Friday, April 30, 2010

story: preschool

I remember the times when I was in on the first day I cried.

Then my mom took me home. The next day she brought me back and then I didn't cry.

By Jenny

Thursday, April 29, 2010

story: monster filters

Ever wonder how the water in a pool stays so clean?

Well, for a pool built in 1960....these are the kind of filters that do the thankless job.

Industrial genius. Such beauties.

Thank you Percy Norman Memorial Pool filters!
Oh, the stories you could tell...

Thank you Simon, Riley Park's Facility Engineer, for the behind the scenes photo!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

story: monster boilers

These are the boilers
at the

They are called "Steam Pak" and were built in 1959.

Photo by Simon: Riley Park Facility Engineer

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

story: change room cacophony

Nancy Miller writes about her experience in the Percy Norman Memorial Pool change room...

Tile walls amplify the sounds of many different accents and languages as the women, shower and shampoo. It often seems to be a screaming match or panic but then after rushing to assist, the culprits will be laughing! Language barriers do not permit making friends with many but at least we can all smile and say good morning and share benches.

Monday, April 26, 2010

story: Sports Plus group makes Sandwiches

Here are some very creative peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the Sports Plus group who meet after school at the Riley Park Community Centre.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

story: John Oliver High School

August 22, 1939
Gymnasium under construction

May 3, 1966
Victoria Orchestra

Friday, April 23, 2010

story: Fraser and 33rd

July 1944
photographer: Leonard Frank Studio

April 2010
photographer: lisa g

Thursday, April 22, 2010

story: 100% serious business

Once upon a time, Jenna and her co-worker were working at the cafe Re Entry Espresso during odd hours. They were supervising a student film crew filming a short film in Re Entry, about donuts, and they were all 100 percent SERIOUS BUSINESS. The Re Entry employees were there to close up the shop after they were done, which wouldn't be until the middle of the night! Jenna made her co worker hang out for a really long time to keep her company. As the two were taking a break by the outside basement door, a furious gust of wind slammed it shut, locking the poor girl and the young Jenna outside. Oh no! Feeling like it was an urgent emergency, the two girls sprang out of the doorway, running down the block like maniacs through the worst wind storm of '09. I forget the rest but something about how they got inside and weirded out everyone else by their hilarity.

The End.

From Jenna K

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

story: My Memory of Riley Park

Hi everyone my name is MaryKimberly and I`m in grade 4 I am 10 years old and my dream is to become a superstar singer!
This is an old sign that I have seen for a long time for about 2 long years inside Riley Park community centre.

The beautiful flowers and the green fresh plants are so pretty that I won`t ever forget them even though they smash down Riley Park because now I have nice pictures of them.

I took a lot of pictures of the building because I heard they were going to break down Riley Park!

I wanted to take amazing pictures of Riley Park so I can remember what it looked like if it`s ever going to be a long time to remember what it looks like.

story: telephone talk

Do you remember
your old telephone number?
1949 rotary phone

Linda remembers...

My first phone number was Fairmont 8125L, this was in the 50's when I lived at 71 West 18th.
Obviously there weren't alot of telephone's at this time.

My friend across the street had Express in front of her number instead of Fairmont so I am not exactly sure what the word meant. I had another friend who had Dickens in front of her number. Also you had to go through an operator to make a call.

Those were the days that the operators could listen in to your conversation!
1950 telephone operators

Then our family phone number changed to
Trinity6 9494 in around 1960's.

Trinity6 changed to 876 (mid 60's)... and if you look at the number 8 it corresponds to the letter T and the number 7 corresponds to the letter R.
TR for TRinity.
876 9494.

Then, of course later, came the area code

*photos from Vancouver Public Library
Special Collections Historical Photographs

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

story: copycat gardening

Riley gardens are a constant source of delight for us all.

The colour combinations are unique and the varieties differ every year.

When the seasonal clean-ups occur, we know when to trim, rake, prune, fertilize and dig in our own gardens!

Many many thanks to all the gardeners for bringing us so much pleasure.

by Nancy Miller

Monday, April 19, 2010

story: louis on the roof

I decided to have a bbq last summer and invite some friends over at my place, near 28th and St. Catherines. We were all sitting out on the porch eating our delicious meal when we looked up and suddenly saw my cat, Louis, on the roof. He must not have been getting enough attention from us, so he was showing off his cat-skills. I had never seen him do this before. My friends were terrified he would fall, or not be able to get down.

This is a blurry image of Louis (the shape in the centre) on the roof.

And our friend trying to help him get down from the roof.

It didn't work! We settled back down, assuming he would be fine. A few minutes later someone exclaimed,
"Louis is on the telephone pole!"
He had leapt across to a pole next to the house and climbed swiftly down the pole, (going down face-first!) jumped onto a neighbor's porch and jumped to the ground from there, making it safely to the ground. He did a good job showing off, 'cause we were all pretty impressed.

-Nicole T.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

story: the final de-ice

April 9, 2010
Riley Park Rink

A quiet little celebration out in the back parking lot.

Friday, April 16, 2010

story: Seniors Diving Club

Seniors have been getting together 5 mornings a week to practice their diving at the Percy Norman Memorial Pool for many years.

They truly are an inspiration for all ages in the fine art of health and friendship!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

story: Karla the Gardener

Karla used to garden on the traffic circles in Vancouver.
But she is happier at Riley Park.
"People don't yell at me here
and there is much less chance that I will be run over!"
"Ha ha, it's true!"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

story: lucky life

Memories of an anonymous female austrian immigrant...

It was a long boat ride to Montreal. My husband suggested we eat crackers and sip white wine so we wouldn't get seasick like everyone else - it worked! Then we got on the train. Most people got off in Winnipeg, but we kept going.

We arrived late to the Vancouver train station, it was midnight.

And of course we didn't speak English at that time. So we went outside for a taxi, and just said "Hotel!"

Hotel is Hotel in any language.

So the taxi took us down to Granville and Smithe... that place is still standing!

And the taxi driver said 'Yes that is an inexpensive place'.

So we got a room.

Gresham Rooms at Granville and Smithe 1933 - image courtesy of VPL

In the morning, we wanted to find the people who sponsored us, but we didn't have their phone number so we took a taxi to the Able Sawmill, now it is a bus depot there.

And so the secretary said the "Oh, the gentleman is already looking for you all over, he has been at the railway station, and they told him the train arrived last night! "

At that time our sponsor already had a phone in his car, can you imagine that? So the secretary called him and then said "Everything is ok, he will pick you up at the hotel."

So we had to take another taxi - we had enough money to pay the taxi back and forth - and by the time we arrived he was already waiting for us.

He said "Good that I found you."

View looking Northwest at 6400 block Fraser from E. 49th 1939 - image courtesy of VPL

So he took us up to 49th and Fraser, to a house. It belonged to Mennonites and of course they spoke German. The landlady stood there and she said "Welcome to Canada!"
And so, there we had a little suite where we lived for 4 years.

We used to walk from 49th down Main Street to Queen Elizabeth Park, because on Main Street you could pick all the blackberries you wanted. There were hardly any houses there.

The very first weekend that we walked to this park, we found out that you could sit on the grass! You can't do that in Europe!

A park is a park! You walk on the walk but not sit in the grass - you're not allowed to do that. There are too many people in Europe - if everyone would sit in the grass there wouldn't be any grass.

And so, here, there were not that many people so you could sit on the grass!

Queen Elizabeth Park circa 1965 - image courtesy of Riley Park archives

We learned how to do the shopping and in 10 days I found a job! So we had it easy. I was a furrier. Of course that was a real good business at that time. I made more money than any other male immigrant which came here. Then we bought our own house after 4 years!

I was lucky.

Monday, April 12, 2010

story: Les the Cobbler

Lisa Walker talks with Les Both – owner of Both Feet on Main Street.

Les was born on Vancouver Island in a town called Duncan. His parents are originally from Hungary. He moved to Vancouver when he was 2 years old. He apprenticed to become a cobbler after he graduated high school. Les found a post on a job board in the Manpower office, and worked at a shoe repair shop in Oakridge Mall for three years. He has worked in many different shoe repair stores over the years. Les sums up his past cobbler jobs, saying: “I worked in every store, so I had to buy my own!"

Him and his son were driving down Main Street one day and saw a shoe repair store at Main and 29th. Les poked his head in and said, “Hey, wanna sell your store?”

The man who owned it said, “Yes!”

Les bought the place in 2002. Les’ wife Carol came up with the name, as Les didn’t want to have a generic shoe store name.

“This is the best place I’ve ever worked.” Les comments. He is happy to work for himself and do things exactly as he wants. “Nothing flashy or fancy, just putting in the hours.” Les says. He recalls that during the busiest times he has had to work 70 days straight, sometimes staying until 3am!

Les was happy to take on new cobbler apprentices and employees in 2008. He says he even gets a few people asking if they can volunteer their time to learn the trade. He recalls that when he first started hiring people he had to tell them “No boppin’ the customers!”

I asked “What’s bopping?”

Les rephrased, “No dating the customers!”

I was looking at the lovely artwork Les has on the store walls, and he pointed out a drawing, which was given to him by a customer as a gift. It is a line drawing of a young woman’s face. He said a few years after it was given to him a woman came in who looked just like the woman in the drawing, but older.

She stared at the drawing and said, “That’s me!”

Les was amazed, what a small world!

“Women want nice shoes, and want to come to a clean, tidy store.” Les said, after pointing out to me that 90% of his clients are female. His shop really is clean and tidy, but also very genuine and warm. The sign on the storefront window was painstakingly hand-painted; the furniture in the front room rich in brown tones and bought from the antique shop next door. Local art pieces are hung on the walls between sparse carefully chosen shoe products. Grinding noises flow in between classical music as the men in the back work away.

“I like to take things slow, do everything right the first time. I take pride in what I do.” He says.

Although I can see the McDonald’s right across the street, being in this shop feels like a different time; a time when people didn’t expect things in ten minutes. A time when people worked hard at their jobs, and instead of doing everything quick and easy, did things slow, by hand and with pride while the rest of the world rushes on by.