It is Friday morning, 7:00 a.m. and time to get out of the top bunk in Grandma's room. Breakfast is poached eggs with toast, and of course, a cup of tea. The two blonde-haired children are wiggly in their chairs with excitement. Today is downtown day.
As young children, my brother and I would spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa George‟s house if there was no school on Friday. Fridays with Grandma and Grandpa were exciting for us suburban kids.
Riding the bus down-town, we would get off at the corner of University and Ouellette Avenue. First stop, the Bank of Montreal. In through the front door, wait in line and try not to get into trouble while Grandpa did the banking. Finally we are finished and we go out through the side door, across Chatham St., and down the block to the Bell Telephone office. It doesn‟t matter that the telephone bill is only paid once a month, we stop in to say "hello" to Mrs. Kennedy.
Then it is across Ouellette to the Post Office to mail letters overseas and purchase more stamps. Sometimes I am able to buy a stamp for my collection.
Next, we cross Chatham St. to the S.S. Kresge department store. In through the north entrance, the lunch counter was on the right. The bakery was to the left at the front of the store. The wooden floor creaks under our footsteps as we approach the bakery counter. My little brother and I smudge the glass of the display case as we gaze at the delicious treats. Grandma has selected some tarts and cookies. The large lady behind the counter puts the goodies into the cardboard box and with a flurry of her hands she ties it perfectly with a bow from the spool of twine suspended overhead. Here comes Grandpa with his butter rum LifeSavers and handkerchiefs. Time to head to the check out. Then it is out the back door onto Pelissier Street.
We walk up half a block to University Avenue and then onto Steve 'N Eddy's Fish and Chips.
Once there, Grandpa chooses a table in Florence's section. We always had to sit in Florence's section. She was Grandpa George's favourite waitress. A delicious lunch of halibut fish, French fries and coleslaw was enjoyed by us all.
When lunch is finished, we say good-bye to Florence and walk to the bus stop. It is time for us to head back to Grandma and Grandpa's house. It is almost 1:00 p.m. Time for them to have their afternoon nap.
Originally published in Volume 29, Issue 3, Trails, newsletter of the Essex Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. Used with permission.