Friday, May 16, 2014

Post 2666 - Some Cool Purchases

Hi. It is quite late Friday evening. I should be turning in soon.

I had today off work. We went to breakfast at the Westcliff diner on Oxford Street before we went to the Superstore and the fish guy before we returned to the house. Patricia took a nap while I watched "Whitehouse Down", courtesy of the Plex client on my Roku media player. Tonight, we went out to that pasta restaurant in Bayers Lake, and it was excellent.

Thursday evening I bought a couple external hard drives from a guy on kijiji. The smaller one was 250gb and I got it for 10 dollars. The 500gb drive was 30 dollars. Alas, that drive doesn't fit in my Probox 4 bay enclosure, but the smaller capacity one, does. I will try to put the other drive in a desktop computer this weekend. I hate to waste storage.

Also last night I bought a replacement copy of "On South Mountain", the story of the Golers. I was unable to find the copy I had bought many years ago, and there was another guy who was selling a hard copy one for a price that didn't offend me. The book is long since out of print, and it is highly unlikely that there will ever be a reprint.

In leafing through it last evening it occurs to me that such a book would likely not be produced today, at least in the form it was published in. Victims of sexual assault are not identified as a matter of course. Since the abusers were their parents/uncles/brothers (or some combination thereof), they would not be able to be identified either, because by identifying them, one can therefore deduce the names of the victims.

As it is, a couple of names were obfuscated; but I downloaded off Youtube a 1986-era CBC documentary all about the Golers and the trial. It lists the names of the people who were convicted. I could probably cross reference that list with the names in the book (written 10 years later as FOIPOP laws were coming more into vogue) and determine those other names, if I wanted to do so.

I also bought a book published during World War II. It was only 10 dollars. It is more of a pamphlet really. It is called "Halifax in Wartime". The subtitle is "A Collections of Drawings by Robert W. Chambers", who was the political cartoonist for the Chronicle Herald for several decades, the way that Bruce MacKinnon has been their cartoonist for the last few decades.

The book had retailed for 15 cents back in 1943. It features short pieces of text accompanied by Chambers drawings of Halifax life during World War II. I have seen this book around for years now, but could not justify paying 25 dollars for it, as other places had wanted. I managed to talk the seller down to 10 bucks, and I am very happy with the purchase. I think my favourite is the one featuring downtown Halifax, at the corner of Barrington and Sackville. I can see the building that became the Vogue Optical building. And I can see the buildings beyond that which have been demolished in just the last couple of weeks to make room for the Roy Building condominiums that will be unaffordable for nearly everybody, despite the fact that we're told that people should live downtown. But I digress.

In the same drawing, I can see buildings on the right hand side going down Sackville that ain't there no mo'. There is a parking lot at the foot of Sackville, but when I first moved to Halifax in 1988, I remember a couple of abandoned buildings. Those are represented in this drawing. They were demolished around 1990, but I have always wondered what those buildings were used for back in the day. Were they businesses? Office buildings? Residences? Whore houses? In the last going off, there were rumours that the buildings were not that abandoned after all, that perhaps they were used for some nefarious purposes best not described here.

Anyway, this is an excellent book. It is 71 years old. It will never be reprinted. And it's mine.

Say, while we are on the subject of former buildings, how many of you remember the ABC Bargain Centre, on Morris Street? There is a sushi place there now. But, back in the day it was this convenience store. I went in once or twice. The owner informed me he had been there since 1968 or so. This was 1996 or so. The place gave me the creeps. You'd go in, and there would be a layer of dust on the canned goods. Uh, what kind of store was this, anyway? It was not a very inviting place.

And, lastly, who remembers "Mr I Got It?" It was around the corner of Hollis and Salter Street, where the Cabin Coffee is now. Another interesting store that had a unique identity and was the subject of much speculation. But who here reading this, knows what the joint was about?

Three questions, then. Those buildings at the foot of Sackville: What were they, back in the day? What was the deal with the  ABC Bargain Centre? And just who was "Mr. I Got It"?

You guys have a good evening. I will see thee on the morrow.


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