The thing about glitter is if you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever. Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.
Demetri Martin

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Roots :: Remembering the Bookmobile and Pop Shop

What is in a name?

Today, a name holds joy. 

Third Street Handcrafters has officially been born - in a legal sense, that is.    For several months Sonia and I have been eager to register our little endeavour as an actual business.  It's a marriage of sorts, this little adventure and we decided to - you know - make an honest woman of her.  We've been working for over a year under the name Vervain Designs - a name that has served us well  - but decided that we wanted to move forward with a name that held greater collective relevence and  inspiration.

Sonia and I grew up in a neighborhood known locally as The Villa.  The Villa was an old RCAF Station, part of the Pinetree line that was operational during the 1950's and 60's. During the 1970's the operational site (the radar) was utilized as a plant for making precast concrete (Lundrigans) and the residential area (formerly developed as PMQs) was sold to a private owner who converted it into rental housing.

Over the couse of it's existance the radar has developed a rather dramatic culture riddled with urban legands based largely on suspicions of paranormal activity.  Wonderments have largely suround the deaths of some workers from the concrete plant (numbers vary according to resources), a murder in the area in the 1970's, and misleading information that the building was once the site of a mental hospital.  In fact, several of the administrative buildings of the old RCAF station were converted into an Adult Residential and Nursing Home -  a neighbor who, as evidenced,  has the potential to generate much rumor in the presence of imaginative individuals.  

While we were growing up, the area was famous for hiking, exploring the ruins of various buildings - including the three story burnt out shell of the radar base - and berry picking.  Also, there used to be go-kart races in the summer that started at the top of the hill heading up towards the radar.   

We lived in The Villa during the 1980's and very early 90's, a time when the houses all had numbers that were assigned in no apparent ordering (something to do with the military housing, maybe??) and when the streets had no names other then in reference to their order up the hill (i.e. First, Second, Third and Fourth Street).  We, incidently, lived on the Third Street.  Surprising, I know. 

Ours was a childhood of annual summer parades and Fundays featuring the community firefighters squaring off in the Barrol Roll.  A time of home-delivered milk when our milkman would give all the kids a Farmer's juice bag from the truck.  I remember the Bookmobile coming and the Pop Shop deliveries and playing huge games of hide and seek with tons of kids.    

Sadly, all of the houses were torn down in 2004, rendering The Villa a depressing skeletal reflection of it's former glory.  All that remains is the Nursing Home which has been completely redesigned.  I went up for a hike shortly after the demolition and, aside from being a tad heart sick, I was shocked at how different everything look stripped of the details.  Everything looked so small - even the really big hill we used to sail down on our bikes.  It was like visiting your elementary school as an adult - the fountains are always so unbelievably low to the ground...  

So this is where our new name comes from, for anyone who might have wondered.  We chose it because it is a link to our childhoods, to our time of innocence and imagination, which largely serves as our creative inspiration.  We ask only that you let us help you and your children to

enjoy life and imagine out load

*Please note that some of these pictures were graciously borrowed from a Facebook group commemorating The Villa.  We thank the administrator of the group and its numerous members for sharing their memories.


snazz said...

Love the new name and the backstory. Great post! I wish you lots of success in your new name. You wear it well.

Andrea at The Third Street Studio said...

Thank you so much!


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