Dad’s Birthday

It’s my Dad’s birthday today. He would have been 88. Here’s the first two paragraphs of the life story that he wrote longhand (and which my Mom painstakingly transcribed):

I was born on January 3, 1920, in a dirt-floored cabin, on a homestead in northern Alberta near Mellowdale … a town that I don’t believe exists now. It was seventy miles above Edmonton. But try as I may, I can’t remember that day. I have to go on what my Mother told me.

The only memory I have of this time is riding in a horse-drawn sleigh with “sleigh bells ringing”, all bundled up under a heavy fur, and seeing lights from a window of a house down a snowy hill to the left. It was dark … blue dark. The house had heavy snow on the roof, and icicles, and it was still snowing, and I could hear music. The fur we were under was a buffalo hide, my Dad told me years later. He never remembered that particular time, but said it was probably Eligh DeGuire’s place. I recall, vaguely, being placed on a bed with other little sleeping kids and complaining bitterly. I also remember crying because the music was so beautiful, and my Mother sang so beautifully.