Grade 10: A Date Sans Car

My parents had no car. We lived on a Winnipeg bus route and seemed to get around ok without one. January or February 1965: I decided to take my girlfriend to my school’s dance. I lived in St. James, about half-an-hour from downtown. I would have to transfer downtown to take a bus out to Transcona on the other end of town. There was a wait and then I believe it was another 40 mins. to get there to where the bus turned around on the edge of Transcona where she lived. I then had to walk down several blocks of back lane to get to my girlfriend’s house in the cold, another 10 or more minutes.

We left together to catch a bus headed back into Winnipeg where we’d transfer and head west to St. James. We got off the bus at the apartment building where I lived and we walked a very long block (more like 2 long street blocks up to the avenue where we turned to walk another 80 yards to the school. The band was Chad Allan and the Reflections (later to become The Guess Who). We had a dance, watched the band a bit, talked to my West Indian teacher, then headed on the long trek back to her place so I could catch the last bus headed back to downtown Winnipeg.

All this in the winter cold. My trip was twice as long as hers and the stay at the dance was brief–maybe 30 mins. max. But I wanted to show her my school and see/hear Chad Allan so mission accomplished. It was a crazy 4-5 hours, mostly on the move, but I planned it, she was agreeable, we did it, and it actually worked. Just shows you what is possible when you plan, trust and believe, and actually risk. This was typical of the risks I took and the wild things I did in my high-school years.  Romantic and adventurous. And it was one of the most memorable evenings of both our youths, I’m sure.

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