Snapshots and Images, Part 3

Curious what this is about? Read part one of Snapshots and Images here, and part two here.

67. Do you have a special memory associated with a major event?

Laurel: I remember the sights and sounds of Expo 86. The feeling of joy every day. Pavilions and rides and food and company all summer.

Lynn: I was invited to receive a star on the Toronto Walk of Fame. That was major enough for me!

68. Have you had an awesome moment on a trip? 

Laurel: I remember standing with a friend high up in the Alps in Italy, looking down at fields far below us and later, in Australia, going on a riverboat and seeing crocodiles swim beside us.

Lynn: High in the mountains of Peru, I was invited into a farmhouse to see how it was built and how the owners lived. The family was lovely. I felt honoured. In China, we were carried on bamboo chairs up a steep hillside to a “Minority Village.” The view from the top was spectacular and the women—who were known to have the longest hair in the world—would remove their hats (for a small fee) and let us see their hair cascade down to the ground. 

69. Have you ever done something just plain silly? 

Laurel: My friend Judy and I jumped, fully clothed, into the outdoor pool at Second Beach then drove, soaking wet, to the White Spot carhop section for burgers. Another time we parked the car, a Morris Minor, by the side of a grassy hill and rolled, log fashion, down the hill, laughing all the way.

Lynn: I have done countless silly things. Beer and Skits in Lynn Lake was an annual onstage, drunken blowout. I always played a role. Public speaking also comes to mind. 

70. Do you have a memory of the wind blowing in your hair?

Laurel: I do. My husband is a car guy and we have three convertibles. One is a 1936 British car, another a 1956 British car. And we had the exciting privilege of lapping the track at Le Mans, in France, in an open Lagonda…the wind blowing our hair.

Lynn: When my hair was so long I couldn’t easily dry it with a blow dryer, I’d stand on the porch and let it dry in the wind. My grandmother used to do the same thing and I always loved to watch her.

71. Have you ever held smooth beach stones?

Laurel: The most blissful, peaceful way to zone out and get away from stress. I remember having a handful of smooth beach pebbles, warmed by the sun on the beach at our cabin, sniffing the seawater still clinging to them.

Lynn: My brother and I spent countless hours on Sandy Beach—just below our grandparents’ house in West Vancouver. We found more than smooth stones! We brought home some of the best beach glass ever. And crabs.

72. What was your favourite Halloween costume? Halloween treat? 

Laurel: I remember apples covered in caramel and popcorn balls.

Lynn: My favourite Halloween costume was made by my parents. I was a cowgirl on a horse. They made the clothes, the horse, and fake stuffed legs that went over the side. It was a work of art. My favourite candy was the wrapped taffy that tasted like molasses. Nobody else liked them, so they were all for me! 

73. Did you have a favourite movie or television star? Sports celebrity? Chef or other professional you admire?

Laurel: I met Tom Selleck…such a nice man. He was kind and patient with the fans lining the walk outside his movie shoot. Also met model Lauren Hutton years ago. Once again, so respectful of her fans. 

Lynn: My favourite TV star was Danny Kaye, and a close second was Fess Parker. I also loved Peter Sellers and all the Goon Show characters. Keystone Cops were amazing. I loved comedy.

74. The most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen. Where was it? 

Laurel: I remember sunsets over West Van and the ocean from my apartment.    

Lynn: The most beautiful sunset was in a tiny First Nations town in northern Manitoba. The summer sun didn’t go down, it just dipped below the horizon. The entire sky would turn a brilliant pink. You can only see this in the far north.

75. An amazing thing someone did for you that warmed your heart?

Laurel: My husband Colin bought us tickets to see Yanni in concert…up close…as a Christmas present and later agreed to go to see ‘Queen with Adam Lambert’ with me.

Lynn: My daughter has written me some wonderful words on birthday cards and Mother’s day cards. I treasure them.

76. Can you remember a poem from start to finish? 

Laurel: No, not all…but major chunks of many.   

Lynn: Abou Ben Adhem

77. Did you have a sports team you were passionate about as a teenager?

Laurel: I loved The New York Yankees, especially Mickey Mantle and Bobby Richardson and Whitey Ford.

Lynn: Nope.

78. What has been a really fun ride at a fair? 

Laurel: I loved the Tilt-A-Whirl at the P.N.E.

Lynn: I like the tilt-a-whirl too!

79. Do you remember your first kiss?

Laurel: Mine was in Grade Two! Roddie came to our house every Friday to watch ‘Rin Tin Tin’ with me on T.V. He proposed with a ring from a Cracker Jacks box. We broke up when they got their own T.V. and then moved away.

Lynn: My first kiss was in Teddy Doucette’s attic. We were playing spin the bottle and I got to kiss Terry Manning, the love of my life. We were 8. I can still feel the peach fuzz on his upper lip! 

80. Do you remember a favourite teacher? 

Laurel: I remember Miss McQuillan (Grade 7 English teacher) reading ‘The Plague and I’ to us in English at junior high. And I adored Mr. Cooper in Grade 5 and Mrs. Black in Grade 11 and 12.

Lynn: My grade one teacher was someone I loved dearly and will never forget. I remember her face, her hair, what she wore and how she spoke. She drove a pale blue two-door Studebaker and the licence plate was CBJ 386. In For Better or for Worse, the license plate on Elly Patterson’s car was CBJ 386. I was able to reconnect with Mrs. Hindmarch and tell her this. She was 90. 

81. Do you remember a signal your mom might have given you that meant it was time to come home?

Laurel: We came home when any of the moms blew a whistle. That meant we all had to go home.

Lynn: My mom would stand on the front porch and bang a pot with a spoon. We could hear her calling for blocks…but we still took our time!

82. Do you remember hopscotch and hula hoops and marbles and ‘Pick Up Sticks’? 

Laurel: My favourite was ‘Pick Up Sticks’.

Lynn: I remember all those things. My brother and I were particularly good at marbles. We had a sack full!

83. What was your first toy? 

Laurel: I had a stuffed lamb named Bambi when I was a baby. I still have it. And Colleen, the only doll I remember having. I think she had long red, curly hair and a green dress.

Lynn: The first toy I can remember was a rubber teddy-bear type doll. Even when it was new, it was crumbling. What strange material! My absolute favourite teddy bear was a koala bear my grandmother brought me from Australia. It was leather with real fur. One night, my brother wet the bed—and unfortunately, my teddy was in it. Mom dried him out but was unable to wash him. She told me he’d be “a bit whiffy” for a while. My bear’s name became “Whiffy” and to this day, old Whiff sits on a shelf in my studio! 

84. Do you have a first dating memory? 

Laurel: I remember riding on the back of Ian’s motorcycle…he was my first boyfriend.

Lynn: My first date was to my grade 12 graduation. I went with Ken Livingston who now lives in Toronto. We ran into each other a few years ago and spent hours at a pub catching up.

85. What is a favourite memory from school or university? 

Laurel: I remember the Listening Room at the Student Union Building at UBC…listening to records with our headphones on. Singing along to ‘Brown Eyed Girl’.

Lynn: I was the editor of the school annual at North Van High. It was fun and exciting and a lot of work. I saw my drawings in a real publication for the first time. Later, at the Vancouver School of Art, I remember some incredible parties. At one party, we hung screens up all over the room and showed horror movies. The silhouettes of people passing by the screens made it look as though we were all in one giant film. Or, maybe it was the stuff we were inhaling.  

86. Have you ever heard a lion roar? Or another animal make a sound you’ve never hear before?

Laurel: I do remember that lion roar.

Lynn: I heard lions roar when my daughter and I went to Kenya. We were taken out into the Mara and what we saw and heard was unforgettable. At night, there were all kinds of strange sounds. The forests are far from silent in Kenya! 

87. Have you ever sailed a sailboat or paddled a canoe or operated a motorboat?

Laurel: I learned how to canoe. I remember bouncing over the waves in a small boat.

Lynn: I’ve done all 3. I love to be out on the water…and prefer to be in a power boat with a good skipper at the helm.

88. Have you ever sung or played an instrument in front of an audience? 

Laurel: No.

Lynn: I recently played my button accordion at the Eagle’s Pub. Gratefully, the audience was supportive—it was an open mic.

89. Have you ever acted in a play? 

Laurel: Just in elementary school as a walk on.

Lynn: I acted in a play in elementary school but was asked to switch to props and scenery because I kept changing the dialogue. I liked mine better.

90. What is a happy memory about being creative?

Laurel: I love to write and have written 76 social/historical articles for a car club magazine, four romantic suspense novels, 300 poems, a children’s book and a biography of my last year of teaching.

Lynn: As a kid, I went to Saturday morning art classes at the Vancouver Art Gallery. We got to do all kinds of wonderful things. The best times were when we got to take our pottery out of the kiln. Seeing how the glazes ran was a thrill.

91. If you can swim, where did you learn how?

Laurel: I swim very badly but remember the windmill rhythm of a forward crawl.

Lynn: I learned to swim on Bowen Island. Mom was a swimming instructor, so we had no choice! She taught us how to swim efficiently and well and it has saved my life a couple of times.

92. Did you ever learn to whistle?   

Laurel: I absolutely did…when I was about 6. And I remember Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and their famous scene where she teaches him how to whistle.

Lynn: My dad taught me to whistle…or rather he encouraged me when he knew it was something I could do. I don’t think it’s something you can learn…but with practice, you can get pretty good at it!

93. What was your first party?

Laurel: It must have been a birthday party when I was little.

Lynn: The first party I can remember was at a friend’s house. We were all about 6, I guess. I won a dress for my doll and ate store bought cake for the first time.

94. What was the first book you read that became your favourite?

Laurel: It was ‘Anne of Green Gables.’

Lynn: My favourite book was The Wizard of Oz. There were 13 “Oz” books—and I read every one.

95. Did you ever pull a joke on anyone? 

Laurel: I don’t think so.

Lynn: All kinds! The first I can remember is when I put saran wrap over a toilet in the girl’s washroom at school. It worked like a charm…but I bragged about it and had to wash the floor in the stall.

96. Have you ever ridden a horse?   

Laurel: Yes, in the Rocky Mountains on a pack trip. And I took riding lessons in North Vancouver.

Lynn: I rode high into the McGillivary Valley on horseback with a friend. After three days, I had so much respect for the horses. They took us safely and comfortably through some amazing country.

97. What is your favourite dream? 

Laurel: About being at the beach, hearing loud, crashing waves.

Lynn: My favourite dreams are ones where I can fly. I once, in a dream, flew over a valley where everything; trees, plants, flowers, houses were made of precious stones. Magnificent!

98. What is the biggest thing you have ever built? 

Laurel: Probably the woodpile we cut at our cabin.

Lynn: I once helped to build a grain silo on a farm. I had to drive the tractor and lift the steel sides up with the bucket. It was hot, dusty and difficult, but when the time came to celebrate the final rivet, I partied with the rest of the crew—all guys!

99. What is a gift you treasure?

Laurel: A book of story starters my friend Dorothy gave me as a gift.

Lynn: I will always treasure the little pincushion my grandmother gave me. It’s a small porcelain doll and the skirt is made to hold pins and needles. I remember her using it.

100. If you could live life again, what would you be? 

Laurel: Two inches taller, still looking like me, an event planner as a job. I love my family and would want them in my life again.

Lynn: If I can come back to this orb someday…I’d like to be a doctor and I want to play the piano.

There are a zillion more. You may not have memories triggered by these prompts. You will have other ones. Your own snapshots will trigger even more. Have fun and enjoy the smiles I hope this brings you.

Laurel, and my cohort in this, my dear friend Lynn.