Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Charlie's

Charlie's. The dive formerly known as Danny's.
But, in reality, the Canadian Cafe.
All the teenagers in Milk River went there. The little, dark, hole-in-the-wall storefront with the half-dozen booths, a couple of pinball machines, dusty dingy floors, dim lighting and the long glass-fronted counter on the north wall.
It was the 'after-school and sometimes Saturdays' place to be.
To just hang out and be cool.
Maybe get a snack. A bottle of pop. Fudgecicle. Chocolate bar.
Play pinball. I should mention here that this was where I learned there is a fine line between 'encouraging' the pinball game and making it 'tilt'. There's a dime I'll never get back.
Moving on . . .
One could listen to the latest hits on the giant jukebox that greeted you as you stepped in the front door. Those fresh and new and those that instigated a store-wide groan because they had been played a little too much. *cough-Honey!*
It was to Charlie's I went to meet my friends whenever I had a loose nickel.
Or--more often--when I didn't have any money at all.
Of course, at those times, we were at the mercy of the moneyed because they got to choose all the music. *cough-Honey!*
Charlie's was the place to let it all hang out.
The first place I saw someone my age smoking.
Gasp.
Where you snuggled into one of the booths on a vinyl-covered bench with your sweetie-of-the-moment.
Okay, I never got to do that, but I dreamed . . .
It was also the place my friends and I discovered that one could actually square dance to 'Ode To Joy'.
True story.
Also my brother tells me it was the place for the finest chop suey known to man.
Who knew?
What was your Charlie's?

One more time. Honey:

10 comments:

  1. Living in a village, with no driver's license and no vehicle, I didn't hang out anywhere ...

    Unless you count the big tree where I had a reading perch, big enough for one person!

    ReplyDelete
  2. And I'm still laughing about the square dancing to "Ode To Joy"!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was interesting that everyone knew where Charlie's was, even though it was never on the sign. It was the 'Canadian Cafe' as long as I knew about it. I hung around there until I was 15 or so. It was about that time that Tude Miller introduced me to Coffee Row across the street. I split me time between the two places, but Coffee Row gave me the most stories--thence my own blogspot....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. Definitely better stories from coffee row! :)

      Delete
  4. If I never hear that song again it will be too soon. Yikes. Club Pavalon for me in Orillia Ontario.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Club Pavalon? Details, D, details! :)

      Delete
  5. Jukeboxes weren't prolific here in Australia, possibly there were more in the big cities, but I remember only a couple in the town I grew up in. We did have radios and I heard Honey far more often than I needed to. I liked it at first, but like many things, it suffered from overkill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kinda like The Red Shoes or whatever the Christmas song was called from a couple of years ago. The first time, I cried. After that, I shut the radio off. ;)

      Delete

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