Mary Cook’s Memories of the ’30s

Delicate Aunt Lena

Nov 15th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook Everyone said Aunt Lena was delicate. We all knew my little cousin Terry, Ronny’s brother, was considered delicate, but the first time I ever heard of a full-grown adult being termed delicate was one day when Mother defended her against Father. He said her condition was manufactured by an over-active mind, and
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Heading to the Ottawa Exhibition

Oct 13th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook Imagine … we were going to the Ottawa Exhibition!  I couldn’t remember ever being so happy.  The biggest fair we had ever been at, of course, was the Renfrew Fair, and I knew this was ever so much more exciting. We were going thanks to Uncle Lou, who sent Mother money all
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Sipping green tea

Sep 14th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook If we had black tea in the house I didn’t know it. I only remember green tea. We bought it loose in brown paper bags from Briscoe’s General Store, or from the Watkin’s or Rawleigh men who came to the house on a regular basis. And we went through pounds of it.
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The gramophone contest

Aug 11th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook Imagine, a gramophone!   After being told many times that the cost of such luxury was simply out of the question, there it sat in all its glory.   It was on the top of a cabinet that could hold a large collection of records.  Well, we had the gramophone but, unless
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Audrey’s first attempt on the Singer sewing machine

Jul 13th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook The old Singer sewing machine was considered a piece of parlour furniture in our house in the ‘30s. To fold it down into the top leaf we had to pull the strap off the wheel, and it hung there like a huge elastic band when not in use. And when Mother wanted
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The Stone boat

Jun 9th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook Father wasn’t much of a talker. If there was a crowd around he would much rather sit and listen.  But when we were alone, like the day I learned all about the stone boat, Father would tell me stories of when he was a little boy, and how his grandparents had come
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Father’s new kimono

May 12th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook We thought Aunt Freda was a little strange. She was the youngest of Father’s sisters and had moved to Chicago when she was young, and no one in Northcote saw or heard of her much after. But once or twice a year a parcel would come, covered with American stamps, wrapped in
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Chrissy’s coat

Mar 10th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook Mother thought that it was God’s blessing that Aunt Edith didn’t have any children – they would have gotten short shift. That was because all her attention was lavished on her big orange cat, and a dog the size of a minute by the name of Chrissy. The dog came from a
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Learning the art of making bread

Jan 19th, 2017 | By

By Mary Cook Making bread on the farm was not considered a major chore back in the 30s. Mother turned out loaf after loaf as easily as she did tea biscuits, which were part of just about every meal. Mother was a very organized person, and I can remember so well how the job always
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The Christmas concert at the Northcote school

Dec 9th, 2016 | By

By Mary Cook The school was brightly coloured that year. The normally grey walls were covered with all our Christmas drawings, and a big spruce tree stood in the corner at the front of the room. It was decorated in popcorn balls and tinsel which were carried over year after year, carefully stowed away by
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