Monthly Archives: July 2016

Friday July 1, 2016

I was able to project this type of thinking onto Lawrence because this is exactly how my mind worked. Friends who have known me since grade school now tell me I was a serious pain in the wazoo…but likeable!

Tuesday July 5, 2016

This scenario dates back to my own childhood. My brother and I would torment each other by simply staring. This "game" even had a name: it was "Seeing" (from the lament, "Daddy! She’s seeing at me!") This could get intensely annoying, and when my brother finally broke down and asked Dad to intervene, he got into the act. He invented the "one eye see," the "two eye half see," the "blinking see," and so on. With Dad ready to play the game along with us, the sport quickly lost its competitive sting and we gave it up. That is until I told my kids about it…and the tradition carried on.

Friday July 8, 2016

My dad had a friend who’d had surgery on his throat. The result was that he couldn’t speak. He had learned to talk by what Dad said was called, "an educated burp." This fascinated my brother and me, so Dad challenged us to see how much of the alphabet we could recite in one long burp. Unimpressed, Mom told us off—saying we should have better things to do with our time. As soon as she was out of earshot, Dad, my brother and I continued our efforts. Yes, Dad didn’t have to do much to convince Alan and me, and all the kids in the neighbourhood that he was one of us.

Monday July 11, 2016

The cherry tree in our front yard on Fifth Street was tall and sturdy, and one branch afforded us a great view of the neighbours’ houses. Every time we hid up there, we hoped to see something important, something about which we could tell the police. If we didn’t see anything, it didn’t matter. Alan and I could always make something up.

Friday July 15, 2016

While writing this short vignette, I remembered very clearly the vigils we made in our cherry tree. I could feel the branches, smell the leaves, sense the movement of the tree, and anticipate the pummeling my mother would give us if she caught us up there. A cartoonist has to have a good memory and an even better sense of "what if?"

Sunday July 17, 2016

This is a scene from my childhood…trying to jump off the high diving board at Mahon Park pool. We called the pool, "Typhoid Tank" because it was emptied infrequently, and when it was, the water was so cold, you thought you’d die. Nobody ever died from the cold water, but we sure took our chances on that board!

Tuesday July 19, 2016

This vignette had its roots in another story from my childhood:

Across the lane from our house on 5th Street, lived the Doucette family. Their back yard faced ours, and Teddy Doucette was one of my adventurous buddies. His sister, Annette, was a teenager a few years older than we were, and everything she did was of great interest to us. The Doucettes had a small wartime house much like ours, but their attic had an outside access with a ladder going up to it—a wonderful place to play and hide. The floors in their house were thin and made of painted wooden slats. The attic was directly above. In the ceiling of Annette’s bedroom, a small knot had been carefully pried open, and from inside the attic, Teddy and I could spy into her room. We could see only a very small area, but the thought of watching her unseen was great fun. (Continued tomorrow).

Wednesday July 20, 2016

(Continued from yesterday)…What we didn’t know was that Annette could hear us in the attic. She had just entered her room when Teddy shifted his weight on the attic floor to get a better look. Suddenly, Annette looked up at the knothole and saw an eye looking back at her. We knew we had a matter of seconds to descend the outside ladder and escape. We just made it to the bottom when both Annette and her dad came roaring out of the house! Teddy and I ran as fast as we could, our legs pumping like mad down the lane and to temporary safety. It was exhilarating and well worth the tongue-lashing we received when we got back home. Teddy was sent to bed without supper. I was sent to my room until my dad came home.

Thursday July 21, 2016

(Continued from yesterday)…I don’t remember what my dad did. He was never much of a disciplinarian. All I can tell you is that he lived vicariously through my brother and me, and if he’d been our age, he would have been in that attic right along with us!

Thursday July 28, 2016

In Kevin’s case, he meant to go to the dump, but an open dumpster in a city lane was an easier repository. What he did was toss in his car keys. I didn’t know how to draw this accurately. It was easier to show his watch go flying into the bin.

Sunday July 31, 2016

Once, at the Winnipeg Airport, Aaron, who had been given a plastic squirt gun, decided to aim at the guard as we went through security. We were all immediately taken to a secure area and searched. Everything was opened, screened, examined and set aside. We were questioned, and sternly let go just before our flight boarded. We thought the guards had been a bit extreme. After all, it was just a toy squirt gun. Still, we made sure our kids never had weaponry of any kind when we went through security.