Eagle Eyes

Readers of this blog might be forgiven for assuming that all my work comes from the past. Heavens to Mergatroyd! No, not at all. And to prove it, I’m going to dedicate the next couple of posts, at least, to recent work.

I certainly don’t share every snapshot I make; not even on my Instagram account. Even so, sometimes a snapshot is worth a thousand words … well, a hundred or so, anyway.

So I won’t belabour the point here; I’ll let the gallery below speak for itself.

What isn’t inherently obvious from the photographs is that they represent a day this week when I roused myself from the doldrums and forced myself out to a beautiful place — Swan Lake, in Saanich, near Victoria, British Columbia — on a beautiful day between stormy winter weather.

The outing reminded me (why do I need reminding?) that the greatest joy of photography is it’s potential to literally focus one in the here-and-now. It is, at its best, a Zen practice.

Usually, I haul my DSLR cameras and telephoto lenses to this location — all the better to “enlarge” tiny songbirds. This time I grabbed my shoulder bag containing the Fujifilm X-Pro2 with Fujinon 23mm f1.4, XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS, and XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lenses.

In the pockets: neutral density filters, polarizer and adapter rings, and a spare battery or two (those stabilized lenses suck power). I left my tripod at home, relying on that feature to keep things sharp.

Of course, I soon regretted the missing millimetres, especially when two beautiful bald eagles lighted in a nearby Douglas fir. Still, the 50-140* did a reasonable job framing an “environmental” study of the handsome couple, while the X-Pro 2’s 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor enables a fair amount of latitude for cropping.

Still, I want that XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR!  In reality, I’ll probably settle for XF2X TC WR, or XF1.4X TC WR teleconverters.

Anyway, enough of the techno-dweebery; here’s the photos:

*140mm on an APS-C sensor is equivalent to 200mm on a full frame camera.

More technical notes: Most of the photos in the gallery are quick edits (in Lightroom and Photoshop), except for the “Hummer,” which is a fairly extreme crop and required halo elimination on red willow branches and the bird itself.
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The Beverly Sisters, 1982 (L-R: Vince Clarke, Don Jones , Dennis Newton, Jean Gerald Paquette

“A connecting principle,

Linked to the invisible

Almost imperceptible

Something inexpressible.” The Police, Synchronicity I, 1983

It’s not the first time that my online tales have linked me back to old friends and acquaintances or elicited thanks from someone who has stumbled upon one of my stories, usually via a Google search. In the most charming case, the grandson of an old mentor, whom I had written about, reached out to thank me for creating a picture in words (I hadn’t made a portrait) of his late grandfather, whom he had never met.

Of course, to repeat a cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words and this site is mainly about pictures, but I have a category dedicated to “words and pictures,” designed to fill in details on the photographs posted here — like the story behind “The Bible Society” image that relates another strange and serendipitous event that, to use click-bait language “you’ll never believe!”

The recent series of photos and back stories on my sojourn in Vancouver’s West Point Grey neighbourhood have proven to be some of my most popular posts, attracting anecdotes and historical details from readers … even on this blog, which is rare these days when people prefer to comment on social media — and that’s where this story begins.

The preceding hallucinatory Shell station post, shared on my Facebook page, initially received a couple of comments on FB, one a painting of a gas station at night, titled “Obligation,” from a Ewan McNeil.

Hold on! I’d mentioned, as an aside, Ewan McNeil in the post, as a member of 1980s Vancouver band The Beverly Sisters. “Ewan McNeil onetime Beverly Sister?” I asked.

“The same,” he confirmed.

How did he stumble on my post? Turns out he hadn’t read it; only adding his painting as a comment on my similar-looking photo.

Who knows if some new wizardry in Facebook’s algorithm served my post in his “status,” or if Carl Jung’s Acausal Connecting Principle was at work in cyberspace.

The conversation (on Facebook) took off from there and I referred Ewan to my photo of the Beverlies in my “Performers” gallery, then posted a couple more photos, including “Five Cute People,” who played a double bill with the Beverlies, in 1982.

Five Cute People, 1982 (L-R ?, Johnny Bellas, Joan Parkinson, Denise Parkinson, Brad Gough)

Before long, the web connected onetime backup vocalist Jean Gerald Paquette, and Cute Person Denise Parkinson, now living and working in London.

When I promised to search my files for related photos, Jean Gerald mused “… you must be more organized than I am.”

I’ll admit there have been occasions when this photography obsession has seemed to have run its course. More than once I’ve come close to pulling a Brian Duffy and making a bonfire of what seemed like vanities. But I suppose I am a sort of archivist. So it is that I’ve managed, through many moves and life changes, to haul along my binders of negatives and contact sheets, filing cabinets and boxes of slides.

The Internet has, in its short lifespan, made the world a much smaller place, just as the photograph did when it made its debut, just over a century-and-a-half ago.

“We know you, they know me

Extrasensory

Synchronicity.”

Though Facebook restrict interaction on embeds (you can’t add comments right from this page but you can click through on the comments icon to see them and participate), here’s the post that made the connections:

Technical: Camera: Nikon FM/50mm f1.8, Film: Ilford HP5, Dev: Microphen
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Shell station at night

Shell Station, Discovery & W. 10th Ave., Vancouver, 1986

Visions of birthdays past

The neon-lit Shell Station, on the corner of Discovery and W. 10th Avenue in Point Grey, loomed out of the darkness as I made my way home, at 4am.

I’d turned 34 the morning before, and had been celebrating for two days. The last evening’s festivities included dancing to local “new wave” band The Beverly Sisters … who were men, including daytime hairstylist Dennis Newton, artist Ewan McNeil, and percussionist Jack Duncan (brother of Gerry) at the Savoy night club, followed by an after party (see my “performers” gallery).

I’d downed a beer or two, but it was probably the hashish that turned an ordinary gas station into a hallucinatory icon of the automobile age.

I usually “filled” — most often at $5 a pop — my gas-guzzling Chevy 20 van (seen in another nighttime Point Grey picture) at the station, situated next-door-but-one to my apartment.

Gas prices, around .50¢ per litre at the time for regular, seemed extortionate considering a gallon could be had for the same price, when I first arrived in Canada, albeit 20-years-earlier.

Still, with 350 c.i. engine, a modified racing cam, and Rochester Quadrajet carburetor, the old red wagon loved long highway trips. Inside, fitted cooler, benches and bed were a luxury on ski trips, climbing expeditions, and getaways to California. The downside came with its insatiable thirst for fuel, and the monthly trip to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce at W. 4th and Yew (now a donut shop?) to pay down the loan.

Anyway, I felt compelled to run up the wrought iron spiral staircase of The Chancellor to grab my Mamiyaflex camera and Tiltall tripod, before this extraordinary apparition from a Jetsons movie was erased by the sunrise. My “altered state” had opened “the doors of perception” — to reveal a magnificent spectacle. As I stood adjusting my vintage 1950s camera, I was convinced that I was capturing something of the numinous hidden within the banal.

Show time

I had committed to a show, to debut May 10, at the recently-opened Honeymoon Café, on Sasamat, just off W.10th (later moving down the hill to Café Madeline, on W. 10th near Alma). My journal for the next month details long hours in an unventilated darkroom and great expense (I used 70 sheets of 11×14 rag, silver gelatin paper to produce ten acceptable prints).

My conviction that the hallucination station represented some kind of watershed persisted. A photograph made at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, 2-years-before also inspired paragraphs of praise in my diary, even as I burned through expensive Ilford Multigrade paper, struggling with the contrasty negative.

Whatever confidence I indulged had evaporated just weeks later, having not sold a single print.

By the time my next birthday rolled around, I was on my way to the bright lights and cavernous commercial studios of Toronto — where a photographer could make some money.

Afterword

Not that much has changed over the years; the Esso Station has not disappeared like a chimera, a hallucination or the long lost Texaco at Broadway and Heather. It does look, in the October, 2016 Google view below, like something is afoot on the intersection of 10th & Discovery. If anyone has more recent info about the site, please comment below.

 

Technical: Camera: Mamiyaflex C-series medium format camera/Mamiya Sekor 80mm f2.8, film: Ilford FP4, dev: ID:11

The Shell Station photo is available in limited and open editions from the shop.

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  • Brian Hay - The Chancellor is where I lived with Ray (your host) and our 2 girlfriends. In May of 84 and 85 we would wake numerous times in the middle of the night with unusually large ants crawling all over us. They would be on top of the covers, on our faces, and the odd one would make it under the covers to the more intriguing parts of our bodies. This would go on for about 3 weeks and then they would be gone. Can’t remember if they were biters or not but they added some extra humility to our sweet existence on 10th.February 10, 2017 – 5:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Hi Bri! Glad you could make it. Yeah, I actually forgot how bad the ants were, despite my recent quip to Wiebe below.

      Another recent coincidence that unfolded via these recent posts: Wiebe also lived in the Chancellor at the same time we did ― he knew Lees and Dorothy.

      Vancouver was a relatively small town in those days. Now the Interwebs seems to be shrinking the world … or at least linking us by interest.February 11, 2017 – 7:40 amReplyCancel

  • Tom Hocking - Aye, got gassed there many times when we lived on Trimble.
    Pic is emblematic of our culture. I sincerely hope some archaeologyst uncovers your print in the year 4565 and goes,
    “W-t-F???”….
    Don’t you hate it when they tear down a gas station, then put a razor wire fence around it like it’s unholy ground? And it stays that way until, eventually, nobody remembers what was there? That’s happening more and more these days. Within a 5km radius of here we’ve had three stations declared toxic wastelands recently. We’ve been reduced to having just one station now (which is all I need). Hey, remember “DOT’s Diner” in Nanaimo? Best ho-made pies in town? Then it got torn down to make a “Full Service”(???!) gas bar. Then, a few years later, the gas bar got declared a fenced-in toxic wasteland, and there it remains, like some Mad Max window into times to come.
    Kappy
    (“Can’t stop this ramblin’!”)February 6, 2017 – 9:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Who knows, Kap, … maybe those toxic wastelands will be developed into condo towers topped with Skyports for flying space cars … self driving, of course.February 7, 2017 – 10:16 amReplyCancel

  • Wiebe de Haas - Nice piece! ‘Our old apartment’ is still there. Next time I’m in the neighbourhood I will see if the Shell is still there.February 6, 2017 – 1:53 pmReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Thanks Wiebe. Yeah, great to see the old Chancellor still standing. They must have exterminated the carpenter ants 🙂

      It’d be great if you’d report back here as to the fate of the Shell station. Perhaps they’re just doing renos, but interesting they have the trees protected.February 6, 2017 – 3:34 pmReplyCancel

Varsity fare

Since the last post served to launch an interesting conversation on my Facebook page (comments welcome on this blog 😉 ) among visitors who recounted their days in Point Grey, I’ve decided to add another page to the subject, with photographs from the shoot illustrated in the contact sheet there and a couple of additional images that record my time in the neighbourhood, including a peek inside my digs.

Varsity Theatre

on West 10th Avenue

Sui Wei (reads Jung), W. 10th Avenue, 1985

I’ve told the story elsewhere of my move to the neighbourhood in 1984, where I shared a 1-bedroom flat with 3 others. We launched many adventures together, including trips to California, climbing at Squamish, west coast explorations on Vancouver Island … not to mention clandestine ascents of the old Cambie Street Bridge. These were the benefits of communal living.

Though there was only one bedroom, the main living area was spacious — big enough to accommodate a makeshift studio … and a dance floor at the regular parties we held. Remember when people danced at parties?

Back to the comments on my Monday post: It was great to hear from readers who grew up in the area, found their first employment at local businesses, like Owl Drugs, and enjoyed the close community experience of West Point Grey.

Going on my last visit, those days are, sadly, gone. I’m glad to have spent a short time there, getting to know local merchants and restaurant owners, including the affordable Varsity Grill Chinese restaurant. I made advertising photos for local shops and sold beauty products (a sideline) to hairdressers on the street, where another roommate worked. Fellow photographer Brian Hay destroyed his hands supplementing his assistant salary as a dishwasher at Earl’s Place, featured in the previous post.

Point Grey Trade

I don’t think it’s just nostalgia speaking to say that with the rise of chains, to a great degree we’ve lost the diversity of small family businesses and with them the sense of community that they aroused.

Aside from pecuniary interests, I’m glad to be able, through photos and jottings, to offer these memories, dreams and reflections to Vancouverites past and present. Please do add to those recollections in the comments below. For my part, I treasure the pictures and memories made there.

Studio on W. 10th

Technical: 1×1 ratio photos: Mamiyaflex C-series medium format camera/Mamiya Sekor 80mm f2.8, film: Ilford FP4 | 35mm: Nikon FM/24mm f2.8, film: Ilford FP4, dev: Rodinol

Eighties Vancouver prints

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  • Laurie Kingdon - These photos are priceless!! I took some photos in the early 80’s as I rode West 10th many times during my 4 years at UBC from 1980 – 84.I wrote a paper when I was in Urban Studies and took photos of Point Grey back then when I compared this neighbourhood with that of Hastings Sunrise. It really was a village back then. I remember that little European-style grocery store with fresh produce and fresh eggs. Ate many times at the Varsity Grill – the $6 Wonton Special soup was a meal you would always have to go as the portions were huge. The Big Scoop Sundae Palace at the NW corner of Trimble + 10th. My partner and his best friend and I ordered the Big Scoop Sundae Special one Sunday which consisted of 31 scoops of ice cream. One of the oldest restaurants there, Candia Taverna, run by Nick, was a Greek restaurant that harked back to that time had a fire in 2015 and is in the process of being rebuilt. And let’s not forget The Diner for classic fish n’ chips. Reg + Stella are still hanging in there!February 9, 2017 – 12:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Wiebe de Haas - My interest in automobiles started early, and in this neighbourhood. To that end I’ll name the gas/service stations I recall: an Esso at Blanca(SE), Chevron at Tolmie (NE), Home at Sasamat (SE), Texaco at Trimble (SE), B/A (later Gulf) at Discovery (NW) and Shell at Discovery (SW). All were on corner lots. I learned lately there was a Texaco at Trimble (NW corner) earlier.February 4, 2017 – 1:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Interesting stuff. I have a photo of the Esso at 10th & Alma, where the attendant is overfilling a car … gas pouring over the rear bumper onto the ground. Oh well, regular was just 55.9. 🙂

      I also have a (much better) night shot of the Shell station at 10th & Discovery, near our old apartment.

      Have you seen my panorama of Vancouver, from Broadway & Heather, over what was once a Texaco station?February 4, 2017 – 2:25 pmReplyCancel

      • Wiebe de Haas - Yes I did! Very nice! Service stations in the era previous to our’s were sort of funky, where fueling up was done under a story of a building overhead, rather than a stand-alone canopy. The Running Room of 4th Ave was one of those stations; my father was a customer of that business, Lorne Findlay, owner, (famous for his re-creation of The All Red Route trip in an identical REO to the first cross Canada adventure automobile), sold to me my first (’55 Ford) from that location. Parked next to the non-working pumps were always several Packards. There were/are several similar stations on Commercial. Your photo however captures one of the rare mid-block locations.February 7, 2017 – 3:38 pmReplyCancel

      • don craik - My family moved to Point Grey 60 years ago this month [Feb 23,1957]. When we arrived at our house the movers were just unloading my bike. It was a monstrous one speed CCM with balloon tires [American style]. One of the tires was low and I knew it would be weeks before I would find my pump. So I then pushed it up 3 blocks to the Shell station at 10th and Discovery. On the front of the property next to the apartment was a separate little building called ‘Keelers’. Keeler was a handicapped fellow who sold cigarettes, candy and other convenient items from his wheelchair. His shop was established and built by the local Masonic membership. Another bit of gas station trivia..One of my classmates Blair Hodgson graduated in 1966 and immediately went to work as a mechanic apprentice at Varsity Automotive [Esso] at 10th and Blanca. The garage has long gone but the company was still operating [same name] in KItsilano a year ago. Blair was still the service manager. 50 years in the same company is very rare these days.February 4, 2017 – 9:40 pmReplyCancel

        • Raymond Parker - You guys have amazing memories. I have trouble recalling details of the eighties. Thankfully I have photos and journals to refer to, otherwise, most of it would have faded away like a poorly fixed silver print.February 4, 2017 – 9:48 pmReplyCancel

          • Wiebe de Haas - Could be our early life was blessed by fresh sea filtered air.February 7, 2017 – 4:09 pm

  • Wiebe de Haas - In the photo showing Owl Drugs, to the right is a rocking horse image. That is the logo of the woodworking/furniture seller business that took over the premises of a long standing grocery store, Woolner’s. The Woolners, I believe owned the building and were a second generation business, but for sure, ran the business and resided above it. Like many of the businesses on that block, the alley side is actually one more story high, so the basement is at ground level. As an example of standing in the community, you could tell by the model of automobile a person owned. Mr Woolner had a ’54 Olds. As I mentioned earlier, the barber had a ’59 Olds and the doctor (who had his office just up the block, a Dr Winbiggler, had a ’55 Buick). There was a shoemaker, with his daughter, residing behind his business next to my father’s business, sans auto. My father’s first was a ’54 Studebaker.February 4, 2017 – 1:25 pmReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Wiebe, it’s great to have longtime residents like you and Don add to the history of the neighbourhood. These are, I believe, important details that are so often lost to time.

      This is the most gratifying part of sharing my small archive, which occasionally connects me with people I haven’t seen in ages or those, like yourself, whose paths crossed but didn’t meet mine at some intersection along the way.

      Thanks again.February 4, 2017 – 1:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Don Craik - I do remember Varsity Cycles. The owner was an English fellow by the name of Mr. Dearlove. When I was about 12 years old I tried to persuade my parents that I really needed a new bike. Three speed bikes ranged between $70 and $90. They told me that if I saved the money they would pay half. I finally saved $30 and got a great [almost new] bike from Varsity. Down at 10th and Highbury was the other great bike shop called Fred’s [owned by Fred Arnold].
    Behind the Varsity theatre was the Sun and Province paper shack. There was a passage leading out front from the lane to Hal’s Confectionery. Hal was perhaps a war vet because he seem to have a pronounced limp when he walked. The paper shack was probably Hal’s biggest customer base. Even with one or two cents a news boy could walk in and get a piece of something to chew on. For those with loads of cash there was Lee’s Candies down in the next block.February 4, 2017 – 10:44 amReplyCancel

    • Wiebe de Haas - Hello Don, to correct one error; The Sun shack was in the lane of the 4300 block as you say, but The Province shack was in the lane of the 4400 block just up from Hewer Hardware. The Province was a morning paper and The Sun an afternoon one. My first ’employment’ was a Province route. Talking of passageways, there was one beside Hewer’s from the lane to 10th.February 4, 2017 – 12:47 pmReplyCancel

      • don craik - @ Raymond. The Varsity Cycles when I knew it was from 1957 until about 1963. The owner was a stone faced guy who didn’t smile much although he was a nice guy when you got to know him. The name ‘ Mr. Dearlove’ didn’t exactly conjure up that impression when you first met him.

        @Weibe. I remember the Sun shack because I frequently helped a couple a friends who had Sun routes. In the Summer of 1962 I covered a Province route and that shack was on Imperial Rd. about a block south of 16th in the woods. One morning we appeared for work and the shack had burnt to the ground during the night. The district manager arrived and told us to go to the Shack behind the Varsity, where I presume they stayed for a long time. When we arrived at the Sun shack there was already was a large crew of guys who looked after all the routes in the north part of the area. We were now crammed in like sardines. I was never aware of another shack on the 4400 block . I’m assuming that the Province shack was originally separate before my time.February 4, 2017 – 9:12 pmReplyCancel

        • Wiebe de Haas - Hello Don, I think the Province Shack on 16th served routes to the south. I was a paperboy ’57-59 and the shack was in the 4400 block lane. Our shack served routes north of 10th I think. My first route meant loading my bike and coasting down Sasamat to Bellevue. Later I had a route in Little Australia. I ‘sub-contracted’ with my sister on Saturdays, due to the heavy loads. Your description of the bike shop owner is so precise! It refreshes my belief the shop was named Varsity! On a similar note; there was also a door or two away a carpentry shop run by several fellows called Varsity Whitewood. With earnings from our paper route my sister and I had desks and shelves custom made there.February 7, 2017 – 3:58 pmReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Thanks very much for these details, Don. Though are you sure your Mr. Dearlove was at Varsity?

      As I’ve mentioned, I was a lifelong cycling enthusiast (until a disastrous event 7-years-ago). I worked in the industry for many years, starting at Cap’s in Sapperton, a couple of years after my arrival in Canada from England.

      There were many of us (cycling Brits) who brought our love of cycling with us upon immigration, some of whom made a trade of it. Towards the end of my cycling “career” I rode with onetime Olympic coach (to greats like Alex Stieda) Barry “Baz” Lycett and the late great Harold Bridge.

      West Point, down the hill near Alma, was, and still is, an institution.February 4, 2017 – 11:30 amReplyCancel

  • Wiebe de Haas - I may very well be wrong about the bicycle shop’s name I mentioned. The one I speak of was a one man business. I enjoyed the man, and always imagined he just wanted to tinker and teach in soft simple way. I imagine him as a war vet keeping himself occupied without fuss. Several years after getting my motorcycle from him I asked him if he would make me a crate so I could ship the bike to Europe. He took me to the basement and there was the original crate, which he gave me! To that point I had always gone to him for bicycles and parts. There was also a business next to my father’s; Douglas Tea and Coffee. Mrs Douglas ran the store. What a wonderful aroma filled that store! Mr Douglas would take the tins that biscuits (Peake Freans) came in and cut and fold them. That was done in his workshop in the basement where he would tell stories. He was an instructor/trainer for the Gurkhas during WW2. On the odd Saturday my sister and I would go with him, in his Austin Devon to metal mongers in the east side with those tins.February 3, 2017 – 1:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Wiebe de Haas - On the south-east corner of 10th & Trimble stood an ex-bus repair depot (with pits rather than hoists) named Maitland Motors; later torn down and replaced by a Texaco service station that looked like a house with peaked roof. A new sign was installed for a time, which had the name Mainland, pissing off the owner. Next to the Curio shop (Called Oriental Arts for some time) was a beauty salon with a barber shop at the front, where everyone could watch males getting a haircut. The Jodoins owned the place and a house nearby. They were from Manitoba and took annual summer road trips there. (I would sometimes drive his ’59 Olds Super 88 4 door hardtop to Dueck-On-Broadway for servicing). Directly across the street from my father’s studio was Campbell Studio, whom my father told me was not a competitor, rather a colleague.February 3, 2017 – 12:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Wiebe de Haas - There was a competitor to Owl Drugs (which was also the local sub-post office), Cunningham Drugs on the 4500 block South side. There was a Dairy Queen in what is now the Safeway parking lot. A Chevron gas station at the NE corner of 10th and Tolmie, lastly owned by (I think his name was Johnnie Thompson)(again vague memory: he first was one of the mechanics earlier and I was younger than ten), where I would watch the employees drive brand new Fords off the car carrier trucks and then prepare them for dealerships. The sedans were ’54 Fords.February 3, 2017 – 11:46 amReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - I’m grateful for these comments, Weibe, the further conversation on Facebook and your wider perspective of the neighbourhood. By comparison I was merely a visitor.

      And what a small world to discover we lived in the same apartment building and had mutual friends, though I believe we never met.

      I bought stuff at Rushant, and Varsity Cycle, as mentioned in the other post. I was an ex-racer. Varsity was a good sponsor of promising cyclists.

      The Varsity Theatre was awesome. I saw many great films there (including the one advertised in the photo). Remember attending a Kurosawa marathon — Ran and Dersu Uzala in one night! Also where I first saw Monty Python’s Flying Circus, years before I moved to the neighbourhood.February 3, 2017 – 11:58 amReplyCancel

  • Wiebe De Haas - Memories, you want memories? The Varsity Grill and the Ken Sang Curios, were established by Bing’s dad, Joe.

    The story, as related by my mother who knew much of that family, was that Joe had come to Canada but was not allowed to bring his wife with him, so he worked hard to bring her from China and that finally succeeded after ten years.

    Another overlooked fact is the first Vancouver International Film Festivals were held at the Varsity Theatre, not The Ridge. (The Varsity’s front above the entryway had flags of several countries to denote this).

    There was a one-man bicycle repair/retail store, Varsity Cycle (I think it was called) that also sold Suzukis, where I bought my second motorcycle (as opposed to buying one from a big dealer).

    There was TV/radio/repair store (over time in two different locations), first next to Hewer Hardware that had a speaker outside, so passers-by could watch TV and hear the audio, which attracted many people to the window. When 45s were the rage, you could listen to a song before you bought it.

    The Doughnut Diner, when it was on the north side of the 4400 block had a service window and the fellow behind it would offer free ‘cripples’ (misshaped samples) to kids passing by.

    There was a large fresh veg market where CIBC now is, with several small stores on Sasamat (one a tailor) where CIBC’s parking lot now is. CIBC (Bank of Commerce) was down the street, with a massive wood floor it seemed, and the manager’s family living upstairs.

    The VPL [Vancouver Public Library] was a Home gas station, with a mobile library appearing in front every Friday evening. Rushant’s was the place for photographic stuff. Peter, the final owner, and my father were movie buddies, and I patronized him for decades. (Peter could tell that the commercial neighbourhood was devolving). The Safeway really did a number on the area; taking out an entire side of homes on 9th Ave and Tolmie St (and I lost many friends).February 3, 2017 – 11:23 amReplyCancel

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