Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Perrin
, p. 30

Hooper, John, Author
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Item Type:
Written: 15 May 1994
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Kawartha Lakes Public Library
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190 Kent St W.
Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y6
(705) 324-5632

Full Text

It has been said that confession is good for the soul and so I must tell you a story about a situation I got involved in when I was a young lad getting into mischief in and around Lindsay.

One afternoon when I was uptown with my mother, we met Mrs. Ab Perrin and her son Bill. Both of our mothers were members of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Lindsay Citizens' Band and while they were discussing fund raising ideas, Bill and I became acquainted with each other and compared our interests. I became very interested when he told me that he had a chemistry set and was performing a number of experiments and would welcome me to come to his house sometime where he would show me what he was doing.

One day, some weeks later, I was sitting around the house doing nothing when I remembered Bill's invitation so I picked up the 'phone and called to see if he was in. He was delighted to hear from me and told me to come over and we would have some fun. As I recall it, Bill lived on Glenelg St. W. with his mother, dad and brother Max so I took off from our home on St. Paul St. and went up to spend an afternoon learning all about Bill's experiments.

Upon arrival at the house we went to the basement and after an hour or so of his showing me some of the things he could do as a junior chemist he asked if I knew how to make a bomb. I told him I had no idea and with that he said he would show me how.

He went over to the opposite side of the basement and returned with a number of empty bottles with one exception and that one was, I was to learn, filled with gunpowder. In a matter of no time he also produced a considerable length of cordite which he explained to me was really a length of "fuse". Bill filled a bottle about the size of a half-pint milk bottle, placed the lid on it, screwed the top on securely then poked a small hole in the lid just large enough to accommodate a piece of cordite that, when lit, would take about thirty seconds burning time before it would ignite the gunpowder causing it to explode.

Being very anxious to see how the "bomb" would work, we agreed to meet at his place that night and go down to the river across from the Knitters Limited factory, where we would light the fuse, and roll the bottle across the ice and then run like the devil and take cover. This we did and what a blast when our "bomb" went off! We thought it might be fun to do the same thing again sometime in the near future and away we went laughing at the big blast we had created.

The following day my laughter became fear when the Lindsay Daily Post ran a story reporting that a Mr. Bob Worthington (who was a stationery Engineer at the Knitters Limited plant) had gone outside for a moment when he heard a terrific blast and a window pane shatter near the boiler room. The story went on to say how police were notified and were investigating the cause of a mysterious blast that had taken place.

I phoned Bill and told him about the article in the paper and told him never to reveal that we were the ones who were responsible for what had taken place. To me, it seemed like an eternity before I began to feel that our "secret" was going to remain a mystery and, to this day, I have never been involved in making any kind of an explosive device, nor will I!

I can't speak for Bill.

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Looking Back: Perrin