INTERVIEWER: That’s quite a walk.
And we took a couple of cows to market that way, walking and leading them behind.
INTERVIEWER: When you say town, you’re talking about which town?
Yes, Dawson Creek. We came into Dawson Creek in one day, led them in one day and went back the next, afoot, but when I had to come into town to see the doctor, I’d catch a ride with a team and a sleigh. Come in and go back.
INTERVIEWER: Were you a patient in the old hospital in Dawson Creek?
Yes, I had one of my boys born there, Leo.
INTERVIEWER: Do you want to tell us a little of what it was like in the hospital?
You’ve heard about people who built the hospital and whatnot. What was it like to be a patient?
Well, they were good to you. Oh, but it was good all right the way they treated us. It was a good old hospital. Then they moved that old hospital and they moved it down here and there they treated us good too. There was some crazy people there, but it was good.
INTERVIEWER: Do you remember anything about some of the nurses who were around at the beginning of the Peace River Health Unit?
No, I sure don’t, but I wish I could remember them.
INTERVIEWER: How about the teachers? Do you remember who any of the teachers were?
Oh yes, we had Helen Dahlen for our teacher and we had Kay Aldridge for our teacher. And we had, oh what’s her name, Mrs. Magnusson, she was our teacher, and I don’t know the rest. I can’t remember the rest. They were old-timers. There were teachers there that don’t teach no more.
INTERVIEWER: What did you people do for excitement? For kicks, what did the younger people do for excitement?
Well, we’d all go out, we’d have dances from one house to the other house. If there was a record player, we’d have dances. Well, we’d pack up our kids, we’d wrap them up and away we went with our sleigh and team. Every week we’d get together and have dances at each other’s houses. That’s the way we passed our winter. And then also, we had card games.
INTERVIEWER: About how far would some of the people have to travel to come to a dance?
Oh, some of them had to travel three or four miles, but we enjoyed it. We had lots of fun, more fun than we do now.
INTERVIEWER: And, do you remember any of the interesting events that you experienced — you know — anything that stands out in the past.
Well, I don’t know.
INTERVIEWER: You had quite a peaceful life then in the country?
I was janitor there at our school for about five or six years, but it was just in the bush.
INTERVIEWER: What were some of the problems that you had to deal with? Like nowadays, if you forget to plug the car in at night, when it’s about thirty below, you’re fairly screwed in the morning. That’s a modern problem. But what problems did you people have to worry about as such?
Well, we didn’t have no cars then.
INTERVIEWER: No, just like anything . . .
Just a team of horses, and we just put them in the barn. We had a good barn. We never had any cars I guess, we just always had a team of horses and a sleigh and there wasn’t hardly any roads. It was twenty-five miles to town, and leading those cows.
INTERVIEWER: Where did you get your water from for the stock. Well, I imagine some people would be fortunate enough to be near water and they’d just chop a hole in the ice.
Well there was always a creek there where we lived and then we had a dam for water. And, in the wintertime they would go to the river and put up ice, put it in the icehouse. Then, we had a fire in the night.
INTERVIEWER: How did the fire start, do you know?
We don’t know, we just don’t know how it started. My son was, we was, I had a son who lived in town and we came into town and my husband, he wanted to stay all night so we decided we might just as will stay all night cause we had nothing to go back up for. Well, I had another son, but he was working up and we didn’t know he was going to go home and he went out there to a dance and he was going to go home and get him some clean clothes. He stayed all night and he said he shut the heater off, clear off and it was just about four o’clock, no, seven o’clock he happened to wake up and started to smell smoke. Well, he had to just let it go because he had to climb up on top of the house and he couldn’t by himself. Well, he tried to get down and get another pail cause the fire got worse and he just had to …. he saved my radio and my picture album, that’s all he could save.
INTERVIEWER: You had quite a few fires?
Oh yes, quite a few fires out there.
INTERVIEWER: That would sort of leave them at a loss hey, without a barn for the winter?
Yes, that’s sure enough right. Yes we had a misfortune too. My little boy got shot when he was about seven years old. Just went right through him. I was up doing the janitor job and a kid come running up and said, “Mom come on, the little boy’s got shot.” And Dad and my son was away getting grain that morning, so I went down, we took him to the –well we had a telephone then, and then I telephoned him, this guy — and told him to come up and take me to the hospital right quick, cause I said the little boy’s got shot. And we took him in and it was just like four inches [over and it would have] hit in his heart and he wouldn’t know what struck him. It was just a clean shot. Just the kid took down the rifle and said, “I’m going to shoot you,” and he shot and he was standing right in front of him and he shot. That was my youngest son.
INTERVIEWER: But, he made it hey?
Yes, he sure did.
INTERVIEWER: Old Doc Sawbones just got him in with knife and took it out.
Yes, that, he sure did.
INTERVIEWER: And, he was okay again, after that?
Yes. And another time the kids was out playing and I thought this well was dry or was covered and it wasn’t. And the other kid was up on the building and he seen this little boy and he fell in the well and he hollered, “Mom, Mom come quick,” and boy, I come and I just grabbed him. They say there’s always a third time if you catch him the third time, the fourth time he wouldn’t come up, but I just happened to catch him the third time and got him out of there. And saved him.
INTERVIEWER: Well, I imagine that those were the types of things that kids would get into.
Oh yes sure. So, I think that’s about all I know.