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