Friday, January 3, 2014

Looking in the 1972 Vancouver BC Crisscross Directory.

I think I could live at the library!
On January 2, 2014, I had a chance to explore the 7th floor of the downtown branch, and discovered the criss cross book from 1972.
This page shows our family's neighbours living on Monmouth Ave at the time.
 The top person at 3328 is Parker Moore; I was friends with his daughter Nancy, and we both attended Sir Wilfred Grenfell School. She was very nice but I'v long since lost track of her. Dick and Sara Neufeld lived at 3338, and often had us over for tea and dessert after church. They attended the same church as us and knew my Dad from before he was married in 1955. They were quite the characters. Ray Young lived at 3349 and we didn't know him, but in 1987 we purchased his house! By that time someone else owned it. R Crosbie at 3353 had a horrible mean son named Wayne, who often teased us, and once kicked me in my lower back as I rode my bike down Monmouth past his house. However, I was good friends with his sister Lori for a few years, and I remember going to her house for a birthday party in 1968. Ray Feehily had a son, Peter, who teased Leona and I and called us names when we played in our front yard. He would chant "Leona Peeona...Loretta Spaghetta" as he walked by, over and over. 

JG Williams at 3372 was my Grandpa! He lived there until he died in June 1974, and my Grandma, Alma May lived there until 1988. Donald Barrett at 3375 had 2 daughters; Elaine and Betty. We were friends with Betty. Raidar Ramslie at 3381, and his wife Sadie, had around 5 kids. We played with Darlene and Bonnie; Darlene was Marlene's age. When Marlene was born, we thought it was funny that shortly after Sadie had her daughter and named her Darlene!

I Simmonds at 3386 lived to the right of us, and was an older woman who we thought was rather cranky, but she loved us, and would give us huge bags of large chocolate bars on Halloween night, and would give us nice gifts at Christmas; once I got a doll, and I remember her knitting mittens for us; my pair was a soft yellow set. I also remember that in 1969, when men landed on the moon for the first time, we sat watching it on TV in her living room. She had a small house, with pink wallpaper in the living room, and a large black tree printed on one side of it.

 One time Mrs. Simmonds had locked herself out of the house, and she had me crawl in through her tiny bathroom window to unlock the back door for her. I remember she had a beautiful rose garden in the back yard, and a huge chestnut tree near the back lane. Every fall she would burn the masses of chestnut leaves in her incinerator and the smoke would billow and roll all over, and make my Mom very irritated as it really stunk! I thought Mrs. Simmonds looked like an old witch! But I liked her too, and found her very interesting. I would often watch her through our dining room window, as it faced the side her kitchen window was situated, and I would spy on her, as she made her supper, banging her pots and pans around or washing dishes. She had a pet bird which I could also see close to the window. She had such a tiny little house; living room, kitchen, bathroom and 2 small bedrooms but I thought it was perfect. Mrs. Simmonds was born on Feb 29, another very odd thing about her. She had a daughter named Agnes.

Well, I didn't mean to write this much about neighbours from the past, but the memories came pouring out! This is one of my favourite hobbies of all, and the more I indulge it the happier I become.
By Loretta Houben

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