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  #81  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2012, 8:47 PM
alittle1 alittle1 is offline
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Shooting Pool in the 'Peg

Ah, nothing was finer than taking Friday afternoons off to go shooting pool. I did this for about three years. I started out getting a note from my Mother, so I could go to the Doctor or Dentist, coupled with the 'was sick' notes to the school. I later started my own collection, in which I ranged from, taking care of a sick aunt; to having to go out of town. I was the comic relief for the teachers of my school, I'm sure they were taking bets on what I would come up with next. I even made the mistake one day of getting my dates mixed up and showing up for class to their amazement; " what are you doing here?"

In my younger day I used to troll the pool rooms from downtown to the 'burbs, looking for a new game. I played with the old guys at King George, down in the basement behind Mitchell-Copp on Hargreave. Waiting and watching for a couple of weeks, while I learned the game of 'skittles' from the English masters. I was called in to play when one of the regs didn't show up. It was a game that made you understand, weight, angles and banks.

I played the basement at Saratoga and watched the great one's hone their skills on the best that Winnipeg had to offer. When Vic, 'the stick' Johnstone brought Chenier to town in the early 60's, Brunswick's Glamour Boy dazzled the wannabee's with his trick shots and brisk style of play during the day. At night, when the paying customers where gone, the real money games started. I can still remember seeing Georges sitting in silence as Merle D ran the table on him, re-racked, and ran the table to the 5 ball, George just walked over and put a G-note in Merle's hand and said good night.

There was the Strand on Garry, next to the Garrick theatre. A very productive pool room that catered to the office worker at noon, the street kids in the afternoon and the 'Fedora- crew' at night. The 'commish' was just around the corner at Ellice and Donald where everyone stopped at before dropping in to shoot stick. The small snack shop at the front did a brisk business selling bars, gum, smokes and mix, while it was open till 10, everything was available for players when required. The big tables offered plenty of room to stretch, the felt was tight and groomed, the cushions were live and it was home for several years. Practice was a two bucks an hour, and any prospects for a game that the proprietor found for you, ended up with a 'fin' or a 'saw-buck' in the corner pocket for ole Bill. Valet parking was available if you had a good night and the Rupert Street street car was there for those who didn't keep the peace.

One of the nicer two table pool halls was AAC on Arlington at Flora. Pop's on Tache was convenient until the Big Snow of Feb./60 caved in the roof. Esquire and the 'Rio' were nice downtown halls that catered to the workingman. It would be a sin if I didn't mention Obee's Pool Hall, a North End Tradition.
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  #82  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2012, 9:51 PM
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This thread is awesome.
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  #83  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 10:44 PM
Mabel30 Mabel30 is offline
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King George Billiard Parlour

I couldn't believe it when I saw mention of this establishment. My great uncle John Clark McConnachie was the proprietor there from 1912-1930. I'm the family historian and have been trying to find out more information about him and his place. You seem to know something about it and I'd love to hear where I could find out more. I've Google Mapped the street address which was 334 Portage, right near Hargrave, but of course everything looks different today. Obviously the old building was torn down and the landscape quite changed. Can you or anyone else on the link tell me what they know? Thanks.
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  #84  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 5:22 PM
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Some of my good memories that took place in Winnipeg include going for bike rides to downtown Winnipeg with friends for an adventure in the summer. I would sometimes take pictures with my digital camera. I also remember playing soccer outside with my friends in a field in our suburb. This was all a few years ago.

Some of my best memories where probably going on road trips or taking plane rides to other places. Even just going to Kenora was a good trip with a trip to the chip truck in store. I liked how in Kenora the roads were of a different material then back home in Winnipeg, or at least I thought they where.
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  #85  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 1:17 AM
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Originally Posted by alittle1 View Post
Ah, nothing was finer than taking Friday afternoons off to go shooting pool. I did this for about three years. I started out getting a note from my Mother, so I could go to the Doctor or Dentist, coupled with the 'was sick' notes to the school. I later started my own collection, in which I ranged from, taking care of a sick aunt; to having to go out of town. I was the comic relief for the teachers of my school, I'm sure they were taking bets on what I would come up with next. I even made the mistake one day of getting my dates mixed up and showing up for class to their amazement; " what are you doing here?"

In my younger day I used to troll the pool rooms from downtown to the 'burbs, looking for a new game. I played with the old guys at King George, down in the basement behind Mitchell-Copp on Hargreave. Waiting and watching for a couple of weeks, while I learned the game of 'skittles' from the English masters. I was called in to play when one of the regs didn't show up. It was a game that made you understand, weight, angles and banks.

I played the basement at Saratoga and watched the great one's hone their skills on the best that Winnipeg had to offer. When Vic, 'the stick' Johnstone brought Chenier to town in the early 60's, Brunswick's Glamour Boy dazzled the wannabee's with his trick shots and brisk style of play during the day. At night, when the paying customers where gone, the real money games started. I can still remember seeing Georges sitting in silence as Merle D ran the table on him, re-racked, and ran the table to the 5 ball, George just walked over and put a G-note in Merle's hand and said good night.

There was the Strand on Garry, next to the Garrick theatre. A very productive pool room that catered to the office worker at noon, the street kids in the afternoon and the 'Fedora- crew' at night. The 'commish' was just around the corner at Ellice and Donald where everyone stopped at before dropping in to shoot stick. The small snack shop at the front did a brisk business selling bars, gum, smokes and mix, while it was open till 10, everything was available for players when required. The big tables offered plenty of room to stretch, the felt was tight and groomed, the cushions were live and it was home for several years. Practice was a two bucks an hour, and any prospects for a game that the proprietor found for you, ended up with a 'fin' or a 'saw-buck' in the corner pocket for ole Bill. Valet parking was available if you had a good night and the Rupert Street street car was there for those who didn't keep the peace.

One of the nicer two table pool halls was AAC on Arlington at Flora. Pop's on Tache was convenient until the Big Snow of Feb./60 caved in the roof. Esquire and the 'Rio' were nice downtown halls that catered to the workingman. It would be a sin if I didn't mention Obee's Pool Hall, a North End Tradition.
Happen to know an Ken Creed by any chance?
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  #86  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 5:12 AM
alittle1 alittle1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mabel30 View Post
I couldn't believe it when I saw mention of this establishment. My great uncle John Clark McConnachie was the proprietor there from 1912-1930. I'm the family historian and have been trying to find out more information about him and his place. You seem to know something about it and I'd love to hear where I could find out more. I've Google Mapped the street address which was 334 Portage, right near Hargrave, but of course everything looks different today. Obviously the old building was torn down and the landscape quite changed. Can you or anyone else on the link tell me what they know? Thanks.
As I said before, King George was in the rear portion of the Mitchell-Copp building, just on the north side of the back lane (South side of the lane was the old Eaton's parkade). The facade on the entrance was a deep maroon tile, with a silver canopy, a step up from the sidewalk to a terrazzo floor extended inside the building foyer. A neon side stood in the window next to the front door. The doors were double oak doors with brass hardware (similar to Eatons) at one time, then went to aluminum store front. The flight of stairs down to the basement were purpose built, not an aftermarket type and they blended in with the plaster walls and wainscot. The basement height was over 8 feet, but less than 10 at where you walked in. The pipe smoke occupied the upper two feet near the ceiling and the overhead lights flooded the eight 6 X 12 tables. Heavy wooden benches with green leather seats skirted the perimeter walls. Common cue racks stood in the entrance area by the coat racks and private locked cue racks for regulars were housed under the stairs.

The players that frequented the establishment were mostly of English descent and the cockney accents sounded foreign at first, but you gradually got used to them and eventually you spoke them back, if you stayed long enough. Clientel was mostly Eaton's employees during the day, and office staff, lawyers, and downtown business people took over after 5:30. Typically, on payday (Thursday), a group would go to Moore's restaurant at N/E Portage and Donald for dinner, wander down to the 'Commish' for a couple mickeys of Haig & Haig or Gilbeys, and then go to the George for an evening of billiards. Those that went to the St. Regis for a few jars of bitters and beer, or an ale or two, were usually in by 6:30/7:00, and were somewhat more boisterous than the others than went to Moore's. Arguments and bickering were part of the atmosphere and were essentially, 'good sport' for the blokes that played there.

The fellow that racked the balls was the man-in-charge when on duty. Not only did he rack and polish the balls, he cleaned the felt, kept count of the runs, and announced 'game ball' for the big money tables. If you wanted to get in to the game, you passed him a fin and waited for a player to retire or over-spent the evening, to be called in to play. If the night was favourable for you, another fin would make you getting a game next time more pleasurable.
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  #87  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 5:13 AM
alittle1 alittle1 is offline
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Originally Posted by armorand93 View Post
Happen to know an Ken Creed by any chance?
Yuppers!
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  #88  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Yuppers!
he's my step-grandpa actually! heard he used to be around the pool halls alot around the 1960s, thus how he learned to play
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  #89  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 4:57 PM
Mabel30 Mabel30 is offline
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King George Billiard Parlour

Its great hearing about the pool hall. The descriptions of it are so detailed and I can practically see it, smell it and hear the sounds - in my mind. Thanks for the history. I'm no stranger to pool halls myself, having frequented and played in the Verdun Montreal area from around 1990-2000. I gather that you were at the King George around the 1960's. When was it closed? Does anyone know anything about John McConnachie, the guy who would have racked up the balls etc between 1910-1930, who died in 1930?
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  #90  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2012, 5:19 PM
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United Cigar Store -Portage & Fort

Anyone remember the little Cigar store that was at the S/E corner of Portage and Fort St.? They had a big long counter/showcase with Canadian and American cigarettes, and at certain times European cigarettes. (I used to like those black Turkish ones, tasted like camel dung, but looked cool) They had the usual White Owl's, El Producto's, silver Reas', but also carried the Cuban's and the big Magnum's.

In addition to the tobacco products, they had a excellent news and magazine stand, not as elaborate as Canadian News on the north side of Portage, but functional for their clientele. I can remember buying my 'little' car books back in the 50's, as well as checking out the Playboy and Esquire, well waiting for the Marion bus to arrive. They also had a giftware area that produced many a present for my Mother or a girlfriend. The little side door on the Fort Street side was constantly active, as everyone dashed in out of the cold or rain. The awning covering over the door shelter the Marion Street bus riders and the brick wall running up to Portage provided heat in winter and coolness in summer.

While I think of it, Ray Hampton Music was the shop located next door which had the two large awnings and the recessed entrance that housed the bus riders. In side the store, they had a large array of sheet music, musical instruments, and records. They had several 'sound proof' booths that allowed you to take a record in and try it out. We played everything from the Dorsey Bros. to Dean Martin, to Bobby Darin and Elvis. You also could by a blank and go into the booth and record a record. Most of the time they ended up with two minutes of laughing and kibitzing with very little singing. Although I did buy a mouthorgan, my prized possession was a practice mouthpiece for a Garnet trumpet. I had occasion to listen to some great Winnipeg musicians try out their instruments they were purchasing and later followed a few to their gigs at the Alex or the Java Shop across from the old Free Press on Carlton, but that's another story.

It was sad to see that corner come down to make way for the Royal Bank Building, but they say, 'that's progress'.
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  #91  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 3:35 PM
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Did everyone in Winnipeg go on holidays? This is the slowest that I ever seen this board.

It was 70 yesterday down in Topeka, we are on the way back up to the cold country after being away for the last few weeks.
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  #92  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 7:22 PM
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Did everyone in Winnipeg go on holidays? This is the slowest that I ever seen this board.

It was 70 yesterday down in Topeka, we are on the way back up to the cold country after being away for the last few weeks.
Usually, we're all on the Construction threads, or when something boils over, we all get on it
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  #93  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2012, 5:16 AM
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Restaurants and lunch counters on Portage Avenue.

Every time that I drive down Portage Avenue, my mind's eye takes over and I see all the restaurants and lunch counters that used to dot the street as I roll along.

The Child's at the N/W corner of Portage and Main, midway to Notre Dame, was an adorable spot that my Mother took me as a small boy. Where I sat up straight in a oak armed chair boosted up to table height with a padded wood step. I drank my first glass of real chocolate milk and blew bubbles out of my nose, when the waiter tickled me. I also remember the long heavy draped windows that allowed the sun to peek in as they moved when people skirted by them.

Tamblyn's Rexall Drugs, at the N/W Portage and Notre Dame, used to serve a great boiled hotdog and had a super soda fountain with marble top and front with high stools.

The Chocolate shop, on the S/S between Garry and Smith, served an excellent dessert and coffee after an day of shopping down Portage. Does anyone remember the old teacup reader, Ester King, who provided many hours of enjoyment for the ladies and girlfriends that begged the question, "Where will I be in 15 years?". Ester, with a blink of her eye (glass eye), would go in to a semi-trance and spin a tail of woo take would make a grown woman gasp as to what the future had in store for her and her family.

The Marti-Gras, on the N/S between Smith and Donald (next to Gensers), with the wishing pond and fountain in the front foyer and the spiral staircase up to the loft on the second floor provided a cozy place to take a first date and impress her.

F.W. Woolworths, at S/E Donald and Portage, offered the best 19 cent hot dog and fountain coke that any Portage standup lunch counter had to offer. The weiners came fresh from Dent's on Fort Street every morning and the buns from Bryce's Bakery on St.Marys Rd. Coffee was a dime and there was at least six Bunn vacuum perculators going with fresh hot coffee. Takeout coffee was a mug with a foil top lid, paper wrapped cube sugar and a three corner Silverwoods individual creamer with a tear-off sticker. The coffee-jerks that used the elevators in the Somerset Building next door, would carry up coffee in stainless box trays for the office workers and professionals that couldn't come down for coffee.

Moore's was at the N/E Donald next to the Capital theatre's Portage entrance (with its 25 stair walk-up), had a heavy oak paneled foyer and the decor included heavy padded arm chairs and thick oak tables in a club atmosphere that was definitely 'Old English'.

That gets us down to Eaton's, which had at least a half a dozen or more eating areas including the exclusive Georgian Room with the private dining areas. Let's see who can remember their favorite eating area and what they served.
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  #94  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2012, 6:37 AM
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anyone remember nedies quik lunch on euclid?
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  #95  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 6:45 PM
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Theaters of Winnipeg

Everyone has memories of their local theater that they went to as a kid, or a young teenager on a first date, etc. But, do you remember the other theaters that did our town proud?

Here's a link that I found, complete with pictures, that may jog your memories of your Saturday afternoon at the Bijou.

http://www.dancebob.com/Winnipeg_The..._Theatres.html
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  #96  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 7:11 PM
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Wow. That is a great site with amazing pictures. Things sure seemed different back then. I can only imagine what Winnipeg must have been like in its heyday between 1900-1930.
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  #97  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2012, 5:44 PM
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Winnipeg Visitor's Guide August, 1958

Just found this link on line. This will tell you how good the times were back in 1958 and what you could buy and where.

http://www.manitobaphotos.com/Brochu...ugust_1958.pdf
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  #98  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2012, 7:57 PM
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aswome ross house is even in that sept they used to charge an admission back then?
and there used to be a liqure store at mcdermot and adelaid
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  #99  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2012, 3:11 AM
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Did you check out the food prices at Mama Trossi's? The tea (XXX) pot was the real specialty of the House, back in the day.
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  #100  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2012, 5:39 PM
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Main Street CPR underpass

Ever wonder what the deal was with the two center lanes under the CP tracks? The two inner lanes were where the street car tracks used to run. There was some ornate lighting fixtures that lit the underpass, but it seemed to fade away after the old Royal Alex Hotel was torn down. The wiring was probably attached to the Hotel at one time. So, just for kibitz, when you go under the underpass, which lane do you drive in? Those two center lanes seem too narrow for a car to fit in, but they really are regular size lanes. Next question, do you old guys still honk your horn or rev your motor when you go through?

Even in Regina, my wife used to rev her engine up on her '56 Olds with Hollywood mufflers (glas-pacs) as she went under the Broad Street CPR underpass.

I can remember about ten years ago, on a Sunday night Cruize, I sat with two other cars at the light at Higgins. We had a Fox body Mustang in the sidewalk lane, a '66 Wildcat next to him and I sat in my Chevelle in the center lane. All three of us hit the gas right that night, those that had front row seats behind us must still talk about it. The guy in the Mustang ponied up and hit the 'GO' button on the NOS just before the underpass, the Buick hit a hard second gear with his beefed-up slush box tranny and the Chevelle was still putting power to the rear locker as the rpm's hit 7000.

Other people who noted the spectacle said that, through the tire smoke and exhaust all you see was the odd blip of flames and tail lights, but the roar of raw horsepower echoed through the underpass long after we were gone. Summed up by one of the old vets of the street, " One of the best, if not THE best street race I ever seen......and I don't even care who won".

When we popped out of the underpass on the northside, the Buick had slipped back a car length, the Mustang was running out of rev's and the Chevelle was looking for turning room to miss the center barrier on the long dog leg lane that cuts back on to the three lane street section. The right side air bag caught the weight shift and the tires settled back on the ground as I lifted off the gas pedal, the engine growled as the tranny still gripped second gear, and took the speed down. The two guys in the Mustang were just bouncing around inside the car, giving high fives and enjoying the moment. The guy in the Buick tipped his hand to salute both cars, braked hard and turned off at Dufferin. My Chevelle and I exited at Euclid, as the two guys in the Mustang were sitting at the light screaming, " WOW.... WOW...." .

On the dark back streets of Point Douglas, I dimmed the lights, stopped and check all the vital signs on the gauges, the temperature slowly sank below the 200 mark as the extra cooling fan pushed the cold night air through the overheated radiator. The unwelcomed rumble of the exhaust caused a few window curtains to flutter and the odd porch light to come on in a few houses. Pulling the shifter back into 'D', I let the car rumble down the darken street before turning the lights back on. Sirens whaled down the main street, but they were all for not. The only thing that remained was six strips of rubber laying under that old underpass on Main street and the sound of cars gone by.

And YES, I still hit the horn and buzz the gas a time or two, remember the times we had.....
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