Monday, March 16, 2009

Dr. McDaniel's father was the piano player at the silent movies in Nelson. He was also the projectionist. If the film broke he had to dash up to the booth and splice the film. When a reel had to be changed, a flashing white spot would appear in the corner of the movie. Stuart's dad would stop playing, run up to the booth, and switch the film. He quit work at the theatre and started playing the stock market. After struggling to keep up with the market while living in Nelson, he decided to move to Toronto to be close to the exchange. He left Nelson on the Kettle Valley Railroad to take the CPR to Toronto. By the time he got to Toronto he was broke. It was 1929. He later moved to Portland and bought a partnership in a liquor store.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I went to class in a one room school house in South Slocan. There was just one teacher for all eight grades. His name was Mr. Street. Every Friday he would give me a ride into Nelson so I could go to the butcher to pick up our meat for the weekend. I never spoke to him while I was in his class and we never spoke during the twelve mile trip into Nelson. He would stay at the hotel Friday night. I would have dinner at the hotel - Pork, vegetables, a drink, and a piece of pie all for thirty-five cents. I would go and see a movie and then catch the Kettle Valley train home. I was twelve years old. Sometimes I would meet Ed Mathieson and we would visit his father's bootlegging place. Ed and I would sit in a corner. Ed would whistle so his dad would bring us a ginger beer. Ed called the drink a "whistle." Ed once gave me two pigeons. I took them home in an orange crate, the kind that was divided in two - one side for each pigeon. A few days later Ed's dad came to get the pigeons. He said they were too young to be on their own.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My dad's hobby was fishing. He didn't fish around Vancouver, usually only when he was at Lantzville. One day he took me fishing on the Campbell River near the border. Lloyd Poole went with us. He brought along his son. We didn't catch anything. On our way home we stopped at the beach in White Rock and rented some swim suits and went swimming. Later we stopped at a cold storage place in New Westminster. It was where commercial fishermen put their fish. He bought a nice fish to take home. I can remember seeing the rental swim suits hanging on lines strung around the beach house at Kitsilano Beach.

My dad would fish with Donald Campbell and Malcom McKinnon when he stayed in his cabin at Lantzville. Donald had been a police inspector in Vancouver and had retired to a small farm in Lantzville.Dad visited him and decided to buy a place there. We visited with our kids once. Fresh milk from Donald's cow was in the fridge. I had to sneak up to the store and buy some pasteurized milk for the kids. It would have hurt Donald's feelings if he found out we'd not used his milk.

There were two Malcolm McKinnons. At one Malcolm's funeral I was sitting beside someone who had quite a hangover. When Malcom McKinnon with the wooden leg, the Malcolm who lived downstairs at Irene and Ken's summer place in White Rock, walked into the funeral home, the old guy thought he was seeing a ghost.

Mom and I were playing canasta with Irene, Ken and the Malcolm with the wooden leg. We'd probably had a few drinks too. Mom was getting impatient with Malcolm's slow play, so she kept telling him to hurry up, and she kept hitting him on his wooden leg. Malcolm was pretty deaf.