The Roof - 1205 Richards Street- We Were Young & Fun Was FunThursday, July 03, 2008
I first met Malcolm Parry, editor of Vancouver Magazine sometime in 1977 when the office was on 1008 Hornby Street. His office, on the second floor, was the largest. It was on the North West corner of the building. Looking west Mac would pick up a monocular and look into the rooms of the Century Plaza on Burrard. Sometimes he would just play a bent soprano saxophone. Looking west was a messy scene that one day was transformed when I watched James La Bounty photograph a good looking architect in a trench coat. The messy scene behind him became the Law Courts and Robson Square and the architect was Arthur Erkikson.
But later in the 70s the magazine moved to 1205 Richards corner with Davie. Across the street facing East was an industrial laundry works. The building was gleeming white. I believe that corner now houses a Choices and large condo.
Ten zero eight Hornby Street was famous for the monthly "pissups". They happened a few days after the magazine made it to the newstands. Contributors (writers, photographers and illustrators) would show up and the magazine would provide cheap vino verde, cheap beer and munchies (terrible munchies). It was here that I met writers who became better known later. Max Wyman, Ben Metcalf, Bob Hunter, Garry Marchant and a young Les Wiseman are examples.
Twelve Zero Five Richards was famous for more parties. It was here that I saw my first alcoholic punch fountain and came to understand that the Christmas issue Playboy cartoons of office orgy parties were not all that off the mark. In one memorable occasion Mac went out to the street (in the early 80s prostitutes worked the area) and invited several ladies of the night to the festivities. I distinctly remember jumping into Mac's WV camper to go to La Bodega. One of my friends was holding hands with a prostitute. At la bodega he was sitting to my right and a another friend to my left. I told the friend on my left, "He is holding hands with her but he is much too drunk to realize that she is a man. Should I tell him?" His answer was short, "No, it's none of your business."
On Friday afternoons often some of the freelance writers would show up with beer. Sometimes this also happened on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. When Garry Marchant, the travel writer affectionately called the Gaz, visited, his pal Les Wiseman, we would go to the Blackstone (on Granville and Davie) to buy beer (it was the cheapest place). If the day was sunny the beer party would move up to the roof. On this particular day (see photographs) the party had begun at the Cecil Hotel and Wiseman and Marchant had brought back a couple of the dancers back to the magazine. Tiffany is wearing a striped top that sort of hides her extra special measurements. I had a weakness for her mouth since it reminded me of Leslie Caron's. The other dancer (who under the influence of beer did not seem to be afraid of heights and somehow could maintain her balance) is Ruby. She was friendly and efficient when she danced and Les one day told me, "She is so pleasant and nice but I think she is fated for tragedy." Perhaps he was right but we will never know. I never heard from her again. Only a week ago I was invited to a birthday party (Tiffany's) in Mapleridge where I would have met her husband and children. But I did not want to go. I did not want to tamper with my memories of that day. As we went up to the roof I took a quick picture of Mac in his office with a woman I cannot identify.
In these pictures you can see Richards street, which runs north/south. Marchant is wearing the darker shirt, Wiseman has the beard and the then brand new art director, Chris Dahl is the man in the light shirt. And that's me in the dark sunglasses.
Chantal Somebody. French name. From Quebec. One our advertising sales
representatives. Location is an advertising sales office.