Growing up in Vancouver

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Growing up in Vancouver

Postby damonberryman » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:29 am

I have lived outside my native city for a lot of years.Not one day has gone by where I do not think of vancouver with longing. Being a boy in vancouver was easily the highlight of my young life. Not to imply it was Leave it to Beaver. Anything but that. I ask myself as I am sitting at my desk in NY "what the hell are you doing writing about this topic"? My answer came back quick. It is in place of a visit, and it is also a way to honour the wonderful city I was born in.

I grew up primarily in the East end to start with. Home for me was Victoria and Powell. If you follow Victria North you will run into a container storage facility. At one time it was McKenzie Barge and Derrick and its main job was dredging and the use of tug boats. I still remember the old Peggy McKenzie, which was the tug I worked on later in my life. My Grandmother was the caretaker of the old yard and I lived there with her and my Grandfather in a shed no bigger than a large tent. I loved it all. the smell of the harbour, the gulls (my Grandmotheer loved the gulls and she had one who had unique markings she named Rudy and she swore it came back year after year) and the rain. I grew up liking the rain and the muted shades of green, grey, and blue that make up our coast. People from all over Canada used to drive down and watch teh coming and goings of all in the. I lived in a shack but felt like the Duke of Donuts as my Mom would put it.

As a boy the typical day for me, if I was not in school, consisted of going up to the Princeton Hotel to place bets on teh horses at Exhibition park with the bookie inthe beer parlour. My Grandma would then send me for the days meat at Andys across teh street or I would go the the Chinks (no offense intended. there used to be a Chinks everywhere in Van) and play on his single game which was a baseball set up. I got very good at it. I also used to fish a cold drink out of his old style cooler. My favourite was Mission Orange. This was the same store I sold all my catch to. I used to hunt for squabs and fish for flounder, then sell them to the Chink. I intend to update this with more stories as I go but would love to hear from those of you who relate.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby Strangelove » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:02 am

So did you attend Temp or China High?

I also had no probs with the rain in Vancouver!

I was banned from the Princeton Hotel pub before i reached legal drinking age. :P

Most pre-teen Saturdays my pals and I would walk downtown (from Clark Park area) with pockets fulla "slugs" for the pinball/video/foosball/pool-table/pop/candy machines where we would proceed to live like kings-for-a-day. Movies were free if you knew the ins-and-outs.

Ever hear of a tug-boat operator by the name of Ron Carson?

A giant of a man.

He was the step-dad of one of my pals....
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:42 pm

Grew up in Langara area and I remember during the summer months riding bikes out to Riley Park and Nat Bailey Stadium to catch a few C's games and just regular kid horsing around.

I lived so close to the golf course sometimes you'd see balls rolling downing my street. The kids in the neighbourhood used to collect them with buckets and try to sell them back to the patrons of the golf course for a fraction of the price they paid for them in the stores. We bought a lot of candy back in the day. 8-)

There was a few places that I remember back in the day that no longer exist presently that I loved as a child. Hilltop grocery on Main and E.59th was our corner store. I bought a lot of gum pack hockey cards there and a whole lot of other treats.

The elementary school I attended sold some of the back adventure bush playground to a developer and now there area bunch of really nice town-homes in its place.

The BC Housing that was just before you hit 33rd Ave and where the park began and at the bottom of that side of QE Park is no longer there and is ready for development, if they haven't started it already.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby damonberryman » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:19 am

Both of my Uncles went to Tech while we all went to Temp. However, i only went to Temp for one year then we moved to Montreal for three years. I came back on my own when I was 14 and lived a year with my Grandma at the shipyard, and strangely enough, did not go to school at all. I am a born Vancouver person and I spent my time in Montreal in longing for Van but I enjoyed Montreal anyway. I worked at Expo 67 when I was a kid.

Vancouver in the 60's was a strange town. Tom Campbell was mayor and he wanted to turn the Point Grey area into another West End which never happened thank you! I am old enough to remember the old gracious homes in the West End. I understand aboout the need to grow but oh my we have lost a lot in our town. FOr a while I lived on 8th and Heather when False Creek was all woodmills. The smell was always there as it was at the south foot of Granville where another mill was located. My city came from fishing, mining, and lumber as well as the harbour. Vancouver has lost that feel to my regret. I do not like to judge people because I really live in a glass home. However, I mourn for the change. i suppose everyone does when they reach a certain age (61). I remember when the forest industry had a hiring office just off VIctory Square. I also used to go through a street called Taylor Way that was a short cut between downtown and Chinatown. I went through all the mills and was a very good way to tell if you had a cop followiing you. More on that later. Lotus Blossom. I did not know the Captain you refer to. Maybe after my time.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:37 pm

damonberryman wrote:... Lotus Blossom. I did not know the Captain you refer to. Maybe after my time.


The C's = the Vancouver Canadians. The minor league baseball team. I'm sorry I should have clarified. Nat Bailey is a staple in my childhood and is a huge part of the reason why I love baseball the way I do. To be honest, I don't really venture much to the north side of town and have always been a Southsider. About the only times I went up there was for PNE/Playland and Canucks games when they were still at Pacific Coliseum.

I was a kid in the 80's and also in the early 90's so I got to grow up with the city from the days of the World's Fair to what it is today.

What I like to do during the summer months is take a day or two and hit up False Creek and remind myself what used to be there before all the development. Really fascinating when you think of what it was to what it is now.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby damonberryman » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:02 am

I just noticed that I am a rookie according to this site. I love it. I am 61 and a rookie. What could be better than that? Anyhow, lotus blossom, they used to be called the Mounties if I remember right And it was called Capalino Stadium but my recall could be off. I love getting messages back about the city. It is a bit like a trip home.
All of my time in Van was not so much fun. When I was a kid, gangsters like the Palmers ran the heroin business for quite some time. Due to growing up where I did I knew most of the 'rounders' in the town. Sonny Myer, Pee Wee Hartmeyer, Sy and Ernie Mountain, Sam the Witchdoctor and many others. During the time I am referring to (late 60's and early 70's, most of the Asian trade was deep under ground. the biggest problem for the cops was trying to get an officer into the tong like gangs. As far as I know they were successful once, and that is all. This was also the era where many murders took place as the Montreal Mafia made a strong attempt to get into the trade on the coast. They got their butt handed to them and left. I see from reading the Province and the Sun that gangs are all over the place. Funny how Surrey and Whalley have become drug spots over time. Used to be mainly farm and highway. I loved Stanley Park. Used to take the #11 bus and get off in front of Lost Lagoon. I would then walk to 3rd beach and spend the day in the sand, feeling the cool breeze coming off English Bay. I plan on returning home in a couple of years and cannot wait. I still have immediate family there as well as lots of others I grew up with. thanks for the replies. they are fun. When I was a kid very few people were actually born in Van. Most were from Back East as we said then. Is that still the way?
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby Topper » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:05 pm

A kid from the 'burbs, when they were farmland. North Delta, the bottom end of 80th at 108th. There was a pig farm across the road from us that is now Mackie Park and Sands Junior High.

My sisters dated the Mackie boys who went onto driving gravel trucks for their old man.

My folks helped build North Delta High (Go Huskies), my mother taught there, all my siblings went there, my brother dated on of his teachers after he graduated.

I was a kid when the bush was being cleared for the sub divisions that took over the area. We inner tubed on the snow under the powerlines down to the rail tracks in the winter. Shot pellet guns down there in the summer. We had trails all through Burns Bog.

My folks had 1.7 acres and all the neighbours had similar and it was all forested. The folks had a Model A on blocks that they put a blade on one of the rear wheels to mill the logs for the house. Before that they rented a house on my Grandfather's mink farm on King George around about 102nd.

Hurricane Frieda knocked down a big tree that just missed the house but gave us a few years firewood for the furnace. A lightning strike on another tree that the neighbours gathered round and cut down in the middle of the night gave us even more wood.

My Grandmother lived on 41st, 2 blocks east of Granville. Mom would load us in the car and we'd go there and then bus it down Granville for our back to school or Christmas shopping trips to Woodwards, Eatons and the trek to the Hudson's Bay. if we were good, we had lunch at the White Lunch across from Woodwards. Amazing with the mirrors on both sides of the room you could see infinity.

My Dad's parents lived in the house he was born in at 53rd and Ross. When I went through his papers I discovered some memoirs he wrote about growing up in that area and attending Moberly School. I watch that area transform after the Sikh Temple was built on Marine Drive

Just before Junior High, Dad got a chance to start working day shift at the plywood mill on the Fraser between Boundary and Kent so we moved to Burnaby so he wouldn't have to drive Patulla Bridge rush hour.

Thirty seven fucking years at that mill and every time he started to get ahead the damn IWA would go on a protracted strike and wipe him out. At one point he had bought a couple of lots at Bidwell Bay but then had to sell them to keep the family fed during a strike. Another strike had him working at the pig farm across the road and he broke both his ankles. The owner of the farm helped the family get by, but I remember my mother hauling me and my sister aside to tell us that Santa Claus wasn't real and it was doubtful they had any money to buy us Christmas presents that year. Fucking unions.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby ODB » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:35 pm

Topper wrote:The owner of the farm helped the family get by, but I remember my mother hauling me and my sister aside to tell us that Santa Claus wasn't real and it was doubtful they had any money to buy us Christmas presents that year. Fucking unions.


ImageImageImage

That's too funny!

And here I thought I had it rough. I snooped and found my Christmas presents. Then Christmas day I opend my gift from SANTA... and thought hey, WTF???

Image
BTW, NOT A FLAME ... JUST AN OBSERVATION ... :P
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby Listercat » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Damon, you're right, it was the Mounties back in the 60's and 70's. I used to listen to ball games on the radio when I was a kid.

Topper I remember those days well, back when Jack Munro was the King of the IWA. I worked summers to pay for my BCIT stint from 68-70 at a non union mill in Creston. They paid $.05 per hour more than the union to keep them out. When the union mills went down we went like crazy.

I lived in the Kingsway & Main area during my days at BCIT. WE used to cut classes to go golf the par 3 course at Queen E Park. Drank a lot of beer at the Villa and the Astor.Knew lots of people going to UBC so went to plenty of parties there.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby Topper » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:58 pm

ODB wrote:ImageImageImage

That's too funny!

And here I thought I had it rough. I snooped and found my Christmas presents. Then Christmas day I opend my gift from SANTA... and thought hey, WTF???

Image

I used to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, but thank God I'm over those illusions.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby Strangelove » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:33 pm

Topper wrote:I used to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, but thank God I'm over those illusions.


:lol:

Hey Toppy did you ever know the Heberts out there in Delta?

Brad, Brett, Nicky?
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby Topper » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:57 pm

ODB wrote:
Topper wrote:The owner of the farm helped the family get by, but I remember my mother hauling me and my sister aside to tell us that Santa Claus wasn't real and it was doubtful they had any money to buy us Christmas presents that year. Fucking unions.


ImageImageImage

That's too funny!

Keep laughing Ohdee.

She died this morning.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby dhabums » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:35 am

Topper wrote:I used to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, but thank God I'm over those illusions.



Image
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:45 pm

Topper wrote:
ODB wrote:
Topper wrote:The owner of the farm helped the family get by, but I remember my mother hauling me and my sister aside to tell us that Santa Claus wasn't real and it was doubtful they had any money to buy us Christmas presents that year. Fucking unions.


ImageImageImage

That's too funny!

Keep laughing Ohdee.

She died this morning.


Sorry for your loss, Topper. :( My condolences to your loved ones.
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Re: Growing up in Vancouver

Postby Strangelove » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:02 pm

Topper wrote:She died this morning.


Very sorry to hear that!

Hang in there big guy.....
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