#564: The Smell of Home

GETTING MORE TALE #564: The Smell of Home

What does your home town smell like?

I may complain a lot, but I do actually love this town.  I was born in Kitchener.  I don’t want to live anywhere else.  It’s certainly not the greatest town in the world, but it’s mine. Kitchener isn’t known worldwide for its burning hot music scene (polka music at Oktoberfest time excluded).  That said we have produced a few local legends:

  • Helix (formed 1974) was based out of Kitchener for many years.
  • Errol Blackwood and Messenjah are our claim to fame in the reggae community.
  • Singer/songwriters Paul MacLeod, Danny Michel, Rob Szabo and Steve Strongman all hailed from here.  You also may have heard of one of the greatest bass clarinetists in the world, Kathryn Ladano.
  • Bluesman Mel Brown wasn’t born here, but he made it home.

Not a lot to boast about, but better than a kick in the pants.

Kitchener also is not known for its arts (that would be Waterloo) or its education (also Waterloo) or sciences (Waterloo again). What it does seem to have in plenty is a number of distinct smells.

Driving up Victoria street, you can smell the Weston’s bread bakery cooking up lots of delicious scents.  My dad has a song he used to like to sing when driving by:

“Weston’s bread,
Is full of lead,
If you eat too much,
You’ll surely be dead.”

That was a nice smell, but I remember a far worse smell in the Record Store days.

I spent the majority of my years in the Fairway Road area of town.  I remember taking the garbage out on many, many nights and smelling the same unexplainable smell.  It only happened during the summer. I don’t even know how to describe it properly.  I used to call it “grape flavoured urine” smell.  It was a weird mix of grape and pee, and in the evenings taking out the garbage, it was everywhere!  What the hell was it?  Nobody knew.  I haven’t smelled grape flavoured urine in a long time…but I remember it clearly any time I take out the garbage on a warm summer night.

There was an even worse smell when I was transferred to “the wrong side of the tracks”.  The garbage bin there was behind a diner.  Back there it always smelled of dirty cooking grease.

I hope your town smells better than “grape flavoured urine”, although you don’t have Messenjah or Helix….

Oh and that red poo-shaped sculpture?  Nobody has a clue what it is!


    1. I sure can, because we drive through the heart of farmland on the way to the cottage! And Sarca, I’m not kidding, every single trip, Jen accuses me of farting in the car when in reality it’s the farm smell! Do I smell that bad???

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My hometown had about 400 people and was in the middle of farm country. We called the smells of the farms “fresh country air.”

    Also, when they’re fertilizing with liquid pig shit? You wanna be anywhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I lived in Windsor (at the uni), we could smell the Detroit River. That was… special. But then on better days, when the wind was right, we could smell the hops from the Johnny Walker plant. That was much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These days, we live on the shores of Georgian Bay. Maybe it’s the moderating effect of a large body of water, but I don’t really notice smells here. Get close to the water, though, and it smells like the beach!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I’m at the lake, it smells so different from home and I love it so much. It feels fresh, it feels good in the lungs and on the skin. It’s not the same here.


      1. Not gonna lie, living on the water like we do is awesome. The beach cures all. Of course, we also get shit-tonnes* of snow because of the lakes too, but this doesn’t bother me either.

        * an actual measurement of snow.


  4. Thunder Bay is so close to Lake Superior you can see Smoke On the Water! HA!
    We have from here of course Paul Schaffer/and a bunch of NHL guys i’m not name dropping any of them as I’m too lazy to type …
    And of course the best thing is ..
    Current River Band….Hodder To Hell the only musical act in Thunder Bay history to write a concept album about the suburb that we grew up in…

    Full C.R Blog assault coming….with the full studio and live album being discussed in detail with all tracks for download….

    Stay tuned…hahaha….how’s that for hype!???


      1. Well there is a guy in town who can transfer from cassette to Digital….hopefully the tape will play..he charges $32 per tape…breaks up the tracks and everything as well…
        I will keep u posted!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jesus I only paid $50 for my USB tape deck and now I do them all myself! At his rates he does two tapes for people and he’s already in profit! He probably does a lot better job than I do though. I can’t get good sound. I need one of those three head tape jobbies that Bop talks about.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. yeah well basically how i look at it i only need one copy as the tape holds both the Hodder To Hell songs on side A as Side B has our first ever live show which we called Cut The Crap!
          yup..i nicked it from the Clash….

          Liked by 1 person

  5. You gotta live closer to Dare Cookies like I do. That’s a great smell.

    And did you have to bring attention to the giant dinosaur turd? Way to scare people away from Kitchener.

    Liked by 2 people

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