Summer was coming to an end. An opportunity arouse for me to join four friends on an outing to Port Hope. I was the fifth to be picked up and since I had the shortest legs I was the one designated to sit in the middle in the back seat of the car. I went to put on my seatbelt but it wasn’t there. The buckle was where it was supposed to be but there was no sign of a belt. Everybody got out of the car to search for it, but to no avail.We looked high and low, we folded down the back seat and searched in the crevices etc. They were anxious to get going so one of them suggested I share a seat belt with her. Right! This might have worked a few years ago when we were trim and slim but there was no way one seat belt would encompass our two somewhat expanded waist lines and muffin tops. My two back seat companions assured me not to worry because if the car stopped suddenly for any reason they would hold me back. Sure it was okay for them to say. I was the one in danger of becoming a projectile missile. But I trusted the driver and we arrived safely without incidence. My friend the driver took the car into the dealership the following week. Surprise! The missing seatbelt wasn’t missing after all. The fifth belt was behind the seat and pulled down from the roof . It was in plain view if one knew where to look We five people didn’t know where to look or maybe our eyesight and /or brains are slightly compromised.
The drive to Port Hope was pleasant. Port Hope. is a vibrant ,heritage, tourist community situated in southern Ontario on the north shore of Lake Ontario, a short drive from Toronto. It has much to offer–beauty, fine restaurants, shopping, sporting events, parks and hiking trails, night life, theatre and cultural events and so much more.
This area was originally inhabited by aboriginal groups. In fact the Ganaraska River which runs through the town derived its name from the Iroquois village that was situated there. The first settlers arrived in 1793, from the U.S. after the American revolution. They were of English descent. In 1834 Port Hope was designated as a town. Today much of the flavour of the old town remains thanks to many of the dedicated residents who continue to work hard to restore, renovate and maintain many commercial sites and private homes.
Our first activity was lunch. We dined at Dreamers Cafe a lovely informal restaurant in a friendly atmosphere. Actually we were impressed with the overall friendliness of the small town. We sat by the window at the cafe and witnessed each time an outdoor plant tipped from the breeze a passerby would stop and upright it. An older gentleman parked his expensive convertible outside the restaurant . A young boy with his mother was eyeing the car in awe. The man let the boy sit in the drivers seat for a few minutes. The lad was elated.
After filling our bellies we walked the streets, popped into a few stores bought a lottery ticket, and relaxed in the park until it was time for the main event. The main event and purpose of our venture was to see a theatre production of “Singin in the Rain”, an adaptation of the 1952 musical comedy film starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. The venue for “Singin in the Rain” was the Capital Theatre. it was constructed in 1930 and was operated by Famous Players until its closure in 1987 due to poor attendance. In 1994 some local residents formed the Capitol Theatre Heritage Foundation. and the building was restored to operate as a movie theatre and performing arts Centre. This is one of only two surviving Canadian “atmospheric theatres”. The interior was designed to give the illusion of sitting in an outdoor medieval courtyard complete with twinkling stars and moving clouds up above.
The performance of “Singin in the Rain” was quite spectacular. Even my friend who usually dozes off , didn’t. I found the singing, dancing and acting to be superb. it was an all Canadian cast. The highlight of the performance was the rain scene that lasted several minutes. and took the clean up crew several minutes to mop up Thankfully nobody slipped dancing on the wet stage but in a previous show the main star, did but promptly got up with no ill effects. During intermission I spoke to some people seated in the front row. I asked if they got wet from the rain. They answered in the affirmative and a gentleman volunteered the information that not only did he get wet but a pink bra landed in his lap when articles of clothing were thrown from the stage.
“Singin in the Rain” is over, but if it returns I highly recommend you make an effort to see it. In any event other productions take place at the Capitol theatre and a visit to Port Hope is well worth the trip. I know I would like to return frequently to this quant little town.