Saturday, 29 March 2014

Family Visits

I understand that - when Dad left the East - his family had no idea where he went nor what happened to him. He traveled west looking for work and even 'rode the rails' which became a common practice during the Great Depression. Dad did give us an outline of that period in his life - but not the details. We know that he found himself in Matsqui (across the Fraser River from the town of Mission) and worked in the harvesting of peas for a farmer in that area.

Also we know that he lived for a while with a trapper who had a shack on the bank of the Fraser River at Mission (that was when Dad learned how to make pancakes, donuts and bread - years later it was always Dad who made pancakes when they were on the menu for Sunday breakfast - on other Sunday mornings Mom prepared the usual eggs, bacon and toast).

Dad was quite a raconteur but could be sparse with the details at times. Eventually Mom persuaded him to provide her with the addresses of his family and it was she who informed them as to Dad's whereabouts and his well-being. Thanks to that connection we were visited by two cousins who had enlisted and who then passed through B.C. while on their way to military service in and across the Pacific.

The first to drop by was Gerrard (Gerry) Brule who was the oldest son of Dad's half-sister, Berenice and her husband  Edgar. He was in the Army Signal Corps and was being sent to Australia to serve with the Australian army.

After Gerry left we had a second visitor - Raymond Cadieux - who was the oldest son of Dad's half-brother Georges Cadieux. I do not recall which branch of the military Raymond belonged to nor where he was going.

Years later - after we had moved to the 'Finnegan house' Raymond reappeared and he was accompanied by Violette. Dad knew that Violette was NOT his wife so he expressed to Raymond his discomfort at having someone living in our home who was not legally married to his companion. Raymond's response was that Dad couldn't talk as - since he and Mom had been married by a United Church of Canada minister instead of a priest - he wasn't "legally married" either! Naturally, this conversation was conducted out of earshot of we kids so I do not know what Dad said next - but Raymond and Violette did stay with us - and in the room that was behind the kitchen stove.

One thing that Raymond and Violette had in common with Mom and Dad was a love of card games so  many an evening (as well as weekend afternoons) were spent in playing those games.

If you have read the blog that precedes this one, you are aware of the neighbors - the Ricord family. They also loved card games so they would come over and join in.

In that family there were two boys who were entering their teenage years and who were becoming very aware of the attractiveness of females.

Violette was a large buxom woman who was fond of colorful clothing. She was very well endowed in the area of her bosom and she wore tight fitting dresses with the neckline quite low.  Archie and Donald would come over to watch the games being played and would stand behind Violette's chair so they could 'see down in the valley' - especially when Violette had to reach for another card from the deck which was in the middle of the table. 

While I was in Ottawa I was able to visit with the Brule family a number of times. By then Gerrard (Gerry) was married and living in the Toronto area suburb of Pickering with his wife and two daughters. When Mom visited me in Ottawa in the summer of 1975 we visited that family.

In the meantime Raymond and Violette moved to a house in the community of Ladner which is situated on the south bank of the Fraser River and near where it flows into the Strait of Georgia. Violette had cancer and passed away. It was only after that sad event that I saw Raymond again - when I became the Pastor of MCCVancouver he heard of that somehow and began attending our Sunday evening service.

After I moved to Victoria I never saw - nor heard of - him again.   

1 comment:

  1. What makes you think your story is interesting?