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Fumigated Parcels & Cobblestone Streets

I was raised at 606 Argyle at the corner of Wyandotte St. E. in Walkerville. My siblings were Paul, Ferol, Doreen, Kenneth (deceased), Eugene, Bernadette and Ruth Ann (adopted). Mom had so many kids with birthdays in June the Windsor Star ran our picture with our huge cake!

Our house was originally a cottage but my dad added on quite a bit. For a while he ran his business (National Fumigating & Pest Control) out of a small front room which was first a porch then a sun porch. He later moved the business to Riverside at Louis.
Across the street was the Oak family, next door were the Gordon’s, then Mrs. Windsor’s grandson Lloyd Pike, then the Jenner’s, then Terry Baker and his sister Candace. (Terry was my best friend and was killed in a motorcycle accident in the summer of 1963.) Further down were other small cottages, and then an apartment block.

And there was Mr. & Mrs. Smee who lived a block or two over (I remember her kids had bright red hair and the family had a huge St. Bernard dog). My father rented their garage where he built a secure vault to fumigate parcels before they were shipped overseas. Believe me, this was really a BIG deal in Walkerville and Windsor as it was Federal law that outgoing and incoming parcels be fumigated and Dad was the only guy qualified to do it. We even fumigated entire ships holds when they arrived in port either in Amherstburg, Walkerville and sometimes in Detroit. The post office would arrange for my dad to pick up parcels from ships and trains, etc. Sometimes my brothers and I would deliver the fumigated parcels to their owners.

We used to walk to Borden’s Dairy for ice cream cones or milk shakes on Sundays. Argyle was a sort of cobblestone street which used to flood when it rained too hard. We used to splash about and have a ball. When you’re small, that much water seems like a lake! I even placed some of my artwork under the new cement sidewalk years ago (1961?) in a plastic bag and hoped it would be discovered in the “future”. I thought I might become famous I suppose. I bet it is still there.

We had a sheeny-man, a milkman named Floyd and a bread-man.

l-r, Eugene, Bernadette and Michael Parent and Hiram
Walker warehouses, Argyle & Wyandotte, 1950s

I went to St. Anne’s school (Monmouth Rd) with Dick Zudwyk, Andrea Teriault (BIG crush on her), Pam Nichols?, Russell Coola, Dennis Vachon, Dennis Kehoe, Arthur Couvillon, Baelair, Rosemary Levec, Lawrence & Bryan McKay, Mike Powers, Judy Merlo, Barb Deziel, Rosa Piccolo, the Valente boys, Michael Boxford or Botsford, Vicky and Wayne DuLuca, and many others. The principal was Sister St. Viator, teachers were Mrs. Pratt, Sister Monica, Father Boyd (Fridays). My science teacher Mr. LeBlanc was one cool guy. In grade six I grew cotton for a science project and they put my picture in the Star.

When I was ten years old to 13, I delivered Saturday Evening Post magazines to people in the Argyle apartment buildings and to homes around the area so I could earn the money to buy a new two wheeler. Since my dad moved out and wasn’t helping us much, I wanted to help. I ended up buying a used “balloon tire” double-bar with a huge steel carrier in front. The other kids had CCM’s and Schwinns, so I was a bit of an outcast, but the idea was to deliver those magazines and perhaps even groceries so I could make even more money to help Mom. However, I never did get a job delivering heavy bags of groceries. I ended up working after school for Ottawa Pharmacy delivering prescriptions and so on. Same money, less work. After I gave mom money from my pay I always had a little extra to go to Jack’s corner store (just up from St. Anne’s school on Monmouth) and get treats at lunchtime. Those other kids didn’t have much to say when they saw my spending cash!
Micheal Parent, BC
P.S. I wonder if any of your readers might have any old pictures of the Argyle Road.


Honorary King Edward Grad

I enjoy The Times so much and have so many stories to tell you about my days in my home town of Walkerville.

Some time ago readers wrote about the King Edward School Principal, Mr. O.M. Stonehouse, and referred to him as Old Man Stonehouse. I remember those days very well. His real name was Oliver Morten Stonehouse. He was very strict in the way he ran the school, but he was also kind and caring.

When I was in Grade 3 I had a nervous break down and was away from school for many months. I really had a bad time but Mr. Stonehouse, teachers, nurses, caretakers, and all the staff at King Edward, as well as my wonderful family, neighbours, and church family were there to help me.

When I was 15 I tried to go back to school but just couldn’t make it. That was all the schooling I had.

On May 17th 1993 King Edward had an open house before they tore down the old building. Mr. Stephen Snider (the principal) called me and asked me if I could be there. He had heard that I had not graduated. He decided to take care of that problem by giving me an Honorary Certificate of Graduation.

I was so pleased. (I have it on my bedroom wall.) I thanked Mr. Snider and the people there and said, “When you take down this building I would like to have two bricks from this old school because there are some of my pals here tonight that think I am two bricks short of a full load. With these two bricks I will prove them wrong.” I got the two bricks and I use them every day to hold the mesh when I am hooking rugs. I am Bill “The Happy Rug Hooker.”

My few years at King Edward and the way Mr. Stonehouse and the staff cared for me was a wonderful part of my life that I will never forget. God bless you all.
Bill Muxworthy, Windsor


Shootout Inspires Poet

The February issue of The Times contained a pleasant surprise for me. In 1997, I wrote a poem entitled “The Bank shootout of 1959” in which I offered my perspective of the activities recounted in your article “The Great Bank Robbery of 1959”. I lived at 923 Chilver (just a couple of blocks south of the bank) until 1962.


The Bank Shootout of 1959


On the tired corner of a once
Proud thoroughfare and a
Would-be prestigious street
Now cluttered with boarding houses
And resale shops
Stands a building of the style popular
At the turn of the century
When banks were
Ominous and imposing
And entry was a fearful event.
Across the street, a dairy bar,
Dulled yellow with large windows
Featuring enticing signs;
Milkshakes twenty cents,
Malts twenty-five,
Looked over upon the bank.
On an afternoon when boys
Were drinking shakes.
Discussing events,
Robbers set upon the bank
But bungled the job
Resulting in the arrival of the police
And a real gun fight in the space
Between bank and dairy bar.
Wide-eyed the boys watched the drama
Played out over only a few minutes
But whose vivid images
Remain with them even now,
Except for one boy, who fearful
That his investment would disappear
Sat sipping at the back of the store
Until his drink was gone,
So too the gunfight,
Leaving him with only
A brief memory of chocolate.

Joe Patterson, St. Clair Beach

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