Archive | January 2013

Swimming

~~ by Nadine Faye House

When we moved into Neepawa it was to the corner of Brown Ave. and Ellen St. which was only a block from the court house/town hall on Hamilton Street.

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The fountain is barely visible at the far left of the picture.

Gail and I used to go paddling in the fountain located there. Our signal to return home was the noon whistle that sounded to let all the work places know that it was dinner time (yes dinner not lunch).

One day while all the people were headed home for dinner, I decided that I did not want to walk home in my wet bathing suit so promptly took it off and headed home naked. I’m not sure but think this happened when I was about three.

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Neepawa

Neepawa is the first home of which I have actual personal memories, not just passed on stories—though the memories are fragmented and hazy.  I do remember the big yellow quarantine sign on the front door when Nadine and I came down with measles.

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Something like this but for measles.

I remember my father bringing a huge block of ice, grasped in gigantic tongs, to put in the icebox in the kitchen.

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The exterior of our icebox was similar to A,
but had a larger compartment, not just a drawer, for the ice.

I remember our swing on the tree in the front yard.

These snapshots were taken in July 1947 on or near Nadine’s 3rd birthday.
I had turned 5 in April.

I remember my first Hallowe’en party.
And my first piano recital.

But there are still stories as well.  I will let Nadine tell the first, as it involves her.

A brief stay in Winnipeg

In Winnipeg we made our home at 72 Hindley Avenue in the St. Vital area.

Hindley ave

We stayed only a few months, leaving again not long after my fourth birthday in April 1946.

family at Hindley ave

I love this picture because it is one of the few that includes my father along with the rest of us.  It was taken on the steps of 72 Hindley Avenue.

And here I am on my fourth birthday.

fourth birthday

And again, with Mum and Nadine.

Winnipeg, Spring 1946

Our next home was in Neepawa, Manitoba.

Leaving the Farm

It was late fall 1945 that we left my first home.  I have conflicting stories as to why.  According to Uncle Cecil, he offered to sell the farm to my father.  Dad was keen, but, says Uncle Cecil “Gladys was not.”  I didn’t hear this version until Uncle Arthur published Pancake Ranch, a collection of writings by himself and his siblings.

Nadine & Cecil, Sept. 1945

Nadine with Uncle Cecil, September 1945

What I heard from my mother is that Uncle Cecil misread a comment of hers.  The Brunskill farm was the most distant stop from the school on the school bus route.  I would be the first child on in the morning and the last off in the evening.  She was concerned it would be a long day for me.  But, as she recalls, she did not intend this concern to stand in the way of acquiring ownership of the farm.

Myself with Mum & Dad

Myself with Mum & Dad

There is no way of knowing now just why things fell out as they did.  Mum had been born on a farm, raised on a farm, knew farm life well.  Dad had lived on a farm since he was twelve.  Except for the excursion to Hamilton in 1941 (see Almost an Ontarian) they had known no other life.  So it was a big decision to leave. Our immediate destination was Winnipeg. And although we soon left the big city, we never returned to a farm.

Dad bringing in wood for the stove

Dad bringing in wood for the stove