Source: Library and Archives Canada/Music Collection
© Public Domain
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.
Psy. appointment called off.
– June 12, 1967
– 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.