Arthur Johnson Barton

Cousin Art forwarded a poem which aptly describes how things have changed since we were kids. Just click here to enjoy it!

Please note, Art's copious collection of old photos follows the wonderful vignettes below!

Concerning vignettes, here is a note from Art and his contributions:


Finally got off my butt and decided to be productive re the reunion. Spent several hours last night going through picture albums and selecting pics to forward. As I was doing so, I kept thinking of vignettes from the past. That later. I know that many other pics exist of my Mom and Dad and many of the family events from the distant past. They are NOT in Winnipeg. They are either at the lake under several feet of snow or have suffered destruction considering that they have experienced two house fires. If I can find others I will forward. What I did discover is that some of the pics you and Doug have posted are the same ones I selected. Should have moved faster. Early contributors get the credit. Will forward in the near future once scanned."


Art's Vignettes. I think ‘I remember when...’

- Remember the Santa Claus Parade days when every relative and close friend congregated on William Avenue to marvel at the Eaton’s Parade which looped past Gramma’s and then the park in front of the General Hospital. Standing on the snow banks throwing snowballs at the cars that parked illegally on the parade route and then gawking to see Santa. Then inside to fill our fat little faces with baking and hot chocolate that Gramma Johnson had carefully prepared. Once full, up to the Stephanson’s on the third floor to tear their living room apart before sliding down the back stairs to the kitchen and then up the front stairs to complete the circuit.

- The Xmas and/or New Years dinners in the parlor. Half the family at each. The eating contests to see who could eat the most. The gift exchange that existed for a few years where each cousin got a gift from each other cousin. All those handkerchiefs and socks. I still have some.

- Garry, Ron and I shared October for birthdays with the requisite Jeannies Cakes. I received a Raleigh Sidewalk bike complete with rear carrier for my sixth birthday. Garry and Ron saw to it that it was well broken in because I was left to cry while they raced up and down William.

- Visiting Gramma’s and making too much noise and her buying peace and comfort by giving us a nickel and sending us to Mrs Meddoff’s or the bakery at the Sherbrook corner.

- The 50 Flood when everything went to Hell. My Dad had the first car in the family and it was put to use evacuating any and all. I remember walking along a low dike on Perth Ave. and helping evacuate Irene, John, Joan and young George. They ended up at Ingolf with us for about six weeks. Schools closed for the duration and didn’t reopen until September. I also remember the tale told of Eleanore and her evacuation from their flood threatened home in old St Boniface. Doug was off manning the dikes when the army went door to door to force all to leave. They were to be put on waiting box cars and taken to safety in the east or west. Destination unknown. Eleanore refused to leave without contacting Doug. The army being army carried her, screaming and kicking, Doug, and I think Melanie off to safety.

- Remember the railway track that ran a couple of streets behind 717 William. A great place to toboggan. There was the winter day that Garry and Ron, before commercial sleds and proper safety sliders, fabricated a sleigh from scrap wood and went down the hill. The sled shattered and Ron ended up with a very long sliver in his butt. It apparently took hours for the two boys to remove it in the privacy of Garry’s room. They were deadly afraid of admitting they had been on the railway right-of-way. Ron, does it still hurt????

- The weekends at Grand Marais at the Stephanson cottage. The hours running thru the sand dunes, playing in the waves, cooking fish flies on the wood stove in the summer kitchen and tormenting the drivers of the honey wagon as they went about their duties.

- Susan’s wedding. All was ready and the church was full. The clock struck the hour and nothing happened. We waited. The organist played all the appropriate music. Five, ten, twenty minutes passed. What was about? The organist began to play all the nursery rhyme melodies as a part of appropriate music. Cold feet? NO. The minister had officiated at a wedding in Fort Garry and was blocked by a very long train on his way across town.

- I have a picture in my mind of Sharri and Alan in Trail BC. I think there was a tennis court in the background. They were teens and I was a little twit.

- I remember racing around the Norwood Flats with Doug and Melanie . This was their new house after the flood.

- Gramma Johnson must have been rich as she had the first TV set in the whole family. I can remember Saturday nites visiting and watching Bishop Sheen, a very dry CBC play followed by wrestling from Toronto. Gramma would get so excited that she would holler at Whipper Billie Watson to tear his opponents arm off and hit him over the head with the wet end. Other than that she never had a bad word for anyone or anything. If she ever got riled, her favorite expression was, “"Pie Cheese Crust, Got Damp, All Maggotty"”. The faster you say it, the better you feel.

Other memories and blarney to be served up at the reunion. Put your thinking caps on.

Now here are Art's contributions photo-wise

Anna and Art Sr.


Art Jr., Art Sr. Garry - Those were the days!


Florence at Ingolf

Anna and Art Jr.


Two photos of Art Jr. at Ingolf

Art Jr., Susan, Art Sr. and John


Alfred and friends


Florence at Ingolf

And yet more Photos to enjoy as follows: