Monday, October 8, 2007

A Whole Lot of Nothing in Saskatchewan

"No one had any money," the tall, handsome senior tells me. He was a teenager through much of the thirties. The thirties, not the depression, that's how many of the seniors I talk to refer to the depression, only as the thirties.

"What did you do for fun?" I ask.


"No dances?" I prod.

"I played the fiddle my Dad bought."

"You didn't have any money," I remind him.

"We bought it before the thirties, when we still had some money."

"Did you play at dances?" I ask again.

"Wasn't that good," he says in his cryptic manner. "The neighour taught me. We had musicals at different homes. I played at them sometimes."

"And dances?" So give me credit - I'm persistent!

"Yeah. I played at a few. But usually we had a real orchestra come out."

"Orchestra?" Now I'm puzzled. What about the no money thing?

"Yeah, my cousin played banjo, his wife played fiddle and a friend played saxaphone. They came out every Saturday night."

Nothing is sure becoming an interesting term. There's a whole lot of nothing going on. But I press on.

"From the city?" I ask.

"No, from the farm." He looks puzzled at the question. "They came into town."

"So you danced every weekend?"

"When we didn't have money. Sometimes we had money you know."

He eyes me like everyone should know this fact and continues,"then we went to Disley and bought beer."

"Yeah. But we got rid of the empties."

"So you returned the empties?" I ask assuming poverty stricken as they were they would want the cash on a bottle return.

"Oh no." He shakes his head. "That would mean we'd have to take the bottles home with us. We threw them away so our mothers wouldn't find out we'd been drinking beer!"

Life is Unexpected - Safe travels


“A farmer who loves the classics and plays the piano like a maestro. Interesting.”
Tate Prescott Brown - "From the Dust"

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