Here For A Good Time!

Good Time.

“We’re here for a good time…not a long time…. The sun can’t shine every day.;

“When you don’t like what you’ve got, why don’t you change it?”

Words from a couple  of  “Trooper” songs…written by my son, Ra, some time ago.

When is the ‘good time’ over? And where do we go from here? I have many thoughts running around in my head…trying to give me the answer to a few of my questions. Like…Why have I been here on this earth?

My son Ra and I had a two hour meeting with a nurse today for her to tell me what my new classification will mean…and what they can do to make me comfortable. I have now been placed in “Palliative”.

photo 1

Ra and I



Prayers, Please!

JAnicePrayers, please

My dear friend, Janice, has had Parkinsons for many years..She copes. Now she has other complications, and is back in the hospital, where she had a procedure just a couple of months ago.

Please, my dear friends, please pray for her.



I had over 150 words typed, and hit the wrong button, so here I am, starting over again. Rather frustrating.

The PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) is now on, and will wind down in time for the start of another year of school at the end of the month. Trooper will be playing there on the 22nd.

It’s August! I’m sure you know that…but can you guess what I’ve been doing the past few days…including today?  Making Christmas cards! I have a nice order for some, and wanted to get them done while I feel pretty good…..they are done. Just need to get more envelopes for them…I’ve run out.

It is still very warm here….not complaining,,,,just acknowledging the fact.  I think my favourite time of the year is in the fall. Cooler, but not cold!

While I was watching TV I had a flash back…so come on along and read about it.tire

You have probably figured out that there wasn’t an abundance of money around in those days. True… but we never went hungry…always enough for good meals.

One summer we wanted to go to the Cariboo to visit my sister and brother-in-law, but our tires were not that great.

I phoned Firestone tires, asked for the manager, and said “This is your crazy call of the day”. Well, he didn’t think it was so crazy.

I offered to trade him paintings for tires! Two tires, two paintings! They had their choice. He thought it was a great idea, so we got new tires to go on our holiday! After that, we would get calls from them…”did we need tires?”…someone else wanted to trade for paintings. We didn’t have to ‘buy’ tires for a few years.

When the boys were fairly small we used to go for long walks,,,with Gary in his stroller.This one day a police car pulled up beside us and ordered us to get in…and he drove us home..He parked in front of our house and kind of herded us in so that the neighbours that were watching wondered what we had done.

The policeman came in and had coffee with us… he was my cousin! The boys got quite a thrill riding in the police car, and it was even better when they could talk Harry into a blurb of the siren. It was Harry’s route, so we saw him often when we were out walking, and he liked my coffee.

We walked to the grocery store…saved fifteen cents each way! Thirty cents sure doesn’t sound like very much these days, but back then it helped quite a lot. For thirty – nine cents you could get four tomatoes in a tube.

I wonder what part of  tomato thirty-nine cents would buy now!

When We Were Married.

When We Were Married.


When we were married, we lived in one room at the hotel where Mickey had been living. Then finally we got

the front room ( and front porch) of a house on 21st, near Knight Road and Kingsway.


Famous last words… “My wife isn’t going to work!” I would have gone completely crazy in one room! It had a stove, and a bed. Water was down the hall in the bathroom.  There were six people living on that floor. One more upstairs.


I got a job with United Cigar Stores… their training place was at Hastings and Carroll, about the worst section of ‘town’….and I would have to go across the street to relieve the person there for lunch, and would be alone in the store. I stuck it out for about six weeks before I said “No Thank you.”


We decided to take a little holiday across into the States before I went looking for another job. At that time you had to get a “Form H” and American money from the bank.


The bank was really busy at the front where you got these papers. Even the manager was out there going as fast as he could. I told him I could fill our forms out for him, that I had worked in a bank.

”You can fill them out? Come and see me when you get back”.


So,  that’s what I did, and I was hired and put to work as the head teller.


That worked out very well as I lived about a block and a half from the bank. As the closest person , I also got the job of inspecting the premises  on long weekends… anytime the bank was closed more than two days.


My holiday time came up, so we were going to go to Seattle, but first  had to take my canary out to Langley to my Mom and Dad’s for them to look after.


Before we got there, we met a guy that Mickey knew so he got in the car with us… me in the middle, front seat

of an Austin touring.  Car in front stopped without signaling. Mickey slammed on the brakes…. brake band broke, our car flew through the air  and landed upside down on top of me!


Broken collar bone, broken shoulder blade, and six ribs with twelve breaks in them.! They put a big needle in from the side to collapse my lung so it would not get punctured by a broken rib. I weighed ninety pounds, just skin stretched over bones. If I started to laugh I ended up crying!


I was not expected to live.1949:05 Norma, after accident, no clothes on top


I talked the doctor into letting me out of the hospital to go and stay at my mom and dad’s, and he came there to visit me. As long as someone helped me to get up I could manage on my own.


I was off work for three months.. and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce gave me full pay! We had had the car checked out before we left…and never got a bill from the garage!

backtracking 2

Back Tracking 2


I was working in the bank in Langley and had holiday time, so went to the Cariboo to visit with my sister and her husband.


When it was time to go home, Al had to go for a visit at the hospital in Williams Lake. He dropped me off ‘down town’ and headed for his appointment.


I knew no one, and had most of the day to wait for the evening train that would take me back to the coast. I bought a book, and was sitting on a rock with my book when two soldiers came by. One of them said “Is that all you’ve got to do?”


My reply was “ What else is there to do in this town?”


He said “ You can come and watch us fishing’.


So… I watched the two of them fish, (they sold their catch to the restaurant). Afterwards, one of them took me for super.


He didn’t have a lot of money, so said he wasn’t  hungry and just had a coffee. I figured he didn’t have a lot of money, just like me… so I ordered a hamburger… Then he kicked himself for not ordering something. He was afraid I might order something expensive.

Harry and I spent the afternoon together until he saw me off on the train. He got my phone number but I never heard from him for four years.


He was getting his discharge and was talking to one of the other guys who happened to be from Langley.


“I met a girl from Langley, but I can’t remember her name, she worked in the bank”, said Harry!


The other fellow said he knew all the girls in the bank and as he named them off Harry recognized ‘Norma’. He traced me from Langley to Vancouver office, and finally got in touch the night before he, his dad and two brothers were leaving on a hunting trip!


A couple of years later, Harry (Mickey) McGuire, and I were married. December 8, 1947. He died one week short of our fifty seventh wedding anniversary.

1947:12:08 Harry Norma Wedding 3

We were married at the Court House and went out for lunch with my brother. Later that evening we had some friends in to his parents place…had sandwiches that I made… and a wedding cake that my Mom made.  I went back to get the rest of my cake so I could give pieces to friends and relatives that weren’t there…They thought it was a pretty good fruit cake, so ate it!!!  Not too cool!


To be continued!

Is It worth It?

Is it worth it?


I guess this is some kind of a rant…bear with me if you like, leave if you don’t like.


I’m on Oxygen 24/7 Every time I leave my suite I have to change over to portable Oxygen, and reverse the action when I come home.


It seems to sap away my energy. Not only that, but I don’t have any insperation to do anything. Including drawing or painting. Most of the time I can read from the computer…most of the time  books are unreadable.


Most of the timeI I feel good. But there are times when I wonder if writing for this blog is worth the effort. I get one or two comments….. and that’s it.


So…I’m asking  you… Is it worth my time to write it? Or not? I really mean it… should I keep on with it, or not.


1945 Norma:mr.Ross,UnderhillBack Tracking!

Way back in 1942, I was working in the Royal Bank in Langley. They needed some staff and the manager had gone to the principal at the high school for his recommendations. Two girls were chosen, and I was one of them. They came to my home to see me, and said if I wanted the job to come in the next day, a Saturday when they were open for half the day, and I was put to work!

I started hand posting ledgers in the savings department. Then I was a ‘teller’ at a time when I was in a cage and not even the manager could go in unless I was present.   When there was any slow time with customers, I would help the accountant and learn how to do all the end of the month reports.

One month end the accountant was off sick.   The manager was very worried as he didn’t know how to make out the returns… he just knew how to sign them. I told him that I could do them, and he was greatly relieved. Good points for me! I just remembered… One day I was called in to the manager’s office. A customer had reported me for the way I had treated an old negro man. I had more respect for the old fellow than for the guy that reported me!

That was back in the days when some people thought that we were not all equal. This old man reminded me of Uncle Remus, and who could not love him?

After a while my folks decided to move back to Vancouver, so I moved along with them. I got transferred to the Main Office of the Royal Bank, at Hastings and Granville.   At first I was in what they called The Silver Cage. All the money from B.C.Electric ( now B.C. Hydro) bus fares was put through that cage.

Once a month the bank sent three people (one man and two of the girls) to Brittania Beach and the mine site, taking the bank to them. I was one of the ‘group’ that went the first month I worked there. We were picked up by taxi at the bank and taken to the boat, and again on the way back, a taxi!   We ‘opened’ the bank when we got there, stayed over night..then were taken to the mine site the next morning… with another ‘over-nighter’, and opened the next day for half a day before returning down the mountain, and homeward. We had to walk down three hundred steps!

This was at a time when we had rationing. We ate with the miners, and couldn’t believe the pies and cakes they had, Sugar was on the rationing list but you would not have known it there.

I was soon transferred to Discount Department, which consisted of one man, Mac, and me! When Mac went on holidays for two weeks, I ran the department. My biggest thrill there was to “put through” (do the paper work) a loan for one million dollars, which was a VERY large amount in those days. Not so anymore!

From there I was transferred to the Royal Bank, Hastings and Homer as manager of the savings department…. where I stayed until I left to get married (December 8, 1947).

The bank had a lunch room for staff of any of the branches. We could have a full course meal, and payed for it with tickets that we bought for ten cents! That’s right… TEN CENTS! Who wouldn’t eat there!

To be continued!