To keep us entertained, Harold would bring his new portable radio and when the outside antenna was positioned, would only be dialled into WWVA, Wheeling West Virginia. WWVA was of course the Bible of Country and Western in those days, before Dolly Parton, but did have the up and coming “olde” reliables like Tennessee Ernie Ford, Hank Snow, Hank Williams and many others. The night would pass quite agreeably, even those remaining inside the warm dressing room could quite conceivably, using a red-hot fire poker, burn into the virgin unpainted wood benches, the initials of the person flooding at that time and embellish with a heart and the initials of a local young lady, true or not. By 6:30 AM, go home time, a quite solid surface would have been obtained, such that now a more senior family member or the hired caretaker would take over the daylight task of now building to a smooth, flat and even surface. The application of the red and blue lines would be done by a more experienced parent, but without the large roundels, although sometimes the goal crease could be added with time and expertise.
Periodically the rink would receive a challenge from Mother Nature in the form of a prolonged snow storm, which cut down on shinny and everything else for several days. On those days, every one was encouraged to come and enjoy a few hours of pretty active exercise, and if we were really lucky a local farmer, or garage owner might have his front end loader available (free sometimes, and sometimes, not) to help, and when there was snow up to the boards, then, some kind of mechanized help was indeed welcomed and necessary. On one occasion, a big green Oliver front end loader was available for duty on a sunny Sunday afternoon, after it had already cleared a number of snow filled driveways in the immediate area. Jubilation was rampant as the big snow machine lumbered up to the boards and dumped load after load of day’s old, not feathery light snow over the boards. What we did not notice at the time, was that the scoop on the big green Oliver tractor, and did not quite lower to ice level, so that every time the big green Oliver lumbered to the boards, it compacted the remaining 2” of snow which tightly bonded to the ice surface. Well, at least the snow was cleared and now we had the joy of scraping off the last 2” of compacted snow from the surface. By dinner time we were back in business, and we sincerely thanked the big green Oliver driver (and owner) for his very valuable help. On other occasions, scrapers and shovels were available to any and all that would help to clear a small dusting or a modestly large snow fall. It was definitely a unifying village activity and well worth it.
All the Stanstead teams were called the Stanstead Blackhawks and the sweaters all were black with white stripes. Pants were black and stockings black with white stripes, so that the whole assemblage, was quite presentable and professional looking. One good year for the Stanstead Blackhawks was the 1949-50 season where the Blackhawks out duelled, Rock Island, Beebe and Ayers Cliff to win the Stanstead County Midget Championship. It was one of the rare occasions where a fully bilingual, 14 man team, of age12 and under, (some as young as10) was assembled under the tutelage of “Peanut” Winters, Hank Dewey and C. Goupille. Sometimes some of the young French boys/players did not join their English counterparts, and sometimes some of the English players, joined the more formal, Stanstead College teams, so that periodically in the 1950’s and after, there was not always a Stanstead Black Hawk team.
Periodically too, there would be Sunday afternoon pick up teams where Alcide Hartly would invite a team from Georgeville to come and play a pickup game. Georgeville had a navy intern that always wore his uniform and always played in goal, wearing his little white navy beret. These were always lots of fun, even if a bit informal, but they always had a fairly capable young referee from the area, who tried and did maintain a fair spirit, for the $2.00 he earned.
The lights on the outdoor rink at Stanstead were not very good, but they were certainly good enough to have a great game of “shinny” almost every nite, that homework did not keep a player at home with his face buried in an
du Quebec officers got involved in a car chase, last week, in Val-Joli. When the officers put on their flashers to follow a car that was speeding on route 249, the speeder accelerated to more than 140 km/hr in a 80 km/ hr zone. The car chase took place on the 249 going north, and the male driver continued driving at high speed even when he reached a 50 km zone. The 19 year-old finally stopped after he realized he couldn’t lose the police.
The driver’s fines will total more than $2,700 and he will receive 18 inaptitude points for speeding, dangerous driving and not stopping when the police were in pursuit. His license was immediately suspended for seven days.
A 23 year-old man from Ayer’s Cliff was arrested in Magog, last week, for driving under the influence of drugs. A small amount of cannabis and cannabis resin was found in his vehicle. Once at the police post, he failed the tests of the evaluating agent and had to provide a urine sample.
SQ officers conducted a search at a property on Principale Street, in Cookshire, for illegal tobacco. A 59 year-old man was found on the premises and is suspected of being involved in a contraband tobacco network that operates in the region. More than 13,000 contraband cigarettes were found on site as well as about sixty wrappings with tobacco residue.