HOK #82: Al Hicks

Meet Al Hicks.

“I was born in Margate, England and came to Canada when I was three. We stayed in Montreal for a little bit and then moved to Ottawa. I grew up in the war time housing right across from Westgate Shopping Mall. I went to Fisher Park High School. I was in the graphic arts program, which I loved. I could draw with pen, pencil or ink and I’d draw all the advertisements. It was really hard to get a job that paid any money, so I turned my attention to cars.

“I worked at a variety of jobs and at a few different car washes. I also drove for Pepsi. My buddy worked for Coke and we would meet up and switch cases because I liked drinking Coke and he liked drinking Pepsi. After that, I started working for the City of Ottawa, cutting grass in the summer and working in the arenas in the winter. After that, I worked in the mailroom, delivering interdepartmental mail all over the city.

“I was a pretty good athlete, played a lot of hockey and I was an arm wrestler. One time I was even on the Wild World of Sports. We would travel all over to tournaments and I did pretty well. I also loved cars. Buying them, taking them apart, putting them back together, fixing them and then selling them for more than I bought them for. Cars were simpler then and you could take it apart and put it back together in the same day. My favourite car was the Dodge Fury with a 426 wedge. I used to go to the racetrack with her and she’d go about 120-130 mph. I’ve been married to Carol for 52 years; the secret to a long marriage is two good people.” Collected by Ellen Bond

Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. View our collection of humans right here.

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