’m talking dogs, burgs, pogos, fries (no poutine) onions rings….i.e. NOTHING that might be on Canada’s Healthy Food Guide. ”Can we get a burg….please Dad”…..at the booth where the cook has about 20 lbs of greasy chopped ONIONS sitting at one side of the grill and a mountain of burgs at the other….all of them looking VERY WELL DONE, and you say ‘a hamburg with fried onions please, Sir. He slops some mustard and relish on the top bun with his spatula….and then….on the bottom bun he plopped a wad of onions, one of the WELL DONE hamburgs, then a giant scoop of onions atop that. Now the moment…..I bite into it, still a bit too hot, but who cares?! Another (bigger) bite and now there’s grease dripping off my chin and onto my t-shirt, I look up at my Dad and his chin is shiny too, but his shirt’s still clean. HEY!! Welcome to The Ex!!! The Rides?? Loved the Kiddies Tubs Of Fun, The Kiddies Boat Carousel, The Kiddies Merry-Go-Round….then we both went on the ADULT Horse Carousel (which went 30-35 mph!) (*see above)….The Tilt-A-Whirl and cetera….but….BUT….NOTHING that went more than 5 ft above sea level. We NEVER missed the Dodge-em Cars….now this was ten years before Dad bought his first car, hence he knew no more about driving than me, so here’s the pair of us being Barney-Bad-Ass all over the oily steel floor….’tag-team’ it was and we’d t-bone, sideswipe and head-on (a definite no-no!) anything that dared come near us! Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale E. Jr. tho it was more like a Figure-8 Demolition Derby at Islip, N/York than NASCAR at Daytona. Oh yeh…one other thing on our list….being an olde fastball player from Woodstock, Dad still loved the game, so we always took in a couple games at the Canadian Ladies Fastball Championships….and ‘Fast’ is the word for it, they were Amazing!! Plus, as well as all my cowboy heroes, we also caught a few famous people (on the mammoth stage they rolled out onto the football field) at the Grandstand Sat Matinee….Bob Hope at the top of the list! tho I know not if Bing and Dorothy came along with him? I was likely more impressed with the appearance of another ‘Bob’…. Bob Richards (we knew his picture from the Wheaties*tm box) the record-setting Pole Vaulter from the U.S.A…..first to clear 16 ft!! And he showed 20,000 people just HOW he did it! Way cool! There was also a couple lady singers appeared….methinks maybe ”Juliette”, the Cdn chanteuse who had a show on CBC TV, and she made brassieres. Hey, I was FIVE, no idea what a ‘bra’ was? but I sort of recall her singing didn’t thrill me. But then (the next year?) it was Teresa Brewer….famous for “Put another nickel in, In the nickel-odeon” *(AHA!! You’re singing it right now!…aren’t you!!??) Well now….THAT lady could sing!! Anyway….to quote Bob Hope (*see above)…..to The Grande Olde Lady of Fairs….on behalf of this olde guy….”thanks for the memories”!! In this s–thole of a world we occupy in 2022, a trip back to the ‘fabulous fifties’ is just what the doctor ordered….and if YOU were THERE for them, and YOU are still HERE….good for YOU….and if YOU enjoyed the CNE Trip HALF as much as Rotzy did….and I only grabbed a piece of it….well, we’re LAUGHING!! If you’re too young and/or don’t understand/care, then twenty-three skee-do to you!
Bye The Bye….
….the Big “F/N” Contest to name the upscale restaurant formerly located in the CNE Stadium had/has NO WINNER! Not even close with the ‘entries’ we got: *Frans?…. “upscale”?….FRANS? c’mon man; *Winstons? (no Louie Janetta); Grosmanns? c’mon man!; *The Brown Derby? nope; *(The Colonial? too ‘bluesy’ *Frankie Tomato Head? or is it *Tommy Tomato Head (too big….it was the size of Pt.Credit!); *A&W Eat In? (that’s rude….and dumb) *The Seaway Motel/Rest? (”Bob Hope stays (stayed) here!!”) too little/too late; *Carlos & Adelina’s? (best Italian Food in T.O. but there’s just Mom and Pop..hence, they’d never manage. No, no, no, you’re all WRONG! The restaurant was simply called ”THE STOODLEIGH”, in white, 8 ft high letters, right across the front, up where it could be seen by all from a distance. Anyway, put your ‘Dunce Hats’ on and go sit in the corner. Until the next Contest. IF, by chance, YOU have dined there I’m curious to hear about it…..when, choices, rating, service, prices….so lemme know. I’m relatively sure they did NOT serve Teen Burgers! Or All-U-Can-Eat Spaghetti for $1.99.
Not sure if if I dreamt/dreamed this or not….but anyway, for almost five years now I’ve been the (self-appointed) ‘Dog Treat Guy’ here at the Skyline Compound….536/555 and 575….and have come to know dozens and dozens of them by name….from the 2 lb ‘Tara’ aka ‘Killer’ to the 102 lb ‘Venom’….and of course they know Rotzy and what’s in my pocket. Never been bit….perhaps gnarled on a few tymes by ‘newbies’, but they like me and are almost always ‘friendly towards me’, even performing
‘trix’….sometymes ‘friendlier’ than their owners….imagine!….and they (the dogs) provide the ongoing ‘dog fixes’ the olde guys needs/appreciates since our Edna The Chowhead Dog went to Dog Heaven. OK? Now for ‘the dream’ part. About the same tyme as I became Dog Treat Guy I also became the (self appointed) 555 Harris Place ‘Flower Pot Guy, ‘tending to the pots on each side of the front door’….’deadheading’ the petunias on a daily basis. Getting rid of the dead/dieing blooms….they immediately look better with the dead stuff gone and it really helps promote ‘new blooming/growth! OK? Well, up on the balcony of Unit #303 we have our own large double pot of purple-ish petunias, which in spite of being blown off its’ table 3 or 4 tymes during storms, it’s doing quite well, thank you! Because the Flower Pot Guy is ‘taking care of business’, not unlike Randy Bachmann. It’s actually more funn up here on 3rd floor as I release them to flutter down to the gardens directly below us….and if/when the blooms aren’t really dead and withered up, the flower turns into a helicopter, safely landing on the soil where it ‘becomes mulch’….which is a GOOD thing, right? So….SO….last Wed or Thurs I’m releasing ‘my helicopters’ and a breeze comes up….from the North, sending my ‘choppers’ beyond their ‘planned landing area’. No big deal right? Wrong!! At that very moment a woman steps out the front door who looks like she just witnessed something bad! Then one made a good landing, yet the woman (I didn’t/don’t know her, maybe a visitor?) looked up at me as if A/ I had s–t on my nose or B/ I was tossing Zehr’s $9.99 Large Watermelons at her, then asked (demanded?) WHAT on earth are you DOING up there?! I said ”ME”? One hand went onto her hip….”well, who else is up there”? “OK Toad I said (to myself) let’s have some fun, shall we”? Well, I glanced ( a tad exagerratedly) all around me, under, over and both sides….all clear, MT balconies….and replied ”nope….no dogs either”. I’m not sure what she said back to me?…. so I explained exactly WHAT on earth I had been doing, ‘just trying to make our balcony look ‘nice’, the value of ‘adding mulch’ in creating a ‘Greener Earth’ and on and on and on. Then she snaps back at me “well they’re not going to make a helluva lot of mulch sitting on the cement’!! to which, as ‘sheeplishly’ as I could muster up, Rotzy acguiesced (say what!?) ”you may have a valid point there, m’am”. By now I’m really wishing I DID have watermelons. Just ONE….even the $4.99 size! ”Hey Toad….I thought we were ‘gonna have some funn’?! but I’m up to my ass in alligators, whilst arguing with ‘Mother Earth’ down there in/near my ‘landing zone’. She is NOT funn….at all!….she is thge heck of me’!! And she needs a ‘cough’, and 3 floors up is just about right for a ‘far cough’! Hey! Perhaps a cantelope?….a real RIPE one! Instead, Rotzy The Gentleman politely said I’m coming right down with the broom and sweep the sidewalk….you’re right/I’m wrong/all’s well….and have a nice ‘Green’ day. Well, she didn’t like my reply, had to get in the last word, so Rotzy politely ‘whispered’ a nice, cheery ‘far cough’. **Update! Sunday 10:30AM as I write this. I just went out on the balcony….nary a hint of a breeze….and I ‘floated’ the BEST ‘copter yet to a perfect landing, right behind the rosebush!! Funn. ** Update #2….Monday 8:00AM…. wind N/W 15 k/hr FOUR launches….3 of them successful….#4 disappeared (onto Unit 203’s balcony). Zero casualties!
*Thought Of The Day….Mary had a little sheep, And with this sheep she went to sleep. The ‘sheep’ turned out to be a ‘ram’ And Mary had a little lamb. (Grim Fairy Tales)