The Fishing Trip of 1938.

 

 

The Big Fishing Trip when I was six years old.

How did I ever remember?
Over the course of my life, I have come to believe there are some memories from situations that are so remarkable that they stay with you forever. My recording of this event is from images that take the form of a modern video that I can play in my mind on demand. It seems to me that the younger one is and the more unique the event the stronger the fabric of the memory. The content of this story is my recollections of this singular event that took place over 3 days.

It was Summer of 1938 and I had turned 6 in June, it was now August and suddenly on Thursday, the night before leaving, I was told I was going to go on a trip with my dad! I don’t remember any previous discussion of the matter or even that a trip was to take place. From later knowledge gained as an adult it is clear that I was included as a necessity to the trip even taking place. Apparently dad had gotten a phone call or message that the big fish had returned at Campbell River in B.C. Canada. I imagine a conversation between my parents went something like this. Mother Emily, “No! I am not going to be stuck here with all three kids while you are away with your pal having the time of your life, beer drinking and fishing. You have to take Roy, he is too much for me to handle while you are gone!” Dad Dexter, ” Alright then, Enough! Just take care of things at the store for Friday and Saturday”

Now I never actually heard such a conversation but it seems perfectly plausible to me having come to know my mother very well after our long relationship. But no matter what the facts might have been this is my recollection of a trip that my dad and I and Mr Trott and his son George took together. A wonderful trip to a marveless place where I met my paternal grandmother for the first time and traveled for such a long day that I couldn’t stay awake at all times so here are the sketches from my memory. Our family never owned a car until I bought my first one in 1950. So we had to walk, ride the trolley/bus or have someone else provide the car and driver. That is the only way we got around.

We leave Seattle
It was still dark that early August friday morning as we climbed into Mr Trott’s Buick 1934 sedan. I was in the back with George who was several years older than I, cushioned among various bags and bedding. I was on the right behind my dad. We went East down Nickerson St and across the Fremont bridge  with bump-bump wooden planks and around this corner then another and finally  up and onto the new Aurora Avenue highway. We were on our way North to Canada. I had been to Canada before but with my mom and had gone to the CPR ferries operating out of Seattle at that time to Victoria. We were met by Aunt Lilly and then walked to the train to Duncan and mother’s girlhood farm home in the Cowichan Valley. This time it was different! We were going to Vancouver to catch a ferry dad said and we would get to Campbell River that night.

Driving North.
Broad and new  Aurora Avenue ran out after we passed the Twin Teepee restaurant  across from Green Lake and then north on past the house where ‘ Brownie’, that is the nickname of Mr. Brown, a candy distributer, and his wife Thelma who lived next to Playland and Bitter Lake, where I had seen Thelma’s big cat take the bantam rooster under the garage door of Mr Brown’s house earlier that year. (Dad and ‘Brownie’ opened the door and chased the cat out but that pretty rooster was dead.) We went on past the turn-off to the Picnic Point boathouse where we had gone to rent rowboats and ride the rowboat on the downhill railroad on a scary trip into the water, with Dad always warning we kids to say in our seats as it was dangerous and he had to be ready to quickly row away from the rail-car so a wave couldn’t push us back onto the car and tip us over. In those days no thought was given to floatation gear for kids. Now we were passing through another town and were in Everett Dad said. And up ahead as it was getting light we could see the long, long bridge that crossed the foggy patch where the Snoqualmie river was. I must have fallen asleep because next we were stopping for breakfast just after bouncing over the railroad tracks into Mt Vernon. Mr. Trott had been smoking a lot as he usually did and it helped to have his window open as he spit quite a bit too. Another thing Mr. Trott did was talk a lot and tell little stories between puffing and spitting so he didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

We stopped at the gas station and then went to a place to eat. There was a Greyhound bus there too and a lot of people were eating and talking loud. Wewent to the bathroom then got back in the car and were on our way again and I remember that a decision had been made to go the “Chuckanut” drive route when dad and Mr Trott had checked the map. George was not really too talkative as he was not a playmate of mine and he had different interests than I. I know he talked about learning driving a lot and that he could reach the pedals of his dad’s car. He told me he couldn’t drive the big dump truck his dad used for work but wanted to be a truck driver.

About Mr.Trott and George
Mr Trott was a Coal Man! The Trott coal yard was kitty-corner from my dad’s Grocery store and Meat market at 303 Nickerson Street at 3rd Ave N. George helped his dad in the coal business and held sacks open while his dad shoveled the coal in. The Trott  house was at the back of the coal yard and you hardly noticed it behind the big bins of coal that proclaimed ‘ Trott Fuel’  and gave the phone number. There was a huge Black Walnut tree in the front yard of the coal yard that would turn your fingers black if you messed with the spikey green nuts. The nut inside didn’t taste anything like something I would want inside me.

We started again back on the road North and Dad said we were going to stop in Bellingham to see his old boyhood friend Bob Richardson and his family. We had to drive Chuckanut drive and Dad talked to Mr. Trott a lot because he was a fast driver! Dad said he had sand in his right pocket from going around some of those corners so fast. Then Mr Trott said “Look Grouse!” and he speed-ed up and there were bumps and I saw feathers fly over the windshield and we stopped and Mr Trott got out and went down the road a piece then came back and reported to dad that ” the 3 he had hit were too broken up to keep”. Dad told him road hunting ruined a lot of birds. That the first time I learned that a grouse was a bird! The Chuckanut Drive was sort of on a cliff and there a was railroad and water below and it went around so many corners I though I was going to get sick but luckly pretty soon we came to Bellingham and stopped at Bob’s house.

The Richarson’s
Bob was a long time boyhood friend of dads and had apparently been an orphan or sort of like that as he lived with my dad’s family for a number of years in Canada. His wife Marie gave Mr Trott and Dad coffee and George and I had something too. Bob’ worked in the coal mine at Bellingham and the family had 3 boys and they were older than me and George both and they really wanted to go fishing too!

Dad told a story about he and Bob finding a Yellowjacket nest in a hole in the cut bank of a road near where they lived and they broke off huckleberry branches and swatted the bees as they came out and then would go back and swat the bees again. One crawled up Bob’s pant leg and stung him, you shouldn’t know where, and he tried to pull his pants down but dad told him Mrs. Murphy was coming down the road and Bob pulled his pants up and Miss Yellowjacket wacked him again. Bob got lots of stings before the bee got out of his pants and dad told him his, you shouldn’t know what, was all swollen up. Dad laughed the most and Marie giggled and Bob had a tough time explaining things to his wide-eyed grinning sons.

Across the Border and to the ferry.
We left very soon and then we were at the “Border”. This is the first time I had gone to Canada by car and it was a very different experience and dad had to show my birth certificate! I never knew I had one before and wanted to carry it in my pocket but dad said no. Dad said the next stop was for the CPR ferry that left from downtown Vancouver. We drove through farm land where haycocks filled the big fields then when up and over the Potullo Bridge over the Frazer River which dad said was new and had opened one year ago. It was almost as high above the water as our own Aurora Bridge. From the bridge we made a couple of turns and we drove a long way through New Westminster and down a new street called “Kingsway” that I learned later had been built wide and mostly straight so the “Royal Couple” could have a nice visit to Vancouver. It was years before I connected “The Royal Couple” to the King George and Queen Elizabeth of England!

The Princess Elaine
We went all through the downtown streets and to the docks where the CPR ferry was and we drove right inside the dock, dad went and got tickets and soon we moving slowly in the dark following other cars till we crossed a clanking little bridge and nosed down into the inside of the ship and men were waving their arms and shouting to turn this way or that and then “STOP”. We got out of the car, dad took my hand  and we went up some really steep stairs and there we were looking out of the windows at the dock wall. Dad said “lets all go and take a leak”. And we all went to a door that was so heavy I couldn’t push it open alone and there was a white tile bathroom with a lot of toilets and washbasins. It was just like the Boy’s bathroom at school, except these all had doors! We washed our hands then dad said “Well, lets go and eat” and we went up more stairs and there were windows and you could see mountains and water and lots of other ships. Dad had to buy tickets again to get seats to sit down and eat. Then the whistle blew really loud and made me jump, the boat started moving backwards and as the buildings on the docks slid towards the front of the ferry, we started to turn and soon we were seeing the other side where all the water was and the high mountains. Bells rang and the ship went quiet for a bit then the bells rang again the ship began to shudder as the engines came to life and soon we were picking up speed and had begun the run to Naniamo.

Lunch on the Princess Elaine
A man with a white jacket came and told us our table was ready, he  showed us where to sit and I had to put my knees under me to reach the table. I sat beside Dad and Mr. Trott and George sat on the other side of the table.There was a white table cloth and napkins in the middle of the plates and lots more silverware then we ever used at home, with 2 forks and 3 spoons and a knife. And I had to learn new rules to use all of them. I started playing with all the ‘tools’ as dad called them. And dad told me that they had to be in a certain order and the knife edge was turned toward the plate so I wouldn’t cut myself. The round spoon was for Soup and that is what I had. Clam Chowder! But not the way mom made it! And there was so much food and some of it was ‘strange’ and I didn’t eat it all so Dad helped me. There was a lot of salad and that is what the short fork was for. After desert which I don’t remember what we had, Dad said “Let’s go and take a walk around the deck” and so we went out in the wind which whirled my hair and made my nose run, so dad used his hanky to blow my nose. Dad had to grab his hat once and pull it on tighter! There was a lot of noise. the wind, the rumble of the ship  and the water sound came from the wave the ship was making as we sped along. Sea gulls swooped and whirled in the air and one flew along at the railing and I could look him in the eye! Dad said it would take 2 hours and 15 minutes to make the ‘crossing’ and then we would have to drive one hundred miles to get to the house where Granny Taylor was and it would take us till almost dark to get there. There was still a lot of water to cross with mountains to the North and low islands to the South and another ship like ours passed us going back to Vancouver. Dad said that meant we were half way to Naniamo. It seemed that that was the longest part of the time on the ferry.

Arriving at Nanaimo and Alarming News.
Our ship slowed down and came real close to an island  so I could see there were no houses or anything on the island and the whistle blew and we started to turn and there was the town of Nanaimo where Dad grew up and the ferry dock. A loudspeaker said “Return to the car deck.” so we went down those steep stairs and found Mr.Trott’s car. After sitting for a bit, the doors in the side of the ferry had opened and the man told Mr. Trott to start the engine and we worked our way out to the ship and onto the dock. Dad told Mr. Trott how to get out of town and then we were on the way again. Dad had found out that there was a forest fire farther up Vancouver Island and we might be delayed by it. We drove along the water and since I was behind dad in the passengers seat I could see water and far way mountains. There were fishing boats and sawmills puffing out smoke and the was a scent of turpentine in the air when Mr. Trott’s smoke wasn’t to bad.  Later we stopped in Courtenay for gas for the car and went to the bathroom and had a part of a sandwich, Dad found out that the Forest fire was not near the road but we might be held up by smoke. ( I later looking up that fire which was known as “The Great Campbell River Forest Fire of 1938″). Mr. Trott said he sure didn’t want to have to stop and fight a forest fire. So we continued on and very  soon could smell smoke, the sort of burning smell that come from our fireplace at home, and then the sky was blood red, orange and almost pink some times and dad said that was the sun shining  through the smoke as it was setting behind the mountains and then suddenly there, in the cars headlights, was gray smoke in the air and clouds of smoke as thick as dense fog were blowing about and swirling and rolling across the road. It was really spooky, making Mr. Trott roll up his window and slow way down. It seemed a long time  but there was no more rolling smoke when we arrived in the town of Campbell River, but we didn’t stop,  just drove slow and turned left and then right and went over a bridge and dad told Mr Trott the turn was right up ahead and then he said ” there by the Painter’s sign’  and we turned onto a gravel road and went all the way to the end overlooking the darkening water of the Strait and there was Granny! Well I got a years worth of hugs and kisses for about an hour before she was satisfied but she was really nice and it was OK.

Granny Taylor and Uncle Charlie
Granny Taylor (Harriet Alma McDonald Taylor) was my dad’s mother and she was 73 when I first met her and Uncle Charlie MacDonald, her brother was 69. They had both been born in 9 Mile, south and west of Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA and after residing in Iowa, Missouri and Colorado they had moved to Canada about 1890.
Uncle Charlie never married, was a fisherman, a tourist fishing guide who took the Painter’s resort guests out to catch the mighty ‘Tyee’ or king salmon. He was tall, but had bent shoulders, a very big ‘Cookie duster’ mustache, bushed up hair and seemed to always have ‘a smoke’ between his fingers. He was sort of fearsome but he seemed OK to me though he did not have an awful lot to say. Each day he worked some on his wood pile for the coming winter and he raised a flock of chickens each year.
George Taylor, my grandfather had passed away in 1928, was a English journeyman hard rock coal miner from the Northumberland area near Newcastle-on-Tyne. He immigrated to the United States after the death of his first wife in Newcastle about 1880 with a son William. He became a general store owner which the family worked in and had owned stores in the US and Canada. .

Granny Taylor in front of the roses.
Charlie and the roses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granny’s Lap, Stories and Other Lessons
Granny was short, like mom, and round and had grey hair and glasses and a kind of scowl-smile and walked with a ‘hitch in her get-a-long’ which made her sort of rock side to side as she walked. She seemed so excited to see me as I guess it must be that I was the only one of dad’s offspring that ever had visited so far north on Vancouver Island. Dad got a big welcome from his mother and  I got ‘Tons’ of attention. And a number of lap talks in the time at Charlie’s.
In one talk she said she was born at 9 mile on the Indianapolis Road on the day of President Lincoln’s second inauguration.   I particularly remember the place name of 9 mile and Indianapolis road. She also said that she left two babies at the foot of Pike’s Peak, and she said that was to many.
Another talk warned me about playing with guns which were dangerous,and said she knew of a boy who shot himself in his privates
One day Granny took me to the gate of the chicken yard that was covered in wire and a rooster was crowing inside. She said very sternly  to me “Never open this gate by your self! Do you understand?”. Of course the answer was ‘Yes’. Then she picked up a pole about 4 feet long and raised it up and opened the gate. Quick as a flash the big red rooster flew at Granny and she whacked him with the pole and he ran away behind the hens. Granny said the rooster was dangerous to me and I said ‘Yes’ again when she asked if I understood. We went in and picked up all the eggs we could find,  she asked me to get down and look for the eggs in the nests that were hard for her to reach
It took many years to test these little stories but they are true.

Painters Lodge
When Grandfather George died, Granny had sold their store and lived with her 3  daughters and in the summers she came up to Campbell River where Charlie had this small house right on the edge of the bluff overlooking the outflow pool of the river. (Charlie’s House is still there today at 1575 McDonald Road). Charlie’s house was adjacent to the World famous Painter’s Lodge resort that was opened in 1929 and Charlie worked as a guide for the resort. So did another uncle Dave McDonald who lived near Uncle Charlies house. There was a gate in Charlie’s back fence that went right into the courtyard of the Lodge office. The access to Painter’s is still by way of MacDonald road.  I have learned recently that the McDonalds and Painters owners were close friends and that was how Granny got phone calls. Granny became well known to summertime visitors to the Lodge and baked Snickerdoodle cookies adored by the likes of Bill Boeing, and others, who visited the lodge with his yacht and seaplane. Granny and Charlie also canned salmon for the well-to do until I dropped and broke the can crimper in 1940 during a later visit, but that is another tale.

Saturday Morning
The next Morning when I woke up Granny told me that Dad and Mr.Trott had gone fishing and then she made pancakes. She rubbed a half of a cut potato on the top of her big wood stove and poured some batter on top of one of the lids that lifted to put wood inside. The stove was hot all over and I was experianced enough with wood stoves to know not to get too close to the hot lid. The pancake was ready really fast and was sort of crusty on each side and I asked if that is what the potato was for but Granny said no it was so the cake didn’t stick to the hot lid! She put butter on it and then some really thick syrup from a big can with a Lyon on it. Boy did I like that! I later learned it was Lyle’s Golden Syrup and the lion was part of a motto about strength and sweetness or something like that.
Granny gave me a bunch of hugs and told me that dad and Mr. Trott had left really early and I could go down to the dock and watch them come in. so I went out the driveway to the North and turned down the hill towards the water. The road was steep with dirt banks on each side that had all sorts of pretty rocks imbedded in them. I looked for wasp nests since this looked like the place dad had described in his story of bees in Bob Richardsons pants. At the bottom of the bank the road turned to the North and went along the beach and just back of it were some fisherman cabins.

The Strait’s of Georgia
It was about 8 or 9  o’clock and looking to the east there seemed to be little clouds on the water, fog patches that covered and then exposed the boats on the water to view. The opposite shore was not visible and just the tops of the mountains were visible. There was a reddish or brown tint to the hazy sun that struggled to break through the smoke in the air. There wasn’t any wind till later in the day so the surface was oily smooth but with mist.

Secrets of the Dock
The floating  dock had long logs under and was just after the turn in the beach road that had 4 or 5 tourist cabins right under the bluff of the Strait. Big pilings at the water end of the dock held the floating structure in place. There were boats with oars in them tied up along the north side of the dock. One had to walk down a steep plank that bounced up and down  from the rocky shore to get onto the dock deck  where a few people as well as George Trott were standing, and he pointed out on the strait the boat with our Dads in it and said that he had not seen any fish caught. So we listen to people on the dock talk about the big bites and the other fish they had seen caught. We heard  stories of big fish (“Tyee”) and Killer Whales that were very smart, and fishermen would shoot them in the eye because they were afraid of them. Dad said Killer Whales wouldn’t hurt people. (The name Orca was unknown to me for at least 20 years more.) The dock kept moving when people got on or off or when waves came under it, and when a wave from a ship came ashore you had to move your feet or hold on to not fall down!
There were lots of interesting things going at that dock.  If you got the shade just right and looked down along the pilings that were pounded into the bottom you could see fish that people said were Perch and they would hatch out live little fish called ‘shiners’ and you could see them in schools hanging around under the dock and every ounce and a while a bigger fish would suddenly appear and grab a shiner. George said they were Kelp cod. I later learned that they were Rock Fish and were brown and white or yellow and had big fins and spines sticking out and they have a big mouth. What did George know? You could see orange starfish and purple urchins with all the spines, sea anemones that looked like flowers and little crabs poking around the piling. Muscles grew in heavy clusters on the piling and if you poked one and broke the shell the perch would come up and grab the pieces. Green seaweed as on the floating logs of  the dock. There was a lot of brown kelp growing in the water. You know the kind with a bulb at the top with big leaves and the other end was a long tail with branches on that end and as George showed me, it  could be used like a bull whip from the cowboy movies. Of course one got whacked on the legs as you tried to whip it too hard and that hurts!
On top of one of the biggest pilings of the dock was a big white sea gull who had fought with the other gulls to try and get the most fish. He sat up there squawking and I tried to feed him more herring that were laying around and floating in the water cause dad had once said if you fed a gull a lot of fish he would get so full he couldn’t fly and got sort of drunk and would fall over. I ran out of fish to throw to the big Gull before he fell over so I never proved if the story was true.

The Wonderful Privy
Dad and Mr. Trott went and took naps and I went exploring and found that if the toilet was busy in the house you could go to the Privy that was behind Charlie’s kitchen garden surrounded by ferns and blackberry bushes and other vegetation.  It was made of wooden planks and had a slanted roof and a plank door with a wooden latch inside.
Uncle Charlie had recently added an indoor toilet but the privy in the back of the property adjacent to Painters was still his preference. Everyone else made funny jokes about the privy but I was fascinated! What a wonderful thing to have in your back yard. It was quiet and cool with the door closed but it did sort smell like diapers. It even had a modern white seat over the bare wood board with a hole carved in it. And you did not need toilet paper as there was a Simpson-Sears mail order catalog nailed to the wall. What will they think of next!
There was a big spider with a web in the corner above the door and she was making the web shiver and wrapped a big fly up in her web. She had several balls of web I guessed were flies. The flies that used the privy were all different sizes, some shiny blue, some bright green and some little ones that bit you and left a blood spot.
Another path went past the privy and garden and to the gate that gave access to the front drive of the Painters Lodge and the main desk inside where Dad went to use the telephone to see how mom was doing at the store in Seattle. They sold candy bars in there too! There was a high desk that a lady stood behind and talked to the people who were staying there.  There was a huge salmon, stuffed and hanging on the wall. The candy bars were bigger than we had at home and with funny names but really good. Later I had a nickle and went back and bought a candy bar by myself.

Charlie’s Privy Look-a-Like

Big Fish!
That  afternoon Dad and Mr. Trott took the boat and went out fishing again and George and I stayed mostly on the dock until it was almost dark and when they came back Mr. Trott had a huge salmon he had caught 52 pounds.  Dad caught one just a little smaller at 45 pounds. When the fish were laid down on the dock people gathered around admiring the Big Fish, and I laid down on the dock beside the fish and the were both longer than me. To bad no one thought to weigh me to see who was heaviest, Me or the Tyee.The fish were taken to the TYEE SCALE at Painter’s resort and weighed as if they were record breakers. The Tyee salmon were put in the Painter’s ice room to keep them from spoiling.

Mr.Trott and Dad with the 52 Lb Tyee

The Tyee Club Scales with Uncle Charlie weighing in!

 

 

Records on the Victrola
That evening I discovered the Victrola and records that Uncle Charlie had. One was “Beautiful Ohio” that started with the words ‘drifting with the currant on a moonlit stream while above the heavens in their glory gleam‘ and another was “The War In Snyder’s Grocery Store” which entranced me with its words;

“Astifus Snyder, a local provider, a grocer of canned goods and such,
berated the war till himself and the store were both what is known of as In Dutch.
His Grace had been feeding on so much more eating that he woke up one night in a fright,
rushed down the stairs, fell over two chairs and turned on the grocery store light.
There were eggs shell bursting near and far above the Russian Caviar,
an Irish potato started to cry when a Spanish onion hit his eye,
A Bismarck herring by himself was pushing the Swiss cheese off of the shelf.
The anchovies, prunes and soy beans where fighting an army of Dago Salami
The Limburger cheese bravely strengthened the breeze,
while the greens were growing weaker and shouted ‘Please won’t you open the door”
He went back to bed put some ice on his head and went on the wagon once more.”

That is the words from my memory and if you want to check how close I got to the real record see the link below.

That Victrola was amazing to have available to play freely with the scratchy high voices. The only previous experience I had with a phonograph was in first grade at school. A couple of years later I was able to listen to all the records with my sister and brother on another visit to Campbell River.

Foot note: The War in Snyders Grocery store was released in 1914 and I found a recordings of the original record available on line.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWhR

More Fun on the Dock
The next day Dad and mister Trott went out again and I spent more time on the dock in the morning. There were herring in the water and people brought out a giant comb like boards with tons of nails sticking out of one edge. They would stand on the edge of the dock and swish the ‘Herring Rake’ through the water and lift it up with tens of herring stuck through with nails. They would fill a coffee can or other bait bucket with herring and take a boat and go out fishing. I picked up the rake and tried to get some herring but it was hard to do and I almost fell off the dock.
Soon something more interesting happened and hundreds of dogfish showed up and chased the herring. They were small sharks and were zooming around and pieces of herring were floating in the water and it looked like they were everywhere and then; they were gone and so were the herring. George got a gaff hook and had managed to gaff several of the dogfish and we had them on the dock. Their skin was like sand paper and white or brown and the noses were long and pointed and they had big glassy eyes. The mouth was something you had to stay out of the way of because once out of the water the tail was whipping back and forth and so was the head and the mouth was full of very sharp teeth. I found out that if you turned them on their back and stuck the shark dorsal fin through the space between the boards of the dock and then poke your finger in their belly they would bark just like a dog. One bark for each poke.
Dad and Mr. Trott came back with a small 20 pound Silver salmon and that was taken down to the scale and weighed and the bigger fish were brought out and George and I got the hold some of them up for pictures. The fish were returned to the cooler and we went back to granny’s and had supper and I don’t remember much until next morning.

sep06_26
Holding up a Big Fish! Dad and Me and George T.

Going Home
Mr.Trott’s car had a fold down rack on the back and overnight he and dad had made a wooden box to hold the fish on the way home. After granny made pancakes and eggs and ham dad and Mr Trott drove over to Painter’s and loaded the fish with lots of ice and gunnysacks into the box. And everybody said goodbye and I got another bunch of hugs and squeezes from Grannyand we very soon left to drive down to Naniamo and catch the ferry back to Vancouver.

The Princess Joan
On the ferry I got familiar again with the dining room which was crowded this time since it was Monday and the view from the deck as we went toward Vancouver was very different with mountians and the big high Lyons Gate bridge in sight for so long in spite of the smokey haze. Finally we went under the bridge and turned into the dock. It didn’t take long to leave the ferry behind and then we were a the border and the people there came out to see the big fish.
Soon we stopped at Bob and Marie’s again and they had ice to add to the fish box and cups of coffee and snacks. It was time to leave, we were on the way home and I just don’t remember much about that part of the journey.
We arrived back at Dad’s grocery store after dark and the fish were transferred to the freezer of the butcher shop. I thought it was spooky in the dark store with the freezer door open and fish being hung up with the meat.  Mr Trott dropped Dad and I and our gear of at home and I forgot about everything till Tuesday as my siblings were not up. I went straight to bed.

Final Event
Tuesday was picture day and give the fish away day. Mr. Trott and George and dad piled up boxes and crates and a board to hang the fish from.
Mother brought her camera down and took pictures, The butcher, Stan Parker and his son Stan Jr. got added to the pictures. I am even there behind one of the fish, you can see my shoes.

All the fish on display At the store. Mr. Trott, George, Me behind the fish and Dad
Mom and Stan Jr. and Stan Parker

After pictures Dad and Stan cut the fish up so it could be given away to store customers as it could not be sold. Mother and I took some home where we had an ice box on the back porch. but much was left in the store cooler. I remember the first of the salmon steaks, so large that 2 steaks would fill a baking dish and feed us all for dinner. Because we didn’t have a refrigerator none of the salmon saw the end of the summer of 1938.

But the story is imbedded in my memory, a shadow show of  moving pictures I have revisited over many years, the sounds, the smells, flavors of a brief moment of time long gone.

Old R

One comment

  1. Very enjoyable, Roy. You have an excellent memory for detail! Your description of dining on the old CPR ferries brought back many memories to me.

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