Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Common Sense obit from the London Times a few years back.

I posted a copy of this back in 2011, but it is worth repeating:

                                  Common Sense
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old  he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and, maybe it was my fault.
    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend  more  than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental  consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but  could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a  burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her  lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
    Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust,  by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
    He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:
    I Know My Rights
    I Want It Now
    Someone Else Is To Blame
    I'm A Victim
    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Verdun / Montreal has been a bicyle friendly place for a long time.

Verdun & Montreal has long been a bike friendly city,we posted an old Map of Montreal years ago showing popular bicycle routes and in today's Montreal Gazette there is a story that tells some of the history,from Wolfe's Cycle a place familiar to many Verdun kids over the years. I have posted old photos of kids on bicycles as a team in Verdun sponsored by Wolfe's . I will post those here too ,when I have time to search some of my old hardrives (which takes time)
However the following is the story from today's Gazette: Cheers ! LesF
   Ps: I can here my oldman sayine "he's No Torchy Peden" when we were stuck behind a slowpoke driving down Wellington or whereever...I didn't really know when I was a kid who Torchy Peden was,but obviously he was quick on a bike............hahahahah  I think I thought he was some how related to Torchy Wharf ................LoL  ---the cyclists are Torchy Peden & his borther Doug.

We hear and read regularly about the pleasures and woes of cycling on Montreal’s extensive network of urban bicycle paths. Cycling for the simple enjoyment of the pastime or for its usefulness as a means of transportation through the congested streets of the city has long been discussed. What many people might not know, however, is that competitive cycling has a lengthy and splendid history in the province, and that narrative exists to this day.
Perhaps no period was as remarkable for cycling in this city as the years immediately before, and just after, the outbreak of the Second World War.
In 1939, for example, several notable races took place.
On June 11 of that year, Montreal’s Wolfe Cycle Club sent six representatives to participate in the 100-mile Long Island Classic in New York City. The Verdun-based club, with 37 riders, was the largest of the eight bicycle organizations operating in Quebec at that time. The Long Island competition, which was often compared to the Boston Marathon in terms of prestige, regularly attracted the best amateur racers from across North America.
Of the 136 participants, less than half actually completed the demanding competition, three of whom were from the Wolfe Cycle Club: Dennis Murch, Norman Wilkins (my late father), and Phil Laberge. The squad returned to Montreal the following day to much enthusiasm.
Later that same summer, and just days before the outbreak of the Second World War, an even more punishing race was undertaken, this one from Quebec City to Montreal — some 300 kilometres. Starting at 6 a.m. at the picturesque Château Frontenac Hotel in the ancient capital and ending on Sherbrooke St. E. in this city, the battle was an annual event back in the day, the first having taken place in 1931.
The Wolfe Cycling Club entered five participants for the gruelling affair in 1939: Bob Taylor, Norman Wilkins, Dennis Murch, Leslie Sheen, and Gunner Erickson.
In the due course, Quebec City cyclist Henri Hémond won the race in the record-breaking time of just under eight hours. However, in what one local newspaper called “one of the most amazing finishes of the bike derby, there were nine riders in the sprint at the finish line.” Erickson, of the Verdun club, was just inches behind the winner.
Montreal Mayor Camilen Houde greeted the cyclists at the finish line, only a year before his arrest by the RCMP on charges of counselling Montrealers not to register for national conscription.
Of the 37 starters, only 18 finished. All five racers with the Wolfe Club terminated the run.
Today, the race is known as the Classique Montréal-Québec Louis Garneau and, when it occurs, the competition starts in Montreal at the Maurice Richard Arena and ends in the outskirts of Quebec City at the head office of Louis Garneau Sports. However, the contest has not taken place since 2011 because of security issues due to the high number of motor vehicles on Quebec’s highways, and the expense in dealing with that reality in order to assure the safety of the riders.
Also popular many years ago was the Six Day Bike Race. There were two great periods in this city for this punishing event, 1929-42 and 1963-80. In the former era, the competitions were staged at the Montreal Forum while during the more recent years the contests took place at the Paul Sauvé Arena and the Olympic Velodrome. Both of the latter two venues have since been done away with.
British Columbian-born William ‘Torchy’ Peden was one of the world’s top 10 cyclists in this field, which saw wheelmen compete habitually in indoor facilities. In that regard, the track in the Montreal Forum required 15,000 feet of green spruce that took 32 hours to assemble and another six to take down.
A big man, Peden was a crowd darling in the glory days of the sport. Of the 127 events in which he participated, Peden won 38, seven of which took place in the old Montreal Forum. He is ranked seventh overall in the history of the sport.
Robert N. Wilkins is a local historian and freelance writer.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Montreal B&W

A you tube video containing a lot of old shots from around Montreal & Verdun (a couple anyway of Verdun) this was put together in a video by a fellow Normand Daoust.  We have all seen many of these photos before ,but there were a few that I hadn't seen, so I hope you like your Tour de Montreal from the good old days...........Cheers ! LesF