My life began as the youngest child of four. My Father was in the Royal Canadian Navy. We lived in Halifax at the time of my birth.
At six months old, my three siblings and I traveled to Victoria, B.C. It was a very small car with two adults and a 13 year old, an 8 year old, a four year old and me. In those days there was no canned formula or pampers. Every night my mom mixed my formula in a one gallon jars and washed and hung up the cloth diapers to dry for the next day’s travel. Of course I don’t remember any of this being a baby.
My parents bought a house in View Royal, a suburb of Victoria. My father was stationed out of Esquimalt. We spent four years living in Victoria. My father got transferred back to Halifax. My family rented a house in Bedford. The house only had two bedrooms so needless say, there were two sets of bunk beds in one room. By this time I was four, my brother was eight, my sister was 12 and my older brother was 17.
Leslie joined the Navy and went to Cornwallis for training, that eased the situation some. We attended the Bedford United church. My mother was Sunday school teacher, Guide Leader, and Cub Leader. I recall a story that one summer probably 1959, my dad was at sea, my older brother was in Cornwallis, my sister was going to Guide camp, and my brother and my Mom who was were his leader were going to cub camp. All the same week. So what would happen to the five year old, who knew.
Until my Grandfather from Victoria, hitchhiked across the country to look after his Granddaughter. I loved that man. He called me Peanut Butter Sandwich, or PBS for short because I was such a fussy eater that is all I would eat. I never eat vegetable.
In Halifax, they have Grade Primer, it was kind of like Kindergarten. I don’t remember much about it, that we got put on a bus and taken somewhere. We were given some kind of cape to put on and then we sang a few songs and then went back on the bus.
We moved back to Victoria in August of 1960. We got back just after school started. I remember my first day, it was probably the first time, I had stage fright. I remember standing in the front of the room while everyone sat down at their desks. The teacher wasn’t there yet, and some girl in the front of one of the rows said ” Are you new, and are you in grade one or two.” I didn’t know there was two grades in the same room so I told her I didn’t know. My friend that I had before we went to Nova Scotia wasn’t in my class so I didn’t know anybody.
I hated school, I wasn’t a very good reader so I hated when we had to read out loud. It was like the teachers did it to pick on the people who didn’t read well so they would feel stupid. I also know that if you write out spelling mistakes 25 times each doesn’t help you learn how to spell. I hated school from the 1st day of Grade One till the last day of Grade Twelve. I graduated but I really didn’t care.
There were strange rules in the 60’s. Girls weren’t allowed to wear pants to school. If it was cold, you could wear pants but you had to take them off at school, till we went home again. In those days, girls weren’t allowed to play soccer, till about 1971. About the same time as we started being able to wear pants. I guess it was Women’s Lib.
I always enjoyed sports, by Grade 6, I made some of the school teams. I played volleyball and grass hockey. I always wanted to play ice hockey but girl leagues didn’t happen till I was older. When it did it was too expensive. My friend played and I went to cheer her on.
I played in the school band when they started the band program. I had a lot of friends who were in the band too. In Grade Six they started, we met before school, we had band, twice a week from 8-9. We performed at the Christmas concert it was scary, we were only three months into it.
In Grade 9, we had a band trip to Northern BC. We Stayed in Williams Lake. Who knew 20 years later I would live there. We went to Barkerville, two of my friends who were dating got married in the old church. Just for funny anyway. We went to the WAC Bennett damn, we climbed the front of it and the bus picked us up at the top. It was fun.
I played in the band till Grade 10. In May of 1972, we earned our way to Disneyland. The band rented two buses and we took the ferry to Vancouver. The first night we stayed in Springfield Oregon. We were billeted out so we stayed at band members houses. We preformed a few concerts. We stayed a couple of days in Los Angeles. My 2nd cousin lived there so she and her husband took my friend and I out for the night. We saw the LAX, Long beach pier and they bought us supper.