Flash Back Fridays

TV COMMERCIALS AND CHEVAIS REGAL: 1974 A story by David Boulding

In the winter, it was grim. Cold and dark, with little money, Jim Krieger, Roger Podolski and Heidi Caflisch would save beer bottles, pop bottles and bits of money to buy a bottle of the best scotch sold in Campbell River. A bottle would last weeks. For entertainment, we would assemble in old cabin 21, the old guide shack, and do T.V. commercials for each other. Obviously we had no TV or even a radio, which was heard only when driving to town, past the Strathcona dam.

Roger started by taking a cardboard box and cutting one side so a person could sit down behind Heidi’s small table and put his head on the table. His head was framed much like the old black and white televisions. After the airtight stove was roaring hot and everyone was comfy, Roger would do hemorrhoid commercials, car commercials, anything that popped into his mind.

Michael and the Italian army at Marble Meadows

Michael and the Italian army at Marble Meadows

He would challenge everyone to top his performances. These sessions went on for hours, and a fair minded eye witness would think we were all drunk. I did not drink; neither did Annie Boulding or Toby Hay. Jim Nelson, Heidi and Krieger would have a small glass and they would sip their beloved scotch all night. Krieger refused to drink the cheap stuff.

As laughter is contagious, each commercial would be funnier than the one before. The evening’s entertainment was cheap. No one got drunk because no one had enough money to buy sufficient alcohol. Later, when we could not even afford scotch, we would gather around the Franklin stove and watch the fire burn and talk (Toby says we mostly told lies). Toby is, as usual, correct. Jim got the crazy idea he could heat the buildings with big stoves. So, always thinking, he bought cheap, a 48 inch diameter piece of stainless steel, ten feet long from the scrap metal department of the local pulp mill. He took the pipe to Denis of York Machinery. He asked Denis to make him two stoves Based on a simple plan from Jim. The two stoves were similar, but had different front door systems. Read more