I’m old enough to remember

Miss Montreal

  1. In grammar school, we needed to stand when the teacher entered the room, and wish her good morning in harmony. “Good morning Miss Scott”. Then our nails and collars were examined.
  2. In grade 3, we were given a nib pen with a bottle of ink, an extra nib and blotting paper.
  3. Spelling correctly was really important. So was handwriting. I even remember being castigated by a British teacher (Mr Blackwell)  that my handwriting was like “a fly out of an inkwell”.
  4. Maurice Duplessis  was premier and would probably never die.
  5. Bad behaviour at school was punished with the strap. 5 were administered for reading girly magazines.
  6. We read the defunct Montreal Star. Pat Pierce, the TV critic, had a patch over her eye.
  7. There was an Alouette truck selling cakes all summer. long You hailed the truck and it pulled over to the side. I loved the chocolate cake with vanilla cream inside. 15 cents.
  8. We all were forced to learn Latin because “it teaches you to think”.
  9. We needed to submit a weekly book report, every single week, all through school. Thankfully, Ms Williamson, the librarian with the memory of an elephant,  had great recommendations.
  10. You arrived at an airport 20 minutes before the flight.  TCA served great food on very short halls.
  11. Bus drivers called out the name of stops in English and French. St James Street-rue St Jacques. Rue de la Montagne, Mountain Street. Terminus, tout le monde descende svp- Last station everyone get out please.
  12. Sometimes we were waved through the Canada US border because the guards on either side did not want to work outside in the cold.
  13. Garland terminus was still in use.
  14. Women could not wear short pants in public because it was illegal in Quebec.
  15. Sex lessons consisted of Mr  Paul Hecht showing us two skeletons and explaining that, 9 months after copulation, a child is born.

Garland Terminus



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12 thoughts on “I’m old enough to remember

  1. I remember…we may be of the same age. You also showed up at school with your motivation to learn, the teacher showed up from that point on.

  2. I remember all of those thing sans foreign languages. I also remember being taugh etiquette and manners both at home and at school. I remember the required reading for summer vacations and having to produce weekly book reports over the summer.

    Best to you

  3. Bowling At Laurentian Lanes. Paying by time.
    The wild mouse at Belmont Park.
    Pines pizza. And The Grease.
    Maury Heft for cool clothes.
    The lookout
    Your Dad’s Chrysler 300 with honking horsepower.
    Orange Julep.
    Bar B Barn. And tastee pizza still there.
    The Limelight for coffee date

    Ahhhh the memorie

    • Ah oui! Orange Julep. And Ruby Fu’s, Piazza Tomasa, Miss Montreal, Pizza Pan, fishing trips with your Dad…..and indeed, the lookout.
      Thanks for reminding me about the Mouse in Parc Belmont Park. However, I still would remember how to get there. 116 to Decarie and transfer to 17 Cartierville!

  4. Wow! Canadian education was VERY different from the U.S.!

    I remember things like my kindergarten teacher putting me in the hospital with what would now be called a pre-ulcerous condition because I already knew how to read.

    After skipping 2nd grade (in San Diego, the grade that cursive writing was taught), my mother arguing with my 4th grade teacher & the principal in Santa Monica that I couldn’t even sign my name. They responded, “He’s doing fine printing.” They finally gave her a writing textbook & told her, “You want him to write, YOU teach him.”

    4th & 5th grades in Santa Monica, having a running battle with the librarians because they insisted I could only check out children’s books. I had long completely exhausted anything of interest in the children’s section. After all, I’d already read most of Shakespeare, The Iliad, & The Odyssey by then. & all of the Heinlein/Asimov/Clarke juveniles.

    Having the same math 5 or 6 years in a row because every time we moved, my new school was doing the same math we’d done in the previous school/grade. (& my father already had me doing high school algebra in the 4th grade.

  5. Montreal was special. Looking for Leonard Cohen and Irving Layton at bistros on Mountzin Street, St Laurence steamed hot dogs, Rachel market where you could watch chickens being plucked, and tobogganing on Mount Royal.
    School – ech – not so much. Though I liked singing Christian hymns sarcastically and memorizing poetry. Started writing poems back then. Published those and others “Poems of Angst and Awe”

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