Reantasy, Montreal: The book to read, the place to be

Reantasy, Montreal: The book to read, the place to be

by David Makin


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Reantasy...Montreal remembers, reminds and recounts various recollections, events, brief histories and trivia, as seen through the eyes of and experienced by a fictional life lived mostly during the mid-to late nineteen seventies in the city of Montreal. Reantasy...Montreal is a story of innocence, personal and sexual growth and a passage from childhood to adulthood during a fondly remembered bygone Montreal era.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504950725
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 10/05/2015
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)

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Reantasy, Montreal

The Book to Read, the Place to Be A Fictional Biography

By David Makin


Copyright © 2015 David Makin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5049-5072-5


1962, now that was a year!

Some notable news events from around the world happened during 1962.

In the United Kingdom, The Sunday Times is the first newspaper to print a color supplement, while in France; French President Charles de Gaulle calls for and accepts Algerian independence. Uganda, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago also became independent.

Drummer Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr (a left-handed drummer playing a right- handed drum kit) who along with fellow band mates John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison known in the United Kingdom as The Beatles, released their first single Love Me Do.

During a 12 day stand-off (known as the Cuban Missile Crisis) between the United States and the Soviet Union, President Kennedy announces to the nation the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Johnny Carson becomes the permanent host of The Tonight Show.

Premiering in UK theaters is the film Dr. No, starring Scottish actor Sean Connery portraying a fictional character named James Bond.

Meanwhile in Canada, The Trans-Canada Highway is opened. A Federal Election results in Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservative Party reduced to a minority government.

In Montreal, (a city in the province of Québec) anticipates the opening of the forty-seven storey office tower, known as Place Ville Marie.

Also in Montreal, a married thirty-two year old mother of two, labors for sixteen hours and finally gives birth to her third child. Born two months premature, and placed in an incubator for six weeks, this adorable brown haired and brown eyed baby boy is soon released from the care of St. Mary's Hospital.

Upon arriving at his new home, the beautiful baby boy is hailed (by some) with awe and amazement while (with others) he is greeted with an array of confused emotions and mixed reviews.

Recollections, events, brief histories & trivia:

One of my earliest recollections is as a baby being held up in the air, by a pair of strong arms and then seemingly falling to the floor.

Whether this actually happened is opened to discussion but it would explain the reason why to this day, I am afraid of heights.

I recall grocery shopping with my mother at Steinberg Grocery Stores.

Founded in 1917, Steinberg Grocery Stores was at one time Quebec's largest supermarket chain.

By the early nineteen nineties the company would file for bankruptcy and the supermarket chain would be sold off to competitors Metro, IGA and Provigo.

I would accompany my mother and older brother George, to the neighbourhood outdoor newsstand.

The newsstand was a 10 foot long by 5 feet wide by 6 foot high wooden square structure that would open for daytime business and be boarded down and locked at night.

The owner had quite the inventory of newspapers (from all over the world), a wide selection of magazines, pocketbooks, digests and comic books. My mother would let us both choose a comic book each.

My brother George would almost always choose a super-hero comic, while I would always choose a comic book from Western's Gold Key brand. It was the cover art of the comic books that awed me the most. I loved visiting the outdoor newsstand.

Playing street hockey with the neighbourhood kids, chasing and watching many a rubber ball (also known as a bouncy ball) roll down into a street sewer.

I recall my very first haircut at the neighbourhood barber shop.

My introduction to a barber shop (and a haircut) was when my mother instructed the barber to "Shave everything off ..."

I had no idea what a ('bean shave' a style of a) buzz cut was until the barber, with electric clippers in hand began 'clipping' my hair off.

Seemingly my head would be a front lawn, my hair would be the green grass and the electric clippers were the lawnmower. 'Zoom, zoom' roared the electric clipper as it roamed upwards and downwards across my head.

Through the years I have worn my hair at different lengths and worn different hairstyles. As I have matured and grown older, I prefer the buzz cut. It is a short, low maintenance hairstyle.

Play fighting with my older brother George, and then arguing with Ellen, my older sister.

At home and at school I would speak English, while with my neighbourhood friends I would speak French. I was bilingual and did not know it.

I loved eating spaghetti with meat sauce. My mother's recipe for preparing a meat sauce was the best.

Watching puppets Jerome the Giraffe and Rusty the Rooster, interact with Bob Homme on the CBC children's television show The Friendly Giant (1958-1985).

Attempting to build a snowman during the cold winter months.

My first passenger ride on a city bus, the clean shaven, and uniformed driver would sell bus tickets, supply and return change to boarding passengers from a change dispenser.

I attended Expo 67 with my family.

My mother brought us kids to Expo 67. We visited the world's fair on Saint Helen's Island (Ile Sainte-Hélène) by way of the underground Montreal Metro System (Métro de Montréal).

Replacing many overloaded bus routes the underground Montreal Metro (an electricity powered transit train) opened to the public in October 1966.

The Montreal Metro originally consisted of 26 stations over three separate lines. We exited the metro at the Ile Sainte-Hélène station. It was my first time riding as a passenger; I thought it was so much fun!

The site of Expo 67 was overflowing with people and I was awestruck by the many pavilions and the crowds of people.

I also enjoyed watching puppets Casey and Finnegan with Ernie Coombs (and his Tickle Trunk) on the CBC's children's show Mr. Dressup (1967-1996).

My first day of elementary school (1968-1969) my mother accompanied me to school and showed me the bus route, which bus to take, which bus stop to get on and get off at.

I recall feeling panicked when my mother left me at school that first day.

I recall being told to stop crying by my first grade teacher Miss Baker.

Watching Saturday morning cartoons advertised as In Colour on a black and white television set.

I enjoyed watching reruns of Ted Zeigler as Johnny Jellybean (1962-1963) a children's comedy show that aired on CFCF 12.

Watching the Archie Show (1968-1969) Based on the Archie comic book created by Bob Montana, the Archie Show was a 17 episode cartoon that incorporated music into the storyline.

The fictional group The Archies released a couple of record albums and the singles 'Sugar, Sugar' (1969) and 'Jingle Jangle' (1969), which were both written by Montreal born Andy Kim and Jeff Barry.

I enjoyed watching reruns of The Mighty Hercules (1963-1966) and the Canadian animated television series Rocket Robin Hood (1966-1969).

Legendary Montreal radio and television personality Jimmy Tapp supplied the voice of the Hercules character.

Playing with a yo-yo my mother bought me.

I would play with and practice the yo-yo every day. Practicing tricks with the yo-yo was the perfect past time and I brought the yo-yo with me everywhere, to school, running errands with my mother, riding on the bus.

The yo-yo and I were inseparable. My neighbours and classmates would whisper among themselves, when they would see me practicing yo-yo tricks, "There's goes David playing with his yo-yo!"

But I digress.

Watching Montreal born William Shatner as Captain Kirk on the science fiction television series Star Trek.

Star Trek (1966-1969) was a science fiction adventure series created by Gene Roddenberry that I have always enjoyed. Star Trek was broadcast on the NBC Television Network and aired on the CTV Television Network.

Little did anyone know that Star Trek would spawn a number of novels, comics, video games and the spin-off television series; The Animated Series (1973-1974), The Next Generation (1987-1994), Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), Voyager (1995-2001) and Enterprise (2001-2005), and the feature films The Motion Picture (1979), The Wrath of Khan (1982), The Search for Spook (1984), The Voyage Home (1986), The Final Frontier (1989), The Undiscovered Country (1991), also The Next Generation films Generations (1994), First Contact (1996), Insurrection (1998) and Nemesis (2002).

Star Trek (now known as Star Trek: The Original Series) starred Montreal born William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spook) and DeForest Kelly ('Bones' McCoy).

April 17, 1969, Montreal Expos pitcher Bill Stoneman pitched a no hitter, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 at Connie Mach Stadium.

I also enjoyed playing card games. Go Fish, 52 Pickup, Solitaire and Rummy 500 were only a few of my favourites.

52 pick-up while not really a card game was played (as a practical joke) using a deck of 52 cards.

I would approach unsuspecting victims and asked if they wanted to play? If the 'victim' responded "Yes.", I would shuffle the deck of cards and then throw the deck high in the air, watch the cards splatter across the floor, and then tell the 'victim' to pick them up.

More often than not it would be me who would pick-up the deck of cards from the floor (because most people were not able appreciate a practical joke).

Author's Note:

Since my childhood years friends have asked me if I ever cheated while playing Solitaire. Of course I have! I play to win by any means necessary.


Thrilled and excited, my older sister Ellen explains to my mother that she had caught a glimpse of John Lennon and Yoko Ono as they were leaving the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel on the final day of their much publicized 'Bed-In for Peace'.

In protest of the Vietnam War, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono (with her daughter Kyoko) staged two week long Bed-Ins for Peace, a week in Amsterdam and a week in Montreal.

Between May 26, 1969 to June 2, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono granted interviews and conducted news conferences from their hotel bed for Peace. Their Peace Anthem 'Give Peace a Chance' (written by John Lennon) was recorded in room 1742, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

My mother and sister both began reminiscing, when the Beatles (Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) played two same day concerts (September 8th, 1964) at the Montreal Forum.

My mother purchased two tickets to the 4pm concert (the other concert was at 8:30pm). Both concerts were sold out. My bother George and I were babysat by my Auntie Carol.

My sister Ellen recalled that the music could hardly be heard because of the screaming fans. My mother explained that was what 'Beatlemania'. was all about, intense fan-frenzy.

Room 1742 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel is now known as the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Suite. The bedroom and living room of this Executive suite, is decorated with memorabilia of framed gold records, press clipping and photographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Also there's a collaborative work of Public Art on Mont Royal that reproduces 'Give Peace a Chance' in the 40 different languages spoken in Montreal.

Recollections, events, brief histories & trivia:

The single 'Beautiful Second Hand Man' (1970) by popular Quebec singer Ginette Reno is receiving much airplay on both English and French radio stations.

Attempting to copy or draw (not trace) the various characters from my Gold Key comic book collection.

I still have many of the drawings I drew as a child. I have often thought about compiling the drawings in a hard cover coffee table book and maybe title it, Hommage to Gold Key.

Maybe one day I'll do just that!

The song 'You, Me and Mexico' (1970) by Toronto band Edward Bear is an international hit. Edward Bear would follow with the hits 'Masquerade' (1972), 'Last Song' (1972).

Singer and songwriter of Edward Bear, Larry Evoy would pursue a solo career and release the hit 'Here I Go Again' (1977).

I would tune in every Saturday afternoon to watch CFCF 12's Grand Prix Wrestling (1971-1975). Montreal radio and television personality Jack Curran was the ringside host.

Montreal has a long history and love for professional wrestling.

November 1970, the Montreal Alouettes defeated the Calgary Stampeders 23-10 at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto to win their second Grey Cup.

I enjoyed watching Graham Kerr in The Galloping Gourmet, a half-hour cooking show (1969-1971) taped in Ottawa and aired on the CBC.

Graham Kerr would open each show by leaping over a dining room chair, while holding a glass of wine in his hand.

The series would cease production in 1971 due to a near-fatal automobile accident involving Graham Kerr and his wife, Treena.

It was while I was in the third grade, that I learned that I would need to wear prescription eye glasses.

The third grade teacher, Miss Douglas would seat her pupils (by family name) in alphabetical order. I found myself seated at the back of the classroom and not being able to see what the teacher had written on the blackboard.

I would make my way to the front of the classroom with pencil and notebook in hand to copy what was written, only to be told by my teacher to return to my seat.

Also in third grade, apparently because I was talking during class, I received the ruler from my teacher Miss Douglas. I was then sent down to the principal's office to explain my actions.

Back then, it was common practice for teachers to discipline their students by smacking both hands, palms open with a ruler and then being sent to the principal's office for more discipline i.e. the strap.

Standing at attention in front of the principal's office, his secretary (who had just notified him that I had been sent down by my teacher) would leave his office door ajar. I could see the principal removing his pants belt, folding the belt and then tapping it a few times in his hand. He would then open his office door, invite me in and close the door behind me.

The actual physical act or visual of being given the 'strap' was overshadowed by the sound of the belt smacking both my hands, palms open. 'Whack, whack, whack ... Whack, whack!'

Miss Douglas would also throw chalk and/or the chalk brush at her pupils.

october crisis episode

I recall quite vividly, I must have been seven years old, it was mid-evening; my mother was wearing a housecoat standing in the doorway of the front balcony and looking towards the sky. I had gone towards her and asked what she was looking at.

I heard a loud sound, a motor? I also looked up to the sky and saw the sound I was hearing. It was an army helicopter flying overhead and the sound I heard was the helicopter propellers.

My mother responded that there was an army helicopter flying above and that I should return to my room. I asked her "Why?" She calmly told me to "Just do what you are told I'll be in soon to say goodnight." For a moment I felt there was more than just an army helicopter flying above. I did what I was told to do, I returned to my room.

It was only years later while I was attending junior high school, that the memory made sense to me. During a history class the teacher was discussing and trying to explain to his pupils the events of the October Crisis.

From 1963-1970 the Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ), engaged in terrorist acts and activities. Issuing declarations to overthrow the government of Quebec and calling for the independence of Quebec from Canada.

Numerous mailboxes were targeted and bombed. Other targets included recruitment offices, Montreal City Hall and the Montreal Stock Exchange.

1968, 'Trudeaumania' was sweeping the nation. Pierre Elliot Trudeau's entry into the leadership race of the Liberal Party of Canada, garnered excitement among large fan bases who admired his socially liberal stances and were dazzled by his charm. His popularity was such that he would often be asked to sign autographs or be photographed.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau would go on to win the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada and become the 15th Prime Minister of Canada.

October 1970, British Trade Commissioner James Cross is kidnaped. Quebec's Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte is also kidnapped and later executed. By request of the Canadian Government, military presence is sent to patrol the Montreal region.


Excerpted from Reantasy, Montreal by David Makin. Copyright © 2015 David Makin. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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