Such a nice park ‘Sprirt Square’ the name really fits

Lots of campers and trailers and lots of boats and they are top of the line, lots of money there.

Lots of campers and trailers and lots of boats and they are top of the line, lots of money there.

It’s hard for us oldtimers to compare the boat of 50 years ago to the new modern boat. Most of the old boats were lumber and of the river boat design and some as long as 35 feet.

They were safe but not too much speed as the biggest outboard motor was a 30 horse but they served the purpose and were cheap to operate. We bought a 25 foot river boat from a guy at Babine, it worked well for us. That winter we pulled it out and it looked like a corral. The sides and the bottom had shrunk as it must have been green lumber he used. We had to rebuild it. This was a common thing for a lumber river boat. This is unheard of with our modern boats.

Canada Day

July 1, Canada Day, is behind us but it will have left wonderful memories that will stay for a long time. By all reports everything went over so well. The entertainment for the day was out of this world. There was something for everyone to enjoy. Spirit Square is such a wonderful place for a sports day, we should all be so proud of it. I have nothing but good reports about the whole day. I must not forget the parade as it was just great. Burns Lake always seems to have a great parade and a good sports day. Folks always enjoy themselves and have great memories. One thing that goes for Burns Lake is the beautiful park. It’s always a pleasure to go there. Spirit Square really sets it off. As the names really fits it too.

Looking back

I am old enough to remember the big dry and the Great Depression, it’s a part in my life I will never forget. It did two things, it either made you or broke you. One of our biggest problems was a shortage of water.

We had over a mile of the Eyehill creek, plus three wells and a big slough. Every day the pumps would pump dry and the creek just had pools. I think the horses suffered the worst working in the heat, then the milk cows. Some folks went hungry. They were called the ‘Dirty thirties’ and they were. The crops would blow away and the land would hang up in the fences so you could walk over them or drive.

A bunch of folks in B.C. felt sorry for the Saskatchewan folks and they shipped huge shipments of apples to be passed out, this was so wonderful. Then an outfit back east sent a carload of cheese. Big huge blocks of a cheddar cheese. Some of the locals gave every family according to the family size. What a great help this was to hungry folks. We sure enjoyed it, sure was welcome. Then a car of salted fish came from back in eastern Canada, I think it was halibut. They are split and salted. We called them snowshoes.

Mother was one of the very few who was able to cook them so you could each them. She had to boil them four times to get the salt out of them. Lots of folks gave us theirs. Looking back things could have been worse. Still had our sleigh rides, our musical evenings, lots of visiting. I still look back to those years and the many many wonderful people I got to know through those years. Not many of us left. I would like to write a book about the Great Depression, it was the greater part of my life.

Music to my ears

Last night I picked an old music book of songs and music, brought back some great memories. This book goes back a long way. Very few folks in our younger musicians have ever heard them. Lots of those old songs told a story.

Like ‘The capture of Albert Johnson, the mad trapper.’ Shot three Mounties before he was killed, then the ‘Springhill disaster’ a terrible mining crew in where over 22 men were killed. This was also a song very sad. Then there was the ‘Wreck of the old 97,’ a story that was true. I used to sing one, The Pretty Quadroon, another true song. Lots of old cowboy songs that told a story. Then there would be some good love songs with a meaning to them. This old book is full. Lots of what we called tear jerkers. Another good song ‘The capture of Jesse James.’ Lots of soldier songs all with great music and words. Lots of modern music and songs are good too but it’s very different from all the old songs I was brought up on with my parents too as they used to play them. Shopping

I can’t help but compare shopping in the stores of today as they are now as to when we were in business, now over 60 years ago. It’s hard to compare. A $50 order was a huge order, last a family a month on an average.

The canned food was on shelves behind two long counters and the clerk would put up your order in boxes. We had tables for clothing and heavy groceries. In the first years all the groceries came by Beach Trucklines from Vancouver once a week. Earl Deeder drove the truck, all the fruit and any hardware. Bananas came in long wooden crates still on the stalk.

We had a big hook in the store ceiling to hang the bananas on. We had a sharp knife to cut off the fruit. The bananas were packed in straw. There was a big red sign that said “Beware of Tarantula spiders hiding in the hay, they are deadly.” We had a gas pump, gas was three gallons for $1. Sold lamp gas, kerosene, chicken feed, horse shoes, harness and saddles tack, rifles, amp, boots, heaters and lots of advice free.

Another thing that comes to mind and it still bothers me. This was before we built the new store.

We were taking out the big front step and the walkway in front of our store and we found a locked mail bag that had been there for over 30 years. We had to send it to Vancouver and they would not let us open it. I should have done so. The post office that time was very poor pay, I think mother’s first wages were $35 a month.

Take care, have a safe summer and always remember God loves you and so do I.