EPISODE 134: ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A MOTOR CAR CALLED THE LITTLE SKEOCH(also called The Skeoch Motorcycle Car)alan skeochNov. 27. 2018
REVISED OCT. 2020 (slightly)
It has now been two years since I touched base with the men rebuilding The Litle Skeoch Motor Car
Maybe we should bring back the LITTLE SKEOCH MOTOR CAR. It was small,, cheap and simple…sort of a 4 wheel bicycle seating two people with a chain drive and smallmotorcycle engine. So small that only two very slim people could ride in it since thecar was only 31 inches wide and a little over 8 feet long.Some of you may think this is some kind of joke. Wrong. In 1920, James Skeoch built his first Little Skeoch, then entered it in a Scottish auto show and sold itin ten minutes. All told less than a dozen Little Skeoch’s were built in his small factory. Ten were quickly purchased at that auto show. Price? 180 pounds…which was the cheapest car in the show. None have survived. Sadly in 1921 a fire consumed his little factory and as a result the Burnside Motor Company in Dalbeattie, Scotland, ceased to exist.Pictures of the Skeoch production line were retrieved from Skeoch family albums. Not exactly an automated factory.But the LITTLE SKEOCHS were real mini cars and seemed about to make a big splash in the booming car market of the 1920’suntil fire ended the enterprise. Everything became a blackened pile of scrap iron.James Skeoch moved on. His skills were valued. He had a long successful career and died in 1954.Not many people, by 1954, were even aware that there was such a car as the SKEOCH. Memories are short especially sincenone of the Little Skeochs survived. Gone Gone Gone.Well, not quite.POSSIBLE REBIRTH OF THE LITTLE SKEOCH
HUMPTY DUMPTY SAT ON THE WALL
Trophies across Canada
Begin forwarded message:
From: ALAN SKEOCH <firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: Fwd: EPISODE 129 I HAVE TO TAKE A LEAK…PM TRUDEAU VISIT TO PCIDate: September 30, 2020 at 11:29:52 PM EDTTo: Marjorie Skeoch <email@example.com>, Alan Skeoch <firstname.lastname@example.org>, John Wardle <email@example.com>
Begin forwarded message:
From: ALAN SKEOCH <firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: EPISODE 129 I HAVE TO TAKE A LEAK…PM TRUDEAU VISIT TO PCIDate: September 29, 2020 at 9:24:33 AM EDTTo: Alan Skeoch <email@example.com>, Marjorie Skeoch <firstname.lastname@example.org>, John Wardle <email@example.com>
Note…I hope this story does not seem silly…then again what if it does…who cares?John…take a look…you do not need to send the story out if it seems off the wall.
EPISODE 129 PM PIERRE TRUDEAU VISITS PCI…and has to take a leak
The small convoy of cars pulled up in front of Parkdale C.I. and out popped
If the hat fits , wear it. Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green, Bloc….or no hat at al. IN the long run Canadian political partiesare not that different…and that is something of which we should take pride.Backwards! We have not got our politics all backwards as in this picture. Deep down we like each other.In Canada, I believe we follow the Rodney King look upon life. Remember him? Beaten up in California he asked thepolice, “Why can’t we all get along?” The difference between Bananas and peaches, between tomatoes and lemons isgreater than the differences between Liberals, Conservatives, Greens and New Democrats. We can ‘all get along.’ Let’s keepit that way. We can talk to each other. Most of us do not even belong to a political party.TRUMP- BIDEN DEBATE…CHAOS, HATRED, VIOLENCE
We watched the Trump – Biden show last night. Shocked! Made me think about theday Pierre Elliott Trudeau visited Parkdale Collegiate many years ago. that wasa gentler time maybe. But the more I thought about that visit the more I came tobelieve Canadian democracy has much to recommend.One quotation comes to mind about the Trump – Biden fiasco….”Democracy is a troubled spirit whose dreamif it dream presents only visions of hell.” That sure was the case last night. Visions of hell”Even subtle suggestions of civil war. A debate that was Out of control presenting visions ofhell. I would not invite President Trump to speak to my class. But I did indirectlyinvite PM Pierre Trudeau to come … and he cameSETTING THE SCENE(A Grade Ten class at Parkdale C.I, west end Toronto)
“OK, gang, I have an idea.”
The class hurly burly settled down and most of the grade ten
students at Parkdale Collegiate in Toronto seemed in a listening mood.
“I think we can cajole the Prime Minister to join us.”
“Yes, in person,”
“Because our riding is up for grabs in this election.”
“What’s the plan, sir?”
“You simply write him a note…an invitation.”
“Would it not be better for you to write the note, sir?”
“Nope. Trudeau likes young people. He loses patience with older people…particularly
teachers I believe. Too pompous.”
“Any tips, sir?”
“Keep it simple.”
So they wrote a letter. Several letters as I remember. Written in Grade Ten language with
minimum of flattery. Hand written…straightforward, some spelling errors. Most of the students did not expect
the Prime Minister would ever visit our class. But they went along with the plan.
And then, about a week later, we got a note from the Prime Minister…quite personal.
The answer was a “Yes” he would visit our school…hopefully our class.
Then the whole adventure took on a life of its own.
Unfortunately the visit was taken out of our hands as the whole school got excited.“We will have to open the auditorium for everyone. This is a great honour.”So the visit was not to our classroom and, really, our Grade Ten students were sortof shouldered aside. That did not bother them as much as I expected. It bothers metoday. Initially I thought One of the studentswould introduce the PM and another would do the thank you. That was the initial planbut staff changed it a bit. Our staff of 60 teachers got excited. The visit got to beteacher dominated which was partly my fault. Trudeau sent word that he would like to to a Q and A withthe kids. Insisting the meeting be student centred. That much I liked. There were otheraspects of the planned visit that I did not like very much.A few teachers got really concerned that some of our outspoken and out of control studentswould make the visit into a disaster by rude questioning. Like “Mr. Prime Minister you onlycame here to get votes.” etc.etc. Wild, even rude, questions did not bother me as I believedTrudeau liked that kind of questioning from young people.No matter. Some teachers decided to keep a close eye on our more outspoken students.And I was asked to chair the Q and A from the stage. The visit was getting goddamn pompousbut I agreed. In retrospect that was a mistake. A student should have had that job. We hadstudents that would have done a fine job sitting on stage with the PM. A shy student wouldhave been terrific. The PM would have liked that I thought.In short , we over organized the visit. Too much teacher input. Very little student input.My Grade Ten class was not upset really. None wanted the spotlight as I remember.Now, decades later, I wish I had not chaired the meeting. Trudeau would have loved to seea student from the grade Ten class on stage. He did meet some of them personallythough and that was quite wonderful.As mentioned the visit took a life of its own. I was surprised when a day beforethe official visit an RCMP detachment arrived with a sniffer dog…or maybe more thanone sniffer dog. They did not announce their presence but searched and smelledthe whole school from basement even to the roof. A search for bombs. Wow!This visit was getting the full treatment.Then, the next day, the PM arrived with an escort of unmarked vehicles. He had bodyguardsand also political people with him. But it was Trudeau who led the group. We greetedhim at the front door. Shook hands He seemed a bit agitated.“Thanks for coming…(what should I call him? I decided to use no special term)…Myclass is very excited…flattered.”PM Trudeau stil seemed a bit agitated when he leaned closer to me saying:“Where can I take a leak?”“The principal’s office over here.”And so he disappeared for a leak.At this point one of our teachers sort of bulled through the crowd. “Where is thePrime Minister? I just love him.”I pointed to the Principal’s office and she zipped away in that direction. She wentright into the office. Trudeau was taking a leak. Apparently she stood outsidethe washroom door and greeted him. I think he took that rudeness in his stride.His bodyguards could not stop her. I do not think a CNR locomotive could havestopped her. It was no big deal anyway.What is my point? Not much. It is just so human. Nothing special…a normalevent.Trudeau then took to the stage. He stood with an open microphone takingquestions from the kids just like any teacher wold have done in class. it wasvery laid back. I was not needed on the stage snd had the good sense tosit there and keep my mouth shut. Even when one teacher moved inon a student who seemed bent on embarrassing the Prime Minister. The kidwas removed. Too bad. Trudeau would have liked a few sparks flying.BACK TO THE TRUMP – BIDEN DEBATEReally our student experience with political life in Canada was very relaxed…friendly, honest,straight answers to questions. The visit lacked pomposity. It was so fardistant from the Trump – Biden debate. Polite. Maybe even boring.What would I do if facing students today after the insult laden American Presidentialdebate? How could I be impartial if I was an American teacher. One thoughtcame to mind. “Democracy can only work well if there are two political partiesthat are not distant from each other…parties that we would call centrists…neitherextreme left nor extreme right. Parties not so filled with hate for each other thatthey welcome the prospect of violence.” I read something life that somewhere.Seemed sensible to me. I am not a member of any political party and have votedfor all three on different occasions.Certainly I do not see the rift between parties as deep andhostile … The Grand Canyon. Full hatred. Fire and Brimstone. Andthat has a fascination for sure.Our political life cannot compare. Boring. Nice. The Prime Ministerhas to take a leak. The school staff worry he might be asked a rudequestion. The Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, responds to an invitationby Grade Ten students. So ordinary. So nice. No apologies.You want to know something I suspected? I do not think many ofmy students knew whether Trudeau was a Liberal or a Conservative.There was no big difference. And that…that makes all the difference.alan skeochSept. 29, 2020