Flash Back Fridays
JANE DROWN (nee GREGG) 1968, 1969 and 1970
Jane worked at the Lodge during a period when we did not have a lot of staff. Those that we did have were expected to lend a hand in many different areas and to work very hard. Her sister, Chris, worked here as well during part of that time (she later became a school principal). The first thing that Jane told me was that she decided after working at the Lodge that she never wanted to work in a resort again (she became a pharmacist) because the work was so hard.
I remember on hot summer nights after we finally cleared the kitchen, we would go down to the boat dock and skinny dip. We got caught by fishermen several times and had to keep swimming until they left the dock
She remembers a young couple, Candy and Jim, who impressed her and the other young staff because they had been to Woodstock and on a later date talked to the Beatles; she was not sure when but Candy had apparently roomed with George Harrison. This young couple liked to play ‘Eve of Destruction’ by Barry McGuire:
The eastern world it is explodin’,
violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
you’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
you don’t believe in war, what’s that gun you’re totin’
”Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
Can’t you see the fear that I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be none to save with the world in a grave,
take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
you can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
hate your next-door-neighbour, but don’t forget to say grace,
and you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend, ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.
A friend visited Candy and Jim from California. It was only for three days but apparently he made such amazing vegetarian food (it had some Mexican items in-corporated) that Jane has never forgotten how good it tasted.
The radio phone was always on and the staff learned quite a bit about some of the seedier sides of life in the logging camps. It was like a soap opera; one woman phoned from a beer parlor to tell her husband that she was tired of looking after his mother, so she had put her in an old folk’s home. There were many screaming fights and breakups over the air. An American guest phoned New York, but had difficulty getting the message to the other party because they did not realize that they had to take turns when talking on the radio phone. This guest was unable to explain where he was to the New Yorker on the other end.
Jane had a great time doing the books with my father the year we were away. Jane remembers ordering the fishing tackle for re-sale and rentals, having to run the cotton bedding and linen tablecloths through the mangle (sit -down ironer) and the time when she put Kent Boulding’s wet clothes in the big gas drier only to find when she removed the dry clothes that there were bullets in the pockets of his coat.
Jim drove Jane and three other staff members 30 miles south down the centre of the Island to Western Mines. Jane dove to the bottom of the lake to see if they could find out where the mine tailings were going. Jane was a powerful swimmer; she had grown up in Ocean Falls where the major activity was swimming in the indoor pool. She did not find any indication of tailings. This was probably bad news because that meant that the mine sludge was not staying on the bottom like it was supposed to. She remembers how icy cold the water was. Those were the days before we had job descriptions.
She remembers Lila Berman having a wonderful party for the staff that was catered by the Lodge at Lila’s expense. Doris, Lila’s sister, was a kind soul as well who gave all the staff girls gifts.
Jane said that Jim had a habit of leaving cigar butts all over the place. The staff found this quite disgusting. Jim and I were fond of having dinner, and at one such party Jane served Jim with a collection of cigarette butts. He was not pleased!
Like all of us, she was impressed with the Tayco Paving crew who were working on the road to Gold River from dawn to dusk. They were a large crew and ate some meals with us and stayed in our cabins as well as in their own very large house trailers. After Tayco left, a different crew who were working for the highway department stayed with us when they were paving the road from the narrows at Buttle Lake to Campbell River. I learned that the government workers did not work as long or hard as the Tayco workers.
Tayco Paving spent the warmer months with us. The boss, Ron Pat- terson, had a daughter named Debbie who was about twelve at the time. She remembers when her Samoyed dog ate a worm on a hook, and the hook got stuck in her tongue.
Mr. Boulding (Jim) calmed me down when I took her to him, and he promptly and deftly removed the hook from her tongue, telling me that he was quite used to removing hooks, but mostly from people. It is funny what you remember.