One of the things about growing up in a small town like Hespeler during the 60’s and 70’s was the communication network that existed in the town. A lot of it was good, as a small town we had a volunteer fire department and since my dad was a volunteer the only way to get the information about a fire was for each member to have an assigned person to call. So when the fire was phoned in the system would start. The first fireman would call the next on the list and so on and so on, until everyone was notified, and no matter what time of the day, this would occur. It was never a surprise to hear the phone ring at 2:30 in the morning. If someone was sick or got hurt everyone would find out quick enough, and really anything that happened went through the communication network. Even things that would get you in trouble, trust me I know.
In the day’s before Ernie’s the building was known as the Queens Hotel and was a regular spot for many of the locals, including my Dad and his cronies and since it sat at the main intersection in town they could sit and watch the town(and the Characters} go by. And that is how they got me. One warm summers evening i pulled up to the lights in my Dodge Coronet, the 8 track spitting out some raucous Zeppelin tunes, and as I was prone to do, I revved the engine a few times and when the lights turned green I spun out, squealing the tires and headed up Queen Street and headed home. Now this was no more than a two-minute drive to my place and as i pulled into the driveway i saw my dad standing there with his arms folded and glaring at me like i had let in a game winning goal or something. Upon parking the Dodge and slipping out the door my Dad made it clear in no uncertain terms…don’t ever squeal your tires in this town, go to Preston or Galt or even better Kitchener, but do not ever, ever do it in HIS town, and while I am at it turn the music down as nobody else downtown wants to hear that metal crap and wear a seatbelt goddamn it. I stood there stunned! How in the hell did he find out in 2 minutes what I had done? There was no such thing as cell phones in those days, he didn’t have ESP, so how? As he explained it later, one of his chums was sitting at the bar and saw me there revving my engine and was on the phone to the old man when i peeled away from the corner, so by the time I got home the whole story was known. And you know what was worst? Later that day I went over to a friend’s house and his dad laughed at me for getting in trouble doing what I did. That Damn Hespeler Communication network had nailed me and their was nothing i could do about it.