Mom And Dad Left Me

In 1946 mom and dad left me… I never left home. Dad sold the place on 39th and moved to Horne Lake on Vancouver Island, above Qualicum Beach. He had got a job scaling logs. He was the tally man.

When they moved I moved into a house at 7886 Shaughnessy Street. Ethel Trefry’s parents owned it, and Ethel, myself and two other girls who were nurses, rented it, supposedly each paying one quarter of the rent. It turned out that Ethel was getting a free ride… she didn’t pay a cent towards the rent.

We were each to pay one quarter of the food, but as I only ate one meal a day at home, and they each had three meals a day… I figured I was paying way too much… more than it was worth. We had to buy a ton of coal, and again, Ethel didn’t pay anything, and the three of us had to pay her share. My solution was to move out.

Jean Winget, from Langley (school and bank) was boarding with Mrs. Martin at 962 W. 20th, so I rented the attic “suite” there. I cooked my own meals, and had to get water from the bathroom, one floor down. Mrs. Martin often asked me to have supper with them. We were good friends… not just landlady and tenant.

I was still working at the Royal Bank, main office at Hastings and Granville. Weekends I would go to Horne Lake to visit my folks. I had to work until noon on Saturdays, but the ferry to Nanaimo was only a couple of blocks away, so as soon as I finished work, I headed for the ferry.

There started to be “missed” phone calls at the bank, and at Martins…. Always after I had left for work, or gone home. Someone named Mickey was trying to get a hold of me. Mickey McGuire. Then, one day I was at the right place when his call came, but he was now leaving the next day  on a hunting trip with his dad and two brothers. (Fall of 1946)

He got in touch with me when he got back. Shortly after, I was transferred to the Royal Bank, Hastings and Homer branch, as manager of the savings department. None of their ledgers were balanced, so I had my work cut out for me, looking for their mistakes. I eventually got them all balanced and things ran pretty smoothly after that.

The Foreign Exchange department was right next to Savings, and I used to help out there…and learned a lot about the forms necessary if traveling, especially to the States, and to get American money to replace their Canadian funds. This came in handy later.

Mickey McGuire was the soldier I had met in Williams Lake four years earlier… and he took me for supper before seeing me off on the train back to Vancouver. Never heard from him in those four years.

When he was getting his discharge from the army, there was someone else there from Langley, and he remembered meeting this gal from Langley who worked in the bank. Would you believe. He forgot my name, until the other guy named off the bank staff!  He knew the names of all the staff at the bank! … so Mickey got in touch with me!

I left the bank and Mickey and I were married December 8, 1947 at the Court House. Clendon, his wife Mable, and Mickey’s mom and dad were there to stand up for us. Clen, Mabel, Mickey and I went to a café on Granville for lunch before they went home.

We had a few friends in that night at his parent’s place.  I had gone over the night before and made sandwiches, and my mom had made us a wedding cake that I decorated… when I went to get the cake that was left so that I could give pieces to friends and family… they had eaten all of it, as if it was an ordinary cake. I was a little more than upset, but there really wasn’t anything I could do.

We lived at the Newport Hotel for the first month, room 212… then moved to 1337 E. 21st Ave… one room. We had what had been the living room and had a big front porch for our entrance. There were two other “one room suites” on the main floor, and Jimmy Gauld lived upstairs. Actually it was Jimmy that got the room for us when he moved upstairs to larger quarters. There was one bathroom for all (7 people) and we had to carry our water from there. The washing machine was in there as well!

We had one little cupboard for dishes and food and no counter space. I used the top of the desk, about 8×30 inches, and the oven door for counter working space. There was no fridge so food had to be picked up at the store every day!

The Circle theater was just around the block, and they changed shows twice a week. We usually went to all of them. Weekends we spent in Surrey helping McGuires Senior to build their house.


6 thoughts on “Mom And Dad Left Me

  1. You obviously made an impact on Uncle Harry (Mickey)! He might not have remembered your name, but he remembered you all those years, and even where you worked!

    Your first place after the hotel reminds me a bit of where our family lived while in Toronto in 1945… in one room of a large converted home, with a bathroom down the hall that served the other two single rooms on that floor. I recall we kept things cold in the winter by putting them in a box on the ledge outside our window. I wonder what we did in warmer weather!

    • Hi Carol! Thanks for coming by… looks like I’m bringing back memories for you, too! You are just in time for tea, but no cookies tonight.

    • Thanks for coming by and for your comment Judith. It certainly was a different way of life from what today’s young people know. Join us for tea?

  2. A fairytale come true. 🙂 It’s amazing how things fall into place that are simply meant to be.
    Lovely photograph.

    • Great to see you, Heather! Thanks for stopping by and your comment.. Tea? Of course… what a silly question that was! Four years later when we met again!

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