Welcome friends, my name is John Reitmeier and I've been so fortunate to have experienced a lot of travel starting back in 1972. It's time to put the memories in some sort of order, and to add text and pictures to share with our friends and the many listeners to our radio programs. Thanks for coming along on this ride!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Saskatoon Saskatchewan Say it over and over!

Let's go in the way back machine today! It was summer on the farm. Up to that time all the telephone calls were going through wires suspended about 20 feet off the ground on telephone poles. Down most roads there would be the electric poles on one side and the telephone poles on the other. Every home had to have 2 of these wires running to it, then they would agregate into poles with 4 and 8 and 16 and 32 wires on them, but each set of 2 had one ultimate destination, someones home, or a few people's homes if it was that they were on a party line. For us to dial the next door neighbor, we had to add a 6 to the end of the 7 number telephone number, then hang up the phone. That gave the CO (central office) the instruction to RING BACK to the the party line, you knew the other party answered because the phone stopped ringing.

Well in the 60's they decided to slice in underground phone lines. This was a big deal and actually had some down side. When it was blustery and actually snow was blowing so hard that you couldn't see the ground in front of you, you could always just head between the electric poles on the one side and the telephone poles on the other and make it home. Removing those poles really changed things, it's very hard to try to drive parallel to just 1 set of poles, trust me I've tried it.

ANYWAY back to our story. One of the line guys that was doing the wiring as the big cat tractor pulled this giant knife which inserted the cable about 8 feet under the ground. As we talked to him, you know the old story, kids on bicycles acting as supervisors to the working guys. One of the guys was from Saskatoon Saskatchewan, a universe away for a young farm kid in Minnesota. I remember saying it over and over and over again. Sask-a-toon Sas-kat-che-wan.

How Ironic that 20 years later, I was in a show band that not only went to Canada, but ended up spending a lot of time in Saskatoon, even a month at a time and several times. It is a cool place to visit! Over some years, we performed at the Embers Supper Club, The Executive Motor Hotel, Ming's Chinese (well almost..for about 10 minutes...but that's another story) And who could forget the first...Jack's Food House, small but full of drinkers and dancers every night! Most evenings (after shows) revolved around Boston Pizza or Chinese food. Great Great memories of Saskatoon.

When the group, The New Canadian Downbeats worked the Executive Motor Inn, we had quite an experience! A matress in a guest room caught on fire. The alarm sounded and most everyone (it was a small 4 story joint) had gathered in the hotel lobby. It was also the place where the regional wrestlers would stay when working the town and I guess this was their weekend. So here comes two firemen pulling this burning/smoldering mattress down a 1/2 flight of steps and out the front door. All of a sudden one of these great big wrestling guys, who had been mute up to this point, in a high squeeky falsetto voice (which we later found out was his regular voice) said, "If you don't want to wake up dead...never...never...smoke in bed!" It was the funniest thing I had every heard, because the voice just DIDN'T go with this great big burley body. Ahh the memories of Saskatoon!

More memories to write about...
embers super club
Bill Coulter or Colter
Chris Siller
Dale Payment
executive motor hotel
Ming's Chinese
Saskatoon INN

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