TRENTON, BAY OF QUINTE, 30X40 INCHES, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS RCAF stn Trenton was an exciting place for a kid, the AVRO ARROW, spitfires, hurricanes, lancaster bombers we would hear the harvard training night flying my father would be in the tower making sure the rooky pilots didnt crash into each other. Trenton was the stage ground for overeseas canadian military operations. We waved at queen Elizabeth when she visited. When i was at UBC i could fly for free to Germany where my father was stationed. from there i flew to Cypress.
My father, Warrant Officer Ralph Scott’s first posting after returning after from a 3 year tour of duty at #2 Fighter Wing in France was to RCAF Stn. Trenton Ontario. In France the cold was at its peak, the Russians had 60,000 tanks and 5 million soldiers and were poised to strike and subjugate the rest of Europe. Fortunately Nato had nuclear weapons which deterred the Russians. As kids we revelled in the excitement but hated all the injections required to protect us from all the rampant disease in post war Europe which lay in ruins. Cigarettes and the American Dollar had purchasing power as did the female body which was available to feed the family. I always wondered why there were a lot of red lights in the local French village!
Trenton was a busy Air Drome, the staging ground for United Nations peace keeping, Egypt, Cypress, the Balkans etc. Canadian soldier were very popular as our country had fought in two world wars and payed a heavy price for our patriotism. Young me were more than happy to flee the family farm (85% of Canadians were living on farms) and go off on an adventure having no idea the horrors they were about to face for King and Country.
The Golden Hawks were often practicing over head the roar of their jet blast music to a young boys ears as my father was gradually loosing his hearing. He was air traffic controller in the control tower monitoring flights with primitive technology, hazards of the job in those days. The antics of the Golden Hawks, F-86 Sabre Jets was accentuated by their con trails as they flew in formation and then burst apart in pursuit, practicing for future combat. They thrilled many people at airshow all over North America, keeping the support for the military which was hugely expensive but necessary for the tax payer.
We lived on the Bay of Quite which was perfect for a young boy. Ice hockey in winter, collecting birds eggs in the spring for our collection and summer was camping and cycling and fall was baskets of MacIntosh apples and the start of NHL hockey. At that time only 6 teams we would write letters to hockey players asking for autographed pictures. I remember getting a post cards signed by Bobby Hull post marked in Florida. He was from Bellville Ontario, next door to Trenton.
I was a Chicago Black Hawk fan although Les Canadiens, the Habs dominated with the Rocket, Boom Boom and the Pocket Rocket playing for meager wages before the Hockey Players Union came in. The owners made millions from beer sales and the arenas had waiting list for seasons tickets. Someone had to die before you could get tickets. The players later payed the price of constant head injuries and broken bones, a brutal game. I broke my thumb as a goalie the only time I have been in a hospital as a patient. Ball hockey in the summer was much safer.
My father would build and ice shack and we would tow it out on the ice with the family car. He would bore a hole in the ice and we would ice fish, keep the colman stove going for heat and hot tea. Ralph Scott was certainly adventurous and kept the family busy with his projects. He was a great talker kept people entertained in banks or grocery stores line ups asking people what their story was and telling them he was Brian Scott, the local artists father. The call me “son of Ralph” as am also talking to people finding out their story, where were they born etc.