CP: Now what activities did you participate in as a child?
RW: Well, I liked swimming, I liked riding my bike. When it came to sports at Kitsilano High I was in the semi-finals in the running broad jump, in four different items, so very active physically.
CP: Yes, I can see that.
RW: Certainly when it came to university because we lived on Cornwall Street near the pool and didn’t have a, I didn’t have a car, in order to get to university I had to hike from the beach right up to Broadway everyday and back again.
CP: That’s a hike up that hill [laughs].
RW: A lot of physical activity there, I can tell you.
RW: And later on I joined a carpool and it was better.
CP: Well, you’ve answered several of the questions I was going to ask you.
RW: As far as Jewish items are concerned I was active in Young Judaea at the time. I think I was president at the time. And participated in a lot of activities. Oh, I used to like tennis particularly. I played a lot of tennis in Kitsilano beach…
CP: Yes, of course.
RW: And at English Bay too.
MF: Max, when you were growing up in Vancouver in this area what kind of activities did you get involved in? Were you active in sports?
MP: Yes, quite a bit. Swimming quite a bit in summertime and then springtime we used to do quite a bit of hiking.
MF: There was a Jewish athletic club at one time which I’m not familiar with. Do you remember who was the president or who was involved?
MP: We didn’t have such…We had a group called the Jewish Athletic Club and we had a basketball team and we formed a basketball team that joined the church league. And we used to practice in the Japanese gym on Powell, on Jackson and Powell Street, on Jackson, it was near Powell.
MF: Jackson Avenue. How many teams were in this league?
MP: Well, there was at least six or eight teams in the league, oh yes.
MF: It was a popular thing, so it was kind of an ethnic thing. There was a Japanese team, and a Jewish team…
MP: No, there was nothing about no Japanese team. But it was Jewish only…but there was different kinds of churches [had] teams.
MF: Included in that group.
MF: And there was a popular thing for young people in those days to go to Bowen Island?
MP: In the summertime B’nai B’rith used to put on picnics and of course other societies used to put on…and that was the popular thing to take a boat to Bowen Island for a good outing for the day.
Kent: What did you do at recess?
Karby: Whatever, we used to play tag, a lot of hopscotch, a lot of hanging
Kent: You mean just talking with your friends?
Karby: Yeah, just hanging out. There was always a teacher on duty, always someone in the playground. There are things I don't want to tell you. We were mean sometimes, you know how kids can be. But mostly, I'd say mostly the girls played jump rope, a lot of doubles jump rope with the big skipping rope..
Kent: When you say ‘doubles’ do you mean two ropes or just one rope, two people jumping?
Karby: One rope sometimes two people jumping, sometimes two ropes but one of these long [ropes], you know, that it takes two people to hold. And we did a lot of hopscotch although there was only one small section where you could draw the squares because I'm sure the rest of the thing was gravel.
Kent: You mean you drew your own squares?
Karby: Yeah, sure, of course with chalk, absolutely. And we made our own little beaded throws. I can't tell you how many hours of our childhood were spent making hopscotch throws, you know, beaded, and I don’t even remember now what they were out of, but all kinds of varieties. We did a lot of roller skating and sometimes we'd bring our roller skates and skate in the yard but that was rare because it meant schlepping them to school.
Kent: Yeah, you said the yard was gravel.
Karby: It must have not all been gravel because if we drew the hopscotch it couldn't have been gravel so maybe I’m not…maybe it was just concrete, some kind of cement of some sort. I really don’t remember now. Maybe it’s part and part. I don’t know somebody else might remember that…Once in a while…No, that was about it. We were never allowed off the school grounds. Once in a while we'd go to the park, not Douglas Park but the little Braemar Park, if the weather was nice sometimes.
Kent: You went with the teachers?
Karby: Yeah, with the teacher, we’d have our lunch in the park.
ID: You told me some stories about entertainers on the beach.
MD: Oh yeah.
ID: Tell me about them.
MD: Again we’re talking about the Depression years.
ID: What years were these now?
MD: So we’re talking about 19…okay, so we arrived in Vancouver in 1935, I was five in the summer and just turned six in November. And in the summer months things really are much the same now as they were then with the concrete boardwalk that we have there with the…right on Beach Avenue. And people were poor. People were trying to find some means of earning a living and particularly the entertainers. The entertainers were lined up…Now the entertainers that we see now are these, what do you call them, buckster…hucksters?
MD: Hucksters, whatever. Anyhow they were more down on the beach…
MD: Bus, yeah. Buskers. But these were real professional entertainers, they were ventriloquists, they were dancers, they were singers…
ID: Did [inaudible]?
MD: They [couldn’t]. These were people that at one time were probably on radio or vaud…mostly vaudeville. And they were lined up and there was series of them. And it was like, it was really, it was like a series of vaudeville acts all going on at the same time.
ID: Would they put a hat out or something for money?
MD: Yeah, yeah, people had their hats out for money and you’d walk and you’d put a few pennies in. And the area where Milestone’s Café is, where…
ID: At the corner of Davie and…
MD: Yeah, Davie…and Den…Denman and Davie. And all the way up. As a matter of fact all the way up to Pendrell, along there on the west side of Denman there was a series of hotdog stands. These were actually built into the homes and at the back people and upstairs people lived. And in the front these were all concessions. And there was the aroma, you walk down the street in the summer on Denman Street and one after another hamburgers, hamburger stands. People were selling hamburgers and hotdogs.
ID: All along Denman.
MD: It was a like a huge carnival there. So if you can just picture the carnival atmosphere of the hamburger stands, the hotdog stands on one side and across the street on Beach Avenue facing the English Bay were all these entertainers. It was lively.
ID: Every night? Every day? All day?
MD: Almost, almost every night. Obviously during the day the hamburger stands were still functioning particularly on the weekends but at night the combination of the entertainers and the sounds and smells of the hamburgers, sizzling hamburgers, was unbelievable.
HS: Other things like big presents like my mom and dad would go away and come back and Audrey and I were each given an English bike, a Raleigh, and they were beautiful.