PICTON, PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, 30X40 INCHES ACRYLIC ON CANVAS I had 3 spinster Great Aunts their husbands and boyfriends killed in the masaquer of the First World War. They worked as secretaries in Toronto and retired in Picton in an old victorian house we visited. My grandfather drive a 1950 pontiac which lived in a garage in the winter, was in mint condition. and lived in the hotel
When I was about 10 years we would visit the Great Aunts in Picton Ontario, Prince Edward County. Scotts were United Empire Loyalists who left the newly formed USA, remaining loyal to the British Crown were given land grants in Ontario. One of the Aunts, named Helen was 96 years old and still quite healthy and active. Their prospective husbands had been killed in World War One. They were secretaries in Toronto and retired back to their home town where the family was well entrenched. The family farms were still productive and were operated by the male members of the hierarchy.
My favourite story was in 1927 Aunt Myrtle bought a new Model A Ford which replaced the venerable model T. The car wouldn’t run Myrtle had it in the Ford Dealership many times and the mechanics poured over the newly minted engine trying to diagnose the problem. With great frustration they said to Myrtle, “we have to do a test drive.” The first thing Myrtle does is pull the choke out and hang her purse on it!! She was trying to drive around Toronto with the choke full on! She thought Henry Ford was finally considering woman as they were always misplacing their the purse. For a lot of woman in those days everything they owned was in that purse.
The other advantage for a 10 year old was I got to chop the Aunt’s fire wood which they heated their home with, no electric heat in those days. Wood or coal heated homes. As a city kid chopping fire wood was a dream come true and I got paid in real silver coins that had buying power, the movies, popcorn on Saturdays, John Wayne Westerns. I would be so exhausted I would fall asleep on the leather seats in my fathers old Pontiac on the trip back to RCAF Station Trenton.
CFB Trenton is the airbase where Canada’s peace keeping, United Nations ops. and international relief projects are organized and staged. Because it had a 10,000 foot runway it was ideal for supersonic jets such as AVRO ARROW. In those days there were no breaks on jet aircraft. Landing at 100 mph a parachute had to be deployed to slow the rocket ship down. The blast of twin engines was music to a kids ears. My father would do his turn in the control tower for night flying practice in the old Harvard trainers which which were also very loud, but music to our ears as we knew Dad was on the job. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip would pass through Trenton and we would go out and madly wave at Royalty.
Today we learn the Queen spent a lot of her time with Bean Counters, finding ways to tax shclter her great wealth preserving it for Charles 3, another gong show. Elizibeth made the fatal error of thinking and promoting the idea that her offspring were above the “Madding Crowd” however divorce is rampant, the family keeps the English Tabloids filled with juicy stories of dalliance. Her son is “persona non Grata” for having sex with underage girls and has lost the use of his castle. Barbados has pulled out of the commonwealth stating the British Crown profited hugely from the 60 million Blacks that were enslaved many of them died in transit in the holds of sailing ships.
Picton lives on in my memories. Grandfather Gerald Scott would get up at 4 am during hunting season and with his nickel plated pump shot gun, and a crack shot kill 50 migrating ducks and distribute them around the town. This was before the well fare came into existence so families relied on wild game to supplement their meager rations!