Women (and girls)

These are photographs and stories of women (and girls) who have had an impact on my life. They are listed at random. Some I "knew" better than others, but there will no full disclosure here!  Some I had a "crush on", as they used to say in the late 40s and early 50s.  They go back as far as the old Ryerson Senior Public School and Westdale Collegiate in Hamilton, Ontario.  Most I knew, others  only slightly if admiringly. Most would be in their early eighties or dead - a gloomy thought.

Geraldine Jarrett
Geraldine Jarrett

Geraldine (Gerry) Jarrett lived on Aberdeen Avenue, on a street just east of James Street South in Hamilton.  I first knew her as a distant admirer when we both attended the old (now demolished Ryerson Senior Public School.  I suspect she was also a fellow student at Earl Kitchener Public School but I don't remember her there. I was  living with my mother and her husband Arthur Bedwell  on Dundurn Street South at the time.

Gerry was my first love at Ryerson and later at Westdale Collegiate, but she never knew it. She seemed totally unapproachable and way beyond my reach. She was a cheerleader ifor the  high school football team, as was my cousin Ruthy Summerli. My infatuation with Gerry was such that every time the streetcar on Aberdeen Avenue passed her street I looked for a glimpse of her.
Jill Mackenzie
Jill Mackenzie
Jill Mackenzie was another early "love of my life". She lived close to our duplex on Dundurn Street South and I remember her from my high school days.  She walked unusually straight-backed because of an injury. It may have been as bad as a broken back.  I "took out" Jill only once as I remember. I seem to remember it was a popular dance hall, the Brant Inn,  on Lake Ontario in Burlington.
Elizabeth Duff
Elizabeth Duff
I believe the first time I met Elizabeth Duff was in Westdale High School.  She lived only a few blocks from us when I lived on Dundurn Street North and had a steady boyfriend with his own car called Bill Rennie.  Elizabeth's father owned one or more meat stores and lived in a large comfortable house.  Elizabeth married a good friend of mine at the time, Bill Lees, and the last I heard was living in her family's home.  Bill and I curled together and I remember skipping a team with Bill at an Ontario's schoolboy championship in Stratford. I was not a good skip and I  think we came last.  Bill and I spent the night in a private home and I remember Bill taking off his watch before getting into bed.  I put down to his father owning a watch and jewellery store. For some reason my brother Ralph bullied Bill and would catch him out between George R. Public school and home. After leaving high school and moving to Toronto I asked Elizabeth for a "date" which she accepted. I did not know she was seriously "dating" Bill.  He did not like it.

Madelaine Thomas, Cambridge, England

mg in cambridge
Me and my MG TC in Cambridge,  probably taken by Madelaine

Madelaine and I made one trip to Cambridge in my MG TC roadster car, probably to visit her sister Margarette at the University.

madelainethomas, cardiff
Madelaine Thomas at Brian Shakespeare wedding, Cardiff, Wale
peter reynolds and madelaine thomas,
Peter Reynolds and Madelaine Thomas, Cardiff Castle, Wales

peter and margarete shakespeare, wales
Peter and Margarette Shakespeare in "fashion" pose near
Thomas home in
Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

Margarette married Brian Shakespeare in a ceremony at Cardiff Castle. I attended in formal dress attire as a family guest.  I lived briefly with them off Bayswater Road in London when Brian was fired by the BBC (actress Judy Dent lived in a flat below) and needed a lodger to help pay the rent.  Margarette was still a student at Cambridge University. They had one child, Jocasta, and were later discovered. It was while living here that Brian, who mad about the James Bond books, was recruited by the British Foreign Office.

I met my wife, Liset, at their house in the Hague, Holland where she was taking care of Jocasta.  Brian was with the British office,  as an attache.

camilla coates and canon
Camilla Coates, Copenhagen

camilla coates and peter
Peter Reynolds and Camilla  Coates, Copenhagen

camilla coates and frank stalley
Camilla Coates in Copenhagen with Frank Stalley

Camilla Coates was my assistant/secretary at the international service of Radio Sweden when I lived in Stockholm.  These pictures were  in Copenhagen during a visit there with Frank Stalley, a CBC announcer friend of mine who was visiting me during a European tour. That's Frank walking with Camilla, probably at the Tivoli Gardens. Camilla was English by birth; her father had been a commander of a British destroyer in World War 11.