Regina January 21 ?22? 1946. Orme and I at the Wood's home.
We had the great warm welcome from Edith Wood on our arrival and RJ now working for the DVA was not home from work yet. Their niece Dorothy Murphy hearing we had arrived came in later, also RJ. To say the least we were glad to see RJ and Dorothy. She was a school friend we used to date. [Both drove old Rugby trucks ]
We had a terrific time at the Wood's home. The heat and dryness of the prairie houses was hard to take especially after living out doors and unheated buildings as long as we had. We did not complain since the hospitality was out of this world. We did not get much sleep the first night and were up early next morning, I must say a bit hung over. RJ said what you need is a shot of ENO effervescent salts to clear the cobwebs Gordie. He then presented me with a bubbling glass with the recommendation to just swallow it down for the best effect so I did. But immediately I rushed to the bathroom with Orme and Dorothy saying what is the matter? All I could say between eruptions was GIN and ENO.
That prankster RJ had mixed the ENO's with about three ounces of Gin and that is getting more than the one that bit you.
During our stay in Regina many old friends that were in the city came to visit and welcome us back. I was on the phone phoning others and telling the ones that were girls how nice it was to hear Canadian girls voices once again.
Oh yes we were full of it and the joy of being alive and here in Regina was the greatest. Soon Orme and I caught the train to Swift Current Sask. where Orme's Dad was to meet and take us to Orme's home at Neville. [also my old home town, my folks now at the coast ]
We pulled into the CPR station at Swift Current and I was first off the train and here was Orme's dad Cliff Payne waiting, also Frank Murphy. Cliff said where is Orme and I said he is putting on his jacket. Cliff was a laid back fellow but he was ready to leap into the train to get to see his son Orme. Finally Orme came out to be greeted by his Dad. Orme land his Dad are laid back fellows. Frank Murphy and Cliff Payne said seeing it is so late and the roads pretty icy and snow covered we would stay in Swift Current that night. Cliff had booked a room in the nearby hotel. Gathering up our gear we went to the hotel room.
The stories started and it went on and on. I reminded this Frank Murphy that until the day I die I will hear his laughter in my ears. I will relate how I remember. About 1933 or before I, being 11 or12, was wearing elastic waist band whoopee denims and having had a yoyo in my hand for the first time. This yoyo belonged to an older chap one Leonard Mitchell. As I made the first attempt at using the yo yo that swine Leonard went behind me put a hand in each back pocket of my jeans and pulled them down to my ankles. Now summer on the prairie at my age we did not wear underwear so here I am with the elastic waist band hobbling my ankles, my bare hind end exposed to the wind and all to see, as I hobbled between the post office and a cafe with Frank Murphy's roaring great laughter ringing in my ears. You think I would forget that laugh but I still hear it when I look back so long ago. I reminded Frank of his laugh and it was just the thing for him to go through it all again. We had just nicely turned in for the night when Gerry Payne, Jim Bedard and a whole group of Neville hockey players entered our room to welcome us back. Now these young men were mere kids when we had left for overseas and here they were grown men. They had just played a game in Gull lake or somewhere. Now Orme and I would be able to join the team. Maybe Orme did but getting ahead, I went on to the coast.
The next day we went to Orme's Mum and Dad's place in Neville. We received a great welcome from young and old. You would think we were heroes when all we did was go through the whole war and get home safe.
I stayed in Neville for a few days as the ladies of the district were to present Orme Payne, Floyd Donnelly and I with our regimental crests and a scroll thanking us for our war effort. It was a great evening and old friends never looked better.
I went back to Regina to get a trunk from MD 12 and shipped it to Vancouver, also picked up travel warrants to Vancouver.
Returning from Regina to Swift Current I located Paul and Mary Wells from Neville who were in the city to pick up a couple of relations. Paul said I could ride with them to Neville.
The trip from Swift Current to Neville on a snowy wind blown stormy night was something else almost our end. As we journeyed down the highway we ran into many drifts of snow that almost blocked the road. With five people in the car Paul was able to crash through all the drifts on # 4 Hwy but when we were going east on #43 about four miles west of Neville we hit a drift that finished our movement. STUCK!!