Sunday, February 12, 2006

Singles Scene # 2

Bayfield: Sometimes, the interesting story is of the one that got away: "Yea, we caught all these barely edible little fish, but you should have seen the one Jonah had on..." It is July 4th, America day. I am in Bayfield Ontario and stumble upon a true piece of Canadiana, a Canadian gem. Unfortunately, I couldn't pry it out of the hands of the owner; more specifically still, the owners dad.

Bayfield is a small tourist trap of a town, approximately 20 minutes south of Goderich, where we were camping for a week. The main street is a series of small houses painted white, with white picket fences and gingerbread gabling all around. The houses are in reality however, shops, restaurants and B&B's. Many of the shops of the antique kind. It is really a nice little downtown, and it makes for a good summer afternoon walking through it. If you like old stuff, the antiques, this is a town that must be visited.

On the corner of Charles St. and Main St. there is a sign for the group of 7 shoppes [sic]. The group of seven is seven small stores all selling old stuff; two of which appear to be in business. One is "Around the Block" which sold used clothes as well as a small selection of antiques and LP records. My wife was eyeballing a dress and went in to the change room. A minute later she shouts out:

"Singles. The wall is covered in singles."

Sure enough about 50 singles grace the wall of each change room. Mostly old Rock and Roll, mostly U.S. and British stuff. John Cougar, The Beatles, The Dave Clark 5 and The Jackson's. An eclectic mix really, not from one era, or even style. Almost like someone bought a pile for a dime at a flea market. In the first change room we were in, the one in the vary back corner of the store, there was my CanCon gem. The Young Canada Singers 45 of Canada.

Remember this song? "Caaaa-Naaaa-Da. One little two little three Canadians..." Bobby Gimby wrote it. Also known as the Centennial song the Canadian Government commissioned this piece of pop for the 1967 centennial celebrations. We used to sing this in school, along with "A place to stand, and a place to grow, and call this land, Ontario." Bobby Gimby spent the summer of '67 touring Canadian villas, marching through town with a hundred kids behind him singing "Caaaa-Naaaa-Da.". My guess is no town ever refused to pay him for services rendered. But while they may never have refused him, Bayfield refused me; more specifically Around the Block did.

I emerged from the change room with my find in hand, only to be told the 45's are not for sale. I offered up what I consider to be prime dollars for a single that's been thumb tacked to a wall, but no go. It turns out the owner is at home with her kids for the afternoon and her dad is watching the shoppe [sic]. Now, if owner lady is there, I think she takes my three bucks and runs, but dad considered the merchandise not for sale, and he wasn't budging. I wonder if the daughter notices sales slippage when dad runs things, or is it just me who can't get him to take my money? Either way, my first foray into the heart of CanCon came up flat. Too bad, because I only vaguely remember this song, but the tiny bit I do remember has been stuck in my head since I saw it on the wall.

Oh, well! Maybe next time I'm in Bayfield dad will have the day off and my three bucks will be good enough for them.

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