James’ Brand New Blog

Archive for June 12th, 2012

Where was I on June 12? A cryptic diary offers clues*

- June 12th, 2012

dumbell (2)

Red Newman
Source: Library and Archives Canada/Music Collection
© Public Domain
nlc-4413

JBNBlog can’t remember the name of his first-year landlady at Trent. She was the widow of a Dumbell. Which means a lot to me now. So here is a great photo of Red Newman, representing the Dumbell memories which got away.

 

Bought “Revolver”

Psy. appointment called off.

– June 12, 1967

Finished Poll.

– June 12, 1968.

Accepted at Trent & Toronto.

Downbeat & 20 Cents.

Found my copy of “Blue Suede Shoes”

– June 12, 1970.

This was a big day in my life & not because of Revolver (a year late, maybe, but Mad Men has made it cooler than ever in 2012) or what must have been Carl Perkins’s Blue Suede Shoes (then being reissued by whoever controlled the Sun catalogue).

No. This was the day Trent University entered my life . . . as for other universities somewhere on the list: Toronto was too big, Western too close, Queen’s unimpressed by my mediocre marks. Trent was in the home town of the Peterborough Petes who had just been beaten by the Knights in the Junior A playoffs. That was intriguing. So were its small classes, tutorial system & the presence of friends of my parents who had gone to Trent a few years before when it was founded.

Trent wanted me? Cool. So that fall, after a summer of misadventure at Trois Pistoles mercifully unrecorded because I stopped keeping the diary on June 29, 1970, it was off to Trent and its late & lamented Peter Robinson College.

Just 17 and immature when I arrived, I left in the spring of 1974 as slightly more mature & with a lifetime of memories . . . & much gratitude for my v. patient professors & inspiring classmates. Trent shaped me & 42 years later, it’s still a marvel to think of its effect.

Maybe I should have tried to parlay the awarding of a president’s medal for academics & a Peter Robinson College male athlete of the year trophy (both pretty miraculous in retrospect) into a Rhodes scholarship application.

Disappointed about that? Nah. My real disappointment is having the widow of one of Canada’s legendary Dumbells as a landlady. For months in first year & never realizing what that meant . . .  the Dumbells. Back then, JBNBlog was a dumbell, eh?

Here is something from collectionscanada.gc.ca:

“The Dumbells, a group of Canadian soldiers turned singers, rose from humble beginnings on a makeshift stage of packing boxes in First World War France to become the toast of the nation for over a decade. They became arguably the most famous of the Canadian Army “concert parties,” those entertainment units that were devoted to building the morale of the troops on the front lines.”

*An occasional series based on a v. cryptic diary kept as a pen&ink forerunner to JBNBlog during the late 1960s, when our family lived in London, Stratford (parts of summers of 1966 & 1967), Victoria, B.C. (July 4, 1968-July 4, 1969) and then London again until June, 1970 when I was in Grade 13.

Is Drew Doughty the best #ldnont player ever? (Yes)

- June 12th, 2012

drew doughty

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 11: Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings holds up the Stanley Cup after the Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 to win the Stanley Cup in Game Six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

Sometime before the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, a friend on the London music scene rather shyly told a group of us his nephew was going to the Olympics.
Who’s that, we chorused, waiting to be impressed.
Drew Doughty, our mutual friend said.
We were excited & proud for him.
JBNBlog vaguely knew who this young, London-born defenceman was . . . & because I knew his uncle, began to pay attention to the 20-year-old.
Well. Wow. One Olympic gold & one Stanley Cup later, I definitely know who Drew Doughty is now . . . he never seemed to make a mistake during the Games & was on the ice ice (I am pretty sure) for Sidney Crosby’s winning goal in OT. Last night, he was on the ice (again, I am pretty sure) for the final moments of the Kings’ Stanley Cup triumph.
So great, so young . . . so is Drew Doughty the greatest hockey player ever to come out of London? I mean a player who grew up here & played his (or her) first significant hockey in London.
Who would the contenders be – Brad Marsh? Goldie Prodger? Craig Simpson? Dave Simpson? (The Simpsons are mentioned instantly by an LFP colleague).
Suggestions, as always, are welcome.
One thing is certain – nobody on that list has done as much so early on as Drew Doughty.
To Drew’s uncle – we’re thinking of you, brother, & we are proud for you.