The Wish Book

Wish BookGot the wish book earlier this week, and my how its fallen.  Less than 200 pages and the paper is so cheap feeling.  I remember as a kid we’d get this and pour over it for days, dog earring pages, circling toys and skates, slyly looking at the underwear models….

The bonus was we had two! Not only was there the Sears Wish Book, but we also had the Eaton’s Christmas Catalogue you see above.

Mail order was the thing for a lot of us back then, no big name stores nearby in Clarenville, though of course Cholock’s had their big toy section.  And St. John’s seemed as far away as Toronto does now back in those days.

Chip Away

Chip Away

One thing I remember wanting for ages, and then knowing I had it when I found it hidden in the closet underneath the stairs was a chip away set.  Was these lumps of plastic that came with a mallet and chisel that you were supposed to chip away to get to the statue underneath, and then paint.

Table Hockey Player

Table Hockey Player

The reality was a little different though cause one or two smacks and it all fell away.  Kind of a let down.  I remember other things too from the catalogue; a wood burning set that was kinda fun, let you scorch patterns that were painted onto wood, the old dinkie car tracks, a race track, and of course the ubiquitous table hockey game.  Ours had the replaceable plastic players something like those in the picture here.  And they all had their names and numbers.  Remember there being the old Seals players, and Dave Dryden (Ken’s brother) there as a goalie for Buffalo! We’d jam the puck against the corner of the net, the wind the defenseman up until the spring had too much tension, then whip the puck down the “ice” and half the time down the stairs!  One puck was so worn down, we played that so much!

Back to the catalogues, not only were they good for shopping, but after, some people would fold alternating pages to make an ornament! Of course, I’ve also heard stories that before my time, the pages made a good substitute for toilet paper in the old outhouse.  Might be indicative of how good the items were?

Ah memories! Share your wish book memories too!


Its flippin September, time for flippin school, and …. flippin cards!

I think Roy Marsh and Paul George, not sure who's facing away. That may even be me, not Roy, I did have hair back then! (Photographed from RandomMemories Yearbook)

I think Roy Marsh and Paul George, not sure who’s facing away. That may even be me, not Roy, I did have hair back then! (Photographed from RandomMemories Yearbook)

In Random Island Integrated, spending my days
Classes from Randall and Loder, makin me dazed
When along came a couple of guys up to no good
Flippin their hockey cards, like bad boys would

Apologies to Will Smith for the bad interpretation!  School time is here again, and that was often met with a lot of groans and sighs from us kids, but there were some positives too, often we didn’t see our friends for the whole summer.  While Random Island doesn’t have a lot of people, its also not so easy for a kid of 10 or 12 to get the 15 miles to his best friends house unless he biked it.

Like all kids of that generation, we were also all hockey mad, and of course we all collected the o-pee-chee hockey cards.  We’d buy a pack when we could, or bug our parents to, but of course the real way to collect hockey cards is in the school hallway, flippin them! Odds! Evens! Oh man, you won my lucky checklist! I’m not flippin for that one! That’s a trophy card! I’ll give you 10 for it!

I can still hear the familiar refrain after all these years, and the pleasure of winning a stack, and the agony of losing all your cards and trying to borrow 5 from someone.  And I still swear to this day that checklists were luckier than the rest!

Shortest Phone Conversation

Watching the world junior hockey championships on TV, I think back to the shortest phone conversation I ever heard. It was when the gang I hung around with were trying to organize a hockey game in on Elliott’s Cove Pond.  I remember Derek Smith calling David Quinton and the conversation went “Hockey? Yep, when? One” That was it.

One o’clock rolls around and we are all in on the pond, which was like a sheet of glass.  Teams were decided by piling sticks and throwing them in opposite directions, you were on the team where your stick went.  Nets were generally a pair of boots separated by the length of a hockey stick, sometimes we had goalies, often the person or persons who had no skates, often there were none.  I really don’t remember if we had any for this particular game, but I do recall one goal the puck rolled and rolled and rolled.  I believe it was David Smith that skated pretty much the length of the pond, all the way to the park, to get it back, took about 10 minutes or more.

Another thing I remember was that the pond ice was so hard, that stopping like you would at a stadium was much different.  If you tried it that way, you’d often dig yourself a rut and go flying over, lucky to not snap an ankle, much less spray up a sheet of snow.

Ah good times 🙂