Let's return to more ever popular Chapleau nicknames. Since the first column on nicknames I have received several email contributions from readers of Chapleau Moments and my blog so thanks to everyone for writing --- especially Frances (Jardine) Corston-Lundquist, Bill Wilson, with recognition to Lindsey Wilson (Bill's assistant), Kyle Cachagee and Russell "Rusty" Dunne. The following is another nickname sampler from all the names provided.
Several have wondered how Henry Corston became "Chicken" and Frances clears up the mystery:
"Hi Michael,,as we always called you,,,Chicken was originally Chick from Hen(ry), from playing with kids of his age as they used to taunt him with the old nursery rhyme,,,,"Henny Penny the sky is falling down"...Later years he got Chicken.
Frances also shared how Lloyd McDonald, who later worked many years for Canadian Press got his nickname "Sparrow." Apparently he was coming down the lane from Sunday school and tripped and fell. His neighbour Mr. Wilson said, "God sees the little sparrow fall," and from that day he was known as Sparrow. Thanks Frances. (Robert Jardine has a video clip of a television interview I did with "Sparrow" at the 60th anniversary of Chapleau High School.)
Now to let you know how Lindsey Wilson, Bill's son, also became his assistant. Lindsey wrote in an email, "I am sending you this e-mail on behalf of Bill Wilson (my father)." Lindsey advised that at the time Bill was on holidays but wanted to respond to my article in the Express regarding nicknames with ones he remembered.
Bill recalled that Fred Burrows was called "Bunt" while Philip "Tiny" Martin's sister Shirley was "Torchy" and Ed Bignucolo was "Psyche". I would add that his brother Ernest was "Sonny" who along with their other brother Albert "Al" were all outstanding goaltenders with the Chapleau Huskies.
Ted Collins was nicknamed "Gunner", his sister Marie was called "Flash" while Lorene was "Toots." Douglas Swanson was "Sonny" while Terry Shanoon was "Boots" and Gerald Pilon was "Tonto", Lorne Riley was "Fats" and Raymond Burns went by "Butch."
Wow. As I go through all these names they sure bring back fond memories of life in Chapleau, as I am sure it does for you too.
Bill also reminds us that Keith Swanson is "Buddy", who devoted so many years to hockey in Chapleau and until recently was a member of the Chapleau council. Let me just add here that his brothers Michael and Frederick are "Pat" and "Ted" respectively.
Estelle Morin was "Pootch" and Pat Purich "Pappy" while Henry "Hank" Therriault's younger brother Arthur was always called "Babe."
Thanks Lindsey for helping out your Dad and I hope he had a great vacation.
Kyle Cachagee wrote to reveal that his late grandfather Charles William was sometimes called "Boxcar" but the nickname used most of the time was "Tony." His grandmother Kathleen is "Kitty" or "Nanny." to her grandchildren. Kyle also recalled that Jean Longtin was called "Fireman" as he always wore a red plastic fireman's hat around town.
Russell "Rusty" Dunne moves us to another generation of nicknames but started his message remembering some members of his family. Garth "Tee" Chambers who delivered groceries for Dominion and Viet's supermarket as well as Sears and was the Post Office Custodian for many years. Keith "Sonny" Chambers, Railroad employee war vet. "Doody" Chambers brother of Tee and Sonny, all my cousins because my grandmother (the late Mrs. Agnes Freeborn) and their mother were sisters.
"Other people I grew up with had names like David "Picket" Doig, Robert "Tar" Doyle, Gerry "Beanie" Gionet, Donald "Saints" St.Germain, Richard "Ben" Lacroix, Gerard "Moose" Bernier, Glenn "Esposito" Cappellani, Gary "Hoss" Legros, Angelo "Butch" Bucciarelli , Gary "Hippie" Korpela, Charles "Buddy" Collings, Donald "Wibble" Collings, Robert "Barney" Bromley, to name a few that I can remember off the top of my head."
Rusty added "Some I went to school or worked with and others I was related to. All in all Nicknames are part of our lives. We grew up with them and recognize them easier than proper names." Most importantly he noted that there was never anything bad or derogatory meant when the nickname was given. It was just something that was said and stuck to you.
"My name is Russell Dunne and I have been called Rusty Dunne all my life by family and friends and 99% of people who know me remember my name as "Rusty" instead of Russell.
"I also remember my history/economics teacher being referred to as "Chief" at one time, but it does make you think back and wonder "how did I get that name " or where it came from?, Who knows, maybe its would help to talk to old friends and family and find out."
Thanks Rusty and let me wrap this up with an explanation of how I came to be nicknamed "Chief." In 1970, I was "hired" by Jamie Doyle and his buddy Keith McAdam to coach their Chapleau Midgets hockey team. (Yes, I was hired by them but that's another story.) Shortly after becoming coach, at a practice, one of the players called out, "Heh, MJ..." and before he got any further, in no uncertain terms, in my best Dr. Karl A. Hackstetter voice, I told him that I was Mr. Morris to him and all the players and not to forget it.
I stormed from the dressing room, slammed the door shut, stood outside and lit a cigarette waiting to learn my fate. There was silence, then the late Lionel Corston spoke up and said, "It doesn't sound right to call him Mr. Morris. He is the Chief and we are the Indians..." The team agreed unanimously on my new name, and out they came headed to the ice in the old Chapleau Memorial Community Arena. As each player passed me, he said with the mischievous smile that can only come from kids when they know they have won a big one: "Hi Chief." What could I say. The name stuck. My email is email@example.com
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Saturday, October 31, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Ecole Secondaire Chapleau High School students received standing ovations for performances in World War II production for Remembrance Day in 1987
Just recently I received a message on Facebook from Derek Lafreniere recalling "You'll Get Used To It ... The War Show", by Peter Colley, a play about World War II that I directed at Ecole Secondaire Chapleau High School just prior to Remembrance Day in 1987.
Derek wrote: "I remember the Army play you directed that I was in. It was such a great experience. In addition, we put on one hell of a show if I may say so. If I remember correctly it was a fairly large production,singing, dancing etc..."
It sure was all that you write about it Derek and after a successful run in Chapleau we took it to Wawa for a presentation at Michipicoten High School.
This play was produced in conjunction with Branch Number 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Chapleau.
Writing in The Daily Press, reviewer George Evans, said that a "wonderful thing" happened at ESCHS. "For the older people there was bittersweet nostalgia for the years of World War II, and for the younger folk there was the impact of seeing war as it really was for the 1939 generation of teenagers. From oldest to youngest, the audience was caught up in the banality, the humor, and ultimately, the irreversible waste of war."
Margaret Rose Fortin, of the ESCHS teaching staff, did an incredible job as the music director, with Mrs. Ruth Godemair as the pianist. Members of the ESCHS Chorus included Gabriela Dell, Carolyn Hryhorchuk, Gerard Lalonde, Juliette Payette, Dave Fagan, Yvette Joyal, Desmond Larocque, Mike Holgate and Alison Wedekamm. George noted in his review that it was "impossible to overestimate" the contribution of the chorus to the emotional impact of the production.
Thanks again to all of you for making the last play I directed at CHS/ESCHS among my most memorable moments from the years I spent at the school. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.