Volume 4 – Fred and Clarice.
Don’t ask me why, but for some reason the top left picture of my dad reminds me of Ricky Ricardo.
This page depicts a timeline from my parents marriage up to 1973. They were married on January 23, 1943 and with the wedding in Forest and the groom in London - a harsh snowstorm that day left everyone wondering if the groom would make it on time. Sure enough he did and nine kids later…..
In the early 60’s my dad was injured in a railway accident, leaving him unemployed for a few years and feeding 8 kids was no easy feat. We ate a lot of potatoes. Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes, french fried potatoes, potato salad, potato soup – we made scalloped potato sandwiches, and mashed potato and corn sandwiches. You would think we would be sick of potatoes, but it is still one of everyone’s favourite foods. When I was little it was my job to go to the basement and fill the pail full of potatoes and bring them upstairs to mom for supper. While I didn't mind helping out around the house... I did mind getting the potatoes. You see the basement was always a bit wet, so the potatoes sat on a skid on the floor so they would stay dry. Under that skid lived the biggest damn toad I've ever seen in my life and he used to jump out and scare me Every Time! I used to beg not to have to go and gather the potatoes and my dad would ca-faw and say, 'you scare him more than he scares you'.
Growing up, one of our favourite things to do was to get out the big old box of old photos. We would all sit around the table and no matter how many times we went through them, and how many repeated stories we heard... it was still something we all gravitated to and enjoyed doing as a family. This was one other reason why I wanted to create this album, so everyone would have a copy of the treasured family photos.
In 1966 we adopted a squirrel monkey as our pet. More about Charlie Brown later on… he gets his own pages.
Now this is one area in which I had not created a scrapbook page for, but hope to one day. In 1973 my sister Debbie secured a full time job when she graduated from high school and she approached mom and dad one day and said, “I want to take out a loan and get a pool. I don’t need a car, I can walk to work, I’d rather have a pool and I can make the payments on the loan myself if you will let me put a pool in the back yard”. And that is exactly what she did. Growing up with very little money, if we were able to make a trip to the lake one day – it was a matter of squishing 6 or 7 kids in the back seat of the car and by the time you got back home from the lake, you were hotter than before you left for the trip. A pool to this family was a dream come true. It was a 16x32’ above ground pool and we had it for over 20 years. My mother was kind and generous to all the neighbouring children and would allow them to come and swim almost anytime they wanted: at times, we would have to do a head count because we could have up to 27 kids in the pool at one time. My kids still talk about ‘the pool days’. This pool brought many many years of enjoyment to our family.
Ok… back to Fred and Clarice’s wedding….
As I stated earlier, there was a huge snow storm on the day my mom and dad were married. All trains and busses were cancelled and the wedding was set to go, but no groom. If you click on this picture, you can read the exert from Debbie’s novelette describing the day. The cake shown in the photo was baked and decorated by grampa Waterfield… afterall… he was the baker.
This next picture is of my mom and dad on the wedding day. I incorporated the snowflakes to represent the snow storm. The ‘knot’ represents an inside joke and as soon as I put it on the page, I knew the family would find this page comical. My mom and dad taught boy scouts and my dad could tie any kind of knot there is. And tie knots he did. Each year we closed up the pool, Fred would go around the tarp that Deb and I had already secured and he would re-tie all the knots we made whether we thought they were secure or not… he had to make sure he retied them all. Then each year we opened the pool, Deb and I would curse him and his knots because we had a dickens of a time trying to untie them all. It happened every single year.
Now we start with all the siblings. First born is my brother Dick. (This page was entered in the Forest Fair and won first place). The top left picture of the two kids in the wash tub is Dick and Pat. Are there any readers out there who used to put there kids in the wash tub. I actually have the wash tub in my garden now…with ground ivy growing around it. Love the old car, but I don’t know what ever happened to it. I’m sure it’s seen it’s days long ago – what with 8 kids using it.
Next is Patsy. I wish this baby picture was in colour because she has the blue blue bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. Put her daughters baby picture beside it, and again – we have twins. One day – I’ll have to do a blog page showing all the ‘twins’. This page was also entered in the Forest Fair and it got first place special. The wagon in the top picture I actually had in my garden as well about 20 years ago, but it didn’t last long and it fell apart, but I still have the pieces of the wheels and handle etc in the garden – and it looks kind of neat in amongst the lush greens. The middle picture on the right is Dick and Pat. After Pat was born, Jimmy was born, but he passed away at 3 months old of crib death. Unfortunately, we have no pictures of baby Jimmy.
On to my brother Bill, but there are not as many baby pictures for Bill. I think by this time the novelty has worn off, or perhaps they could no longer afford so many baby pictures, but there just doesn’t seem to be very many baby pictures of him. The picture taken on the framework was when they were building a new arena in Forest. The old arena had burned down and they were in the process of rebuilding. I guess mom and dad thought it would be an interesting shot – and it is.
Stay tuned for Volume 5 - the rest of the siblings...