The Oletymer said: “The picnic, picnics… there are no picnics, like the old picnics, now.
Welfare Wesley put up his hand and said he heard on the radio some guy was married and divorced twice, both of his wives were good housekeepers; when he got divorced they kept he houses.
There was an Amen in the barbershop.
Oh My God put up his hand and said, “I was at Imani Church, Reverend Darryl Gray’s church, last week. After church I was explaining to some people what being a “visible minority” is.
Go to the Atlanta airport, I spent two hours there and only saw two white people working there. I also saw Black pilots, Black airline stewardesses. Black, Black… Now I know why they call it Chocolate City.
Oh My God said, “All white authorities from the three levels of government should go there and spend two hours. Also a lot of the “Uncle Toms” in Canada should too.
Oh My God started talking about sorrel, and Now That’s been Said, said, “It’s not sorrel, it’s Hibiscus.”
Then another discussion started. Is it Hibiscus or sorrel? Half said sorrel, the other said Hibiscus; nobody could come up with an answer for everyone to agree. There was another Amen from everyone.
The Oletymer said, “The picnic, picnics… there are no picnics, like the old picnics, now. Back in the day, eleven school buses would depart from the NCC. This was Montreal back in the day. The picnics were at a place called Long Sault. Can you imagine, back in the day eleven buses lined up waiting for excited children and families bringing all kinds of home-cooked foods to the annual picnic. No KFC, Wendy’s or McDonald’s, just real home food.
Quick Luck put up his hand and said, “I’ll never forget those picnics at Long Sault. One time we all had a great time like we always did, when we came back we asked, “Where is Johnny?” We thought he came back with Michael, but he didn’t, so we had to drive all the way back to Long Sault. When we arrived we looked where we last saw him and there he was, passed out under a tree. We woke him up and brought him back to Montreal.”
Norman said, “Most people that went to Royal Arthur School would remember the picnics back in the day at Long Sault.”
Back In The Day said, “These are very different times. The picnic now is the Royal Arthur picnic, this is the picnic to go to now.”
Oletymer said, “People still talk about what happened back in July 1954 when 12 kids from the NCC day camp drowned. Why? They all got into a boat, the boat capsized. The councilors who were supposed to take care of the children could not swim to save the children.”
Schoolboy said, “There should be a statue downtown in honor of those kids.”
Dropout said, “Of course there should be. There would be one if it were any other ethnic group. It’s too bad, we’re so behind in everything, but we don’t believe it. It’s sad, very sad.”
Back In The Day said, “I remember a story a long time ago at Jim Bull’s Barbershop on St. Antoine Street just east of Rockhead’s Paradise. A guy was sitting in the barber chair and said, “I heard of a lady telling her husband, ‘the garbage man is here.’ Her husband said, ‘tell him to leave three bags.’”
Schoolboy said, “Was it that bad in the good old days?”
To Be Honest said, “Back in the day there was a fellow named Victor Phillips, Uncle Victor, if you knew him, he was ahead of his time. He would tell you about entertainers at Rufus Rockhead’s or in the USA, if you were a good entertainer and you were ready to leave the stage, the audience would yell ‘One mo’ time.
Now That’s Been Said, said, “If you know Montreal, back in the day, when Atwater Market was reasonable, and a lot of people went to St. Lawrence Market you would know there was no Little Burgundy, it was called St. Henri district. Where did this name Little Burgundy come from? Royal Arthur School was in St. Henri, now people will tell you Royal Arthur School was in Little Burgundy, why?
Why don’t they put statues of the world’s greatest jazz pianists Oscar Peterson and next to him one of Dr. Oliver Jones?”
There was an Amen, in the barbershop.
When Rev. Ellis had his church on St. James Street, not on St. Jacques, near Fulford St., the area was called St. Henri, not Little Burgundy. When Bob White, the first Black to get a permit to sell beer in a grocery store, Rufus Rockhead was the first to get a permit to sell liquor, the area was called St. Henri. Father Devine had a mission on St. Bonaventure Street.”
Oletymer said Amen.
Just Chillin’ said, “A lot of people don’t know what was happening back in the day, they were just here, they were not involved in anything. They went to work, went home, listened to the radio… there was no television. So they don’t know, they didn’t know that Jackie Robinson, when he went to the movie theater on St. Catherine Street, had to sit in the balcony. Why? Because Jackie Robinson was Black. Most Blacks, I don’t care who they were, stayed in rooming houses, why? Because they were not allowed to stay at major hotels. Just because they were Black.”
There was an Amen in the barbershop.
Dropout said, “Blacks in Montreal have no idea what Blacks had to go through back in the day in Montreal. Yes, the Southern USA was very bad, so was Montreal.
See a movie “In the Key of Oscar,” Oscar Peterson tells a story when he was in the Johnny Holmes Band; he was supposed to play at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. However, Johnny Holmes cancelled because the hotel told Johnny Holmes, the bandleader, he could come, but not with his Black piano player Oscar Peterson. The movie was made by the National Film Board.”
All of the Regulars of the Ways and Means Committee agree that young sports journalist Julian McKenzie will have a very bright future when he graduates from Concordia University. There’s a lot to write about. There’s a lot of information that the public needs to know. Especially through the mind and eyes of journalists who are Black.
One example is award-winning Julian McKenzie interviews Michael Sam, the football player who had a very good career at university. He was the South Eastern Conference defensive player of the year in 2012. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. If he made the team, he would be given millions of dollars to sign. However, Michael Sam announced that he is gay. As Julian McKenzie knows, this is still a no-no, but the media is comparing Michael Sam as “the first” along with Jackie Robinson, and Michael Sam will be welcomed in Montreal like Jackie Robinson was in 1946.
When award winning sports journalist McKenzie does his research he will find out that it was not the same. Michael Sam is not going through what Jackie Robinson had to endure in 1946. This is only one of the reasons why Julian is going to be a good sports
Professor said, “Community Contact is very lucky to know Julian McKenzie and so will the readers. The timing is perfect because of social media, he can tell the truth, the way it is and why and the way it should be. He will be getting lots of help from everyone, because we need a person like Julian McKenzie.”
There was an Amen from everyone in the barbershop.
Genius said, “I can see there will be problems with award-winning journalist Julian McKenzie, he’s Black, he’s in Montreal, the big networks are in Toronto. He’s good, he must be, and he won a national award along with $10,000. We better enjoy Julian now, because he might be moving to Toronto after he graduates from University. Good talent is always in demand.”