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.