Last Tuesday evening the Lakes District Arts Council really came up with a wonderful evening entertainments with guitar music out of this world.
The Montreal Trio, what an evening it turned out to be. For want of a better word spellbinding. Although the evenings entertainment is long over folks are still talking about it. A of number residents from the Tweedsmuir House attended and were so impressed.
I was unable to go but I heard such good reports. Through the grapevine I have heard there is some top of the line entertainment in store for the season. We are so fortunate to look forward to. Music is universal, just good for everyone, the more the better.
Hats off to our Lakes District Arts Council for keeping it alive, we are so fortunate.
Fall is sneaking up on us, too soon for my liking. Last Tuesday we got our first heavy frost, I heard minus six. I have had my good old friends on the prairie and they have had their first heavy frost so be prepared winter is coming. Gardens are up, haying is done, wood pile is big and ready and storm windows already on. Vehicles all ready, just lots to do before winter. I really miss getting ready, lots to do but it has always been something to look forward to.
Watching the world news things just don’t look too good… even our good neighbour to the south of us seems to be having some financial problems. The Great Depression that I remember so well keeps coming up in my memory. I sure hope we don’t have another one. As we had about a mile of C.P.R. railway bordering our place on the prairie and we would see men and boys as they used to call it riding the rails.
We were about a half a mile from the crossing and it was where lots of these guys would walk down to our place for something to eat and ask if they could sleep in our hayloft. Mother would make them something to eat and they would catch the next freight.
This was not a good experience but it was the way it was. This hit home as we had a great friend of ours thrown from a box car in Jasper. He used to ride to work in the woods of B.C. Before he left that fall he left Mother his Washburn guitar and I still have it. I heard it’s very valuable.
It was made in 1930. Fin came from Denmark and could not speak english so Mother taught him to speak english, Fin taught Mother the guitar, a good trade.
Along with the depression we had ‘The Big Dry’ as they called it. Our land and many others just blew away. Our creek went dry, wells went dry, just a huge disaster. Saskatchewan seemed to get hit the worst.
During the worst times food was shipped in by rail. There was a carload of apples from the Fraser Valley and folks would go to the siding and depending on the number in your family you got your ration. T
he box car would stay a day or so and move onto the next town. Then a carload of cheese came in from Ontario, what a treat that was and the same thing depending on the number in your family, that’s what you got. The last carload of food was salted halibut, we called them snowshoes, they came loaded in like cord wood. Some were huge and covered in salt. Mother was one person who was able to cook these fish and they were good.
Anyone who had a car either put it up on blocks or took off the body and used the frame for what was called a ‘Bennet Buggy’, put a tongue on it and a set of single trees and neck yolk on and a team of horses and you were away. Dad found an old car and took off the body and made a Bennet Buggy and low and behold the wheels on our car matched up so that was a plus. We had a good team of horses so it was ok, a bit slower but got us to where we were to go and always got us home in good shape.
The ones who really took a beating was the little general stores as they would give out credit and they just never got their money as there was none to get. Evesham where we went to school had three rooms but they closed the one room and went to two rooms. One of Dad’s friends had a few head of cattle and he had no feed, they were starving and no money to ship them so he kept a couple of milk cows and destroyed the rest.
We came through it and maybe made us better people. It brought us much closer to our neighbours. There were good times too when we would get together for musical evening, put on plays, card parties and sleigh rides with teams of horses and just plain visiting.
Lots of sing songs as we used to call them. Through those hard times the church would be full every Sunday. There was a good choir which our family loved.
What a fun evening it was, no booze as we had no money but nobody missed it anyway. We had more fun just being ourselves. As a rule there were three sleighs and if it was a nice night lots of guitars playing and singing. You could hear us coming for miles. I think the horses liked it too. How well I remember those old days and I feel I am so fortunate to have been able to take part in those old days.
When this news gets out Thanksgiving will be behind us but let’s not forget what it’s all about as we have so much to be thankful for in our country.
It’s such an important time to just stop and thank God for our many blessings we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.
A little story
A chemistry teacher was teaching his Grade 5 the evils of liquor so he had glass of water and a glass of whisky and two worms. So he dropped a worm in each glass. The worm in the whiskey died and the one he dropped in the water was alive and happy. “Now what did you learn?” One kid jumped up and said “If you drink whiskey you won’t get worms.”
Take care and always remember God loves you and so do I, for sure.