Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Where does one go dancing anymore & Coed Hospital Rooms?

CFN – A few friends and I were reminiscing about the past.


It was brought on because we were wondering where young people go to dance today.


And also where anyone dances today. None of us know much about the bars and if you can dance in them.


In the fifties, CCVS and SLHS would let you out of class early to attend basketball games in the gym and football games in the field. Afterwards we could dance at a Tee Dance in the gyms. Friday nights there was dancing at the Masonic Temple and once a month at the Young People’s Group at Trinity Hall, overseen by Rev. Lackey, the young Assistant/Curate. Saturday night most of us headed to the YMCA on First Street to dance the night away…well, till 12 midnight anyway.
Entertainment used to come to the Water Street Arena. I remember going on a date, his name I don’t remember but I do remember who his father was and we went to hear a Big Band ..maybe one of the Dorsey’s. What I do remember was wearing a lovely yellow dress. My brother also mentioned to me that a lot of country and Western bands used to entertain at the Rink also. Lots of dancing in those days. And of course, there were house parties. Dancing and ‘Spin-the-bottle”. Do they still do that??

Some kids went to Massena or to St. Zotique. You had to be 21 years old to drink in Ontario and that was a real safety net for us because there was no alcohol served anywhere where my group went for fun. I remember when I was in training that my sister who is three years younger than I am and was still in high school, told me that some girls had drugs, pills or beanies of some kind in the Girl’s washroom one day and she was very upset about it. That was the beginning as we knew it of drugs in the schools.

When I was 21, a date and another couple and I headed to Massena to the famous Willow Grove for a night out. I had never been there before and at that point I guess I thought that it would be very special to see what some other kids had been doing for years. Before we got there, they decided to stop at another place outside of Massena.

I don’t remember exactly what it was called.    Someone had told me that a Screwdriver was the best thing to drink since you could sip on it all evening and not taste the Vodka. It didn’t make sense to me because why have Vodka if you can’t taste it?


We settled ourselves into bar and ordered drinks. I chickened out and had a coke. At some point the jukebox played a song that some guys sitting at a table started to loudly make fun of. Some other guys took offense to this and an argument broke out…then a scuffle and a fight and soon chairs were being pushed around. Needless to say, we left but the night had been ruined and we headed back to Cornwall. I never went back. So much for the ‘Night Life”.

We also were reminiscing about the hospitals and what it used to be like years ago. If you were having surgery at the General or The Dieu, you were admitted the evening before . They did your prep and gave you a nice sleeping pill .  In the am, you were all set to go. And they kept you there until you were well enough to go home. When I had my appendix out, I was in hospital for over a week – ten days I think and there were no complications.


Men were generally on one floor and women another. Today there is a thing called “Day Surgery” and you have to be there, all stressed out by about 6am,  and sometime in the afternoon, out you go. Who is home to look after you could be a problem in some cases. I heard about a lady who had a Hysterectomy and another one a Mastectomy and both were done in “Day Surgery” and the ladies went home that day. Hard for us old nurses to believe. Wonder how many are showing up in ER often with complications?


We were wondering why we were in training for three years to learn how to take care of patients,’ post-op’ included if they couldn’t go home then but can now the same day for the same surgeries.   Also, now you might be in a room with a few men. I visited a friend of mine one day in a four bedroom where her room mates included two men. She was not pleased about it.


At one point I had to get the nurse to come in and cover up one guy who was sitting in a chair rather exposed. After the nurse left , he took the blanket off saying he was too warm. Not nice. At one point my friend was moved out of the 4 bed- room into a 2 bed- room…her roommate…a man. She was very uncomfortable about it. I wonder who makes these new rules up…politicians, I guess who will never have to go through it nor will their families.


Some men say they won’t do it . Women I have talked to have said they were very embarrassed. No one I talked to knows why and who are making these rules across Ontario. Must be through the Ministery of Health. Do the doctors OK this? Anyone know???

One thing that is the same is the dedication and compassion of the hospital staff. I saw this time and time again during my late friend Elaine’s many hospital admissions, during her fight with cancer. From the ER staff , housekeeping and all the medical/nursing staff, she was treated with kindness and concern. As a nurse, I was very happy to see this and as her friend, relieved that she was in loving hands each day. I am very grateful to each and everyone of the staff who helped Elaine on a daily basis. Kudos.

The beautiful tulips, crocuses and that gorgeous light green shade of grass you only see in the early spring were gone but we soon were blessed with gorgeous peonies, irises and the heavenly aroma of lilacs in the air.

Ernie Appleton, volunteer gardiner  in the garden at Beek Lindsay

Garden Picture 005

Since early spring, our favorite volunteer gardener, Ernie Appleton had been outside Beek Lindsay, the Seniors’ Residence where he lives, before the birds were even up, digging, hoeing, and planting beautiful flowers. Around the Residence on Augustus Street you can see the results of Ernie’s hard work. This year he has added more planters with different shades and types of colorful flowers, one even adorning an old tree stump.   It is beautiful. Thanks Ernie for caring and for taking the time and all that effort to bring so much beauty into our lives. Kudos

Volunteers are needed at the Glen Stor Dun Lodge. The Special Day Program needs an assistant which would require a time commitment weekly on Mondays from 10am to 3pm or 11:30 am to 1:30pm. The volunteer Meal Assistance Program have volunteers assisting in the dining room and the commitment could be weekly or biweekly during any of the lunch or supper hours. Also volunteers for the Saturday Recreational program, assisting residents during recreational activities and helping to clean up. If you have any time to spare, please call the Volunteer Department at 613-933-3384, ext. 4243.

There is a very informative article in the Lodge’s June Newsletter ‘ the Lodger’ about helping children understand Alzheimer and Dementia. Click on this LINK <> for more info or consult your local Alzheimer Society office at Time Square for more info.

And now, the lighter side:
Joe an elderly gentleman was about to marry a very young lady. He went to his doctor who was concerned about this marriage because of the huge age difference. The doctor said” You know, Joe, these ‘May to December marriages’ can be fatal.” Joe thought about it for a few seconds and then said” Well, if she dies, she dies. ”

Have a good week, Dawn.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)


  1. Well done Dawn. You brought back memories of living on 4th St once again….Cheers

  2. Dawn yesterday I was talking with our doctor’s secretary and other ladies in the waiting room and we were all saying that today there are no good morals left. You brought me back to the better days and I thank you so very much for sharing those wonderful memories. Yes I remember about school dances and the football games and yes I remember about Massena as well and the Willow Grove and some other hotel. Those hotels in Massena were not for good people at all and yes fights would break out. How times have changed. People no longer have any respect at all for the next person. Just take a good look at the garbage on the TV and in the movie theatre and it shows what kind of morals exist today. No thank you I do not watch TV since at least 11 years and even then it was down to a bare trickle. I love to read and do crafts but no idiot tube for me. Thank you for bringing up the good days Dawn. I sure wouldn’t go to the hospitals nowadays nor does my family. You lived through much better times Dawn and all the best to you.

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