James Hillis

Archive for April, 2015|Monthly archive page

Damn They Grow Up Fast #4

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2015 at 12:38 am

And last but certainly not least, another granddaughter, this time Emily  2010 and 2015

Emily 2010

Emily 2010

Emily 2015

Emily 2015


Damn They Grow Up Fast #3

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2015 at 10:55 pm

My Grandson Ben

Ben And I

Ben And I


Damn They Grow Up Fast #2

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Another Granddaughter, this time the oldest Monica.

Monica 2007

Monica 2007

Monica 2014

Monica 2014

Damn, They Grow Fast #1

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm

One of my Granddaughters Hayley The First Picture is from 2009 and the second from 2015

hayley (1)


My 50 Great,Forgotten and Sadly Ignored Albums #44 CANDLES IN THE RAIN

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2015 at 12:30 am

CANDLES IN THE RAIN( 1970) Melanie.   Melanie is remembered most for her 1972 top 10 single BRAND NEW KEY, but this album released 2 years earlier contains some of her best work, from original material to some great covers. This was her 3rd album and the first to be released after her triumphant  appearance at Woodstock an appearance that led not only to the title of this album but was the story behind her biggest single of her career up to this point. Lay Down(Candles In The Rain) is a gospel infused song about her experience at Woodstock and having the EDWIN HAWKINS SINGERS doing backup vocals made this song one of the most powerful I have ever heard, and discovering the gospel sound of the Hawkins singers was an added plus when I first heard this song, it screams out at you right from the start and with Melanie’s unique voice no wonder it became a big hit. But this album also contains some of her strongest material ever including her attack on the music industry LOOK WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO MY SONG MA and LEFTOVER WINE, a song about the Loneliness  of performing.  Candles in  the Rain also allows her to cover two very different artists, James Taylor and the Rolling Stones as she performs Carolina on my Mind and Ruby Tuesday and does does them justice.  This album hit #5 on the Canadian Music Charts while the singles LAY DOWN hit #1 Ruby Tuesday #25 and LOOK WHAT THEY HAVE DONE #39.  While Melanie’s voice can be a little shrill for some and it does take a bit of patience to finally get her, the trip on this album is well worth the wait.

Track Listings

  1. “Candles in the Rain” 1:42
  2. Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” (accompanied by the Edwin Hawkins Singers) 3:49
  3. Carolina in My Mind” (James Taylor) 3:37
  4. “Citiest People” 3:32
  5. “What Have They Done to My Song Ma” 4:02
  6. “Alexander Beetle” (Safka, A.A. Milne) 2:35
  7. “The Good Guys” 3:08
  8. “Lovin’ Baby Girl” 4:20
  9. Ruby Tuesday” (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards)
  10. “Leftover Wine” 6:06

Walking On Queen Street Tuesday Afternoon

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2015 at 1:25 am

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The Woodland Park Social Club

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2015 at 12:42 am

Part 2 of 2 about Woodland Park:

The great thing about having a story-teller like my Uncle Alex in the family is that you never short of ideas when you want to write, and even though Alex is gone now, growing up in the same house with him exposed me to some tremendous story’s, and while most of them have fabricated parts to them, the basis for the story’s is almost always real.  His tales of war, the Hespeler that he grew up in and his family are real but with some added touches of his own imagination that enthralled me, my siblings and my cousins. And this is one of those story’s.  Most of it is true, but with no one left alive from his group, it is hard to verify, so you have to exercise your imagination a little with it.

The Woodland Park Social Club

In the late to mid 1930’s Woodland Park was a thriving bit of Woodland in Hespeler that was home to many species of animal and fauna, as well as home to the Woodland Park Social Club, a small group of Hespeler Teenagers that met regularly  through Sun or Snow. This group included my Uncle Alex and many of his circle of friends and included both men and women, there was no discrimination in the Club.  While they were all good Catholics,Baptists or even Presbyterians, religion was left at the edge of the woods for their meetings and they followed a different set of spiritual guidance based more on the ancient Celtic order of Druids.  No, they didn’t stuff kids into trees or practice black magic, they went  to enjoy friendship, drink a few beer’s that they could rustle up and just enjoy the nature around them. They would have a small fire, roast marshmallows and for a day forget about the tensions in the  around them, for this was a time when Germany and Japan were making threatening noises in Europe and Asia and the depression was in full swing in North America, it was a chance to forget about what the future held and more about retaining the last grasps of their late teenage years. They would sing campfire songs and talk about each other lives,  perhaps try to perform an ancient ceremony or two and some of them even had robes made for the Club, it was a simple time in the midst of a changing world for them.   But like everything else this group of Men and Women,or should I say young women and men, were hitting their adult years and the club slowly broke up as the adult world hit them hard, many had to find work to help support their family’s while some of the girls got married and most of the boys wound up going to war, with a few not returning, and the Woodland Park Social Club ceased to exist by the early 1940’s.

My Uncle told me this story one summer day in the 1970’s when he was feeling very  melancholy and so he took me to the park to show me where they met, he stood there,muttered some words I didn’t understand, opened a beer and poured it on the ground. I asked him why he did that,and he just answered, because I know the Club is here with me.   My Uncle Alexander died in November of 2000, and ever since then I have gone to Woodland park to walk and imagine what it would have been like on those long summer nights in 1938, perhaps it is time to start the Woodland Park Social Club up again.

My Uncle Alex in his Later Years with one of his Sisters Ethyl, somehow I can imagine her as a member of the club.



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