One of the titles drawn from the coffee can at the 'Memoir Writing Group' yesterday afternoon was 'A Party' which gave me ideas for this blog.
I have never liked parties very much although - when invited - I usually attend.
In 1951 or '52 Dad was able to rent - and then purchase - the Finnegan House which was at the corner of Kaptey Avenue and Finnegan Street back up on Dawes Hill.
At that time our maternal grandparents were still living in the house near the Ruskin Dam which Granddad had built after his previous home had been destroyed by a fire. When Granddad passed away a bungalow a block away from our house - at the corner of Montgomery and Kaptey Avenues - came on the market and Grandma used the equity from the former house in order to purchase it.
Our new house was a lot more commodious than any of the houses in which we had lived. There were 8 rooms (living, dining and kitchen - as well as the 'spare room' which was off of the kitchen - and four bedrooms on the upper floor). A few years after we moved into there Dad decided upon some renovations. The 'spare bedroom' on the main floor was awkward - actually, it was right behind the stove so, if there was a fire, there would be little chance for any occupants to escape from it. In consultation with a contractor it was decided to close the wall behind the stove and then to remove the west wall of that room which made what was a small living room into a larger 'L-shaped' room. The TV was placed in front of the refurbished east wall and then to move the piano from the southeast corner to where it backed onto the stairwell which led up to the bedrooms.
In the meantime Grandma made new friends - mainly from the Women's Auxiliary at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch in New Westminster. Soon she asked Mom and Dad if she could host a party for her Legion buddies in the increased space of our reconfigured living room.
These new friends were widows of World War I veterans. Most of these women were British - Grandma did not like to associate with any people who were NOT British! - and two of them were originally from Scotland. How these 'Old Girls' loved to party!
We had a telephone but the next door neighbors did not so members of that family were often over at our house so they could make telephone calls (or we would run next door for one of them to answer an incoming call). They were a musical family so they fit right in with our family and Grandma's guests.
I was in my late teens by this time and Alda was already dating 'Happy' Crandell so the three of us were there as well. 'Happy' was his nickname and it suited his personality very well. At the party he was wearing a shirt that glittered in the lamplight - also, he was wearing a pair of 'leopard' briefs under his slacks which one of these old gals spotted - and then the chase was on.
More than one of the older ladies wanted to wear the shirt and to have a good look at those briefs so he ran with them chasing him (he was afraid of what could happen if one of these 'Old Girls' actually caught him!). It was hilarious. The only neighbors who would have been disturbed by the raucous laughter were the Ricords and most of them were already with us.
I know that there were other social gatherings which were held at our house but this party - and one or two others which followed - are the only ones which I remember.
I don't believe that I have a photograph of that living room but - if I find one - I will scan it and place it here.