Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 13, 2017

Christmas on Pitt Street, or the Cats visit Cornwall, part III.

Children lining-up to see Santa Claus, Cornwall, ca. 1960.

A letter to Santa from John in depression era Glengarry County.


This is the third in a series of Christmas stories written by Mary Ross-Ross for her husband Philip.

Susie Belle came hurrying into the house from her work in the barn.

Susie Belle, one year old.

“I wish Philip liked to eat mice,” she said.

“I had planned to give him a brace for Christmas, but when I took him one to him when he was sick in bed he didn’t seem grateful, so now I shall have to make an effort and go to Cornwall to find something.”

“Let’s go soon,” said Doodlebug.

“Before the shops get too crowded.”

“Yes!” said Pedalpusher, “And before Mrs, Hall sells all the red tricycles so I won’t miss my Christmas treat.”

So they set a date, and on the appointed day Susie Belle wore her grey furs and they all pulled on their fur mittens and climbed into the car with Laddie.  The dog didn’t like driving very much, but felt he had to go to guard everyone – and besides he couldn’t trust his shopping to anyone else, especially those cats!

After a pleasant drive along the River, the car was parked and they trooped into Hall Brother’s store singing “Jingle Bells,”  Shouting “Merry Christmas ” to Mrs. Hall, Laddie had just started toEdwardian era Christmas postcard.

exchange a few pleasantries  with Alex when he was nearly knocked off his feet by a red tricycle with Pedalpusher at the helm.  “No Pedalpusher,” he barked, “Business first, pleasure afterwards,” and he lifted him firmly off the bike and escorted him from the store.

Pitt St. was looking very festive and all the cats wanted to stop and look in every window, but Laddie kept them moving and took them into Zellers where Pedalpusher purchased his traditional present of three red handkerchiefs.

“Now come across the street,” said Jackie, and he went into a very exclusive candy shop (Laura Secords) and bought Philip a five cent stick of barley sugar.

“Now, I have to go to Webers,” said Laddie.  When they got there the store was very busy and they had to wait a few minutes before Laddie could speak to his friend Mr. Sliter.

“Will you please wrap up one of those Lovely Lady calendars like I bought last year,” he said.

“I’am sorry,” said Mr. Sliter.  “But we couldn’t get any this year.”

“What! no calendar?” said Laddie, and his ears and tail dropped in a dejected manner.

Card display at Weber’s Cornwall.  The business was in operation from 1876 to 1987, when Thelma and Harry Sliter closed it upon their retirement.

The cats were very sorry for him and took him back to Mrs. hall’s where he confided his troubles to Christena.

“I’ll tell you what,” said Christena, after listening .

“If you can’t get what Philip wants, why not get something you want?”

“What a good idea,” said Laddie, cheering up.  “I need a brush, so Philip can brush me, have you got one?”

Christena looked in the glass case and found a brush.  “That will be just the thing,” said Laddie.  “Please wrap it up for me.”

Meanwhile Susie Belle had been waiting and Mr. Ouimette asked if he could help her.  She said “Thank-you, but it is something domestic I want, so I need to speak to Christena.”

After Christena gave Laddie his parcel, she turned to Susie Belle.

“I would like one of those purring machines that sit on top of stove,” said Susie Belle.

“Do you mean a kettle?” asked Christena.

“That’s the name,” said Susie Belle.

“Philip has a new Franklin stove in the kitchen and I thought it would be nice to sit on top of it and purr to remind him of me.”

Christena showed her several shining kettles and she chose the medium sized one.  Just as Christena was about to finish wrapping the kettle, Pedalpusher flew by on the tricycle screaming, “Lppl out! her comes Sputnik.”

Having had his fun Pedalpusher now left the tricycle behind and joined the rest of the cats and Laddie in wishing everyone at Mrs. Hall’s a Merry Christmas.

Join us on Saturday Dec. 16th from 1 pm to 4 pm for an old-fashioned Christmas sing along at the Cornwall Community Museum.

Info:     613 936-0280


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