Skip to content

Chapter 1 Part 5: Cars and Trips

A moleskine notebook is open in the center.  On the left page are two vintage black and white photos depicting a house and a village street. A quote is hand lettered on the right page: "It's in those quiet little towns at the edge of the world that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home". The author's name Aaron Lauritsen is in small lettering at the bottom right of the page. An open fountain pen is at the bottom. A sprig of baby's breath is at the top left. The backdrop is grey farmhouse style floorboards.

Hello and welcome! In today’s post we begin with Charlie’s 16th birthday and then hear about family cars, trips, outings and visitors. This is a fun one, enjoy!

On his 16th birthday, Percy Houson, Doug Eddy, and Doug and Gordon Searles came for supper.  Also, Charlie obtained his driver’s permit that day.  “I was very happy!  I had tried it last week but had to wait ‘til my birthday.”  

Charlie remembered the family’s cars:

“When I was young, my grandfather Halliday had his first car.  It had a metal frame with a canvas roof, curtains on the sides that could be rolled up, and glass in the front and back windows.  It had to be cranked, and I remember cranking it.  Their second car was a sedan which was totally enclosed. My father’s first car was  a Keeton, and I remember the time we went to the Finger Lakes, New York State, with a box on the fender for storage.  We were on a trip to New Jersey to visit Uncle Arthur’s. Our next car, which was enclosed, was a Hudson touring car, which Uncle Arthur had brought us from New Jersey as a gift.  I remember that when it arrived, the floor was covered with watermelons.”

Charlie remembered more of the trips and vacations the family took, and visitors they had, when he was a boy:

“Almost every year, Uncle Arthur’s New Jersey family came to visit.  They came in a bus, as they had seven children plus friends. Summer time was busy in the lumber yard, so mother insisted that when a civic holiday came along we plan a picnic.  One year it was to the Backus Mill, another to Port Dover or another park.  One year it was just a mile from Scotland on Elliot Road, where we took our picnic lunch and enjoyed the sunshine and out-of-doors.  I remember many times we took firewood to the Pit by T.H.B. Railway where we swam and cooked Rim-Cum-Tiddy over a fire for supper. This was before The Pit was commercialized. Also, almost every year, Labour Day Monday was spent with the family at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) in Toronto, taking our picnic lunch along.”

August 17-28, 1934: “Our seven passenger, six cylinder Hudson car pulled my father’s home-made trailer.  We stopped on the side of the road by the St. Lawrence River to have lunch.  A farmer wanted us to pay for stopping there.  I tried to communicate, as father and mother could not understand him.  We got away!  At Trois-Pistoles, we crossed a bridge to the south side and had to go up a very steep hill.  Mother, Mary and I pushed the trailer and car up the hill while father drove.  By the time we got home from the trip, the brakes on the car were worn out!”

January 14, 1934: “We traveled to Lynedock for Uncle Will Halliday’s 45th wedding anniversary.  We went in the Keeton car, and on the way home through Teeterville we hit a horse and buggy turning into a lane. The buggy turned on its side, and then righted itself and continued. Phew!”

And in 1936: “I remember the family trip to Kirkland Lake, which used to be called Swastika, where Enid was working in the hospital as a dietician, and where Edwin and Miriam Bronson lived.  Edwin had a job as an engineer for the Kirkland Lake Gold Mine.  Mary, Enid and father slept in the trailer and nearly froze.  Mother and I slept in the house.”

Charlie remembered a family trip in the Keeton during the late 20’s or early 30’s to Uncle Arthur’s in New Jersey, and also a trip around Lake Huron with muskmelons in the trailer.  “I will never eat a muskmelon again!”  He remembered camping at Port Dover with family and others and sleeping in a large tent with a partition.  Men on one side and women on the other.  “Grandmother Halliday was the chaperone. We loved playing tennis and listening to the music coming from the dance hall.”  

So many great memories!

Til next time,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.