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From the editor: Long gone

René J. Roy is the editor of Wreckhouse Weekly. A lifelong Montreal Canadiens fan, he is a native of Port aux Basques. In addition to writing, editing, or shooting photos for the paper, he volunteers as a firefighter.

Some things just stick with you forever. It could be something big, small, important, or a completely odd memory that makes you think, “Why on earth do I remember that?”

I have a lot of those, but one of the ones that makes me laugh is running down to the old East End Channel store when I was 5 or 6 years old, and filling my cheeks with those yellow banana candies or those little ice creams that came in the plastic cone, with the frozen gumball in the bottom. I could eat 10 of those a day I think.

We called it Spencer’s back then, some 40 plus years ago, but like so much, it’s now just a memory. The convenience of convenience stores is easy to miss, especially where I live in way down in Channel.

My mother still remembers all the old stores – Mrs. Colley’s, Windsor’s, Sheila Ford’s, Mrs. Moyses and Roy Spencer’s. That’s five stores all in one little area and now there’s none.

When I went to the old St. James Elementary, I remember there used to be a little shop just at the bottom of Elizabeth Street, where we used to sprint down at recess and grab as many penny candies as our grubby little hands could carry. I recall the old RCMP station on that street too, where I took my first bicycle to get a serial number engraved in it.

I don’t mention old locations just to wander down memory lane.

Another business is leaving the downtown area, settling into a bigger and better location. It will have the definite advantage of being more visible, and certainly more central in town, but I cant help but feel that most of Port aux Basques seems to be migrating up the road. The elementary school, the new Stadium, the Town depot – all moved up the road.

My sister and I run Wreckhouse Press from her home, just 20 paces from where I played as a boy. It’s likely just a matter of time until we also have to move up the road, into a bigger location with more centralized access to serve the public.

And it’s really a shame, because the East End of town is where I am from, where I work, and what I love most. I’m in no hurry to go too.

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