When I was 9 and 10, my older brother Tony became a Playground Supervisor for the Burnaby Parks Board at Lobley Park in Burnaby. I would walk there with him, and as soon as I got there my shirt and shoes would all come off and I'd spend the entire day in my bathing suit. Tony and other teens would lead fun arts and crafts, and we'd go splash in the wading pool and play on the playground.
The park had lots of trees (still does) so you could always find shade to play in, and back then it had a full playground with monkey bars, swings, teeter totters and a merry go round. Many of the trees are still there, though the playground is gone and the wading pool has been replaced by an expanded firehall.
|Lobley Park today|
I'd also go with my friends to the local swimming pools. There was MacPherson, which cost 15 cents, or once I was a bit older (9 years old), I was allowed to go to Central Park pool which was only 10 cents. We'd ride our bikes there in just our bathing suits (no helmets, and bare feet) with our towels over our shoulders. Going to MacPherson there was a hill with a dirt jump we'd go over. If it was Central Park, we'd go as fast as we could down the main trail, then jam on the back-pedal brakes to see who could make the longest skid mark. Both pools are still there are largely unchanged.
|MacPherson Pool today|
|Central Park Pool today|
We also often went to Stanley Park. Our favourite place was Second Beach because it had a playground. I often had a friend tag along. We'd load the station wagon up with a bunch of us in the back (no seat belts back then). We wouldn't even bother with a change of clothes or shoes. We'd go in our bathing suits and bring a towel. Nothing else required. Some pictures below of one of our Second Beach excursions:
|Me and my friend Shawn at 2nd beach, play fighting. Note the sand on our bare feet.|
|Posing with my mom. Very sandy bare feet!|
|And with my dad - I'm doing bunny ears on him!|