I knew how to enjoy myself when I was a child, as.you can see in this 1955 photo of me getting a groove on with my ukulele. But my exuberance was often problematic for my parents, e.g., my penchant for cutting off my hair.
About Leith Peterson
A discussion of my intriguing Royce Relatives: “Frontier Lady” Sarah Royce (1819-1891) whose published account of life during the 1849 Gold Rush is still in print, Marion Royce (1901-1987) women’s rights advocate and Order of Canada recipient, and Jean Royce (1904-1982) the longest-serving registrar of Queen’s University (1933-1968).
Peterson family Christmases from 1952 to 1965 were multi-faceted. My mother Jay Peterson (1920-1976) created unique Noel-inspired artwork. My brothers Stu and Chris (1954-2009) prepared Christmas cards at the Leith, Ontario print shop. I wrote an account of what London, Ontario’s Victoria Park Christmas displays were like in the mid-1960s.
My mother’s cousin, RCAF Pilot Officer Geordie Fleming sadly lost his life when he was a bomber captain flying over enemy territory during the Second World War. I have assembled an 11″ x 17″ binder about his remarkable life. During a February 2020 London, Ontario Heritage Fair, I showed the binder to interested participants.
My post discusses Peterson family home life from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. It includes a poem my brother Don wrote about what life was like in our unusual household, e.g, my father’s “save the trees” campaign, and how “rock music coming from our house” gave “a headache to the sexton’s spouse.”
In 1965, my mother Jay Peterson assisted James Reaney in designing marionettes for his “Apple Butter” play. Mom’s contribution, “Moo Cow,” now resides at the Canadian Museum of History. In November 2018, James Reaney’s son James Stewart Reaney gave a presentation about the “Apple Butter” saga at Museum London and “Moo Cow” was in attendance.
In my July 2016 post about Ken Whiteley and my great-great grandfather Michael Sullivan (1813-1886), I explained that Michael changed his name from O’Sullivan to Sullivan after he got on the wrong side of the Catholic Church. Whiteley’s song “That Other Shore” tells Michael’s story. Whiteley performed the song again in Michigan in 2018.
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