James’ Brand New Blog

Where was I on June 29? A cryptic diary offers clues*

- June 29th, 2012

listen2

Hilary Bates & Neil McAlister in a rehearsal shot from Listen to the Wind. Courtesy of Hilary Bates Neary.

listen1

Christine DeVeber, left, and Alice Giddings (in the foreground) rehearse a scene for the 1966 premiere of Listen to the Wind. Seated in the background are Daryl Kaufman, left, Paul Fleck, Sheilah White and Victor Hoar. Courtesy of Hilary Bates Neary.

Went over to Bob’s.

Saw Act One of Dad’s play.

– June 29, 1966

Up to Huntsville.

– June 29, 1967

Up to Wyses.

Search for Lost Mission.

(an arrow pointing here) Floyd MacIntyre/ Roving Reporter

– June 29, 1968

Swimming at Beaver Lake.

‘Memphis Birthday Blues Festival’ & ‘Way It Is’ #71 on TV.

Bought Colonist.

– June 29, 1969

Pulled up bushes at the Lambert’s.

– June 29, 1970

The bush-pulling exercise at 329 St. James Street is the last entry in the diary . . . just to loop the loop, JBNBlog will keep it going through July 2 to complete the circle starting with this series’s first appearance here via July 3′s entry almost a year ago. When we get there, I will have some final thoughts.

All these decades later, the Lamberts are still inspiring me . . . Brian Lambert is at work on a major punk rock retrospective, Peter drums & plays in many fine Toronto bands, the oldest brother, Craig, & I saw each other at the memorable NFG reunion gig (one of Peter’s first bands). At the time, I returned to their mother Monica Lambert the copy of Sonny Rollins’ The Bridge given to me back in the 1960s by the late Harvey Lambert (a tenor titan himself & their dad). In giving it away to the callow youth who might have pulled up a few bushes in exchange, Harvey said Sonny must have been “smoking something” when he made the RCA Victor album.

Elsewhere on June 29, Act One of Dad’s play would have been Listen to the Wind soon to premiere at Talbot Theatre. Dad’s last big trip was down to the Grand to see Act One of The High School Project’s revival of Listen to the Wind a few months before his death in June 2008. Dad loved it.

I wish I could remember more of the June 29, 1968 trip to see Anne & Alex Wyse, artists/teachers/writers/bus drivers/publishers/great spirits who lived in the Parkhill-Sylvan area . . . the “lost mission” must have been a grail quest of sorts for Dad & the Wyses. Helping that day was a truly remarkable Canadian, the “roving reporter” Floyd McIntyre (McIntyre is the spelling I have found in a few Internet sources). Floyd was a spirit so free he would apparently zoom off in any direction he felt was the right one when he heard a story call. He was in The Free Press universe at one time . . . you can see his photo in the same in-house publication as Morley Safer’s, another talent who left the LFP fold for the wider world.

Floyd McIntyre seems to have written books about family history in North Lambton and perhaps inherited a lumber fortune. He was centred at Forest . .  . but was never still for long. Any Floyd McIntyre details would be greatly appreciated.

*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.

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16 comments

  1. Peter J. says:

    Floyd played clarinet in the Forest Excelsior Band for years (and years), which is how I came into contact with him. “Scoop” died a few years ago, but is still something of a legend around those parts; I’ll see what I can track down.

  2. james.reaney says:

    Thanks for the Floyd detail . . . I should have figured he was an Excelsior bandmember. A legend indeed.

  3. Mid Sixties revisited says:

    That sure is mid-’60s, little girls in little print dresses and matching kerchiefs.
    How they poured off the sewing machines before blue jeans entered school
    yard culture.
    Is she the DeVeber identified, and did her mother make it ? Fringed edge yet!
    If you are going to wrap up this saga of your youth, are you going to share
    with us how much weekly pocket money you got and the cost of those endless
    recordings you collected ?

  4. james.reaney says:

    The pocket money came straight from my v. kind parents (for the most part) . . . the recordings were cheaper, then, true. It is embarrassing to see the compulsive acquisitions of 45 after 45. I have tried to slow down. You don’t have a turntable that plays 45s, do you?

  5. Mid Sixties revisited says:

    Sorry, did not bite on that brief 45 fad.
    Didn’t always have to buy stuff, there was good radio music.
    In fact the need to have a music sound track to one’s daily activities is
    fairly recent, as ways were found to exploit youth.
    -Maybe you can answer this – Some TV items are backgrounded with
    a relentless drumbeat that to these ears, overwhelms the content.
    Even the city’s image promotional video suffers from this.
    What it says to some is that London is technologically clumsy and noisy,
    borne out by the political focus on outdoor raucousity (!)
    So Question –
    can your vintage hear voices clearly over the tomtoms trhrobbing
    irrelevantly – how about your offspring’s cohort ?
    With an aging society these issues will start to matter in communications.

  6. JOURNALs says:

    last entry to loop the loop, JBNBlog will keep it going through July 2 …
    -With the wrap of your youthful adventures, can you be bribed,
    bullied, or otherwise encouraged to serialize a diary of great
    significance to our London? An adventure story each local school
    child should be familiar with.
    Text can be squeezed into your blogbits in time to bring our Founder
    et al to the “antlered river” on the anniversary of its anglicization.
    Thames 220 is July 16, proclamed sight/site unseen from Kingston.
    Happily the journey was highly Plaquable by OHF/T so there are
    followups galore.
    Are you game, Sir ?

  7. james.reaney says:

    The game is afoot, as they used to say on The Avengers. However.
    If we are going to have a Countdown to Ecstasy: Thames 220, JBNBlog is going to need even more help than usual. Which is to say a lot.
    Is there a John Graves Simcoe online cache of day-by-day treasures we can use? Like Frodo with The Ring, JBNBlog is willing but a bit daunted by the next step. Pls. advise soonest & all being well we could start Wednesday or Thursday. What say you, sirs/madams/sisters&brothers?

  8. JOURNALs says:

    Saving you a trip to the London Room to photocopy, just google
    OUR ROOTS for a goldmine of local histories U Calgary found on its
    bookshelves and has been digitizinged. Unselectively, so not just
    the better ones.
    Search “JOURNAL LITTLEHALES” and pages of little volume will be
    displayed.

    “Journal written by Edward Baker Littlehales (Major of Brigade, etc.) of
    an exploratory tour partly in sleighs but chiefly on foot, from Navy Hall,
    Niagara, to Detroit, made in the months of February and March, A.D. 1793,
    by His Excellency Lieut.-Gov. Simcoe…
    You can just post pages one by one, serializing it like great writers
    of the past unless you fancy transcribing it.
    -This has been hidden also for years in Guy St. Denis’s Hall’s Mills book,
    minor variations. An image of the beginning is shown in Bremner’s Illustrated
    London 1900 reliable edition.
    Lovely man. Toronto has a street named for him (mis-spelled as Littlehayes)
    that is where he got land grant. London needs to pay more attention to this
    eyewitness.

    The game’s afoot, follow your spirit, and on this charge cry “God for Simcoe,
    Littlehales, Jack the founding dog etc etc..

  9. JOURNALs says:

    - For now just do y the daily Journal entries themselves, not the
    extra material.
    ++++++++++
    SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
    SIR EDWARD BAKER BAKER BARONET
    (FORMERLY SIR E B LITTLEHALES)
    WHO DIED AT RANSTON IN THIS PARISH ON THE
    4TH OF MARCH IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1825
    AND IN THE SIXTY SECOND YEAR OF HIS AGE
    AND IS BURIED IN THE FAMILY VAULT BENEATH
    ESTEEMED AND BELOVED WHEN LIVING
    SINCERELY REGRETTED AND LAMENTED NOW DEAD
    BY HIS WIDOW, CHILDREN, RELATIVES AND FRIENDS
    WHO KNEW AND JUSTLY APPRECIATED
    HIS VIRTUES AND WORTH
    +++
    Co Dorset, England. Iwerne Courtney (Shroton) St. Mary’s
    Church

  10. Mike Niederman says:

    Hi James. I didn’t know you knew the Lamberts back then. Just another reminder that London was (still is?) a small community. And the Chrissy DeVeber in the photo grew up to play in the Zellots and other combos. I believe she’ll be part of the musical portion of Brian’s retrospective.
    I was taken aback by Mid Sixties reference to “the brief 45 fad”; I bought new 7″ 45 rpm releases for over 20 years- and they are still being made.

  11. Mid-60s says:

    Do recall 45s and the little disk inserts as a passing fad in our social
    circles, interest being in emerging long-olaying records. Not a collector
    or even a hold-on-toer. so just a personal experience with the genre
    or the product.
    To play them you only need a record player don’t you – something
    again on the market? James implied he recalled a 45 player…
    Yes London is a small community is some ways, old familiies with
    many children who intermarried and produce many more and so
    on, into its second centry of Incorporation. And neighbourhoods
    tended to frame who the young people knew with less mobility
    than today. You see generations of familiar surname children
    sitting in classrooms together. That’s why we’re careful about
    casual unkind commenting on famous Londoners – who knows
    how many descendents, family friends or colleagues are waiting
    in the wings to be annoyed.

  12. Mike Niederman says:

    Record players never really went away. Radio Shack carried cheap ones until the more expensive DJ models arrived in the 90s. They are easily available now in just about any price range you can imagine. And some that are unimaginable. Some of my favourite music of the late 70s was available only on 45s; many of the groups never put out LPs and haven’t shown up on CD or download. Then there were the Jamaican 45s, whose ‘version’ B-sides never saw another incarnation.

  13. Mid-60s says:

    Each cohort had its own interests.. Such music groups weren’t ours.
    Wonder if there’s anything at the museum that shows the evolution
    of recording/playing devices for the general public ?
    Our earliest family record player seems to be the type with the big
    horn on the porch of the cottage at Port in mid-Edwardian era. By
    c1980 there was a cassette player – and was told it was iillegal to
    make a longplaying tape from the short type, wanted merely for an
    elderly relative who couldn’t keep chainging individual tapes.

  14. Mid-60s says:

    Mike – Think we are talking at cross purposes.
    I’m thinking of when they were mass produced as 45s were for a teen
    market, not what one can still find to purchase. Heck even the copies of
    the 19th century book under discussion, out of print for years can be
    found for sale online at $110, as people sell off their private libraries.

  15. Mike Niederman says:

    “Such music groups weren’t ours.” Well, I don’t know who you mean by ‘we’ , but I bought my first 45 as a teen in 1963. I stopped buying them about 20 years later. Mass-produced records were aimed at the teen market first as 78s in the 1940s, then when the format changed, as 45s through to the 80s. While most of what I bought from ’75 – ’85 were small label productions, I also bought the odd major-label 45 up to 1985 if I liked it on the radio. I’m not talking about buying old records; what I bought was music being currently produced. I stopped buying 45s because I lost interest in the kind of music being released on them. Even the major corporate entertainment conglomerates are currently releasing new music on 12″ lps and 7″ 45s. (They usually include a code to obtain the digital download equivalent, though.)

  16. Mid-1960s Late 1790s says:

    By We, simply mean my own age cohort and we werent in our teens
    in about new flag time nor were our parents our our children. Nor were
    those groups popular in our various eras of high school years.. Nor could
    we buy recordings so liberally with our pocket money.
    Long since abandoned the turntable and needle for the latest playing
    format.
    Not all of James’s viewers are of the same age as he was in his brief
    London school years.Nothing meant to diminish your pleasure. Sorry I
    commented on recollections of the device Kicked off by JBNBlog’s asking
    aout one can still play an old 45.
    Meanwhile our host seems to be diverted from the London Founding story
    and Thames 200. Not for him a copy of the original document that lumbered
    us with this difficult identity of colonial London on the Thames. As Brant
    is quoted – the gov. loved this province so much he changed all its names…

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