May 23, 1975 email@example.com Cambridge ON CA Sr. Systems Engineer barnabyjeans.ca Married 2 1994 For sure
firstname.lastname@example.org Mississauga ON CA Sales Representative Married 4 1971 Yuuuuuup !
February 14, 1950 email@example.com RR#1 22 Lyndhurst Ave Simcoe ON CA N3Y4J9 Retired Teacher Married 3 1969 Possibly.
SSS Cafeteria Top 10 From the 1960’s
Honey Dipped donuts at 25 cents a pop. Forget the mystery meat and the greasy fries, I want my honey dipped donut or that secondary choice CHOCOLATE DIPPED!!!!
John Pope, our guy in the hotdog eating contest. We slathered his dogs with mustard because he ate bologna sandwiches every day at lunch. Little did we know that John loved relish on those sandwiches? Way to take one for the team, Johnny.
Wayne Wright with a huge bowl of spaghetti dumped on his head. Priceless!
Euchre games by the hour, by the day, by the 200 day school year. Forget the table talk, the signals and the BS. We had fun killing time between the last bite and the first bell.
School dances and the drunk’ tank. Watching buddies get reamed out in that cafeteria and interrogated by those teachers who really did care and watched over us. I surely appreciate that now.
Wrestling meets held on the floor when all the tables were pushed back. Watching the Brantford School for the Blind kick our sighted asses.
The cafeteria ladies who were like surrogate moms. They kibitzed, cajoled and generally talked our ears off as we followed the line, prison style.
The outdoor court where in five years at SSS I never once saw a human eating, relaxing or sunning themselves. It was like we were monkeys in a cage. The windows gave us a great view of the out-of-doors anyway.
Having the Art Room kitty-corner to the cafeteria. Gerry Weber would let you slip in there to finish up a project if you weren’t up for euchre that particular day. I remember listening to Dylan or Gordon Lightfoot as we worked on our masterpieces.
The cafeteria was the cloak room at school dances. It also could be the make-out room if you timed it just right.
Southwood’s Storied Gymnasium
I’m thinking it was in 1961 or 1962 that me and my Dumfries St. homies started trespassing on the Southwood SS construction site. We quickly recognized that great big honking’ space was, indeed, the school’s gymnasium. Hey, we knew that this was our new high school and that in a matter of time we’d be hitting the hardwood and playing some of the games we loved. Little did we know that there was a whole gamut of “new” games to be encountered? And, what the heck, we were coming from St. Andrew’s school and any space being bigger than that cement floored utility room in the basement would be a huge improvement on our physical activity program.
We were excited in grade eight to be invited up to the new school for an introduction to basketball clinic. That gym seemed cavernous and the smack-smack sound of basketballs on the hardwood floor was music to our ears. We felt entitled. We felt like pros.
Hell, Jim Steele and I were more used to shooting hoops in his backyard and, yes, we did attach a peach basket with bottom cut out to the clothes line pole. Have you ever tried dribbling on the grass? We did, as we perfected our “one-on-one moves” and our outside shooting. With no backboard we were forced to make every basket a swish. Those over the clothesline shots from “deep” in the corn rows of Granny Steele’s garden were legend.
On our first visit to SSS, and much to our chagrin, we were required to dress in the girl’s change room. Imagine our surprise when we found that 25 cent machine on the wall. The second week of training all of us brought our quarters to see just what that machine produced. Many of us didn’t know what that darned thingy was, given that sex education was not a part of the curriculum at that time. No, that was a home study course, and in many homes it wasn’t even a prerequisite. My dad handed me a book and said, “Read this!”
No matter, Cam Allen took care of our sexual insecurities in Grade 9 and 10. He’d take us up to that little classroom/cubbyhole above the gym and show us black and white films on dating, relationships, VD and sexual reproduction. We’d practice what we observed by sketching explicit diagrams in the back pages of some of our textbooks, on the back of locker doors and bathroom stalls. This was a brave new world for many of us. But, don’t get me wrong, it was all good!
Just for the record when Mr. Ken Kay told us in Grade 11 Health Class that, “Once you’re married, sex isn’t such a big deal!” NO ONE BELIEVED HIM!
In grade nine I remember good old “Hokey” Wolf and his Milton School for Boy’s approach to discipline. Screw up and it was face against the folding wall divider, butt extended. The entire class was given one toss of volleyball from about 10 feet; the object being, hurt the SOB with a direct hit. In that precarious position you quickly knew who your friends really were.
Yes, there were those sexy jockstraps we had to get used to wearing. We all remember being snapped from behind. And, for the girls, there was those green puffy legged “thing-a-ma-bobs” they wore, which were obviously part of a conspiracy to suppress male hormones in the school. Group showers had about the same effect.
Fortunately, me and the boys could sit and watch gymnastics practice or competitions where “tights” were, as their name suggests, very revealing to the horny-toads in my company. No one minded that slivers in the butt, as we slid back and forth, was a definite possibility from those old wooden bleacher seats. Hell, at that point in time, no one cared. Getting wood was a priority, not a distraction.
Then there was Colour House in our senior year. I remember drinking beer behind the huge mound of construction earth behind the school, charging into the gym and playing drunken volleyball in front of throngs of cheering fans. And, guess what? We were the freaking House Captains.
“Go, Blue! Go, Blue!”Go Labatt’s Blue!”
Some of you will remember those lacrosse games in the gym after school with Mr. Ward. That was where teachers could legally “lay on the lumber” and pummel some of the students they detested. I remember a few individuals tumbling across that wood floor after a hip check from Ray Ward. Hey, we wore our bruises like medallions in those days. I’ve got the scars to prove it.
You can forget about concerns about concussions in the 1960’s because Paul Agro taught us all to head tackle and block. Seeing stars was part of the game and a good dose of smelling salts got you back in action in a New York minute – sometimes less.
Charging through that gym in our football gear in the middle of a dance was the culmination of our Friday Night Lights. Who remembers listening to Major Hopples Boarding House whilst walking the oval around and around the dance floor on those nights? And, no one will forget being introduced to “Purple Jesus”.
Anyone remember shaving their legs before a taping during football season?
I remember being sequestered into roles on Variety Night, then standing on that stage making an ass of myself. Thank the Lord for “Tommy and Dick” who saved our bacon by making everyone forget about our terrible performances.
There was something special in that gym, though. Hell, two of our Physical Education Teacher’s became Director’s of Education and one a Living Legend. I believe Ray Ward in Waterloo and Ken Kay in Chatham- Kent reached the pinnacle of their education careers. That legend would, of course, be Cam Allen, whose 32 years influencing all of us make him the face of all things sport at good old SSS.
Later in life I learned that Cam was pretty darned good at curling. The team I played on often got our asses kicked by Cam’s crew. Did I mention that Ken McKenzie was part of Cam’s team? At least in curling all I heard from Mr. McKenzie was, “SWEEEEEEEEP! SWEEEEEP!” and not the accustomed, “3:20, Johnson!”
My participation in sport and my involvements in that gym have carried me through life. As a teacher, I coached and taught Physical Education for nearly thirty years at the elementary and secondary level. I also coached OBA REP basketball for over 10 years, and organized tournaments and clinics in our county. Many of my beginnings, and most of my beliefs about physical activity came out of those years at Southwood and, in particular, the countless activities in that little gym.
Indeed, I had my 15 minutes of fame this past September when I was interviewed by David Grossman on Sportsnet the FAN 590. He wanted to know about my beliefs regarding physical activity in High School, all in support of Steve Friessen’s “RAISE THE BAR PROGRAM” and a conference Steve was holding in Guelph in October. I even mentioned an intramural hockey program we ran at SSS in 1969 during that interview.
You can listen to the interview here:
But the penultimate experience occurred for me this past April. There I was sitting in the exact same spot at SSS where I watched Vann, McKenzie, Lewis and the boys play their High School Basketball. Those wooden bleachers were just as hard and uncomfortable but I was watching my 17 year old son play for the Waterloo Wildhawks in the Luke Santi Tournament Memorial Basketball Tournament. Forty-two years had flown by. I had come full circle and I couldn’t help but dredge up a thousand memories and just as many emotions.
Here’s the video of that experience. Do you recognize the old place?
Really the gym itself is much as it was when we all took physical education there. It has the same look, the same smell and the same feel. The only difference is that now our kids or our children’s kids are the ones running up and down that floor. That, my friends, is our legacy. That, my friends, is a fact of life.
What goes around comes around, right?
For that reason, fifty years is really not that long in the big picture of things. You’ll see what I mean when you sit in the GYM in June and the memories flood in. Be prepared!
Kelleigh Wing (Johnson)
firstname.lastname@example.org Cambridge ON CA 2 1989 If I am here, I will be there
Patti Lemm (Johnson )
April 22, 1963 email@example.com Cambridge '' CA teacher Married 2 1982 yes
April 14, 1953 grantj@sympatico 518 Waterloo Street South Cambridge ON CA N3H1P2 Retired Married 1971 Probably
June 05, 1964 firstname.lastname@example.org 71 Hansen Avenue Ottawa ON CA K2K 2L7 Product Manager Married 1 1983 Maybe
Fiona White (Kelly)
October 28, 1957 email@example.com 19 Fallingbrook Cres. Lindsay ON CA K9V 0B3 Public Health Director Married 3 1975 Yes
pamela Gollop (kent)
June 26, 1960 firstname.lastname@example.org 34 woodland dr cambridge ON CA N1R 2X9 night co-ordinator, community living cambridge 3 1978 yes
Jenna Ramdoo (Kidman)
January 18, 1980 email@example.com Ayr CA Real Estate Law Clerk Married 1 1999 Maybe