Sunday, April 26, 2009

My father would keep track of the deaths around Nelson then travel from town to town visiting the families of the deceased hoping to sell them a tombstone. He was once told by a friend that so-and-so had lost his wife. Next time Dad saw the guy he asked him if he was interested in getting a tombstone for his wife's grave. Things didn't work out. The man had lost his wife when she left town with a travelling salesman.

Once Dad took me on a trip to get some stone from a CN quarry outside of Nelson. A friend of Dad's and I travelled in the back of the truck. It was a really rough trip because the tires were solid rubber, not inflated. Dad's friend vinagled me into playing a game of "What can you do that I can't do." After a few challenges the man asked me if I could take out one of my eyes. So I asked him if he could take out his, so he took out his glass eye. I was about six at the time. Dad's friend was about 47 / 48.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

When we moved into the house there was no telephone. The phone company said it would be at least six months before we would get a phone. Phones were rationed because of a shortage after the war. My brother Ken was working at the Invermay at the time and knew a fellow who drank there who was a real estate agent. He asked the fellow if he would be able to help me get a phone. The realtor said he could get one in no time. Months later I ran into the fellow and was about to ask him when he could deliver the phone. Before I could ask, he told me to tell my brother to stop yelling out to him on the street that Charlie wants you to give him a call.

Lots of things were rationed after the war, so on a Friday afternoon there would often be considerable effort put into getting your hands on a bottle. Most of the clerks at the government liquor store were Liberals so it wasn't too hard to get one of them to sign a ration card for you if you were a strong supporter of the party. Tom Uphill, one of the longest serving politicians in the Commonwealth, could always come up with something to drink on a Friday night.