“In this beloved residence the opportunity to make friends is there for the taking.”
Does that look familiar? Probably. Those are the words with which I started my last essay, but contrary opinions were expressed by some of my friends who found their entry to residential living difficult. Most of us are here of our own accord. Most of us have gone through the wrenching business of closing down a home, and deciding what to take and what to discard. Several, like me, have moved from one city to another. Despite our similarities, our reactions to the move are different. Why? Continue reading
I will soon be posting some stories regarding life in the 1940s on a seismic crew, from a woman’s point of view. The five years Sheldon and I spent roaming around Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba with the oil crews were years never to be forgotten. Exciting, enjoyable, challenging, funny and scary – all terms applied at one time or another. At the age of 23 we entered the field life of western oil exploration, young and inexperienced and “rar’n to go”. It was, as the saying goes, to be a steep learning curve. We left the field for the office five years later, a family of four. In those five years we learned a great deal, both about ourselves and about life skills in general. Along the way we built deep and enduring friendships. The years have now taken Sheldon and many of our peers, but some 60 years later I am lucky enough to have some of the old friends from those crew days still with me.
So what has this to do with a Western prairie town? You will soon see. The events in some of my following postings will be set in surroundings and times completely unfamiliar to many of you. Not wanting to write a history on the social, economic and political times of the 1940s (nor capable of doing so!), I decided instead to introduce you to Standard – a real and quite typical prairie town. Try to hold the picture of this town in your mind. When we meet Davidson, Saskatchewan, as seen in May of 1945, remember what you have garnered about Standard’s streets, sidewalks, homes, businesses and community.
Standard is located on the rolling prairies some 50 miles beyond the east edge of Calgary. About 100 years ago conditions were ripe for bringing about its birth. A new farming area was being opened up by the CPR. Danish farmers from Denmark and the United States were looking for land. A railway ran through the area and there was almost daily service to Calgary. There was a small coal mine just south of town. The CPR opened a station, using the kind of building found on their lines all over the West. This consisted of a two-storey building which had the first floor opening out on the platform by the tracks. This floor consisted of a large freight room, the station agent’s office, the ticket booth, and a passenger waiting room. Stairs led to the second floor which housed the station agent and his family. Continue reading