Charley's Field Notes #4
City Hall & Market
One lovely summer day I took a stroll down to Kingston’s City Hall. As you can see, a market still thrives behind the building. Here is a description from the historic plaque:
In 1843 the architect George Brown was commissioned to design a town hall in keeping with Kingston’s status as a provincial capital. The building, one of the most ambitious examples of nineteenth century Canadian municipal architecture, was completed in 1844 at a cost of almost £20,000. It housed the municipal offices, the council chambers, and the town market, and also contained shops, other offices and a saloon.
During Charley’s lifetime, it also housed the city’s police station and jail.
Since Odds on Murder deals with gambling, I thought you might like to see what Canadian currency looked like at the time. The monarch was King George VI, who came to the throne in 1936 after the abdication of his brother, Edward VII. He ruled until his death in 1952 and was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II.
This is the cover with the “Mexican Spitfire” smoking a pipe that Charley remembers seeing. Although Charley dislikes the smell of cigarettes, the aroma of pipe smoke brings her comforting memories of her grandfather. While she doesn’t seriously consider taking up the habit, the decision not to is rooted in society’s expectations of how a woman should behave. “Charley was quite certain Gran would have kittens if her granddaughter adopted yet another “male” affectation. She was already beside herself with Charley’s penchant for wearing trousers rather than the much less practical skirt…”
Lupe, an actress, dancer and singer during Hollywood’s Golden Age, was known for her fiery personality both on and off the screen. One of the first successful Latin-American actresses in Hollywood, she had several highly publicized romances with Hollywood actors and a stormy marriage with Johnny Weissmuller (of Tarzan fame). In December 1944, Lupe Vélez died of an intentional barbiturate overdose.
Mark’s gift to Charley
Can’t you just imagine this in Charley’s unruly hair? You may be surprised at Mark’s fine taste in women’s hair accessories but not in his ability to know the perfect gift for everyone–he sees more than he lets on.