Longshoreman and More.

I don’t remember at what stage of our lives, but somewhere along about this time, Dad got a job as a longshoreman. He had to be around 60 years old, and was the oldest man on the crew. He was given the name of “dad” from the rest of the crew.

It was rather a dangerous job as the regular longshoremen  were on strike, and this crew were considered scabs….. I remember that dad carried a piece of pipe wrapped in newspaper, for protection, just in case.

I’m pretty sure that it was when we lived on East Boulevard.

Bob Barrager was one of the crew that dad worked with. He and his wife and Lawrence, their small son, lived in the Pacific Hotel downtown… no place to raise a family. They remained friends for many years. He and dad loved to play crib.

Here I go… jumping off in a different direction as my memories flood back and tell me where this “story” should go! Bear with me, please!

When we moved back to Vancouver, I spent a few summers with Lena and Al on their ranch in Beaver Valley. Dad would put an ad in the paper lookmg for anyone who needed a ride to the area, and they would help pay for the gas. One year I went with someone else, and helped pay for their gas!

That time Al was to meet me at the 153 Mile house, Crossinos. We had a couple of flat tires along the way so we were late getting there, and Al had to leave before we arrived. Cows had to be milked (by hand), and all the chores of the ranch had to be done. I was to stay there overnight, then ride to Horsefly with Eddy Kenvick who delivered mail to Horsefly once a week.

We arrived in Horsefly in the late afternoon, and there was another message from Al… I was to stay overnight at the “Corner House” with Parminters. Al picked me up the next day. Quite an experience for me as I was only 13.

While they were changing tires… yes, we had more than one flat tire on that trip…we had to sit around in the grass. I guess I made a bee mad at me and it stung me on the  neck, just behind my ear. It really swelled up and I didn’t feel very good for a while, but eventually the swelling disappeared before we got to the 153 Mile House.

The Crossinos had the little store at 153 Mile House where they sold “everything. ” I think that was the first time I ever spent the night in someone else’s home. In the bedroom there was a ceramic wash basin and a pitcher of cold water to wash with.

Those summers I spent with Lena and Al were very precious to me.


6 thoughts on “Longshoreman and More.

  1. Good memories! Thanks for sharing. That trip would have been quite an undertaking for you as a thirteen-year-old! Did you see it as an adventure, or was it a bit nerve-wracking travelling and staying with strangers?

    • Hi Carol. Teas poured. I think it was a bit nerve wracking, not quite sure of myself, but I managed to get there, after all. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

    • Hi Heather! Why don’t you join Carol and me for tea? They were great summers…I am ever grateful to my sister for having me there. She was only 20 at the time, and worked very hard. Thanks for coming by and for the comment.

  2. That really sounds like quite an adventure – even just the getting there. Things were sure different back then – I can’t imagine sending a 13 year old off on her own now and especially to spend the night with strangers! Did you stay at your sister’s for the summer to work on the ranch or was it a holiday for you? She was very young to have a ranch to look after!

    • Hi Norma! I poured your tea! It was a working holiday … there was no way I could stay anywhere for the summer and not help out. I didn’t feel like it was work, it was just part of what you did to help out… and most of it was fun! My sister worked very hard, and I did what I could to help. She was very young, but she had a very competent husband, and it was not her responsibility to “look after” the ranch. Thanks for your visit, and your comment.

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