Since I am now entering territory that may or may not have happened once I had started grade school, I figured that it would be a good time to warn readers that the timeline on the new few posts is likely to jump around a bit. If I'm writing something about school life at Dorset Park and remember something that happened one summer day possibly before I even went to school, I'm going to simply slap it in there in order to ensure it doesn't get lost for good.
When I was younger I was ambidextrous. I could switch mid-word from one hand to the other and unless you were watching me write/print, you'd never know where the switch took place. Not much of a story attached to this, but there it is. I was forced to choose to write with my right hand in Grade One, by Mrs. Charleston, but we're trying to get all the pre-grade school stuff out of the way first here.
I do remember one day, it must have been in August or September since I can't imagine any other reason for this day to have happened unless it was in preparation for my first days at school. I was sitting on the big chair my father used to read in, in the corner of the living room, and my mother was really pounding into me the basic knowledge every kid needs in order to be found if lost. Address, phone number, parent's names, stuff like that - heck, maybe exactly and only that. Seemed like more, but can't remember more than those being hammered home. I figure from a present viewpoint that this was probably in response to my first days at Dorset Park, since everywhere I went before then would have been with someone else who knew that information, and child abduction simply wasn't as big a deal in the 70s as it is today. We didn't even put the locks on the door at night in those days.
I had an encyclopedia I didn't use much, the World Book Of Knowledge. Had records I listened to regularly, Winnie The Pooh, Chilling, Thrilling Sounds From The Haunted House by Disney, An Introduction To Music which was the soundtrack of a bunch of animated shorts that were about the instruments and what made what sound. I even had this Star Trek comic on album, about this little alien creature that crooned this sound which took over people's minds. Came with the comic book and everything. Don't know what age I was when I got that, as I wasn't much of a Trek fan when I was a kid, but someone thought it would be neat. I still have all of these records, never gave any of them away or sold them. Not in mint condition, of course, since I've actually used them when I was younger, but they still work.
Even as a child I loved to read. I remember going to Scarborough Town Centre, long before there was a cinema there, long before the RT had a station, and going to Cole's Books in order to grab a few of The Hardy Boys series of titles. It was a long time before I had the collection, the original 56 titles, hardcover, blue backed books that I still have and keep on display on my bookshelf. Not only am I keeping them for my own kids, but also as a throwback to a simpler time, story-wise. I still have my original boxed set of Paddington Bear, and even an old Dr.Seuss book, "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." I read and reread those books when I was a kid. I also played a lot with toy cars, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. I gave them personalities, storylines, kind of like what you see in the Toy Story movies, but with a multitude of cars rather than a bunch of other toys. I had a bunch of hockey pucks (don't know where from, I've never played hockey) and tracks from a Hot Wheels set I got that shot cars into a loop-de-loop, and I would make fortresses and roads, incorporating my bundled up blanket as a mountain to climb to get to the enemy lair. Did all this on what I was told was a Captain's bed. Basically, it was a bed that was REALLY high off the ground, with storage and drawers underneath. Great idea, until you take into account that the damn thing was too heavy for me to move, and anything that fell behind it would be gone for months at a time.
I remember some of the stuff that we have on Super-8 film as it was being shot. A lot of my fonder memories came from going to a cottage my family was left by my father's father when he died. Used to go up there a lot during the summers. It was a tiny place: three little bedrooms, and a main living room/kitchen area, then a deck looking out over the lake. that would be Mississauga Lake near Bobcaygeon, just past Peterborough. Had to get to the cottage by boat, and the bathroom was a kybo. That, apparently, comes from the old Kybo brand coffee cans that would hold the lime that dropped the odour to a minimum, and is usually only used as a Scouting term. You'd likely call it an outhouse. Anyway, there were a lot of memories from that cottage, and I think I'll reserve the next post for them.
I'll finish this one off with a shot of that Star Trek comic I have. I linked the picture to the actual item on Amazon. 1975, just a couple of years ago.