Living Without Electricity!! When was your last experience?? Stan With Memories!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_0012 Our Deer in Woods NOT BAD PICLois and I live in Peaks Village at Calabogie, ON which is outside of the nation’s capital, Ottawa. See pic on left. This is our oldest son’s ski chalet; the Ski Hill being called Calabogie Peaks! Pic on right, taken April of 2015 is of 3 deer.  Pic taken out our back window.  (Click on pix to expand) As you will observe, we literally “live in the bush”!!

We shuffle once a week in the town of Renfrew, about a 40 minute drive from Calabogie. To-day we had 5 Roll Out Courts in action which is about the norm for the summer months.  To-day we arrived at our Chalet about 16:00 and the Garage Door Opener fails to function? One of our “guesses” was that we were experiencing a power failure!! This was confirmed as we entered the Chalet. We fixed our “Four O-Clock Drink” and for insurance purposes, I stoked the fire. Yes, we heat with a wood stove, albeit not quite like the old fashioned cook stoves. Within minutes Lois had water boiling on the stove; potatoes frying,  parsnips cooking and some type of meat. We both reflected that just maybe the power failure was “Not That Bad”!! I topped up my dinner with Peanut Butter Ice Cream and Maple Syrup, while enjoying a Cup of Tea!! Can’t get any better than that.

As we sat quietly, enjoying our tea, we both reflected on the absence of any audio?? No fans; no fridge running in the background; no electric clock sounds; no telephone; no microwave; in fact no electric lights?? BUT MOST OF ALL NO TV?? The silence was deafening!! To-day, 2015 04 21 was Budget Day in Canada. We had made sure we were home in time to watch the extensive coverage of this most important day in Canada.

This made me at least, think of the time when we had no TV, no TV at all!!   Television hit Canada circa 1952.  In 1952 I was 16 years old ~~ almost an adult or at least I thought I was!!  Few homes had television.  In fact CBC TV made its debut on September 08, 1952.  Percy Saltzman was the weather man >> long before all the computer animation which we now have (now being 2007) and I must report that “Percy” passed away this very week in his home in Winnipeg >> 2007 01 18.  Percy’s trademark was that at the end of his presentation he always tossed the chalk in the air and of course caught it.  The weather presentation was done by chalk in those days!!! 

My grandchildren will no doubt wonder how “their Grandpa” survived without CBC!!!  In fact CBC Radio hit the airwaves the very year of my birth ~~ 1936!! Do you suppose that explains in part my loyalty and unqualified support and devotion for what has to be our most venerable institution?  For the record our family did not listen to CBC Radio, rather our floor consular radio was most often tuned to CFRB Toronto which was and continued for many years to be Canada’s most listened to radio station.  It was Jimmy Hunter at 18:30 every evening who gave the News, News that was carefully followed because Canada Was At War!!  I must regretfully acknowledge that I also have memories of listening to When A Girl Marries and Portia Faces Life.  One began at 17:00 hrs. and the other 30 minutes later. 

Television; television that had 2 stations at most, one from Toronto and one from Buffalo; TV that was only in Black and White; TV that required one to leave the chair to change the channel; TV that from time to time required adjustment of the horizontal oscillator or even the vertical oscillator; TV that regularly required adjustment of the horizontal and vertical width; TV that users believed was best viewed in a darkened room ~~ and seldom was casual conservation permitted.  

Our 1st family TV came sometime prior to 1952; 1952 is referenced because that is when Canada obtained their 1st TV Network >> CBC. It was in 1948 or 1949 when we got our very first TV; accordingly, we watched Buffalo TV at least until CBC came on the air in 1952. Dad had purchased tickets in support of some charity.  1st place was a 17 Inch RCA Victor Floor Model TV ~~ top of the line.  He had placed my sister’s name on the tickets (Phyl being my sister).  The TV was placed in the spare bedroom off the kitchen.  The curtains were drawn; the lights turned off or very low, and the family hushed as we begin our marriage with Television.  A couple of points.  The TV Antennae had been erected and had been appropriately directed toward the Buffalo Station ~~ regretfully because my parents believed nefariously that Buffalo carried better programmes than did CBC!!!!!   I guess it is true that intelligence is enhanced through the generations!!!  He he!! I have a specific memory of inviting the Snowdons, our neighbor, down to watch a Horse Race ~~ perhaps the Kentucky Derby.  Remember, TV was novel, TV was new and McCormacks were among the elite with this brand new wonder machine.  All sat in quiet awe and wonder until the race had been concluded and the Snowdons left impressed!!  Some TV highlights; of the DAY; the Ed Sullivan Show that regularly had Wayne and Shuster, that later was first to have the Beatles perform; Elvis Presley first appeared on the Dorsey Brothers Show; Arthur Godfrey had a great show; and Ted Mack and the Amateur Hour.  Note that regretfully I have not mentioned one show from this era that was featured on CBC.  

Back to Peaks Village in Calabogie, 2015 04 21. Power remains off at 20:00 as I type this article. I can do so as I have a Laptop with batteries. The Internet is off; the phone is off? Consistent with the message I am attempting to convey, I kind of hope the power remains off the rest of the evening. I think the absence of Power, the absence of noise brings “family” closer together. In our case a family of two at this time, but 80 years ago, this was the norm for many North Americans!! Electricity did not hit the rural areas until the 30s, and the endless number of electrical appliances BEGAN about that time. 

Are we any better off with the endless number of “appliances”? It is at times like this, a time when we lose our “appliances”, that gives one the opportunity to reflect; to think about the way our parents or grandparents lived. Question? Will our children be able to “reflect”? They will, ONLY if we ensure the record is maintained, ONLY if we share our stories with them.  IF YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE, PLEASE SEND IT ALONG!

Power is on which allows me to post this!! Stan McCormack 2015 04 21





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8 Responses to Living Without Electricity!! When was your last experience?? Stan With Memories!!

  1. isa.president.michael says:

    Stan, There is a direct correlation to days before electricity and appliances and huge families. Not much else to do eh! Since you journeyed back to that era …have Lois take a pregnancy test. Hahaha



    Sent by I-Phone



  2. Alfie Mangan says:

    Great Article and Great Reminiscences, Stan, We, too lived those times. Alfie



  3. Henry Strong says:

    Hi Stan. Do you have any ideal how many shufflers there are in Canada.

    Sent from my iPad



  4. stanistheman says:

    Reblogged this on The Celebration Is Over! The Adventure Begins and commented:

    Two years ago to the day I posted this article. IF YOU have a story, I will be glad to post!! Send along to Stan McCormack.


  5. peter white says:

    I had forgotten that Percy would throw his chalk at the end of his predictions. Indeed, I’d forgotten Percy. Thanks for bringing him back. Born in 37 I listened to a lot of radio. Didn’t get our TV until 53 or 54. Before that watching TV was through store front windows. Radio was great for the imagination. As a lad I sent 25 cents from Brantford to a place called Battle Creek, Michigan for a Lone Ranger secret ring that never arrived.
    Later in Toronto it was The Happy Gang at noon that didn’t make me particularly happy. The BBC in London was calling North America, A visit with the Craigs and Farm Prices for things like canners and cutters which, one could only imagine what they were.
    Morris Boddington described his program as having wit, wisdom, a bit of friendly philosophy and a few items from Morris’s own scrap book. Just A Minute from England with Kenneth Williams was always a treat. Lets not forget Mr. Kean, tracer of lost persons, The Proctor & Gamble Hour “Rinso White, Rinso Bright, Happy Little Washday Soap”.
    Should our hydro fail tomorrow, the stories of Alice Monro would entertain and delight – by candle light, if necessary.

    Row, row, row your boat
    Gently down the stream.
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
    Life is but a dream.

    Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,
    Life is but a dream.

    Life is……But a……Dream.


  6. John Heron says:

    A great article , we had a floor model T V with doors on the front of the cabinet. Those stupid doors why did we need doors ? I thought , I saved labels of Bee Hive Corn syrup sent them in for an 8by 10 glossy of a Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey player. Great memories


  7. Pingback: We Tell You Just A Little About Peter and Margaret White | Your Source for Shuffleboard News

  8. Pingback: Shuffleboard Reading Over the Holiday!!! | Your Source for Shuffleboard News

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