Monday, January 13, 2020

Put on your Cote de Neige, and cut off your PieIX -Ralph Lockwood dies @ 80

Montreal Gazette article from today's Gazette

Ralph 'Birdman' Lockwood, zany Montreal radio morning man, dies at 80

A fast-talking, cigar-smoking wisecracker, his taglines caught on with Montrealers. How's your bird? How's your old oiseau?

Ralph Lockwood in the CKGM studio in July 1975.

Ralph “Birdman” Lockwood, the legendary zany morning man of 1970s Montreal radio, died Sunday. He was 80 years old.
His death, in York, Pa., was confirmed by CJAD host Andrew Carter on Facebook.
“Lockwood’s constituency never included listeners who liked to be eased out of bed by a radio morning show,” Montreal Gazette columnist Mike Boone once wrote of him. “But if you were the type who enjoyed being plunged into the day by high-voltage, crack-a-minute radio, the Birdman was in a class by himself.”
Lockwood was born in Hazleton, Pa., where he got his start in the business hosting a nightly polka show in the early 1960s.
He made his Montreal radio debut in 1968 at CFOX, but left in 1971 and landed a job on a morning show in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Story continues below
Returning to Montreal in 1972, Lockwood quickly became one of the city’s top morning hosts at CKGM.

Ralph Lockwood in 1979. Mac Juster / Montreal Gazette
A fast-talking, cigar-smoking wisecracker, his taglines caught on with Montrealers. How’s your bird? How’s your old oiseau? That’s what she said at the Bell Canada picnic. Don’t forget to put on your Côte des Neiges.
Lockwood voiced his own fictional sidekicks — Professor Frydock, Dorion Smith and a caricature of Mad Dog Vachon.
An early morning institution, he had a penchant for corny one-liners and double entendres — and doing his show shirtless. One morning, he played Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog over and over, claiming he had locked himself in the studio.
Lockwood was also known for his quirky television commercials — he donned a barrel for a Dorion Suits ad, andfor the Bar-B-Barn restaurant, he devoured succulent chicken and ribs for 30 seconds without uttering a word.

He left CKGM in 1981, but remained a Montreal media mainstay.
He became CFCF radio’s afternoon show host before moving to TV as host of a daily morning show on CFCF-TV. For a time, he was also the the play-by-play caller on the Montreal Concordes’ CJAD football broadcasts, and host of a weekly football highlights show on CFCF TV.

Ralph Lockwood, left, takes a break from his frenetic radio show to pose with his traffic reporter, Mary Ann Carpentier on Jan. 25, 1974. Garth Pritchard / Montreal Gazette
In 1985, CKGM, hoping to revive its flagging morning show, hired Lockwood for five years at a six-figure salary. But the effort failed and Lockwood was fired in 1987.
A year later, Lockwood returned to the United States to host the morning show on WSBA, a station in York, Pa., not far from his hometown. He worked there for 11 years, going on to do radio consulting and public relations.
In a 2002 interview with the Montreal Gazette, Lockwood said: “I miss radio like crazy — except when I listen to where it’s going, with all the bitching and complaining. I saw it as a nice vehicle for entertaining people. I made it like a bubble. It was my escape. And, geez, I miss the Bar-B-Barn.”
Lockwood’s wife, Lois Lockwood, died in 2008.

Ralph Lockwood in a 1985 CKGM publicity photo. jpg

   You can see the complete Gazette article here at this link,which includes sound bites and video,old ads etc etc                                                                                                                               Cheers ! LesF

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

So Long 2019, Hello 2020

Wow, can you believe we are entering the year 2020 make it your best year yet,appreciate your family & friends and things you like,and good health to all who surf by here.We've come a long way since our childhood days in Verdun...Cheers ! Have Fun and Remember Verdun  , LesF


Friday, December 13, 2019

Christmas Past (Remember when)

Merry Christmas to all who surf by,here's an old memory of Eaton's Toyville Train
  and this shot too.........
                    Merry Christmas ,Cheers ! LesF

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Remembrance Day

On Monday Nov 11th 


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Time is Flying By ( and it's all time we've been here for) -are we old?

Gazette article that reminds me how long we have been here for: Yikes you guys are old (not

History Through Our Eyes: Oct. 2, 1963, extending Île-Ste-Hélène

Work was progressing on the enlargement of what we then called St. Helen's Island for use as part of the site of what was to be Expo 67.
Ile-Ste-Helene, or St. Helen's Island, in the St. Lawrence River, was enlarged in order to serve as part of the site for Montreal's Expo 67. This photo of the work underway was published in the Montreal Gazette On Oct. 2, 1963. Bob James / Montreal Gazette
Gazette photographer Bob James’s aerial photo of Île-Ste-Hélène was published on our front page on Oct. 2, 1963. The purpose was to show how work was progressing on the enlargement of what we then called St. Helen’s Island for use as part of the site of the 1967 World’s Fair, Expo 67.
Dikes had been built around the areas to be filled in. Île-Ronde, which was to become part of Île-Ste-Hélène (it lent its name to La Ronde), was being used as an operational base, and rock for the dikes was being quarried there.
“Work is to begin later on a new island of similar size, Île-Notre-Dame, as the second half of exhibition grounds,” we wrote. “World’s Fair Deputy Commissioner-General Robert Shaw says dredging will begin within 10 days to fill in extended parts of St. Helen’s Island. Most of this phase is to be completed before freeze-up, Mr. Shaw says.”
That timeline proved optimistic.
On Dec. 26, 1963, we reported that the dredging was not providing enough fill, so the city was about to call tenders for a contract to bring in more fill by truck to the site. In addition, “instructions already have been given by the administration to contractors working on construction of Montreal’s projected subway system to transport all excavated material to the World’s Fair site for filling in the link between Île-Ronde and St. Helen’s Island,” we reported. 
The panic was on account of the city’s commitment to making the site available by July 1, 1964 to the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition.
A huge ceremony to transfer the site was indeed held the night of June 30-July 1, 1964 — even if Île-Notre-Dame was yet to come.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Swizzle Sticks ( I think I posted this once before when it came out initially) but here goes

Swizzle sticks stir up nostalgia for 1960s Montreal

The city's best restaurants, hotels and watering holes featured a now-nearly-extinct ornament to mark these golden days and to plop into the cocktails of patrons: finely crafted swizzle sticks, individually designed for each establishment.

In the 1960s, custom-designed swizzle sticks were the norm in the city's best restaurants, cafés and watering holes. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Those were heady times. Those were prosperous times.
Montreal was still the financial hub of Canada. Expo 67 was soon to come to the shores of the St. Lawrence River and offer the city an international showcase that would leave its people pumped with civic pride.
Back in the early 1960s, Montrealers were a party people,­ as we are today. But Montrealers had reason to party back then. Political strife was minimal. Damage to the city’s infrastructure was also minimal. And, of course, the city’s economic indicators were rosy.
Happy days Those were the days when the captains of industry threw caution to the wind regarding personal health issues, and three-martini lunches were not out of order at the city’s best restaurants, hotels and watering holes.
And those were the days when the city’s best restaurants, hotels and watering holes featured a now-nearly-extinct ornament to mark these golden days and to plop into the cocktails of patrons: finely crafted swizzle sticks, individually designed for each establishment.
To borrow from the Rod Stewart tune to come a decade later, every swizzle stick tells a story. And thanks to the late Ted Mahoney, father of photographer colleague John Mahoney, a part of Montreal’s rich history has been preserved through the swizzle sticks of once-bustling destinations ­— all of which are, sadly, long gone.

Berkeley Hotel ­

The head of a swizzle stick from 1960s-era Berkeley Hotel, a Golden Square Mile locale with a fabled bar. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

It was in 1958 that a group of 125 local politicians and entrepreneurs had gathered in what was once among the city’s grandest hotels to put forward the idea of a world exhibition for Montreal. And nine years later, their dream became a reality with the unveiling of Expo 67. The Berkeley, built in 1928 in the Golden Square Mile area along Sherbrooke St., is no longer. But some of its postmodern past was preserved in the creation of Maison Alcan, home ­for now ­of Rio Tinto Alcan. Still, to this day, some passersby swear they can still hear the clinking of glasses at the hotel’s fabled bar, where the rich and powerful and socialites gathered, as did journos looking for a little gossip.

Café André ­

This swizzle stick could be found at the Café André, a warm and cozy spot popular with McGill students. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Its swizzle stick may have been the most elaborate and distinctive of this bunch, depicting a charming three-story home. Yet it also belies the grandeur of the venue, once known as the Shrine to the students who frequented the place. It is also the most low-key establishment of this swizzle-stick bunch. A warm and cozy spot on Victoria St., around the corner from the McGill University campus, this long-gone café, once a rousing hot spot best known for its music, dance and comedy revues, went all mellow in the early 1960s and became a haven for folk musicians and aficionados thereof. Among those local luminaries who launched their careers there were Mashmakkhan, Penny Lang and Ricky Blue ­— who recalls playing there for the princely sum of $10 a night but who doesn’t recall the fancy swizzle sticks, because he wasn’t into the booze back then.

Dinty Moore’s ­

Dinty Moore’s diner in downtown Montreal had a simple swizzle stick but a garish front window. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

The most basic swizzle stick of the bunch doesn’t do justice to the extinct downtown diner on Ste-Catherine St. with one of the most memorable menus of them all. The resto, best known for its “famous” corned beef and cabbage, featured a menu cover designed to highlight its specialty: a corpulent, Daddy Warbucks-like figure, his tummy bursting out of his three-piece suit, is pictured, stogie in mouth, lying on a veritable mountain of cabbages. Classic. As was the image of the pig roasting on a spit in the front window. And, indeed, the chattering classes did converge there in the evenings to chow down on the comfort foods.

Esquire Show Bar ­

This swizzle stick was stirred at the Esquire Show Bar, a Stanley St. music mecca. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

If music-savvy Montrealers of a certain age had their way, this fabled Stanley St. mecca of blues and soul ­— which ceased operations in 1972 —­ would come back to life. And music-savvy Montrealers not yet born during the club’s heyday would also embrace its return. Norm Silver, who ran the establishment, brought in the sort of acts that still make music-lovers of all ages salivate: James Brown, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Duke Ellington, Sam and Dave, Joe Tex, Little Richard, the wicked Mr. Wilson Pickett, the Drifters, the Platters, the Four Tops, and King Curtis — featuring a then-unknown guitarist named Jimi Hendrix. ‘Nuff said. And well worth the price of fake ID for those of us underage R& B buffs who snuck into the place and had the time of our lives soaking it all up.

Edgewater Hotel ­

Detail of a swizzle stick from the Edgewater Hotel, a rowdy Point-Claire hangout. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Mention the name The Edge to hipsters today, and they’ll probably think it’s a reference to the U2 guitarist. But well before U2 made its mark, The Edge, as the Edgewater Hotel was better known, was a Pointe-Claire club and hangout where the hipster youth and even their parents in the West Island got their musical kicks. The Edge, with its various rooms, was about as eclectic a musical gathering place as there was, serving up everything from rock to disco, country to calypso, big band to R& B. The spot got so rowdy at times that residents in the ‘hood wished to shut it down. They got their wish in 1987.

Martin’s ­

Montreal hot spots Martin’s and Ruby Foo’s had similar swizzle sticks during the 1960s. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Its whole name was Martin’s Since 1861, and the fact that it had lived to be well over 100 years old is remarkable. All the more so since this lively spot, located around the corner from Windsor Station and a mere stumble away from the old Gazette building on St-Antoine St., was the gathering spot of choice for many Montreal journos back in the early 1960s. Better known as Mother Martin’s, the long-defunct place did serve up decent grub, its roast beef in particular, but a large percentage of its clientele was there for the libations. Yes, those were the days when newspaper folk were more intent on giving their livers a workout than other parts of their bods, when the mention of hot yoga would likely induce a cold, blank stare. Oh yeah, Mother Martin’s even offered entertainment, everything from big band to comedy in the form of future Royal Canadian Air Farce troops Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson.

Ruby Foo’s ­

Ruby Foo’s was a Montreal nightlife favourite. LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA (COLLECTIONSCADANA.GC.CA)

This Décarie Blvd. landmark, razed back in 1988, was a mecca for the city’s business, social, sports, political and wise-guy elite —­ as well as a magnet for tourists who wanted to hobnob with the latter. Anyone who was anyone congregated there. More than that, though, it happened to serve, in the minds of many, the best damned Cantonese cuisine this side of Canton. But what patrons remember most about the place isn’t necessarily the elaborate Cantonese main courses, or the roast beef served from that sparkling silver trolley, or even the drop-dead gorgeous cigarette girl sporting the sleekest Oriental-style dress years before such frocks were deemed acceptable in public places. No, it was the egg rolls and the garlic spareribs — ­ never really replicated. The resto’s Black Sheep Lounge also attracted a who’s who of performers, including Charles Aznavour. It was founded in 1945 by, among others, one Max Shapiro, father of former McGill principal Bernard.

Sheraton Mount-Royal Hotel

Detail of the head of a swizzle stick from Montreal’s defunct Sheraton Mount Royal Hotel. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

 In what is now Les Cours Mont-Royal, a chi-chi condo development with high-end boutiques on the lower floors, used to stand one of the most ornate and swanky hotels in the city, from 1950 to 1973. Also one of the most massive, with 1,100 rooms and exquisite ballrooms. Popular with visiting hockey teams and home to many a high-school prom, the edifice, taking up almost an entire city block, was initially constructed in 1922 and designed by renowned architectural firm Ross & Macdonald. To many Montrealers, though, it was the hotel’s Polynesian-flavoured resto/bar Kon Tiki, with its exotic libations and its exotic serving-staff sporting flowery sarongs, that proved most memorable about the place.

Stork Club ­

Spot the stork: A swizzle stick from the Stork Club is part of the late Ted Mahoney 1960s-era collection. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Not to be confused with the Big Apple’s famed nightspot of the same name. Still, Montreal’s Stork Club, located on Guy St. next to the famed Her Majesty’s Theatre (formerly His Majesty’s Theatre, when our monarch was male), was synonymous with the city’s glorious ­ Sin City days, when visiting celeb royalty like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis would head there for late-night revelry following their engagements at other city haunts. Montrealers of all stripes would also congregate there not only to catch a glimpse of celebs but also to bop to the beat of house bands on the club’s sprawling dance floor. The club was later to become home to the disco palace Oz. And ­sigh! ­So it goes.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tragic Anniversary ( We have mentioned this in the past)

Today's Gazette article remembering te Bluebird Cafe fire ( Wagon Wheel actually was the target)

History Through Our Eyes: Sept. 1, 1972, fire at the Blue Bird

On Sept. 1, 1972, a deliberately set fire took 37 lives at the Blue Bird Café and the Wagon Wheel Bar above it.
Taken by either Tedd Church or Garth Pritchard -- they were jointly credited with several photos -- it shows the gutted interior of the Blue Bird, as viewed through a window, after the bar was destroyed by fire on Sept. 1, 1972. Montreal Gazette

On Sept. 1, 1972, a deliberately set fire took 37 lives at the Blue Bird Café and the Wagon Wheel Bar above it. They were located in a two-storey white stucco building at 1172 Union Ave., north of what is now René-Lévesque Blvd. The Blue Bird was a cocktail lounge and the Wagon Wheel featured live country music. It was a Friday night, and they were busy.
This photo was published in the following day’s Montreal Gazette, along with extensive coverage of the tragedy. Taken by either Tedd Church or Garth Pritchard — they were jointly credited with several photos — it shows the gutted interior of the Blue Bird, as viewed through a window.
“Witnesses say three men jump out of a grey car, rush up the stairs and run down again seconds before flames engulfed the entrance of the building,” we reported. The fire caught quickly, and blocked the stairwell.
We quoted survivor George Lancia’s description of the horrible scene: “There was lots of pitch black smoke then a lot of heat and then a lot of yellow light …. we knew it was a fire and everyone began to panic. There were so many people on the fire escape that the railing broke, people were falling from the sky, almost.”
The culprits were three young men angry at having been denied entrance. They came back and poured gasoline on the stairwell. One of them later explained that they did not mean to kill anybody, only to scare the doorman. They were convicted and received life sentences, although they were eventually released on parole.
In 2012, to mark the 40th anniversary of the fire, a monument was unveiled in nearby Phillips Square.