Summertime in the fifties my brother, sister, and I would dash out of the house to play. Living in Marpole on Montcalm street we would sometimes head down to the foot of Hudson Street where the action was. We would pass the fire hall on 70th ave where if the firemen, usually washing their trucks, saw us they’d wave and yell hello.
Hudson and Marine Drive was downtown Marpole. This was where the Marpole and the train bridge would end up. The Interurban from Richmond and New Westminster would stop here at the train station. Lots of shops and stuff happening.
The train station was surrounded by a raised boardwalk where, among other shopping choices, was the bicycle shop where in later years we would purchase our heavy duty bikes for newspaper delivery. These guys knew their stuff and any repairs we needed would be done professionally and quickly.
But we were just kids in the early fifties and we would love to explore the shops and parks.
We would pass the Marpole Infirmary Where, on good or bad days there would always be a group of war veterans sitting outside either enjoying the sunshine or smoking, or both. These guys were always friendly and would laugh, smile, wave and talk to us as we rode by.
Sometimes if we had enough money we would get ice cream bars for lunch then head home up Hudson again.
On Hudson street was a gas station and kind of auto wrecker with old cars and trucks, some for sale. We discovered an old wreck of a model T in which we would play pretending we were driving all over the country. The owner spotted us one day and asked if we wanted the old wreck. He said it wasn’t worth fixing up and he would sell it to us for $10!
Well!! We rushed home and excitedly waited for dad to get home from work. When he did we told him of the ‘deal’ and begged him to buy it and set it up in our backyard. Nope, he said. We pleaded and pleaded but he was having none of it.
Broken hearted it took us almost a whole day to get over the disappointment.
Parksville, main street/Nov.2019
1983 We used to eat there whenever we visited downtown Nanaimo. Good food! Now? Never go downtown.