Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Column #125 & Comics in the 50s! 070918


Cornwall Ontario – One of the joys of being a kid in the 1950’s was the comic books. Remember Batman and Robin and the Bat mobile, Superman and Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracey and his famous watch, Bugs Bunny and “What’s up, Doc?”, Archie Andrews and Betty and Veronica, Uncle Scrooge, Tarzan, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and the Lone Ranger and side-kick Tonto, to name only a few. My brothers had detective ones also. We not only bought them but traded them with our friends, so it was like getting a “new” one. There was a store at the northeast corner of Third and Pitt Streets and we bought our comics there often and…probably lots of blackballs, bubble gum and boxes of Cracker Jacks as well.

Talking with some friends about the comic books drummed up another memory as well: having to pay to use the washrooms in the movie theatres. Some of my school classmates didn’t remember them but a friend; four years younger than all of us remembered them well. She said they were called “pay toilets” and they cost ten cents but there was a free one…just in case. There was a coin slot on the doors and you just inserted a dime. She also remembered a big roll of cloth for hand drying on the wall. No paper towels in those days. I went online to read about them and there are many sites saying that pay toilets were in many public places in the 1950’s such as airports, restaurants, theatres, etc. So, I didn’t dream that up after all.

With this weather, this old Girl Guide remembers thinking about camping as the summer heat has arrived. Here is a great photo of some Sea Rangers of the Trinity Anglican Church Girl Guide Company enjoying having a bite around a campfire at Charlottenburg Park. The year is 1958…60 years ago!!!

From Lt. to Rt: Elizabeth (Liz) Farlinger, Ann Tabram-Lalonde, Betty Lalonde, Frances Glass-Irwin and an unknown Sea Ranger.

Photo courtesy of Frances Glass-Irwin

Time to look at Dr. Ernie Ward’s video again about leaving animals in hot cars. Go to You Tube……”How Hot Does it Get in a Parked Car?”

I can tell you this hot car thing is true. I went with a friend to the Dairy Queen for an ice cream treat. While my friend was inside the store, I sat in the car with both front windows open. But the temperature had a humidex of about 47 at the time. I didn’t last half a minute. The heat was overwhelming. I had to get out of that car!! It was so HOT inside!! I had a bottle of water with me and took a bit of a fast splash shower. I got into some air conditioning as fast as possible. Please don’t leave an animal or a child in a hot car. It is awful. And if you see an animal or child in a car even with the windows open, remember that the air going in is HOT air. Report it immediately where ever you are or call the police to get help right away.

The Cornwall Community has unexpectantly lost this week a well known local artist, Stuart Thompson. Stu was a very gifted photographer whose art was enjoyed by many many people in our community.

Here is one of his pictures which I love so much, a beloved Black Capped Chickadee.

In 1991 when I worked at Mount Carmel House Treatment Center in St. Raphael’s, Ont., Stu’s wife Su came as a volunteer nurse every week. Su and I became friends and have remained close over the years. Stu was always a really nice guy and fun to be around as he had a keen sense of humour.

Some years ago Stu put some of his photos of pictures he had taken of nature on cards and made some nice greeting cards. I have several of birds and flowers which I treasure. At Mount Carmel House my office window faced west and I had two bird feeders outside, one in a tree and another on the wide sill of the window. Flocks of birds came to get some sunflower seeds. One old Black Capped Chickadee used to come alone and sit on the sill for long periods of time. I called him my ‘Old Fella”. Often when I was working at my desk, he would be there just sitting. He was like a little pet. I casually told Su and Stu about him one day. It wasn’t long before I received the beautiful greeting card with the Chickadee on it.

What a wonderful gift. Thanks Stu for enriching so many peoples’ lives with your beautiful photographs. You will be missed very much by everyone who knew you and loved you. Our sympathies to Su and all your family.

Tiger, my big baby cat, just celebrated his 15th. Birthday. He was 5 yrs. old when I got him at the SPAC. It reminded me of that day when I brought him home. I think I told this story before. I had gone to the SPCA after my cat died to get another, hoping for a short haired little female. A big male cat in the bottom of a cage kept poking his paw out and making noises. His name was Tiger. The attendant said that Tiger had picked me out. I didn’t want a big male very furry cat but she took him out of the cage and put him in my arms. He cuddled up and purred. But I was firm. I went home without any cat. But…I couldn’t seem to get Tiger out of my mind. Two days later, I went back and asked the same attendant if Tiger was still available. She said, “He’s waiting for you.” The rest is history.

This photo is when I first brought him home. ten years ago.

Tiger still loves his comfort and is a big big baby!!! Cute s they come!!

Here are a few cute children jokes:

3 year old Reese: “Our Father, who does art in heaven, Harold is his name. Amen.”

A sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service,”And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?”One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5 and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.

“If Jesus was sitting here, He would say, “Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “You be Jesus!”

Have a good week, Dawn


  1. Dawn there isn’t a day or a minute that doesn’t go by that your wacky jules wishes for the 1950s to come back. Those were the better days of life and today is a nightmare and one has to know what is really going on to know how bad of a nightmare it is and coming. I would zap myself back in time and stay there. We remember much better times and simpler times and we had a lot of fun back then.

  2. Jules; thank you for your comments. yes, the ’50’s was a great time for fun. Not as stressful for everyone as it is today.

  3. Dawn there is way too much stress in life today and life in the 50s era was great for everyone. There was no stress like today at all and I wish that I could turn back the clock.

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