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ROOTS SERIES
Strathclair Connection
MEMORY TAKE ME BACK

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PHOTO GALLERIES GUIDE
PORTAL ONE
Music Influences | Strathclair As It Was. . . 
Fair Day | Teachin' Years
www.hillmanweb.com/strathclair/memories/1.html
PORTAL TWO
PERFORMANCES
Strathclair Pub | Bend Theatre Stage | Municipal Hall
Highway 354 and Beyond
www.hillmanweb.com/strathclair/memories/2.html
PORTAL THREE
THE PRAIRIE CATHEDRAL
Strathclair Rink | Curling
 www.hillmanweb.com/strathclair/memories/3.html
PORTAL FOUR
SCHOOL DAYS I
Early Years | Plays | Initiation
 www.hillmanweb.com/strathclair/memories/4.html
PORTAL FIVE
SCHOOL DAYS II
Class Photos 
 www.hillmanweb.com/strathclair/memories/5.html
PORTAL SIX
CADETS & MAJORETTES

 www.hillmanweb.com/strathclair/memories/6.html

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MEMORY TAKE ME BACK
From the Hillman Songs and Record Site

I was raised on a 3/4 section farm in South Western Manitoba -- NW 24-16-22 -- and most of my boyhood memories involve life on the farm and visits to the village of Strathclair, 1 1/2 miles north. Memory Take Me Back is a reflection of these nostalgic days. 

More recently I was asked by the Brandon University Geography Department to write a chapter for a textbook on Manitoba geography that would be published by the University of Manitoba as a university level textbook. My topic was to be centered on rural prairie settlements and I chose my hometown, Strathclair  -- using the title Strathclair: A Prairie Town with a Past, Present & Future or Evolution of the Strathclair District.

Previously, as part of a Masters Degree project, I had transcribed the journals ('20s-'60s) of my maternal grandmother, Katie Campbell and these first-hand accounts were a great resource for instilling a bit of human warmth into what started as a more academic project. I also turned to Memory Take Me Back for inspiration and the following excerpt is really just an expanded version of that song:

The glory years of Strathclair and many other similar prairie communities reached their zenith in mid-twentieth century -- the '50s decade. The excitement and spirit generated by these towns was perhaps best epitomized by the Saturday Night "event." Following the Saturday evening supper hour, families would prepare to "go to town." 

The first cars to arrive would get the best seats. This meant finding a diagonal parking spot along the north side of main street (North Railway Street) in the well-lit, high-traffic area extending from the pool room at Minnedosa Street to Molgat's modern 'self-serve' department store. 
Between these termini, people of all ages walked a jostling gauntlet along a strip of thriving businesses. 

Three favourite spots were the drugstore with its soda fountain and magazine rack, the Chinese cafe‚ with its booths for socializing, and a rival eatery which featured a jukebox, pinball machine and lunch counter with stools. Many of the men gathered in one of the two male bastions -- the beer parlour and the pool room; while a favourite routine for the women was to peruse the line of parked Fords, Chevies and Dodges -- each vehicle demanding a nod, wave or a detour off the sidewalk for a chat. 

When the week's discussion lagged out on the street, there seemed to be no end of open doors to shops to provide diversion: bakery, grocery, dry goods store, newspaper office, garages, butcher shop, hardware store, restroom, shoemaker, and tinsmith. 

In the winter there was always skating, curling and hockey at the rink. The routine for some was to go to the 7 o'clock movie at the Bend Theatre, delaying the sidewalk promenade for later. From a thirty-five cent allowance, kids could eke out a full night's entertainment which included a movie (complete with newsreel, Three Stooges short, cartoon, serial, previews, and draws for prizes), popcorn, "coke" or popsicle, double bubble gum, jawbreakers, and a fifty-two page comic book. 

Later in the decade, many people gathered outside the electric shop which provided an outdoor speaker connected to the twenty-one inch television in the window, few realizing that this box with its flickering black and white pictures was a harbinger of drastic change to this weekly social phenonemon that everyone took for granted.


MEMORY TAKE ME BACK
From Hillman Album No. 6: Prairie Saga
Play the Song Here
Mother's mother on the porch where she's makin butter
Grandfather's out in the yard where he loves to putter
Screen door slams -- sister runs in crying
Skinned a knee out where the collie dog's lying
Memory take me back just one more time

Daddy's in the field where he keeps the prairie dust flying
Rain don't come but the clouds keep on trying
Though drought and hail made times a lot tougher
A mother's love saw that we didn't suffer
Memory take me back just one more time

Saturday night Daddy takes us into town for a movie
Late night shopping and farm talk swapping on Main Street
Old men standing by the pool hall talking
Young folks out on the sidewalk walking
Memory take me back just one more time

INTRO  |  GALLERY I  |  GALLERY II | GALLERY III | GALLERY IV | GALLERY V | GALLERY VI


BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN: A MUSICAL ODYSSEY
www.hillmanweb.com/odyssey1
Bill Hillman: Music Influences
Part I: Strathclair ~ Victoria ~ A WORLD APART ~ China ~ Hong Kong
www.hillmanweb.com/h100.html
Part II: Strathclair
www.hillmanweb.com/h101.html

 

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