Monday, May 21, 2012
Memories of C.B.
When I was a kid I had a grandfather everyone called C.B. The "C" stood for Clarence. I don't know what the "B" stood for. I have only pleasant memories of the man. After all it was a long time ago. He was married to my mother's mom. And he wasn't my mom's paternal father. He married my grandmother, Rita, after my mom's dad had passed away.
C.B. used to babysit me. We lived in the suburb of Scarborough. Both my mom and dad worked in downtown Toronto. On our street the houses were mostly all the same. "Strawberry boxes" I remember my dad saying in reference to the squat look of the three-bedroom bungalows that lined the street. A street we used to play in year round since there wasn't a whole lot of traffic. We played baseball in the summer using the sewer lid as home plate and garbage pail tops and somebody's jacket for bases. And of course we played hockey in the winter but we used a tennis ball instead of a puck. It hurt less when you got hit with it.
And in the winter I recall helping our neighbour Mr. Painter shovel his driveway. He had a home-made plow made of wood that he used to push the snow. My contribution was to sit on the plow end to provide the weight necessary to not leave any snow behind.
In the midst of this erstwhile activity, for which I did not get paid, C.B. called me from the front door to tell me he'd made me a Japanese Wing-ding for lunch. A what? I'd never heard of such a thing. So I traipsed down the sidewalk to our front door, removed my snowsuit, scarf, mitts and boots and sat myself at the kitchen table.
Turns out a Japanese Wing-ding was a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I'd never had such a concoction before but it was the best sandwich I'd ever had.
I remember thinking: Geez, I think the Japanese are on to something. C.B. sure was.!