April 1, 2016
And speaking of “never taking no for an answer” (see Sheba, the Family Dog), another great memory of “begging, whining and pleading til I got it” was in the fall of 1966. I was 9 years old, in Grade 4 and attending Argyll Elementary School. A super cool TV show called The Monkees (omg … I had the biggest crush on Davy Jones!) was a huge hit as were Lost In Space, Bewitched, The Munsters, I Dream of Jeannie and The Outer Limits. Another new show, “A Go-Go 66“ was also turning out to be all the rage. This super hip program (or should I say groovy? lol) featured rock n’ roll music and, of course, the “Go-Go Dancers” who wore the most awesome footwear I’d ever seen … white go-go boots! So cool!
I really don’t remember the actual days of begging for them … must have started shortly after the first episode of Go Go 66 on that great big, still fairly new, RCA color television that my Dad was the King of (lol, another story or two, lol). I remember though my Mom finally relenting and then taking me shopping for a pair of white Go Go Boots!
Onto the Ritchie S7 bus … through Argyll, Hazeldean and Ritchie, north on 99 Street past the Old Timers Cabin, across the North Saskatchewan River on the Low Level Bridge, up McDougall Hill and then, at long last, we were crossing Jasper Avenue on 100 Street as we entered 1960’s downtown Edmonton!!!
We hit all the stores, The Metropolitan, Kresge’s, Woolworth’s, Johnstone Walker … but nada. Nobody had go-go boots yet! My heart was just broken. I so wanted those boots. Then, while we ate lunch at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, Mom made the mistake of saying that she thought we might find them over at Bonnie Doon shopping center which at the time was what we now call a strip mall. Well … needless to say, I perked right up!!!
After all that walking from store to store, both of us were getting pooped but when Mom suggested that we go to Bonnie Doon next week, I wouldn’t hear of it! Poor Mom … maybe she thought she may as well just get it over with … go get the damn go-go boots and be done with it. But then again, maybe the blame was not mine alone! Mom knew me. I think it’s just as likely that she fully intended to take me to Bonnie Doon that afternoon and was just yanking my chain when she said we’d go next week! 🙂
We waited … and waited … and waited in front of Eaton’s for the S7 or the S6 either of which would take us to Whyte Avenue and 99 Street where we would transfer to the R1. I’m sure we’d likely just missed one of the two so it would be at least a 15 minute wait. Time dragged. But … eventually, our bus did indeed arrive and away we went … back across Jasper Avenue, down McDougall Hill, over the Low Level Bridge, up 99 Street past the Old Timer’s Cabin on a beeline to Whyte Avenue. And even though the bus would’ve stopped at Whyte Avenue and 99 Street anyway, as soon as we were in proximity, I rang the bell and headed for the exit.
As a kid, it seemed that the layovers were very, very long for buses travelling in all directions at the intersection of 99 Street and Whyte Avenue and it was no different that day sitting there on the R1 … the 5 minute layover seemed more like 50 minutes! Normally, I didn’t mind the wait on the R1 because more often than not, when heading to Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre by bus, it was for a dentist appointment with that mean dentist Dr. Kucy (that’s a whole other story! lol). This time though, it felt like time was standing still. When the driver closed the doors, released the brake and moved into traffic heading east on Whyte Avenue, I smiled and giggled moving closer to the window so I could enjoy the scenery along the way. Over the Mill Creek Bridge and a couple of stops later we arrived at the Bonnie Doon Shopping Center stop!
If memory serves, the Jack n’ Jill store was next to the Johnstone Walker store pictured above (on the left as you look at the picture). We walked in and when I spotted a pair of go-go boots on the display table, I could hardly contain myself! The sales clerk measured my feet and disappeared to the storage room. I’m sure she was only gone for a few minutes but again, it seemed to take forever for her to come back! When she opened the box, I was delirious with joy!!! In just a few more seconds, those boots would be on my feet!!!
One foot then the other … yes! They were a perfect fit! I couldn’t believe it was me as I looked in the mirror … me … in a pair of white go-go boots with a zipper at the back! Amazing! I was in“go-go boots” heaven!!! And to top it off, I got to wear them home!
Ah yes, I so loved those white go go boots and happily wore them until about the spring of that school year when I started to outgrow (and grow tired of) them. I think that might have been the spring when the Army & Navy Store on Whyte Avenue had a “smoke/water damage” sale … I got 3 pairs of shoes that shopping trip! 🙂
And so goes the story of the acquisition of my white go-go boots …
Coming Soon … “The Buckskin Jacket” …