14 August 2009

Drive-by shootings: nostalgic places

Pitt Meadows elementary school - the only school in town when I went to Grade 3 (room on the left), Grade 4 (middle) and Grade 5/6 (right). It was baby-boom time, and classes were crowded. In fact some of the Grade 4s were in with the Grade 5s, doing Grade 5 subjects (except for arithmetic). Same thing happened in Grade 5, and some of us were moved into Grade 6 halfway through that year. So we were a year younger then the others starting high school.Before then, I went to General Gordon elementary school in Vancouver. Coming home, I'd walk up the slight hill on Broadway toward Stephens Street. There used to be a metal shop of some sort on this corner, and often there would be welding and sparks to watch. Nearby was a picket fence, on which I once bounced my green metal lunch box, leaving permanent dimples. At the bottom of the block was the corner store where my father bought his Road & Track car magazines and we spent our pennies on jawbreakers and other candy.
West Broadway was and remains a street of small shops. The trees have grown in the past 50 years - indeed, they may have been planted since then.
Even at age 6 we were free to roam - those were different times. I remember being sent to the grocery store for yeast, and not being able to find it on the shelves. And somewhere along here was the shop at which we bought coloured paper to make party hats for my 7th birthday party. I was disappointed that they weren't shiny and sparkly, but we couldn't afford those. It was a time of struggle for my parents, and their thrifty ways have been a big influence on their children.
One of the highlights was going to the movies at the Hollywood cinema. Oma took us (my brother was 3 years old) to see the movie of my favourite book, Heidi. Another memory is of the neighbourhood kids going to Saturday matinees with our 15 cents pocket money - 10 cents to get in, and 5 cents for popcorn. It didn't happen all that often.
The Hollywood is still there - as impoverished university students in the late 60s we'd go see the double bill there for $4 (very good value) - and bring our own popcorn.

1 comment:

Vivian said...

Enjoyed our visit!
Interesting to see Vancouver on your blog. I went to UBC and I'm familiar with the broadway area.