Visitors can hang with Marilyn Monroe and Sid’s idol, James Dean
The first snow has settled in the border town of Beaver Creek, Yukon. Sid is preparing his house and museum for a long cold winter. He drives his recently purchased Caddy into the garage and closes the door. Although his private home is not considered a part of his museum, Sid surrounds himself with antiques and collectibles.
My favourite room in his home is his ’50s-styled dining room. As soon as you enter the room you feel like you are in the time of hot rods, milkshakes and Marilyn Monroe. In Sid’s diner you will find tributes to old Hollywood cinema, the roaring rock ‘n’ roll years and classic cars galore.
Sitting in one corner are large cut-outs of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.
“James Dean was always my idol; because of motorcycles. He liked sports cars though,” Sid told me. “I remember when I was living in Picture Butte, Alberta [in the 1950s] and a movie in a small town cost 25 cents. I went into Calgary to the Tivoli Theatre on 8th Ave., paid and waited for my change. The lady told me a movie there, cost 85 cents!” Sid said with a laugh.
I asked him what movies he likes to watch.
“I like western movies like Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry and Rex Allen even though some of them came later.”
Sid reached across his peach-coloured round booth and picked up a couple vinyl records.
“I never had much of a radio, but when we did we’d listen to Elvis, Chubby Checker, Hank Williams Sr. and Buddy Holly.”
Sid held up his favourite albums in his collection. “I didn’t listen to a whole lot of vinyl, it was 8-tracks for me. I have a Les Paul and Mary Ford album, The Beatles’ Abbey Road, but it came in the ’60s. Roy Orbison, lots of Elvis, and the Beach Boys.”
I know for a fact that Sid has way more vinyl records and 8-tracks scattered through numerous rooms of his home.Sid had posted a couple photos of himself in the 1950s on Facebook; there was one of him and his sister on a motorcycle and the other one was of him looking sleek standing in front of a hot rod. In his early 20s Sid had already begun a small collection of automobiles.
“I was living south of Calgary in the ’50s. I started playing around with old cars, motorcycles. I had a 1954 Harley and a Norton 500, a 1928 Model A coupe hot rod, and a ’53 Ford convertible.”
It’s obvious that Sid still has an immense love for cars.
There was one last piece in Sid’s dining room that caught my eye: the bright red and beaded Corvette hubcap that I made for my first solo art show, Rez Car.
I knowingly called it “Grandpa’s Corvette” and am so happy it sits in my favourite themed room – the ’50s diner.
Sid’s Bordertown Garage and Museum is now officially closed until the spring. Stay warm, everyone!