Saturday, April 07, 2018

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

THE COMING TIDE - Burnaby In Change

"Rumble on Clydesdale Street" consists of some 30 chapters in 1st draft. The content is a collection of memorable events, some being amusing, others simply reflective on the life and times of a kid and his neighbourhood. Seen from the eyes of a young child there are moments to laugh with, and, at. There are chapters that can be best described as moments of truth and Clydesdale Street forms the basic foundation of the collective thoughts. In many ways it is a personal exorcism. A chance to engage honesty when honesty was pure. The fact Clydesdale Street no longer exists gave cause to celebrate early childhood. A chance to give the little street, now buried under the highway of progress, one last ray of sunshine. Everything physical is now lost with time.

Clydesdale Street could easily be your street. Charming. Anywhere. Forgotten and lost in a changing universe. Trust readers will judge the content and not grammatical expertise as this on going work is admittedly not Hemingway nor Dickens. Chapters will be posted much like old time serial radio shows where listeners had to tune in regularily to catch the next episode. Trust the lure of your childhood days will conjure up chapters of your own.

NOTE* (A personal thank you to Julius (Nugget) Roulette, where after some 50 years we met again. Julius was helpful in jogging the distant memory pool.)Thank you Julius. Enjoy Jimmy - wherever you are. A further heartfelt gratitude to Edward Grenda for his memory input and too Yvonne Twigger for hers. Thank you for sharing your pictures too Yvonne! Tony Pleasants thank you for your class 52 photo.

Robert G. Tuss
- No names have been changed to protect the innocent. Everyone was.
Contact - clydesdalestreet AT
*30 Chapters posted ! (as of March 28, 2017) All Material under Copyright

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"An Ambush Was In The Making."

PREVIEW CHAPTER - All Chapters in published version on Amazon. 


Chapter 1 “An ambush was in the making.”Approaching the front gate commanded inner calm. Fear scrambled over giggling goose bumps. Sensing the unseen, eyes scanned nervously, hair standing like porcupine quills, hearts pounded faster. So fast, panicky feet had no desire to remain still. It never mattered much, whether grown up, or like us little kids, every time the latch clicked it was wise to exercise extreme caution. Moving like rolling thunder it would surely come.

Skin tingled. Throats seized tight. No one knew just where it would appear. Was it from the jagged thorn scratching so desperately at the tired old fence? Was it tucked behind the weeping rain barrel? Was it at the top of the sagging stairs lurking in the dark shadows of the enclosed porch? Anxious eyes played tricks. Oh what tricks.

Once inside the gate, the trial of courage was to scramble up the wooden stairs as fast as one could. Running overtime with the hope the front door was unlocked, or, that Mom was standing there to protect you and friends from the terror waiting with gleeful anticipation.

The untimely was sure to happen. Dashing up the front stairs two at a time, only to meet face to face with the meanest nightmare imaginable. The scourge of Clydesdale Street was primed to pounce. With eyes swirling, a kaleidoscope of changing colors, and a soundboard of unholy screeches came Old Red. This was rooster’s walk. Nobody was to pass easily, if at all.

Old Red was in truth a sleek multi-colored fireball of shiny feathers. The comb on his head was all red. Big. Red. Flopping. Up close it was big. How big? Really, really big. The name stuck.

It was daily entertainment on our block. Neighbours watched the Mailman, the Milkman, the Iceman, the Watkins Lady, family guests, and we, the kids of Clydesdale Street, gingerly unlatch the gate. Always in heightening terror, we then, feeling safe for the moment, ran full speed up the stairs only to be chased back down twice as fast. Laughing knees were common.

If the gate had closed properly on entering the yard, there seriously was the need to dive back over the fence out of harms way. If you were just a kid you ran zigzag, fear fast, around the yard climbing the nearest tree. Red was good but he could not climb nor could he fly.

If the gate did not close properly in one’s haste to run up the front stairs your escape route was clearly back the way you came in. Unfortunately it was with Old Red right at your backside, or on it, squawking and pecking painfully at the ankles or upper body parts.

It was hard to determine who was the more vocal. The assault carried on sometimes for more than half a block either east or west. The trick was to dart straight across the street into the nearest yard. That was good enough for Old Red. He would chortle back into the yard with his chest held high.

What about the neighbourhood dogs? There wasn’t a dog in the territory that wanted any part of the red rooster. When Clydesdale’s dogs heard Old Red in full voice they became noticeably absent. Dogs could not comprehend anything that could mount itself on a victim’s back shrieking wildly and pecking madly away on the head. It was extremely stress related. It seemed better left alone. Benign bones or an old shoe offered no resistance.

Brothers Denny and Buddy, living right across the street feared for their lives when visiting. They feared for their Collie’s too. Like all dogs, they were loose and rambling without restriction. It really was a great time in life to be a dog. The times were different. Dog issues were yet to be debated. For the moment they enjoyed every aspect of life without regulators or collars.

It was shortly after the Second World War. Thoughts were on rebuilding lives, putting up with shortages, and trying to figure out what war ration stamps could still buy. One item all kids found gross was that white margarine that came with a dollop of something neon red. Mixing the two created a rather bizarre orange colored substance. It was smoothed on fresh hot homemade bread. Gosh, the bread was good. The margarine was, well, just gross.

The brothers Collie was named Lassie. Lassie just loved to chase anything moving. In my yard there was always something to chase. We had a big yard. From a kid’s perspective, it felt expansive and could be described as a mini farm on a quiet old-fashioned residential street.

Many properties were quite large on Clydesdale but ours stood out. In our yard there were lots and lots of various fruit trees, berry bushes, a huge vegetable garden, rabbits, wild bushes, a cat, a large chicken coop, and for better or worse, Old Red.

He was more than an attitude. Red I thought was my pet. Well, I believed it. Unfortunately Red did not. Old Red’s aim in life was to terrorize anybody and anything living that came into the yard. This he did well.

Lassie was a regular. He so wanted to chase the chickens, the rabbits, and other things that made their way throughout the yard. It became a daily challenge for the dog. He would assess the risk of running into Old Red, take up the task and jump over or crawl under the wire fence, then race across the yard bounding after anything that resembled a moving target. Ever so often he would bound straight into the beak of Old Red. It was never pretty.

The delivery people, and all of our visitors were always looking for Lassie to get his doggy day underway. His keeping the rooster occupied left the rest of us an opportunity to get in and out of the house safely. Sometimes everybody arrived at the same time. Mom made the coffee.

Lassie always got great treats and never knew why, however, he loved the attention.

Old Red did not understand the reason we had the likes of rabbits and chickens in our yard. It helped feed our family and garner scarce hard dollars. Old Red only knew he had the job of guarding everything. His reward was a low chuckle as he danced after his terrified quarry.

It did not matter who, as long as they were not recognized as occupants, Old Red was right on them. Of course his exuberance carried over to the family the rare times his huge ego was blinded with indignation.

It was not apparent to me at the time that we were a classical working poor family. We had much less in true dollars than most. Luckily most everything we needed to eat was in our yard. To a little kid everything seemed normal and did not come with a burden of guilt. There were differences between us all but we saw them as personality differences not economic. It was different and ever so innocent then. Neighbours actually helped each other without question.

It never occurred to me that I sold things door to door like the eggs, rabbits, and chickens for the express purpose of generating a few real dollars we so badly needed. I was very young. It never really registered. It was never questioned. It was what had to be done and it was done with a smile and a great big heart.

My mother was a first generation Canadian from a family of 17 kids out of Pekan, Alberta. My father was what was called a D P (Displaced Person) in those days. He had jumped ship on Vancouver Island in the 30’s.

The long road from working in the Cumberland coal mines (Vancouver Island) for .39 cents an hour to close friends (the Plecas Family) and (the Grenda’s) giving my Dad and my Mom enough of a start to come to the mainland got even longer.

My first years were in a tenement house on Prior Street near Main Street. It was a time the area was vibrant and alive with shops and busy post war activity. Vancouver’s famous China Town was very near by. A lot of Italians too. I was too little to notice.

I have never really understood how the Clydesdale Street property was acquired, other than my mother’s father, an immigrant farmer, somehow managed to help, as did a small cluster of wartime friends. It was how things were done. Days long time gone when the doors were not locked and everybody knew everybody.

We did not need a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’. Neighbours already helped each other without question. No security alarms, perimeter lighting, or “Keep Out” signs. Old Red was a few years ahead of himself. Security was his thing needed or not. His early morning ‘crocking’ wake up call just was not enough for him. His life needed more meaning. After all, Old Red had lots of time to fill.

One summer day after terrorizing my friends, Old Red in his power mad arrogance, felt he was invincible enough to challenge my Dad. No one did that! Only a surprise would work, went through Old Red’s swollen head.

My Dad, after coming home from his job would tend the garden once dinner was over. The family would all end up doing evening chores especially in summer months. We all shared the numerous things to do. Watering was a high priority each and every evening. The garden wilted heavily under the hot day’s sun.

There were rain barrels around the house (yuck, so filled with crawling things like water skeeters, mosquitoes and movement unknown). We collected this water for the purposes of watering the garden with the mineral rich moisture instead of using cold precious clear water from the taps.

In our house there was a measure of restraint of wasting good water. If it could be used twice or it came from the heavens so be it. That is how it was.

Old Red was on his patrol. Everything seemed peaceful and quite normal. It was best remembered as a shirtless summer evening.

My dad was carrying a rusting pail full of sun-warmed rain barrel water to an area of the garden parched by the days heat. He had just put the pail down and leaned over to pick a few weeds from around the carrots.

As he bent down the drama exploded. Out of nowhere came Red. An ambush was in the making!
A determined rooster running with short wings flapping it is quite a site. Awesome. Mesmerizing. Animated slow motion. As a little kid it looked very much like a small aircraft trying to get lift. The running was awkward. A stiff legged run, with lower extremities out of rhythm like a giant wooden puppet. No strings. No mind.

It came upon you strangely. Old Red was running silent. No sound. Eyes whirling. Then came the irreversible stunning impact of talons and bare flesh. Red had pounced on my Dad’s back!

All in one swoop my Dad reached over his right shoulder catching Old Red by the neck just below his huge head, and, threw him as far forward as he could. Red landed in a heap. His neck snapped. Red lay there motionless and twisted in the dirt. Everything went silent. I could not turn away. My pet lay dead. In an instant I had witnessed Red’s sudden demise.

My father rose cursing loudly. A trait he learned as English became part of his new language. It was a quiet time and it was clear the whole street heard the hollering after the fact. Then, like wll scripted lines came one shout, and, then another from all corners of Clydesdale Street. “We are free.” “The dogs are safe. Yahooo.” “That mad damn killer rooster is soup.”

I could not remember Old Red killing anything, not even worms. He ate them alive. So did we kids. I could not grasp the fact we would be eating Old Red.
Indeed, I could not. I never even knew why Red was called ‘Old’.

I had never come to grasp most of our yard stock ended on somebody’s dinner table. Seeing chickens dispatched was not the same. There was order in that process. Sure, the odd time, when decapitated, they would run aimlessly, their blood gushing skyward until journeys end. It was expected therefore accepted. But not Old Red. Red simply died.

Rabbits. I was not allowed to witness their passing, as it would suggest that next year there would not be an Easter egg hunt. All those coloured eggs did not come from our chickens. Never did I see one Easter egg in their coop.

I never came to grasp why my Dad was being called the neighbourhood hero. A brave Knight to rid Clydesdale Street of crazy Old Red I guess.

I never could understand why there was a yard party with all the fathers bringing homemade spirits, getting drunk and animated much like the headless chickens. They, laughing and singing, while the moms prepared a summer night’s cook out with all the trimmings.

Like the last survivor in his lost legion I collapsed to the ground, tugging aimlessly at the grass.

I saw it different. I had lost my best friend.

RGTCopyright 11/24/02

Monday, November 23, 2015


The Street is gone. The Spirit Remains.
Stories of the moment.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Yvonne contributes a few more priceless photos of Schou Street kids.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Childhood on Clydesdale Street, Burnaby British Columbia

Clydesdale Street, Burnaby BC Mid 1940's Spring Blossoms
An abundance of Cherry Blossoms on Clydesdale Street. Bobby and Blackie enjoying the sunshine. Bobby held by his Mother and Father George & Violet Tuss. Only known photo.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Schou Street School 1952 The Broadview Gang

Thanks to Tony Pleasants who found his 1952 Class Photo. Yes many of the characters of the stories included are in this photo. Even I am located in this group! Hard to imagine. Tony and I met in summer of 2013 attempting to remember those amazing days. There were a few good laughs.

Some of us survive! Schou Street School Reunion in 2015 on the reopening of this legendary school to classroom adult programs. Members of the Dyak family from Clydesdale Street.

Monday, November 09, 2015


(Photo depicts Clydesdale Street 1916 3300 Block looking towards Gilmore east. Cast unknown)
Courtesy - Burnaby Archives


Julius Roulette, Jimmy Roulette, Joey (Derick) Dashwood, Francis Dashwood, Donny Dashwood, Phyllis Roulette, Faye Shuhart, Roy Finchum, Teddy Timberlake, Sonny Boone, Gary Hunter, Yvonne Twigger, Ron Twigger, Bobby Tuss, Don Fraser, Doreen Barr, Buddy Gorrick, Dennis Gorrick, David Causier, Joe Bulvey, Terry Brindley, Doreen Happy, Pat Graf, Dyak Kids, Roy Stewart, Kenny Thomas, Mickey Thomas, Merle Starnes, Pat Roberts, Larry Hall, Ellen McMurphy, Sidney Constantine, Edna Constantine, Donny Oliver, Ernie Oliver, Keith Koronko, Dale Koronko, Iris Hays (Married Name), Billy Leech, Donny Baxter, Tony Pleasants, Eddie Grenda, Hank Grenda - and the many forgotten where memory fades. Not all lived directly on Clydesdale Street but they did attend Schou Street School in the Broadview District.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Schou Street Elementary Gives Up it's secrets

Oh Oh Schou Street Elementary gives up it's secrets. Just WHO are these little rascals. Circa late 40's/ early 50's give or take. You know who you are. Clydesdale Street Kids to be sure BUT that and beyond. Say "HELLO" to the Broadview gang!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Early Baby Boomers - the War (2nd) Babies - and those of any age simply reflecting on their childhood memories. Is your street of dreams still there? Have you ever visited the area you spent the carefree, uncluttered times. Your life and times? My street disappeared. Did yours? Perhaps a moment on this BLOG will bring back your own stories. It was a different time however the era belongs to you and I. See if this is YOUR story. Enjoy! Thanks also Julius (Nugget) Roulette and Eddie Grenda!
Super thanks! Yvonne your pictures are gratefully acknowledged.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Clydesdale Street now Grandview Highway > Right off Boundary
(CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


RE-UNION YEARS AGO.Can you spot your class-mate?
Only a few but there are many out there with a story to tell.

Thanks To Yvonne Twigger (Nelson) for providing this rare glimpse, reminding us all how time really does fly when we are all having fun. We know that Yvonne is now an artist and thank her for bringing these photos for inclusion.

PS: No. Julius, Jimmy, Eddie, Hank, Roy, Bobby, and others were not here either. Perhaps another time. Perhaps.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cascades Theatre Burnaby BC - Another Era

What a feeling. Open air theatre. Little kids sneeking in. Little kids enjoying a different time, and a different day. The Cascades Theatre was the Holy Grail for the Clydesdale kids and all those attending Schou Street School across the street.

Friday, February 11, 2011

YVONNE TWIGGER Before Global Warming?

The Twigger's on Smith Ave! Note the SNOW photo. It is best described as "BEFORE GLOBAL WARMING?" Rarely is there snow these days.
The Twigger family enjoying a Kodak moment outside their home closeby to Schou Street Elementary School. So where are all the photos of kids on Clydesdale Street? Hmmm. I don't know.
PS: Did you know Yvonne's Grandfather first cleared the land for the old Cascade Drive-In Theatre site across from Schou Street School, with his trusty Clydesdale? No! Not the Street! His horse! Oh the Hilarity. Weeping with laughter. Imagine if you can. It is time for another nap.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hank Grenda Loved His Sports

Hank Grenda 1968 Washington State Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Pssst. Where did you hide the worms? Posted by Picasa


Burnaby B.C. Canada?
Full Description of event/sighting: We were driving west in the afternoon into Vancouver British Columbia, on the #1 freeway. And in a clear sky overhead and to the south was a black object in the oval shape of a rugby ball! It was not moving and stayed exactly where it was as we approached. It seemed to be about 2000 feet above the ground near our Central Park and about the size of a 747.

Many people pulled off the highway to look at it, including 2 policemen. It did not move at all and was not a balloon or kite. In retrospect, the oval shape could have been a circle shape as viewed from an angle. It seemed like the opening of a round pipe. We rushed home expecting to hear breaking news but nothing was said about it. I can see the area from my apartment and looked with binoculars after getting home but saw nothing and wondered if my angle of view now was parallel with the shape so it would be a straight line if in fact it was a flat opening of some kind like a disk? I would love to hear what it could have been. Additional Information: Brian, thanks for your reply. Please be clear; that I used Photoshop to duplicate as close as I could to show what I saw. My wife saw it as well, and it seemed like it was in the area west of Central Park, south of Kingsway. And could have been about 1000 to 2000 feet up. Our viewing angle was from the #1 freeway. We noticed it somewhere east of Willingdon Ave. interchange. It never appeared to be hovering, or moving at all or affected by wind or anything. It was definitely NOT a balloon or kite. Just solidly stationary in the sky. As if it was a flat plane of black disk, not even an edge to it. Nor did there appear to be any structure or shape to it other than the solid black disk. No light reflected off anything. As we got just past the Willingdon exit, the traffic slowed down and we pulled to the side of the road as others did. There were even two RCMP officers stopped on a side road, (on what I think might be called Clydesdale St. which leads onto Grandview Hwy at Boundary Rd) they were out of their police car looking up at it too. Other traffic had slowed. I passed by and went home, listening to the radio for reports, but there were none. I even expected the 6 PM news to have video. When I got home, I live in a high rise in Vancouver and could see in that direction east, Central Park is directly in my eastern view, I got out my binoculars but could see nothing. I accounted that to the fact that I thought it was a flat object, and from my new view, it would only be a line in the sky if it was still there at all.. The thought did come to mind that it could have been a circular shape, if viewed directly from below, however I never went closer to find that out. When I told some others about it, someone suggested it could have been a "black hole". I DO know what a real black hole is, but that was an apt description of what it appeared like. As if a pipe was there for some reason, and we could only see the hole in the pipe, but not the pipe itself. I wonder if you'd get any interest from the RCMP office near the Gaglardi Way? Caribou Rd exit? I just discovered your website recently so can't exactly recall the month I saw it, and it could have even been 2002. Of course most people just smirk when you tell them and ask if I'm a 'trekkie' too, but it was a phenomenal and unforgettable sight. It would be most interesting to find others who saw it too.
(borrowed from UFO SiteSeer's account - Thanks guys) Hey! Who knows? The Clydesdale Kids may just be watching. There is no doubt their energy remains vigil. A glass of good cognac to all of you.


FOR THE INTERESTED READER ..................

Still Creek and Burnaby Lake has over the years obviously changed with the growth of urban sprawl. The Creek Keepers and the Greater Vancouver Regional District are working together bringing Still Creek and lake into modern day perspective. Unfortunately it won't be the one reflected in chapters herein but still a great move forward to restore waterbasins and creeks with significant value to the environment.

A site worth visiting to understand the complexity of the project are (2) VIDEOS produced by the GVRD on Still Creek Profile #1 & #2

Find at

Scroll thru video listed and you will find the two on Still Creek. Enjoy.


About Me

My photo
Just one of the 'Kids of Clydesdale Street'. The life and times when innocence and wonder filled our days. A reflection on how the generations have changed with time, and more how a little street disappeared resurfacing as a gateway artery to and out of Vancouver British Columbia Canada. Under the asphalt we remain and young dreams, aspirations and passing time mold both our journey and ultimate destiny. Enjoy. Clydesdale Street could be your own street. Anywhere. Your own youth. Your own reality. A great time it was. Kicking stones, make believe, simple pleasures brought happiness and the carefree vision on our world.