nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘slide show

from the pages of an old diary – entertainment

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One of the themes included in my great-aunt’s diaries is entertainment, to balance all the housework and community work.

T.V. was a new source of amusement.  Before my great-aunt and great-uncle got their first T.V. on May 7, 1957, her diary includes many visits to friend’s houses to watch their televisions.  For example on March 10, 1957, she watched a program at a friend’s home on the famous Anna Swan (Anna Haining Swan, 1846 – 1888, was born in Nova Scotia and grew to a height of 8 feet).  

After they bought their own T.V. , my great-aunt recorded the names of friends and family who came in to watch T.V., often to see the fights (Sept. 28, 1957) or wrestling (Sept. 21, 1957) with her husband.

Other at-home entertainment, especially during winter, included playing cards (Feb. 28, 1957), bridge (March 2, 1957), or Chinese Checkers (Feb. 4, 1954).

Another pass-time was watching ‘slides’.  These were 35 mm slides, taken with a camera, mounted in cardboard, and projected on a screen or on the wall.  In our first house in Medicine Hat, my Dad installed a pull-down screen so we could project our vacation slides.  I still have a rickety slide projector which invariably ‘sticks’ during each use, making for an annoying experience.

Several times a year, they went to the ‘show’.  She records seeing “Anne of Green Gables” [various versions were available by 1955] on January 1, 1955, “High Society” [1956] with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong on May 28, 1957, and a “A Man Called Peter” [1955] on June 25, 1956.  On July 2, 1956, she stayed home all day to read Catherine Marshall’s book A Man Called Peter (1951)!  Other shows they saw included “Gone With the Wind”  [1939]  with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh on March 22, 1955  ( ‘…was 55 [cents]  beautiful scenery.’) and “White Christmas” (1954) with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen on March 6, 1956. 

They also attended live shows from time to time.  On June 25, 1957 she wrote about Don Messer and the Islanders giving their last performance before the summer.  Don Messer was a band leader and fiddler with a popular television show called Don Messer’s Jubilee. The show was broadcast from CBC in Halifax, Nova Scotia from August 1957 to 1969.

They also attended community-based events: graduations, funerals, weddings, and baby showers. There were events on the ‘Festival grounds’ and ‘entertainment at church by the Men’s Club’. 

The other form of entertainment was the ‘drive’.   My great-aunt loved to go for drives and recorded trips to various communities in the region, to New Glasgow or Truro for shopping, or to River John (Aug. 28, 1957) or Wallace (Aug. 25, 1957).  Sometimes, they bought lobster on these drives.  Two or three times a year there would be a longer, over-night trip, to Saint John in New Brunswick to see her son’s family, or to Annapolis in Nova Scotia.

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slide show

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the fan whirrs

the bulb blares

and fingers burn

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a turn, a click and a push 

and there they are

three kids on a beach at Advocate

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pull, turn, push and click

grandmother

and grandson

him in a Shear Tip

apple crate

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pull, turn, push and click

and the cardboard sticks

and sticks

and sticks

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© Jane Tims  2012

 

Written by jane tims

February 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

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