Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Long long ago, but never forgotten

I was watering my coleus plants when I noticed a couple of leaves that needed to be pinched off. As I was doing that, I unintentionally poured some of the water into a box on the floor beside the plant table.
When I pulled things out so I could dry them, one item turned out to be a photo of a couple who were my parents' friends, and my friends, since the 1960s. They had left Alberta and moved to British Columbia where more jobs were available.

This is a photo I took, of the picture I found, which had been taken at my young brother Rob's wedding. It shows Ralph on the right, Petie in the centre, and on the left is 'Auntie' Edith, whom you can barely see. She and her husband George were family friends who knew me since I was wee tiny or, more likely, since I was born.

I babysat Petie and Ralph's kids until they no longer needed a babysitter, and Ralph actually gave me a ride from White Rock, in the suburbs, into the city of Vancouver for my very first job hunt.
He dropped me off near Playland, and told me to wait because a downtown bus would be along soon. Terrified that I might take the wrong bus, I walked instead.
I walked, in my mother's shoes, for one hour and sixteen minutes, according to Google Maps. 6.1 kilometres, or 3.8 miles.
I walked, in my best neat and tidy dress (and don't forget Mom's shoes, through some pretty shady neighbourhoods, and was never accosted at all. Instead, people smiled and said hello.

It was 1965.

I walked to the offices of the Vancouver Province newspaper, where they said they had no openings, so I walked the short distance (maybe a block or a block and a bit) to the offices of the other daily paper, the Vancouver Sun.
I took the elevator to the newsroom, where they directed me to the personnel office, and I got a job...working in the newsroom. It wasn't a glamorous job, I was just a copy-runner, but I was happy as a clam, except for that annoying young woman in the newspaper library, who would call "Copy!" which meant I had to take something from her and give it to a writer or an editor. Everyone else did the same but she, somehow, managed to sound worse.
Little did I know she would become my best friend, as she is to this day. We've been through a lot together, and we've had a lot of fun together (took in lots of baseball games together) and we've had a lot of disappointments, sorrows and losses together, taking the bad with the good.
As for Petie and Ralph in the photo above, they were praying for my family when my brother Rob was born in 1968. He was a teeny tiny preemie, but he made it.
So Ralph and Petie's kids, the ones I babysat, began babysitting my baby brother. We came full circle together, my family, Petie and Ralph's family, and me. I can't forget Edith, whom you can barely see in the picture, but she was, with her husband George, with my family all the way.
I guess spilling that water today wasn't a disaster. I got to reminisce a lot, all because of the wet picture I found when I was supposed to be watering my plants.


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Sometimes I think we rediscover these things when we are best able to process the memories - or their associations - and gain true pleasure from them. YAM xx

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Being so familiar with vancouver, and also a young newspaper reporter, I enjoyed this post so much, Kay!sigh. Vancouver was a small friendly city back then and how I loved it after small town kelowna. I remember catching the bus to work, the smell of the ocean, the cry of the gulls......sigh.

Powell River Books said...

It must have been fun working for a newspaper, right in the middle of the action. All of my jobs have been in education, very rewarding and somewhat exciting. - Margy

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's a wonderful story Kay.