Niagara Daredevils

Yes … I’m afraid that is me on the left (aged 15 and 1/4).  However, to spare my Aunt Liz’s blushes, I won’t tell you who it is that’s sharing the barrel with me …

Anyway:  continuing the theme of staying with relatives (see the previous post), this 1978 holiday was one of those at the extreme end of the generosity scale.  I spent six glorious teenage weeks in Canada, the biggest chunk with my Aunt Peg & Uncle Alex and family;  but also with sizeable stints with Aunt Liz, Uncle Johnny, and Doug & Sue.

It was my first experience of so many things:  solo transatlantic travel … winds that were warm (ever since synonymous with freedom) … going out for breakfast (OK, it was McDonalds … but hey …!) … pizza … drive-in movies … people with swimming pools in the garden.  All unbelievable.  All wonderful.

Otherwise in 1978, an amazing miscellany:  the great pyramid of Tenochtitlan is found in Mexico City (by electrical contractors) … Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith agrees with black leaders on the principle of transfer to majority rule:  and then shortly afterwards attacks Zambia … Annie Hall wins the best picture Oscar … the regular radio broadcasts of the British parliament start … the Red Brigades’ campaign terrorizes Italy, including the killing of Aldo Moro … the first Unabomber attack hits Northwestern University … Tito is named Yugoslav President for Life … the Camp David peace process between Menachim Begin and Anwar Sadat takes place, leading (later in the year) to a Nobel Peace Prize … two popes die (Paul VI and John Paul I), ushering in the 26-year reign of John Paul II.  Sydney holds its first Mardi Gras – on the tenth anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and in the same year that Harvey Milk and George Moscone (then Mayor of San Francisco) are murdered.  President Jimmy Carter decides to postpone production of the neutron bomb.

And I went over Niagara Falls in a barrel …


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