You and your Canadian Cousins

You and Your Cousins - And they all ask if you know any movie stars.

It’s June 1963 – You’re Not A Teenager . . . Yet – You Live In L.A., But The Family Reunion Is In Toronto – It’s Summer After All.

You and your Canadian Cousins
You and Your Cousins – And they all ask if you know any movie stars.

CKEY-Toronto – June 17, 1963 – Bill Dulmage Collection –

Just like clockwork – every Summer for as far back as you can remember, your dad had two precious weeks off work and that meant packing you, your mom and enough provisions into the Plymouth Suburban for a camping trip to Yosemite, or Sequoia or Grand Canyon. Cram as much as you can into two weeks. Come home exhausted and wait until your dad gets the 20 rolls of slides back from Sears to sit down and live the experience all over again.

Not this year. This year was going to be an adventure: The family reunion – and those two precious weeks would be spent racing back east, meeting Aunts, Uncles and cousins you’ve never met before, having parties, looking at home movies, going sight-seeing.

Could be fun – might be awful. You really wanted to spend your Summer at the beach; Station 8 and sneaking in to P.O.P. No. You’re going to Toronto. The way you figure it – it’s going to take at least four days to get there and four days to get back. That’s half your vacation sitting in the car, staring out the window, dying of boredom – you and a stack of comic books. Your dad doesn’t like Rock n’ Roll – so your mom will be busy looking for elevator music on the car radio. You’ll be driving through the desert in the middle of the day. Your dad doesn’t believe in air-conditioning. You’re going to sweat yourself to death, you can feel it.

Lucky for you your parents got you a transistor radio for Christmas, complete with earphone. You are relieved. Life is bearable.

It never occurs to you that Toronto is in Canada and Canada is actually another country. You vaguely remember hearing that in Geography class, but you forgot it right away.

You also didn’t realize the cousins you never met are all girls – and you’re all around the same age. And they’re cute – and they like you. They ask you about L.A. – have I met Vince Edwards? Have I met Richard Chamberlain? Is Tuesday Weld really a blonde? Do the Beach Boys really know how to surf? Do I know how to surf? What are the girls like in L.A.? Do I have a girlfriend?

When the last day shows up you don’t want to go home. – you wonder if it’s okay to fall in love with your cousins – you’ve been hugging a lot. You can’t believe 5 days have raced by.

Your consolation is, the cousins have promised to visit L.A. – they promise to write – you promise to write. Maybe they’ll come next year. They get teary as you drag yourself into the car for the ride back. You admit your eyes are getting blurry – you are feeling very sad.

You can’t wait for next year.

And if you were anywhere near Toronto in June of 1963, you were probably listening to CKEY – here’s 40 minutes wroth from June 17, 1963.




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