This was a very interesting bit of autobiography which brought back many memories. My family moved to Washington State (first to Everett, on Puget Sound, then 15 miles inland to Snohomish) around 1960 after Dad retired from the Navy. We'd come from two years in Alabama and two in The Philippines. Having another country just over an hour to the north appealed to our sense of adventure. We visited Vancouver many times over the next seven years. When I left home for college in '67, I'd make it a point to visit Vancouver a couple of times during my summer breaks.
I was something of a Canadaphile as a kid, for very kid-like reasons. I liked the English spellings, which I affected throughout my school career (to my teachers' exasperation). I liked the TV shows, especially Danger Man. I liked how Meteor cars were really Fords with garish centerpieces in their grilles. I liked Stanley Park. When I was an Explorer Scout our post attended the big air show in Abbottsford, a huge thrill.
It baffled me that the majority of my classmates in insular Snohomish (pop. 4100) had never bothered to visit Canada. For that matter, most of them had never left the State. But it went to show America's self-absorbed attitude toward Canada. I learned almost nothing about Our Friendly Neighbor to the North. Other than the French and Indian wars and a brief mention in the "54-40 or fight" chapter, Canada was ignored in our history books. Canadian politics were ignored by everybody. My single brush with Canadian politics was being handed a "Diefendollar" (a fake Canadian dollar bill cut in half) by a protester in Vancouver. This led to the man attempting to explain inflation to me. My 12-year-old brain failed to grasp the concept. And then there was the summer when I visited Vancouver with a college friend who liked to wear a beret. A shopkeeper threw us out because seeing the beret he concluded that Pedro (a Spaniard) was one of those god-damned frogs.
I'd like to visit B.C. again, this time to stay awhile in Vancouver. Maybe some day.
"Time gentlemen please
It's time to drink up your beer
Time gentlemen please
It's time you're no longer here
We've had a few stories and dancing and song
We'll hold hands together as we sing along
We'll be back here next week, so Please come along
For it is time Gentlemen please."