Aboard the CPR train to Vancouver, January 1946. I'm on the train and have crawled into my bunk lulled by the JACK'S and SIX'S of the train wheels making their noise on the rails. But bear with me in the hurry to get on with the memoirs I left out mentioning some very important people for starters the rest of Orme Payne's family.
I have told you of meeting once again Orme's Dad, Cliff, at the station in Swift Current. Well at last we drove in to the Payne's yard and into their house [new house new location they had lost the other home to a fire ] to be welcomed by Orme's Mum, Beatrice, and of course the rest of the family, Gerry 1, Patsy [now called Pat]15 going on 18, and Judy 6. Orme was now indeed home and the welcome was warm to us both. I think I will tell this story on Orme to justify the going on18 about Pat. About the second day home Pat put on her lipstick and was going to go up town. Orme did not realize that sisters grow up. Orme said to his Mum on seeing Pat with lipstick in place "You're not going to let that girl go up town with a face made up like that? Beatrice I think replied that sisters do change when you have been away for so long. Pat was out the door as Orme's return to family life educated.
Another couple was Orme's uncle and aunt, Bud and Mamie Murphy , and their family as I remember it were Donna and Terry, Guy and Lorna and Penny, and forgive me I have left any out but Donna can correct me before it is posted on the web. I owe Mamie Murphy a great thank you as she was a neighbor to my folks when Dad, George and I were in the service. Mamie's stories, laughter and support was a tremendous boost for my Mum, a dear friend now long gone. But the Mamie Murphy stories will live forever as long as her family gather to tell them. Bud Murphy was equally glad to see Orme. Bud was a laid back fellow .
Orme and I were telling him a few stories and in the room were two other chaps a Bill Butcher [ex calf roping champion] and a Dave Wiebe. As Orme and I held the floor Bill Butcher a true story teller was not able to get a word in. Soon we could hear Bill telling Dave a long story that went like this, "You know Dave they wanted to pay me only fifty dollars a ton but I held out until they had to pay me one hundred and twenty five dollars a ton. By this time Bill held us all in suspense when the price per ton was so high. We did not have to wait much longer for the end of the story. The straight man Dave finally said, Bill what were you doing for this great sum ? Bill replied putting up hay on the Turkey Track ranch with a butcher knife. At that Orme and I had been bested by a pro so putting on our greatcoats we left the stage to the professionals .
Others in this small town that help shape my formative years were many and I could not begin to name or thank them all. Harry and Mary McNairn a great pair with Eunice and Buck as family. It was Harry that changed my name from being called Gordon to Gordie.
Orme's Mum Beatrice was a gifted mimic and neither she or her sister Mamie's memories will ever be forgotten. RIP to you both. All this not war time memoirs but it was part of my life before the war during the war and my return so to all that were players in my life, THANK YOU.
How is that from an interrupted sleep on the train speeding westward to my returning Home?
I remember when I awoke the first morning on the train we were pulling into Calgary. I had a great meal in the diner and on through Banff.
I saw my first wolf running along on the lake ice, herds of elk both around the Banff station and all along the railroad for miles. Oh yes It was not hard to strike up friends on the train. Quite a few service men and women going home like I was plus others going to the coast to work. . One girl in particular was going to the coast to be an usher at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. This young lady had been engaged to an airforce chap that had been killed in action.This airman had written a poem that ended something like this, and I touched the face of God, I ask you was it Flight ?A tremendous poem and well known now but I'm afraid I cannot recall the correct name for it. This young lady had the original poem.
Some where in my amount of scraps of paper menus and such I must have a CPR train diner menu with the names of some that travelled with me. January 1946 through the mountains down along the Fraser river and into Vancouver passing along the trade mark building of Rogers Sugar refinery and slowly entered the Vancouver CPR rail Station.
I have been all ready to to walk down the train steps and HOME for at least twenty minutes. Excited probably, apprehensive maybe, just glad I survived and ready to get off the train and meet Mum and Dad. What a wonderful feeling came over me at this point, and it still brings a goose bump or two thinking about it. That was a long time ago.