Life After The Crash Of 1929

In 1929 when the stock market crashed, my parents, along with most everyone else, lost a lot… some lost everything.

My Dad moved our family to Beaver Valley in the Cariboo.. We were fifty miles from Williams Lake and sixteen miles from Horsefly, our nearest store.

An old bachelor , Jack Teasdale,  lived 2 1/2 miles back in the bush behind our place. Dad needed some hay and bought a ton from him. Ten Dollars a ton for hay, but Jack wouldn’t take the money… he said “Buy the kid a horse.”

Dad traded ten dollars worth of oats for my horse… an old pack horse, so they weren’t afraid to let me ride him.

I named him Barney Google… I was 9 years old!

There was no money – and I mean NO Money. We  grew a big garden, and Dad had a permit to shoot game out of season. We ate a lot of moose meat.

If we needed staples from the store, it was barter and trade. Dad grew a big crop of oats, but wild oats grew along with it, and wild oat seeds are black. I remember sitting around the table in the evenings, taking those black seeds out, giving us clean seed, for which we got a better price when trading with the store.

We had chickens, so were able to trade some eggs for things like flour, sugar, and yeast. I don’t know how mom managed, but we were never hungry.

I loved gathering wild flowers… Indian Paint Brush, Tiger Lilies and especially little wild violets. Best time to find them was after a rain storm… and I would come home soaked to the skin.

Wild strawberries grew on the hill just behind the barn. They were small, but oh, so delicious.. Saskatoon berries made great pies…

We didn’t have a radio, nor a TV…. not even a telephone. The phones through the valley were “party line”. Each phone had a special ring… like 2 longs and a short. Everyone knew who they belonged to, and would pick up the phone and listen in to the conversations. News traveled fast!

It was a very different way of life… but a good one.

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8 thoughts on “Life After The Crash Of 1929

    • Good morning NORman. How about a cup of tea with me? This was a very special time… I learned that money was not the most important thing… we didn’t have any… but you know, if something came up where my folks had to have some, it appeared from somewhere, quite unexpectedly.

      Thanks for permission to paint from your photo. It might be a few days before I can get at it, but I’m looking forward to it.

      Thanks for your visit, too. I do appreciate it.

  1. Some call it a “simpler” life, although I think the challenges must have been extensive. It was certainly a harder life from a physical aspect. You share some great memories!

    • Hi Carol, the teas is poured. You know, I was surprised that my mom and dad knew how to live that kind of life after living on Angus drive in Vancouver, and attending Ryerson Church… and had a summer camp at Boundary bay… but they didn’t complain… and I got to have my own horse! It was hard times, but it was good times that I will never forget. Thanks for coming by, Carol. I always enjoy your visits!

  2. Good afrernoon Norma,sorry I am so late in commenting but was having some problems with my internet.it sounds like things were tough in 1929 but somehow your parents got you all the things you needed ,food & a warm bed & a roof over your head and the best of all lots of love!.How wonderful for you that Jack would’nt take money & told your Dad to get you a horse.I know you had much enjoyment with Barney Google.Hope you have a great afternoon & evening! Keep shining!

    • HI Dianne. Thanks for coming by… I do appreciate your comments.. we can have tea as the kettle is boiling. Even though there was no money, my parents never complained and made our lives as pleasant as possible. I have no regrets about that time of my life… I loved it. Funny thing, though, I don’t have a picture of Barney Google… no money for film! I’ll keep on shining as much as I can,Dianne, and I hope you are doing the same!

  3. A wonderful story – I love hearing about your childhood years near Horsefly. A wonderfully healthy way to live. Your father made a wise decision. 🙂

    • Good morning, Heather. Thanks for your visit and your comments. I was out “partying” last night. It was an evening of entertainment and desserts to honour volunteers who make a difference. Did you get your tea?

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