Archive | March 2014

Langley 2

1940 Gr. 10A Langley HighThe principal at Langley High was Mr. Manzer. He said he had no intention of learning all the girl’s first names… so called them all by their last name… except for me. I was Norma, to him. I was class president. He taught Math. If he was a bit late getting to class I would have every one working. He appreciated that everyone was working instead of fooling around. Years later when I was doing genealogy I found that Henry Manzer was my great great grandfather…I never followed up on it, so don’t know if we were related!

We had a fantastic teacher there…Don Rogers. He drilled us every class, so that we hardly had to study at all…he had us ‘knowing’ the answers! As there was nothing much to do at noon, our group (two boys, four girls) would walk into the main part of town, about a mile, and get a cocoanut for five cents, and share it as we sat around talking.

We tried to get a drill team started, but none of the teachers was willing to take it on. Then we tried to get a new High School… even had the whole school parade through town and back. It was led by the band on the back of a flat deck truck…that’s where I was…with the band. Eventually, Langley got a new high school, but not through our efforts! Some of us joined the Girl Guides, and then worked hard to get our badges.

1941 Guides-Church parade




We moved again, this time to Langley, in 1939 when I was sixteen, ten days before the end of grade ten…and I had to go to school for those ten days! I didn’t learn anything, but I did get to know some of the other kids and some of the teachers, which made it a little easier when school started again in September.

20130313 stump copyLangley High had a music teacher, and he decided we should put on an operetta. He got “A wishing Well” for us and then it was time for auditions. My ‘group’ that hung out together decided to try out just for fun. Two of us “made it”, Joan Flowerdew and me. We had to sing ‘Brahms Lullaby’.

I had the lead roll of “Mary”. We made our own costumes, and had a lot of fun as we learned our parts. The big day we performed in the theatre in the afternoon for the whole school, and again in the evening for families. It was quite a thrill to be presented with flowers at the end!

2004:06 :19 Roses10That was on a Thursday. I went back to school on Friday and tried to catch up on anything I had missed during rehearsals. Friday night the high school principal and the bank manager came to my home and asked if I wanted a job! Come to the bank and see the manager Saturday morning. Nora Alexander was the other one picked! We went to work on that Saturday! I started hand-posting ledgers.

The Principle promised us our graduation certificates, but when I went to get mine he changed his mind. Many years later I wrote to Victoria, on the advice of a teacher, and eventually got my Certificate!

Point Grey Junior High

School Days. It was about this time that we moved to the Cariboo…sixteen miles from Horsefly, in Beaver Valley and fifty miles from Williams Lake. I loved it there. I had my own horse and loved riding him every day. Named him Barney Google!!

Back to school! Well, there was no school in Beaver Valley. The nearest one was eighteen miles away in Horsefly, so… I took my schooling by correspondence from Victoria. There was another problem with this. My mom, sister and two brothers didn’t think I could do the lessons, so they did all the work, then had me copy everything so it would be in my handwriting…they didn’t think I could handle this!

When we moved back to Vancouver, I went to the same Maple Grove school. After a year there I was promoted a year, so I only missed one year in school. From Maple Grove, I went to Point Grey Junior High. Favourite subject? Art, with Miss Broe. She said I should go to art school, but we were moving again, to Langley this time, and there was no money for me to go to art school in Vancouver. I loved all of my subjects.


Was I Popular ? Was I an athlete? A Band kid? A wallflower? Well, let’s see now. I was the captain of the baseball team, captain of grass hockey team, captain of the basketball team and the badminton team. But I could not run… so I wasn’t an athlete. I played the piano accordion in the band, the only girl in it. I really don’t think I was a wallflower…but who knows!? Oh, by the way, I was in the top three of the class, in every subject.

A Fur Coat

P1020046A fur coat! In the days when it was all right to have a fur coat… Mom had a muskrat coat. I don’t know what happened to it, but she wasn’t going to wear it any more, and had it made into a coat for me. I wore it to school, along with a white angora tam. The other kids called me the bear and had me chasing them… kind of like tag, but more fun to have a bear chasing you!

Like I usually do, I’m going to change subjects… My dad taught me how to play cribbage when I was seven or eight, and I was pretty good at it. Dad had a friend who would stop by every night on his way home from work and they would play one game of cribb. One night dad mentioned that he was home but had me  take his place, and when I beat his friend, he stormed out! He couldn’t stand having this kid beat him! I’m not sure I remember correctly, but I think that was the end of the cribbage games!

I’ve mentioned dad had the Russel Vogler Export Co. and shipped logs to Japan, he would have to be up with the tides so he could get to the booming ground to buy what logs he wanted. I had him being home at noon and again, near supper time. Sounds like he didn’t work… actually, it was the opposite. Dad could look at a boom of logs and figure out almost exactly the number of board feet it would produce, a great asset for him. One time he told me it was a psychic ability… the number just appeared in his head.

Grandma Andrews and more memories

My mother’s mom, Grandma Andrews, was the only one of my grandparents still alive when I was born , and she died when I was about nine or ten.

She lived with my mom’s sister, my Auntie Mabel. Every once in a while she would come and stay with us.  She was a tailoress…always wore black, old time type dresses right to the floor. I remember that she would clean out all the drawers, and rearrange them as they should be! You know…socks, handkerchiefs, underwear, things like that. That’s all I remember of her!

Mom had a friend…Mrs. Beavis, a widow, who would also come and stay for awhile. I didn’t like her very much. I guess she had to squeeze every cent out. Anyway, she would give us our cereal with lots of  milk on, and we would leave the milk. At our next meal, lunch time, we would have a glass of milk saved from the cereal! It tasted awful. Dad would open the window in the breakfast nook, and when she wasn’t looking he dumped it!

Another one that came and stayed for awhile was Dad’s sister, Aunt Eleanor.   She was a practical nurse, and when one job ended  she would head for dad’s place, no advance notice, and would stay until her next job turned up. She was always “hard up”, and Dad would help her out. When she died I was the only one that she left anything to…a sum total of five dollars. The lawyer laughed…but knowing her, I knew it was to pay for postage stamps, as at that time I was writing letters trying to trace the family tree. She left $8,000– to the kinsmen manor, where she had been staying. ‘It had been a long time since dad had seen eight thousand dollars!’

She slept with me in my bed. I liked the window open; she didn‘t  like it open.  She slept at the foot of  the bed with her feet in my face. She was a very weird lady. She was very nosy, too…always asking me about mom and dad’s business. My answer was, “I don’t know,” but she still kept asking!

I just dragged out another small memory about her! I had carved a deer out of a bar of Ivory Soap, and had it in my bedroom. It disappeared and I found it later, hidden, with a broken leg!

Childhood days

Favourite Birthdays.

I’ve been asked to name a favourite ( or unfavourite) birthday.P1010376

We always had a homemade birthday cake, and the icing was made with an egg white and a grated apple… then beat the dickens out of it! Mother always made our cakes, and  they were very delicious, but other kids had store bought ones.

The year that I was nine, Mom made my cake…but my uncle arrived, unannounced, and brought a store bought cake. It wasn’t  nearly as good as the one mom made!

P1010375I don’t remember the present from that year. I do remember the present from Mrs. Leslie.

Way back then there was’t a restaurant on every corner…nor in the middle of the block, either. People just didn’t go out for meals as much as they do now. Especially little children…very seldom that they were taken out to “dine”.

Not only did they take me out to ‘dine’ but they also gave me a small Wedgewood china vase. I loved that blue and white vase…and I don’t know what happened to it in all the moves…but I can still see it in my mind’s eye. Remember, I was only nine years old! But I do remember the lilac coloured taffeta dress and the black patent leather shoes that I wore, those were my Sunday shoes!

March Madness

March Madness!

My niece signed me up for this March Madness ‘thing’…where you set your own goal, and then try to reach it. My goal was to write eight blog posts. I had been writing only one a month…and I thought I had set the impossible for myself, of eight for the month!

I didn’t sign in to any of the blogs that were check points… I stayed quietly  on my own… and this is my number eight post!   And only half the time has gone by.

I’m convinced that setting a goal and actually trying to meet it is part of the answer.  And don’t set the goal too high, or you will be so discouraged that you might give up completley.

Maybe I should continue to write while I’m under the spell of March Madness… but I don’t think so… lack of ideas is holding me back.