James Hillis

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Underpants and Galoshes

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Now that i have your attention: The title of this piece refers to words that tickle my funnybone. Everyone has those words, little things that make you laugh. So without delay here is a list of some words that do it for me.

Bagpipes-Kumguat-dribble-wonky-velcrow-bonk-flop-quagmire-crevasse-trousers-punkydoodle-Bush[oh sorry, he just makes me laugh]-homo erectus-belfry-shenanigans-haberdashy-titmouse-smurf-hullabaloo-bamboozle-crumpets-wiffleball-dildo-crevice-glockenspiel-kalamazoo-cucamonga-guacamole-spleen-conservative[refer to bush]-swifter-walla walla-schnitzel-

well that is just a few, i will think of more later.

Oh and underpants and Galoshes.

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Passing of time

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2011 at 12:40 am

The Hespeler girls at little dam 1942.
Mary McLaughlin[Hillis],Betty Roscoe[Rabb],Betty Garside[Brueckner],Shirley Connor[Beatty],Irene Kendry[Constant]

Hespeler Girls at the old damn. Early 1940’s
Hespeler Girls 60 odd years later.


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Yes, I am my Dad.

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2011 at 12:47 am

It was inevitable that we grow old and change as we do, But the question is , when did I become like my dad? Growing up I never thought this would happen but tonight reality struck home and i realized that no matter how hard I try, the transformation is almost complete.
I have fond memory’s of my Dad so don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is a bad thing but I always thought I would be my own man as I got older, not just a replica of him. I have always done things a little like him, i tend to hide candy around the house, when hung over I tend to want to be by myself and always make sure I have a pen and a notepad in the car’s glove box just in case, of what I am not sure but it is there. I find myself making sure that before heading out on a trip all the car signals are working and I make sure to give myself plenty of time on trips to make a few pit stops so my body doesn’t get tired easily. But lately a few more of my Dad’s mannerisms have crept in to my life. Now I could care less if my socks match, after all I am wearing pants and shoes When I go out, I find that I have the stereo on less when I am driving then ever before and in fact when it is on I tend to have CBC Radio One on because you never know when the Libertarians are going to attack.  If something seems complicated I just don’t bother using it instead I utter phrases like” In my Day we didn’t have”, and don’t dare touch the remote while I am watching TV, that is my job to change the channels during commercials. I used to wrap or put all my leftovers in Tupperware before putting them in the fridge but now I don’t bother, heck I am going to eat them soon anyway. I tend to shut all my windows at night during the summer and make sure that I slam them extra hard like my Dad used to do to make sure they are really sealed tight, and don’t bother calling me after 10 o’clock at night, only bad news is delivered that late at night. When I was younger I would just get in the car and drive to my destination now I make sure I have the directions googled and printed out for proper verification( wonder what the Dad would have thought about google), I find myself analyzing all my bills something that just a few years ago I would never have done, even though my hydro bills have actually gone down I still vigorously check them for mistakes. And there is more but let me tell you about 2 things that made me realize tonight that I am my Dad. My wife was at her ladies Auxiliary meeting at the Hespeler Legion and since it was the middle of the week I didn’t go in to have a beer instead deciding to wait until the weekend but the other thing that really made me cringe came when I went to pick the wifee-poo up afterwords, I was wearing my pajama’s and I left my slippers on, things that my Dad always used to do and why did I do that? Because it was easier than getting changed and bending down to tie up my shoes, exactly the words my dad would say to my Mom when he did that…Yes, I am My Dad! God help You all.

A Blast From the Past

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2011 at 1:24 am

Artex Woolens, sometime in the late 1940’s. It was the opening of a new addition.  My Mom and Dad are at the front of the second table from the left.

Cruising Memorys

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2011 at 8:46 am

What sets off a memory,i have no idea but today one occurred. I received a C.D. from a friend in Texas and when i played it a whole slew of memory’s came flashing back to me. They are not life altering memories and who knows maybe not all of them are real. But for some reason they are there and i feel the need to tell them so bear with me while i go back to 1976.
An early fall evening and i am cruising down the back roads of my town just turned 19,3 friends and myself a case of Molson Diamond and some cinci bud,the 1969 Dodge Coronet running smoothly and some Kiss[destroyer] playing on the cassette deck. Fighting over which movie we are going to see,i want Taxi Driver, Tony wants All the Presidents Men,big Bill wants to go see the Omen and Gary says the Bad news bears cause that is where most of the girls will be so we argue a little more and decide to just get some more beer and keep driving. Gas at 29 cents a gallon seems good so we keep going. We continue to argue over who has the best new album out right now,Aerosmith rocks,AC/DC high voltage,Blue Oyster Cult Agents of Fortune or the debut album of some band called Boston,we reach no decision and decide to listen to them all. More beer and a little more bud and next thing we know the debate is who would win a drinking contest our Prime minister Pierre Trudeau or the American President Gerald Ford we decide it would be Trudeau because we would be using Canadian beer. The conversation continues as we discuss this new show called Charlies Angels and just who is the hottest of them all, no contest as we all agree Farrah Fawcett is the most doable. The topic then becomes the just completed Montreal Olympics and how poor Canada did,we discuss the Son of Sam killings in New York city,the Hoopla in the U.S. over the Bi-centennial,this new band we have heard about called the Ramones,as yet we have not heard them but they sound interesting,we discuss our girls,drink more beer and then remember that it is almost 11:00 and we have to get to one of our homes to watch Saturday Night Live. After that things get a little hazy but thats o.k. this memory is a good one and i will treasure it. And while the 4 of us don’t get together that often anymore we all still remember the nights we want to. So to my Friend in Grand Praire Texas thank you for the Nitzinger C.Ds and for the memory’s they brought back.

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A Sunday Fall Walk

In Uncategorized on October 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Cambridge’s Original Rock Stars

In Uncategorized on October 4, 2011 at 12:05 am

August 1975 I am cruising down a country road outside of Hespeler and suddenly on the radio I hear the distinctive sounds of Major Hoople’s Boarding House, ‘I’m running after you” blares out of the speakers and my friends and I grin because, hell, that is a band that we know and to hear them like this was a great feeling. And as I sat down last night with Peter Padalino one of the founding members of the band that song was running through my head.
But before i get into that let’s have a brief history lesson..Major Hooples Boarding House started life in 1967 at G.C.I as a threesome called the Shan-de-Leers, they were Fred”Rockey” Howell,Peter Padalino and Rick Ridell and by the end of ’67 they had added David lodge and were going by the name of Major Hoople’s Boarding House. After they added Gail Selkirk to the band things started to take off as songs such as “Lady” “Beautiful Morning” “You Girl” and of course ‘I’m running after you” were released to the public. The band went through many changes, way too many to list here and Padalino left the band in the late 70’s to pursue other options. He wound up as part of the Lulu House band and today in his early sixties he and two of the other original members, Gail Truscott(nee selkirk) and Rocky Howell are getting back together to perform under the moniker of Rocky,Peter,Gail.
As we sat in the local Tim Hortons Pete reminisced about the past and was very optimistic about the future, we talked about the early day’s of the band, playing Barbers Beach in the mid 60’s as the Shan-de-leers, having to skip his final exams at GCI because there was a limo outside waiting to take him to the airport for a flight to Montreal so the band could sign a contract with Polydor Records. He recalled the thrill that hearing the music for the first time gave him and the friendships that he made that have lasted to this day. And like many Canadian bands of that early generation of rock and rollers they could have been bigger but the management and record company’s were reluctant to really do much to help them. As we discussed his stint with the lulu’s Roadhouse band his eyes lite up as he reminisced about the many acts that he performed with and partied with,John Philips,Wilson Pickett,Gary U.S Bonds and Chubby Checker were just some many hundreds of artists that went thru that establishment.
Under the new band Rocky,Peter and Gail, they hope to bring to both new and old audience a theatrical treatment of not only Major Hooples music but also the sound from that generation, they will be just 1 piano,2 Guitars 3 eclectic vocalists doing an up close and personal theatre style event. Peter was also kind enough to let me know that he has in his possession roughly 30 unreleased tracks from the early seventies version of Major Hooples that he hopes someday will see the light of day, and they hope to be performing at an early Oktoberfest event that will announced soon,and that the Waterloo Regional Museum at Doon Village is interested in doing a display featuring Major Hooples Boarding House. I would say not bad for a Cambridge(Galt) boy, not bad at all.
If you are out and about and see the name Major Hooples,beware, there is another group using that name that has members of the later editions of the band and none of the originals. And as Pete and i got ready to say our goodbyes I asked him one final Question “Why did you leave Major Hooples” to which he replied”I was having a good time and when it stopped, it was time to go, but now we are back and having a good time again”..We can only hope it lasts.

The Classic Hooples Lineup
David Lodge Vocals and bass
Gail Selkirk Keyboards
Peter Padalino Rhythm Guitar
Rick Riddell Drums
Fred”Rocky”Howell Lead Guitar,Vocals.
Pete Padalino

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