Gris Griswolds Daily Journal Part 6
|«--||Gris Griswolds Daily Journal
|Part 5||Part 7|
- 1 January 1930
- 1.1 Wednesday, January 01, 1930
- 1.2 Thursday, January 02
- 1.3 Friday, January 03
- 1.4 Saturday, January 04
- 1.5 Sunday, January 05
- 1.6 Monday, January 06
- 1.7 Tuesday, January 07
- 1.8 Wednesday, January 08
- 1.9 Thursday, January 09
- 1.10 Friday, January 10
- 1.11 Saturday, January 11
- 1.12 Sunday, January 12
- 1.13 Monday, January 13
- 1.14 Tuesday, January 14
- 1.15 Wednesday, January 15
- 1.16 Thursday, January 16
- 1.17 Friday, January 17
- 1.18 Saturday, January 18
- 1.19 Sunday, January 19
- 1.20 Monday, January 20
- 1.21 Wednesday, January 22
- 1.22 Thursday, January 23
- 1.23 Friday, January 24
- 1.24 Saturday, January 25
- 1.25 Sunday, January 26
- 1.26 Monday, January 27
- 1.27 Tuesday, January 28
- 1.28 Wednesday, January 29
- 1.29 Thursday, January 30
- 1.30 Friday, January 31
- 2 February 1930
- 2.1 Saturday, February 01
- 2.2 Sunday, February 02
- 2.3 Monday, February 03
- 2.4 Tuesday, February 04
- 2.5 Wednesday, February 05
- 2.6 Thursday, February 06
- 2.7 Friday, February 07
- 2.8 Saturday, February 08
- 2.9 Sunday Feb 09
- 2.10 Monday, February 10
- 2.11 Tuesday, February 11
- 2.12 Wednesday, February 12
- 2.13 Thursday Feb 13
- 2.14 Friday, February 14
- 2.15 Saturday, February 15
- 2.16 Sunday, February 16
- 2.17 Monday, February 17
- 2.18 Tuesday, February 18
- 2.19 Wednesday, February 19
- 2.20 Thursday, February 20
- 2.21 Friday, February 21
- 2.22 Saturday, February 22
- 2.23 Sunday, February 23
- 2.24 Monday, February 24
- 2.25 Tuesday, February 25
- 2.26 Wednesday Feb 26
- 2.27 Thursday, February 27
- 2.28 Friday, February 28
- 3 March 1930
- 3.1 Saturday, March 1st
- 3.2 Tuesday, March 4th
- 3.3 Wednesday, March 5th
- 3.4 Thursday, March 6th
- 3.5 Friday, March 7th
- 3.6 Saturday, March 8th
- 3.7 Sunday, March 9th
- 3.8 Monday, March 10
- 3.9 Tuesday, March 11
- 3.10 Wednesday-Saturday, March 15
- 3.11 Sunday, March 16
- 3.12 Monday, March 17
- 3.13 Tuesday, March 18
- 3.14 Wednesday, March 19
- 3.15 Thursday, March 20
- 3.16 Friday, March 21
- 3.17 Saturday, March 22
- 3.18 Sunday, March 23
- 3.19 Monday, March 24
- 3.20 Tuesday, March 25
- 3.21 Wednesday, March 26
- 3.22 Thursday, March 27
- 3.23 Friday, March 28
Wednesday, January 01, 1930
Well, to start the new year right I changed to a new ribbon on the mill. As Joe took the Meteors and there was no Aero Wix to go, I was set for a real sleep. Frank Campbell came in at 11:00 and came upstairs to wake us up and wish us a Happy New Year. We both got up and I started breakfast while Joe took the 11 AM call. Frank stayed and talked to us for nearly and hour and had a cup of coffee with us before going back. Joe and I got in and cleaned up the place as Pearsons are coming for supper. We had goose for supper tonight. When we were ready to stuff it we found that we were out of bread so I went uptown. I went to Conibears and got 3 cabbages, fresh, and a can of peas, then stopped at Lanouettes for bread. I got back at 15:45 and was stuffing the goose when Syd Porter and R. McDougal came in. They were here for an hour. Pearsons arrived at 18:30 and everything was just about done. The goose was perfect and with the finest brown I ever saw. We roasted potatoes with it and had cabbage and peas, rhubarb and some of Joe’s Christmas cake. We had some of the wine I made last summer too. It is fine but a little sour. After supper Mrs Pearson and Joe played Jack and I three games of bridge and we won. They left at 01:30 and Joe and I came downstairs and got the fires going properly for the night. The==== Temperature dropped a way down today. It has been around zero to ten below for the past ten days but it went to 48 below today. The distilled water in the engine room was frozen but the bottle wasn't hurt. We left the fires slightly open and went to bed but later on when the heat came upstairs, it was so hot that I couldn't sleep. I found that it was still cold downstairs. The cold was coming in from under the doors. I let it go and was still awake at 03:00. I don't know when I went to sleep…….
Thursday, January 02
Temp -48. ……but it seemed like only a few minutes when the alarm went off. I took the Meteors but when I went to call Edm the batteries were so low that all I could get out of the generator was 110 volts instead of 2000. I discovered that several of the cells beside the ventilator were frozen, sot solidly but enough to offer a resistance. I tried to get the Delco going but it was 06:10 before I did. The stoves were warm enough but with 47 below outside the cold came in under the doors and it was cold on the floor. I called Edm but couldn't get an answer and VEC at Simpson called me saying VED had not been on yet this AM. VEC had one for me so I took it and went back to the Delco. When I came back Edm was still silent so I asked Simpson to take my weather and he did. His message was for an Aero Wix at 08:00 from here and Resolution. It was 07:30 before I was all ready, so I came up and lit the fire and dress. At 08:00 I got Resolution and gave him Simpson's Aero request and then sent my weather to Simpson. The coffee was cooked by then so I ate breakfast and read till 09:00 and then called Edm. Took their traffic and Jack came in and relieved me. I worked on the books the rest of the morning. After dinner I was so sleepy that I laid down for a snooze. It was 12:30 and I set the alarm for 13:00 and fell asleep. Joe came in and shut the alarm off before it rang so that I could get a decent sleep. Then at 13:00 he took my place on the set till 14:00, when Jack came back. I slept till 14:30 and felt a lot better. As Jack was using the big mill for the Press and I can't do much with the little one, I carried wood and did other chores for the rest of the afternoon. I was going to go to bed early tonight but after supper Joe went uptown and I played the mandolin for about an hour then started to write a letter to Paul Westland and when I signed off there was 8 long pages of it. Joe came back about 23:00 and we had a cup of tea and toast then chewed the rag for a couple of hours and it was 01:45 when I finally got to bed. It was quite early. While Joe was uptown I decided to take a flashlight of our cat "Alexander Nazarre". I set him on the back of the chesterfield chair and when I set the flash off I shut my eyes while it was lit. I heard 2 noises. There was a phooof-thump. The two so were close together that it sounded as if the same thing made the 2 but the proof was made by the flash powder and the thump was Nazarre landing about halfway down the stairs. I would like to have seen the leap, I'll bet it was a dandy. When he came back upstairs he stopped on the top step and took a peek around before coming up. I also took a picture of the 2 large pictures of Nona that she sent in and one of Sonny's for Joe.
Friday, January 03
Finished entering Dec.s business in the daybook by quitting time but will have to borrow the adding machine from the Govn't house before adding them up. Some of the columns are too long to trust. Save hours anyway with the adding machine. Mail was expected today but did not come. After supper, Const. Browne came down with the RCMP radio N.E. Super, for me to rebuild. They all had a go at it and it is all to pieces. None of them could get it back together let alone wire it up. I told him to come down Monday night as I would get started on it then. He wants to see it wired up so I told him that I would not work on it excepting when he was here to see how it went. We listened to the radio till bedtime. It was very good tonight. We listened to the fight from KNX and Joe's man won. That is the first time he has won since we started listening to it. We both went to bed about 01:00. 48 bellow again today.
Saturday, January 04
I got up at 11:30 today and went uptown. i developed the negatives that I took of the pictures the other night but they were not very good. The glare from the oilcloth on the table struck the lens. The one I took of Sonny was very good though. It was 50 below during the night and when I got home it was 36 below during the night and it took 4 hours to get it warm. Even then, the cold drafts were coming in thru the cracks around the doors. If we are to stay in the North another winter, the Conibears are going to do a H….. of a lot of work on the house or we move. The house Godsells used to live in is empty and can be had for $20/month. I came home about 18:30 and found Joe was uptown. He went to Lanouettes for supper. I cooked a light supper then read my mail. The mail got in today at 13:30 and Joe was up and got it about 15:00. I went to the PO at 16:00 and it had all been taken. I got 2 letters from Nona, the geographic and some literature on the new Mercury Super Ten, using the large tubes. The new set is a dandy and will be my next set. Went to bed at 01:00
Sunday, January 05
I had intended going home today and doing some prints for Nona to send away but the==== Temperature was still 44 below so I didn't leave the station. I stayed in bed till nearly noon, then got up and made the breakfast. While Joe put the Push-pull amplifier on his set, I made out a hookup for him of the whole set as it is now in. It has ten tubes now and is really a marvellous machine. I have some tracing cloth and will trace the circuit for myself for future reference. After supper Jack phoned and asked us to come over for a game of bridge. Joe called his brother up at Cormorant Lake and chewed the rag with him for half an hour from 20:00 to 20:30, then we went over. Mrs Pearson and I played Joe and Jack this time and although we won the first two rubbers out of four, the opponents carried the better score points winning by a margin of about 350. I had very good luck myself but Mrs Pearson had tough breaks with the others usually having as many trumps and stops at that. Usually the trumps were all in one hand against her. We returned about 01:30 and went to bed.
Monday, January 06
I took the set over and let Joe sleep till after 11:00. He got up and cooked dinner. I worked on the DR's and statements most of the day when not on the set and when I took the Press and messages uptown this afternoon, I borrowed the adding machine from Paul and balanced up the accounts and books for December. I worked on them till 21:30. We managed to get Billy Berens down today and he brought in a weeks supply of wood for us. It is worth a dollar not to have to cut and haul wood in this weather. it was around 44 to 46 below all day. The skies are clear and the wind has dropped but that does not mean a change in the weather until the change of the moon which is due on the 7th, tomorrow. It hope it changes for the better. The radio was real good tonight.
Tuesday, January 07
I slept till noon today and Joe and I went to Lanouettes for dinner as there was some messages to go uptown, so why cook dinner. It was a good dinner, too. I went up to the house and got the fires going. Was going to have a bath, but found after the place was warm enough, that the white lead that I had fixed the leak with had frozen and was not set. It was all softened up again as soon as the==== Temperature raised a bit. I printed a few pictures while I was waiting for the place to warm. I went down to Lanouettes for supper and expected Joe but he didn't show up .The town was very quiet today. It usually is from November 01 to May 01 anyway, but it was exceptionally so today.The temperature during the night was 54 below and it was between 48 and 50 nearly all day. It was warming up a bit this evening though. The temperature tonight was 34 below. When I got back to the station it was 19:30 and Const. WR Browne of the RCMP was here. Joe was fixing his set again tonight trying to get a noise out of it. Joe and Browne played crib for an hour while I made out a list of the pictures I printed telling what they were about. I made them to send to Nona who will sent them to Westland. Went to bed about 01:00.
Wednesday, January 08
Temp -48. Not much business at the station today so we managed to get a little farther with the back work. Today is Mrs Pearsons birthday, age unknown, and Joe and I were asked over to the house this evening. We went over at 20:00 and spent the evening playing bridge. Again Mrs Pearson and I held up the light end of the handle and were trimmed by about 2500 points. On our way home we noticed that the Northern Lights were very low. They were just at the tops of the trees and at the station under the serial. They began to climb higher just after we got in. We turned the radio on just as soon as we got in to see if the NLs had any effect on reception but noticed nothing out of the ordinary. there was no difference in reception, a short time later when they had disappeared entirely. that is the second time in 5 years that I have been here that they were real low. the last time was about 4 years ago when they were between me and the hotel and from where I was seemed to be about 10 feet from the ground. I went under them to see what effect they had but there was nothing. They just appeared as a strange light, quite clear and moving, yet silent and a little awe inspiring. It is very unlike going into a light from a flashlight or from a window. They cast no shadow, unless exceptionally bright and yet they cannot be described properly. We went to bed at 03:00
Thursday, January 09
I was on the set and let Joe sleep till nearly noon. Between calls I managed to type out the accounts and during the afternoon when I took the Press uptown, I collected them. It is turning warmer now. Today it was only about 22 below. While I was uptown I went home and lit the furnace to keep the chill and frost out of the house as I am going up tomorrow. Billy Berens came out to the station after supper and we set him to work carrying in wood and filling the boxes up and emptying the slops.. We got most of the mess bills today, they are as follows:.
- Ingraham, meat from Oct 01 to Dec 31 40.50.
- HBC groceries, etc for Dec 28.80.
- Conibears for Dec groceries, etc 5.00.
- Total 74.20.
That is 37.10 each, not bad when one of them is from Oct 01. The radio was very good tonight. Went to bed a little after 32:00.
Friday, January 10
I slept in till 11:00 then went up to the house and it the fires. I had intended taking a run on the trap line to see what was doing but it had turned a lot warmer and the snow is wet. When the house was warm enough, I printed a bunch of snaps to sent out to Nona and some for Jack Pearson. I ate at Lanouettes both dinner and supper. I came back to the station at 20:00 and I listened to the radio till bedtime.
Saturday, January 11
Today Jack and I worked on the books and checking stores to finish the annual requisitions. They should have been in Ottawa by Dec 31, but we have had os little time that it was impossible to get them done before. I collected a few accounts uptown with the Press. It was still warm all day but the snowing has stopped. After supper Joe and I went over to Pearsons and had a couple of rubbers of bridge and was again on the wrong side of the score sheet. They went ahead about 400 points but we decided to give them a trimming yet. We have had bum luck the last few times that we have played. I saw Calaghan again today and he said that he could not afford the radio set that I have that he was going to get. It is a 5 tube Westinghouse model 51 that I got in a trade from Charlie Hilker for the Mercury he bought last fall. Charlie gave me the 51 and 200 dollars for the Mercury. I offered it to Cal for $80. The 51 is a 5 tube set having 2 stages tuned neutralized RF and 2 stages AF with single drum dial control and as I have a set of Intermediate Frequency transformers that Leggo gave me out of Godsells old set, I think I will make a new Super Heterodyne. I was figuring up what it would cost to finish it and without the cabinet it will come to about 30 dollars more and I will have a ten tube set. I wired to "Pirt and Pirt" for the push pull AF transformers and a few small things that I will need and decided to bring down a few things that are laying around the house that can be used. I got back to the station about 20:00 and Joe and I listened to the radio till bedtime. It was very good tonight. I answered a lot of my mail while the radio was on. The mail got in this afternoon about 15:30.
Sunday, January 12
Today was my day on the set. I got all calls OK. It was 15 above day as the weather has been mild for several days, Joe and I went out and tried out the cars. I got mine going with no trouble so we decided to go uptown. The wide sleighs have been over the trails and they are fairly well beaten down. We had trouble getting out to the road and had to dig most of the way. We brought a shovel and a small wash tub.. We started about 16:00 and it was 17:00 by the time we got to the top of the hill this side of Pearsons. I left the car there and came back and took the Meteors and sent them then we both got ready for supper and went back to the car. It had cooled off a bit by then and seemed to have more power. I tightened up the low gear band and we started once again. I was about 17:45 when we got back to the car and we were up to the cemetery by six. The going was fine along that stretch but we ran into some big drifts across the plains that were hard on top but we broke thru. We had to dig most of the way thru there. We were about half way when we quit and went and ate supper at Lanouettes. Then we went back to the car. It took us about 15 minutes to get to the HBC. Once we were on the road the track was fine. The snow is beaten down hard. Every one seemed very much surprised to see the bus and Syd Leggo called us in. We went in and stayed there about an hour and started back. We met York, Browne, Burstall and Emerson on their way to Pearsons and they all piled into the car but with the extra weight and the trail still soft, we went thru when we started back across the plains. So they pushed and when I got going I kept on. We didn't have much trouble getting back and were home about 20:45. We went upstairs and wrote letters and listened to the radio till midnight then went to bed.
Monday, January 13
I was up at the house this afternoon and printed some more snaps. I brought some more parts back to the station when I came. Pearsons were there when I got in. They had stayed for supper with Joe. They were just washing up the dishes when I came in. We played a few rubbers of bridge and we all thought that Joe and I were at the tail end again until the score was added up. Mrs Pearson insists on keeping score as no one else is accurate enough. When we were finished, she insisted in having the score added to see how much behind Joe and I were. Jack added the score and found that Joe and I were 700 up on them, then she was as mad as a hornet and insisted that something was wrong, that Jack had the columns twisted or something. She looked over them herself and then we gave her the razz. We get more kick out of pulling her leg than enough. She takes it so seriously too most of the time. They left about 01:30 and we went to bed.
Tuesday, January 14
Turned cold again. It was down to 40 below today with a clear sunny sky and no wind to speak of. Jack and I finished the requisitions this morning and he went up with the Press and mailed it this afternoon. I worked on the books while Jack was up and looked after the set. He got back about 17:15. After supper I fastened the parts for the set to the baseboard then we turned on the radio and listened to it till 01:15. It was the best tonight that it has been for some time. The mail plane that came the other day broke a tail skid when landing here so they phone to Walt who came over with his acetylene torch and tried to repair it but couldn't do much down on the river bank. So he too it back to the Halfway and fixed it there and came back about 06:00. It was made of aluminum and he didn't think it would hold out long. They were to get a new one when back in McMurray anyway. They got away from here at 09:30 and when turning around on the ice at Fitz, broke it again and had to send it back to the Halfway. It was reinforced this time and will hold out till they get back to McMurray. It was Wop May's plane. We went to bed at midnight.
Wednesday, January 15
Nothing of interest today. Working on statements and books.==== Temperature about 20 below.
Thursday, January 16
It was too cold today to go out so I slept in till noon then stuck around the station. I started on my new set. It is a new Super ten tube. I had most of the parts laying around so got them mounted on a baseboard and played with them most of the time. After supper Joe went uptown then brought Billy Lyall and York back to the station with him. They stayed listening to the radio till after midnight. I was very good too. We got to bed about 01:30.
Friday, January 17
I brought the business UTD then checked the receipt vouchers for the year. Have to work at nights and at odd minutes on the ledgers as time is so short here. After supper I went uptown with the messages and met Kirk of the RCMP from Reliance, who came in with Williams. they came across country from Snowdrift and got 3 caribou. I got back to the station at 09:00 and Joe came back at 10:00. York and Steve Yanick were with him. Steve is in the market for a new radio and York put him onto Joe. They came out to hear it. It was real good tonight and Steve was very much impressed. They left at 02:00. Listening to the fight from Hollywood tonight, my man won. That is another dollar I win from Joe. I have won 4 and he has won 2.
Saturday, January 18
On the books all day. After supper I was going to do some night work but company came in and I didn't get a chance.
Sunday, January 19
I went home this morning and developed 2 films that I had then went around and picked up all my fox traps but one. I couldn't find it on account of the deep snow but I don't think there is anything in it. I went over to Conibears and stayed there till supper time and went to Lanouettes. After supper I came back to the station and Joe and I went over to Pearsons and beat them at bridge. We were 2250 up on them. Bed at 02:00.
Monday, January 20
Bert came into town this morning. He stopped at the station on his way in. He brought Joe and I a big trout and a whitefish. He gave Pearson a trout too. He also brought in his radio set for me to look at. It hasn't been working very good. he left it with Lyall but couldn't get anything on it. I looked it over after super and found a wire unsoldered, so fixed it up. Tried it out during the evening and found a dud tube too. It is OK now and he will pick it up tomorrow on his way back. Jack and I were talking about a moose hunt and before he went home for supper he came upstairs and told us that the business was a little slacker and if we wanted to go it was OK with him. Joe doesn't care to go. He isn't fond of big game hunting and Jack can't go because there is no place for Evelyn to stay while he is away. But me, Oh boy! will I go. When Bert came up this evening I told him that I would go back with him when he came back next trip. We decided on Feb 08. It means that I will have to do a lot of night work between now and then to get the ledgers, etc off and the business UTD and the Delco overhauled. The radio was real good all night and we listened to it till nearly 02:00 King George is to speak at the Naval Parly and it is going to be broadcast over a world wide chain. It is about 04:00 that it will be heard here and this morning at 4:30 our alarms wet off and………. . Tuesday, January 21==== …….. Joe got up and tuned in Winnipeg. I stayed in bed and listened to it. We heard King George OK and it was very clear and plenty of volume. Joe sat up listening to it until Meteor time but I fell asleep again before then. I got up at 09:00 and took the set over and called Joe at 10:30. VED had a coulee of long ones and they wanted Joe on as I am still a little slow for a bunch of long messages. I went on with the books. Bert came down for a few minutes this morning but decided no to go back today. He will stay over till tomorrow to see if the weather clears a bit. After supper I worked till 21:30 in the books, etc. Mr & Mrs Pearson came in then and we played bridge till 01:30. Mrs Pearson was not feeling well tonight. She's having trouble with her stomach. Bilious attacks quite often, etc. Joe and I won by 124 points. We got to bed at 02:30 and had both said that we were going to bed at 23:00.
Wednesday, January 22
Mrs Pearsons sick again this morning and she called Jack home just before dinner time. I phoned a little later and told him that he had better stay there the rest of the day and I would look after things here for him. He did. After supper I worked in the office again till after 21:00 when Burstall came in and chewed the rag for a while. We both went upstairs then and he stayed till about 23:00. It was no good going back to work then and so I read a few short stories out of the Feb. Cosmopolitan and listened to the radio. It was no so good tonight. We got to bed at 01:30 again.
Thursday, January 23
I started on the ledgers this morning and kept at it all day with the exception of a few minutes that I went uptown for the Draft for Dec's business. Joe went uptown and phoned at17:00 to tell me he wouldn't be home for supper. I had a cup of tea and toast with crabapple jelly then went back to the ledgers. I had finished copying out the new copy to go to Ottawa by 19:45 then did one days business in the DRs book. It was 20:20 when I finished that, so called it a day. I read for a while then listened to the radio. I put the kettle on at midnight and Joe came in just as it was at the boil. We had a cup of tea and some new bread that York gave him. It was homemade. Mrs C. Loutit made it.
Friday, January 24
Up early this morning and went to work on the ledgers and by suppertime had the new one copied out and ready to balance. Corpl. William RCMP Reliance and Kirk also of Reliance Post came in this afternoon for an hours chat. They took the Press and what messages were here and saved me a trip uptown. After supper I worked on the ledgers and finished them at 23:00. The copy for Ottawa is now ready and I have to copy the next years office one out yet. We had Billy Berens down again tonight carrying our wood. Bed at 00:30.
Saturday, January 25
Snowing quite heavily today and windy although the thermometer stands at 26 above. I went home today at 11:00, and after lighting the fires went over to Conibears to wait for the house to get warm. They were almost ready for dinner so asked me to stay. I did. I gave them a months notice on the house and made arrangements about some of the furniture that they want to buy from us. Mrs Conibear wants the buffet and furnace and all our dinner dishes. As some of the dishes are broken and as I am not sure that I can pack them so that they will not get broken I think I will sell them then buy new set when I get out. I printed a bunch of snaps and had a good hot bath about 16:00. The mail arrived shortly after dinner & I got a letter from Nona. I answered it from home and mailed it on my way to supper. I ate at Lanouettes. The Pearsons and Joe were there too. When we were going out they asked us over for a game of bridge about 21:00. We went over but they were not home. They told us that they might be away for the milk but to go on in. We did and waited till 23:00. Syd had got a couple of bottles today and as the Pearsons had to go there we figured that they had got snagged there so we decided to have some fun. We set the table in the front room with dirty dishes out of the pantry to look like we had a lunch, hid some of the ivory, and hung a kimono (housecoat) over the door between the kitchen and the front room then went home and lit the fires. We were just sitting down to lunch when they came in. They had returned at 23:30 and seeing what we had been up to decided to retaliate so waited till they thought we were in bed then came over and were going to wake us up by throwing snow on us. We were up, however. As we were having tea and they like coffee I put the perk on as soon as they came in and we had a kind of party. As they couldn't get us out of bed they decided to keep us out so they stayed till 02:00. When they were going home they asked Joe and I over to dinner tomorrow at 18:00. We went to bed about 03:00.
Sunday, January 26
I woke shortly before the alarm went off at 05:30 and had a headache from the gas from the stove in the office. The stove was smoking and we had forgotten to open the window at the top of the stairs. The gas had a sweet sickening smell and was so thick you could almost cut it. I opened all the windows upstairs and the doors downstairs. It was 10 above so it wasn't too cold to sit at the set in pyjamas and work VED. Edm worked Simpson first this morning as I was not ready when he called me. I heard Simpson ask him to tell me that he wanted me. So while Edm was clearing the Meteors to the CNT, I worked Simpson. It was 06:10 when I went back to bed and the smoke had cleared out. I banked up the fires and fixed the office stove so it wouldn't smoke anymore. Joe was up at 08:00 and cleared some Aero weather reports from Simpson and Resolution then phoned it over to the planes at Fitz. I was on the set at all schedule periods today but traffic was light. I was finished at 17:45 then Joe and I went to Pearsons for supper. After supper we played bridge. Joe and I won. It was 03:00 before we got home.
Monday, January 27
I was up at 5:30 and got the Meteors off ok then went back to bed till 9:00. I took the morning shift and let Joe sleep till 11:45. Jack was home today. Joe got up at 11:45 and put the dinner on, and after dinner I laid down for an hour and woke up at 16:50. I cooked supper then I worked on the ledgers until 21:00. When I quit them I entered up one days business on Form 7 and went upstairs and listened to the radio till time to go to bed.
Tuesday, January 28
I slept till 10:00 then went uptown. I went out over the trap line and when I came back I went over to see Willie McNeil. He is looking for some furniture so he came over to the house with me. He is going out to the trap line so told me that he would be in again on Easter and would get some then. He didn’t have any cash with him today. I went down to York then as I was told there was a letter there for me. It was from Bert. He sent an SOS up for some B batteries for his set. He discovered his were flat. I didn’t have any but York sent three of the ones he took out of his set. They will do till spring ok. Willie Heron was there and wanted to know how much I wanted for my sedan. I told him $500.00. I saw Walt the other day and he told me that if I had a chance to sell it to someone else to do so because he was a little short on cash and would be in the spring too. Willie wants to start a taxi this summer and wanted to have a sedan for it. He is trying to get York to back him in the deal. I hope he does I do not want to take it outside with me. I can get a much better one out there for about $300.00 I met Sousie Marie too today. He has been in town a few days but is going back to the bush today. He wanted to know if I would sell him my boat, now that I am going outside. I told him I had to do a little fixing on it first then I would. He is to see me again when he comes in the spring. After supper I worked on the ledgers till 23:00. They are all finished excepting the clothing ledger and the office copies made out. We went to bed at 01:00.
Wednesday, January 29
Word came thru this morning that Charlie Cooper’s father died last night at McMurray at midnight. The mail planes came in from the North so Charlie went out with them this afternoon. I brought the daily business UTD and started on some of the monthly reports. I did the valve reports up to the 15th then entered all the accounts to date. Will try to get the reports in the mail before I go away a week from Sunday. After supper I was fed up with the books so Joe and I cleaned up the living quarters. We did everything but scrub. When we finished we sat down to enjoy radio for a couple of hours and Bill Browne came in. We all listened to the radio for a while then decided to have a game of cards. As poker and black jack were the only games that we all knew that three could play at, Joe got the poker chips out and we started. We played till 01:00. We played penny ante and I won $2.00 then we had a lunch and went to bed.
Thursday, January 30
I was on the set all morning and the books all afternoon. After supper I worked on the clothing ledgers and finished them at 23:00 then went upstairs and listened to the radio till bed time.
Friday, January 31
Went uptown shortly after dinner, Mrs McPherson wanted to come up to the home and see the furniture that I want to sell. She wants the bed, dresser, chiffonier and radio table. The mail came in so on my way back I picked it up and came out to the station. I got back about 16:00. I got a letter from Nona, Mother and some business letters and circulars. The radio parts that I had ordered came and I did about two hours work on the set. I have it about half finished. Tonight we tuned in the Hollywood fight and my man won by a knockout in the first round.
Saturday, February 01
Worked on the books today. The slack month of Jan has been fine for me as I have caught up a lot of the back stuff that we were afraid would have to hold back all winter and that would mean that we would go still farther back by next summer. We had the Pearsons over to supper tonight. I cooked fried potatoes, the real good old kind, and we had peas and caribou steak. This was the first caribou that Mrs Pearson had ever tasted. Gee, when I think of going out I sure will miss the good old feeds of nice lake trout, caribou and moose that we have so much of now. After supper we played bridge till after 01:00. While we were setting the table Mrs Pearson saw an old picture in the cupboard and right away she wanted it so Joe told her that he would make it the first prize in the bridge game. We pulled her leg about it all thru the game. At first we were way ahead of them but the luck changed later and at the end they were ahead. Joe hid the pitcher and we had a great time kidding her about it. She got real mad I think and told us several times what she thought of us for making it a prize, then when they won it fairly to try to do them out of it. We kept telling her that we didn't remember any pitcher that she wanted and that she must be thinking of one she saw at Leggos or somewhere. While hunting for it I happened to move a Horlicks Malted milk bottle. Right away she wanted to have a drink of it so we told her that if she liked it she could have the bottle that neither of us liked it. She sure took us up on that, so I wrapped it up and she took it home (the bottle was empty). Just after they got home we had some fun with Jack over the phone. He doesn't know who called up and bit hook line and sinker. The stunt was this. About the time he got home, we rang the radio station call but didn't answer. After a couple minutes we rang again and Jack answered from the house. Joe spoke very broken English and said that he had a rush message that he would like to send. I was in the office and I nearly died as Joe I was laughing so hard I hurt my sides. Jack told him that he was sure we were not there to call us in the morning. He said that he was just going to bed, and if it was real important and we didn't answer to give him a ring 4 short and he would dress and take it over so that it could get away at 05:00. Joe said that it wasn't important enough for that and asked what time tomorrow the station was open. Jack said it would open at 12:00 on Sunday and Joe said that would be soon enough. Then to make it realistic Joe rang one long twice after he hung up but there was no answering ring. We went to bed then about 2:30.
Sunday, February 02
I was up about 11:00 and after dinner I went up to Leggos and installed his push-pull amplifier that I had got in for him. While I was there Jack & Mrs Pearson came in with Mrs Leggo. They had all been out skiing. Jack asked me if anyone had called up this morning or afternoon with a rush message. When I said no, he told me all about the Englishman, whose voice was strange to him, calling up at 02:00 with a rush message and he said that he had listened for our ring but hadn’t heard it. Gee I nearly had a fit keeping a straight face when he was telling all about it. I finished Leggos set about 17:00 and tried it out but all we could hear was Yorks lighting plant but it sounded ok. I told Syd to call me up tonight and let me know how it was, then I came back home. I told Joe all about Jacks worrying over who called with a message at 02:00 then neglected to send it out when the station was open. I worked on my set for a couple of hours then read till about midnight when we had our regular lunch and went to bed .
Monday, February 03
I got up at 09:30 and we all tightened the aerial then I went uptown. I went up to Mrs Conibears and spent most of the afternoon and got back to the station about 17:00. After supper I worked on the books and balanced Jan.’s business and wrote out the service wires to Resolution and Simpson and Aklavik giving our check on them and then worked for a while on my set. Joe started to build a transmitter again tonight but hadn't any success with it. I checked it over and found a half dozen mistakes but couldn't get the thing going and as it was nearly 01:00 we quit for the night. He couldn't get it to oscillate at first but we finally got the oscillator going, but couldn't get the modulator coupled to the oscillator. It was 01:30 when we went to bed.
Tuesday, February 04
I woke up at 09:50 and put the perc on and as Jack was not over I came down and put in the first call to Edm. I sent two to them then got the place swept out and the fires going and called Resolution and took two from them. I gave Stony a call at 10:00 but got no answer and a few minutes later Jack came in. He had overslept till 09:35. We got a service check back from Resolution and Simpson checking out Jan. figures ok. Then I made out the check ledger and went uptown to deliver the days messages and collect the accounts. I was loaded up with parcels etc and gave Joe a call. He said he would come up. We stayed and had supper at Lanouettes then came home. I brought our electric lights out to Pearson. He bought them all. I sent $36 to the savings account today. The parts for Leggos set cost me about $23.50 and I collected $40 from him. After we got home Joe worked on his transmitter and I worked in the office. When I was finished the work I went up and gave Joe a hand. We got the set working fine and tried some rebroadcasting. It worked OK. Jack phoned and let us know how it was coming in. We went to bed about 01:00.
Wednesday, February 05
I worked the set all morning alone. Joe slept till 11:30. During the lull in the afternoon we monkeyed around with the transmitter and played a few records. Joe went uptown with the messages about 16:00 and I took the set from then till closing time. While he was delivering messages he had to go over to the Barracks and Bob Browne asked him to stay for supper he phoned me and told me about it and I gave him the only message for delivery. About 19:30 he came back with Browne. We got the set going about 21:00 and broadcast a couple selections then rebroadcast the program from Winnipeg. It went out fine but our wave length is too low. We come in at the very bottom of the dials. After Winnipeg signed off we tuned in another one and rebroadcast that one till about 01:00 when we signed off. Our transmitter is a 2 watt set. While the program was in motion we played cards. Browne left about 01:30.
Thursday, February 06
I slept till 10:30 today then got up and had a cup of coffee. I didn't care about going uptown so got into my overalls and overhauled the Delco. I started about 11:00 and finished at 16:00. It runs much quieter now. I put all the batteries ready to start charging then went upstairs and helped Joe with the set. Our wave length is too low so we decided to raise it up just over or under Winnipeg far enough not to interfere. In the changing and with the bunch of wires that we had, the capacity effect was terrific and Jack called us up and said that our modulation was now rotten. We tore the set out and started to rebuild it. We had it finished about 22:30 but it was 02:00 before we got it working. We hunted for two hours for the trouble to discover that our input leads were reversed. I didn't know that it made any difference which way the leads went as I was under the impression that the output of the phonograph pickup was AC, it isn't. I made some tea and we then went to bed. It was well after 02:30 when we finally went to sleep.
Friday, February 07
I finished the last of the Jan.business this morning and had intended to show Jack how to go about the entering of the DR’s but the time was too short. As is usual the afternoon business kept him continually on the set. The mail arrived today and I went up for it at 16:00 when I took up the Press and all the messages. I was disappointed in not getting a letter from Nona. All I got was a Radio News, the papers, two letters from AMORC and the Rosicrucian Digest. The digest was very interesting this time. There are several articles that are really worth reading and after going as far as I have thru the lessons I find many things of interest between the lines that I am sure I never would have seen or understood had I not been reading those lessons. One in particular entitled the Evolution of Life, is very interesting and it is surprising how closely life itself is connected to the Electron theory, which is such an important theory in radio or any other branch of electricity. I forgot to mention on the 4th that I sent a deposit of $16 to the savings bank at McMurray. That was the first that I have been able to send for many months and I sent another deposit of $36 today. These two deposits were both radio and photography accounts that came in. For supper tonight I fried potatoes and beefsteak. The beef was tough compared to the caribou that we have had for some time but was nevertheless a welcome change. The flavour of it and the gravy was worth the tougher meat. After supper Joe went uptown and took all the mail up with him. He phoned from post office that he would listen for me on McDougals radio if I would give him a test. I put on the Gay Cabeliero and he was surprised at the volume and good modulation that we had. I tried announcing but used the mike upstairs and it didn't get thru. It is a poor mike anyway. When we got back we fixed up a few things and at 23:30 we put on another test program. McDougal promised to listen in for us. I announced from the telephone downstairs. We put in an elaborate control and remote system. By turning a switch downstairs beside the telephone, the output of the phone goes into the transmitter and as the strength of the line is sufficient we get away from having to build a speech amplifier. The microphone of the phone is not a really good sensitive one, however. We played three records, then re-broadcast from Hollywood Cal, CKCK and KJR then I read some news items from the Leader and closed by one more record. We went to bed 01:45.
Saturday, February 08
I was on the set all morning. During afternoon I had a small nap till about 15:00 then went uptown to deliver some messages. I was back about 17:00 and cooked supper. After supper I worked on my radio for about an hour then read for a while. Joe and I put in about three hours testing the transmitter, but it was very poor so Joe and I tore it to pieces and rebuilt it and finished about 02:00. Roast chicken for supper tonight.
Sunday Feb 09
I was on the set all day but during the afternoon, between calls, I went home and got my rifle and some things I will need on the moose hunt. I expected Bert in today but he didn't show up. We had roast pork and mashed potatoes for supper. We thought they would be a treat. Browne was here. After supper we played cards and listened to the radio. Browne went home about 02:00 and we arranged a short programme with him for 02:30 to make some other tests.
Monday, February 10
A fierce blizzard blew all day today. Bert not expected in during the present weather. No word yet as to where he is. I worked on the books for the most part of the morning and showed Jack how to enter the DRs as he is going to look after it for me while I am away. Browne was up after supper so we had to turn down a substitution party at the Pearsons when their H.C. friends couldn't come on account of the weather. I refer to Govt officials. Our transmitter is getting out fine now and for the tubes we are using we are putting a great punch in the air. We have on 201A for a modulator and two 201A’s for oscillators and the plate current consumption is nearly 100 mils. Too heavy I admit, but the kick is there just the same and what does a little thing like efficiency matter anyways. We will get around to that later. We went to bed about 1:00.
Tuesday, February 11
Blizzard still blowing. I had to go uptown this afternoon and it was a treat to get back believe me. I did a little work on my set today. I hadn't intended to but was in the room and noticed a wire connected wrong so changed it over then checked over some more. I have the audio and intermediate frequency amplifiers all finished and tested thru OK. It is going to be a humdinger. Jack hasn't started on Feb. business yet so I did the first to the sixth incl. Then cooked supper, Bert had to go up to York & Lyalls with some things and was coming back for supper. By the time he got his dogs fed and the sleigh unpacked it was likely supper time and I guess he stayed at Yorks as York would undoubtedly ask him. We waited till 18:30 then ate. We had fried spuds and caribou. While we were at supper Browne came in. Joe and I were going to build him a small transmitter so that he could talk back to us here. Bert was saying that he would be going back tomorrow so I finished up some work in the office that I had started and Joe went ahead with the transmitter. The skies are all clear now but the wind is still very high, being around about 40 miles per hour. Bert slept here at the station with us tonight.
Wednesday, February 12
We were up at 10:00 and we expected to leave for the bush but Bert changed his mind and decided to wait over till tomorrow. He and I went uptown this morning to get some things that we would be needing such as chocolate bars to eat on the trail and cigarettes. We were back to the station for dinner. Joe had some caribou, fried spuds and preserved rhubarb on for dinner. Shortly after dinner, while Bert, Joe and I were upstairs talking, Jack brought up a service from Edm. saying that the auditor was there and wanted to check on all stations, from April 1st 1929 up to January 1930. As Jack and Joe did not know just where to get these figures I made them out for them during the afternoon. After supper I went uptown to get some bread and went in to Yorks to wait for Bert. I stayed listening to York’s radio until 23:30. York and I went up to the house to look at our easy chairs. He is going to buy them. Bert decided to stay there tonight as that would save him walking back in the morning for the dogs so I came home alone. I fixed the fires up for the night and went to bed at midnight. It was from 30-35 below all day, but the wind has dropped and the sky is clear.
Thursday Feb 13
I was up to take the Meteors at 05:00 then slept till 10:00 when Jack came upstairs and told me there was a moose out in the yard. I thought that Bert was here so hurried into my clothes. Bert arrived soon after. I had my breakfast and it took us about half an hour to pack the sleigh up. Before we pulled out we had a few cups of coffee and left at 11:15 arriving at Gravel Point at 13:20. We stayed there talking to “Dad” Burnett until 14:45 then went on to Salt River. Billie Lyall met us on the ice. He had expected us down yesterday. He had supper all ready for us when we arrived. It was 16:00 when we landed. The trails from Smith to Salt River were poor. They were drifted and soft in the bush and drifted with a hard crust on the river. The crust would hold us OK but they were so high and steep and uneven that it was hard keeping the sleigh right. Supper consisted of roast moose heart stuffed with poultry dressing and fried potatoes. It sure tasted good after running 18 miles in 30 below weather. According to arrangements made before leaving Smith we tuned in the radio at 19:30 and listened to Joe. He and I wanted to know how far our transmitter was getting out. It came in real loud but the voice was very poor that was due to the fact that we had a very poor microphone from an old telephone. We did get some of the announcements, however. Joe announced to Billie Lyall that Bert and I had left for Salt River at 11:15 and that came thru perfectly. Dave Watson, Bill Schaffeur, Sousie King, John James and his son came in at eight. When Joe signed off at 20:00 he announced he would be on again at 23:30. We sat around talking until then and turned on the set again. Other stations were not coming in very well. His 23:30 broadcast was considerably better but the voice did not improve. After he signed off again I showed them a few card tricks then the gang got to talking about Dan Hudson. It appears that he has taken a course, or should I say is taking, in magic. The school advertised that Magicians got up to $1000 per night on the stage and he thinks that he is going to be one of them. I nearly split laughing at the yarns that were told about him. When Burstall was passing thru Grande de-tour Dan told him about his work and said that he could take an orange in his fingers and while Burstall was looking at he (Dan) could make it disappear. Burstall told him that if he had an orange he could also make it disappear. Dan didn't know that he was having his leg pulled and said, “Do you know that trick too?” When any one asks him a question he is strong on the “Im sworn to secrecy” statement. From what I have heard of it from those around Salt River who have been down to his cabin he is bugs over it, but it looks very much like he is just another fish. Burstall had been down and had listened to his talk all evening, and he cant talk of anything else, and he showed him a letter that he was sending to the school enclosing 10 cents for the trick to make the Parliament Buildings disappear. He was asking Burstall to go along with him as his assistant but Burstall told him he couldn't get out of the Police and told him to see me as I was on the stage in that kind of work and maybe I would go. I wish he hadn’t as I could have had some fun with Dan when he comes to town. I wrote a letter to Joe telling how the broadcast was coming in then went to bed. It was nearly 02:00 when I rolled in.
Friday, February 14
We were all up at 09:00 and immediately after breakfast we loaded the sleigh. It was 10:00 before we got away. The==== Temp was about 40 below. The river trail was badly drifted but the drifts were crusted over heavily enough to hold us and as the river along there was there was wide enough and free from islands, the edges of the drifts were not as steep as those we had to navigate over yesterday. When we arrived at Berts cabin, 7 miles from Salt.River we found Blackie. Blackie was Berts wheel dog and he had taken sick with a disease that is raging among the dogs in the country and Bert let him follow us in. He didn't hitch him up, and when he camped for dinner about half way to the Big River, Blackie laid down by the fire and couldn't get up when it was time to go. Bert figured that he was tired and would follow on later so left him. We examined him and he was pretty weak and still sick and shivering with the cold. If he had gotten to Salt River Lyall would have looked after him and might have saved him but it was seven miles to Salt River and we couldn't turn back so Bert shot him. It was better than leaving him there alone with no one to look after him. It was hard for Bert to do it as he thought a lot of old Blackie and he was a good hard and willing worker, but was in harness 11 years and pretty old to pull thru. We arrived at the shack on the Hanging Ice River at 21:45 that night. The shack is one belonging to Walter Johnson and Pete McCallum and Bert uses it. It is about twelve by ten feet with a bunk along one side and a chimney fireplace in one corner. We got a roaring fire going then cooked supper. We had bacon, bannock and tea. It was still about 40 below and we could not get the whole place warm on account of so much of the heat going up the chimney. It was not properly designed. We took off most of our cloths and hung them up to dry then piled the fuel higher in the fire and went to bed. It was around midnight when we got into bed. The long travelling on snowshoes made me so tired that I was asleep as soon as I laid down. It was quite warm in the feather robe that I had too. When we left Salt River this morning we only had three dogs. Queen, Peps and Shorty. The other two that we had when we left Smith were Lyalls, all that were left of his big team with exception of one that is not expected to live long. Billie lost two and this one is so sick that he is all skin and bone.
Saturday, February 15
About 03:00 Bert woke me up. He was dreaming and shouting for Queen. Yesterday was such a hard day that I guess he was dreaming about it. He admitted when he was getting into bed that he was never so played out in all his life. We had to break trail all the way from the river to the Hanging-Ice. Bert woke up at 07:30 and lit the fire. I woke up at 08:00 and had a cup of tea then fell asleep again. I slept like a log until 10:00. We had lunch shortly after I woke then started out. My feet and legs were so sore from being on snowshoes all day yesterday that it was torture to try to walk until I had gone far enough to begin to feel warm, when the stiffness left me. We only had a short day to do today. We went on to his own shack 5 miles down the Hanging-Ice. Bert looked at all his traps along the way and re-set them. They were all blown over by the recent blizzards. The going was very tough as the snow was too soft to hold us even on snowshoes. We sunk about 18 inches at every step. It was 16:00 when we got to the shack. While Bert went out to look at some more traps I went to the River and cut some ice for water. I had tea ready when he returned. He had no luck. So far from the river we had seen no tracks nor signs of fur. The fur situation all over the country is very poor this year on account of the abnormal amount of snow that we have had. They say here that this years snowfall is by far the greatest that they have had in the past 40 years. Not only has the snowfall been greater but the winter has been a succession of blizzards for the past three months. At 17:00 Bert returned from his line and we had supper then talked till 20:00 when Bert went to sleep. I went to bed and read a magazine that he had there until 21:00 and I went to sleep.
Sunday, February 16
I awakened at 07:15. Bert cooked breakfast. The sky was all clouded over and there was no wind. The==== Temp was up to 25 below today. It was 09:00 when we started out for the last lap of the trip. I started ahead to break trail, and to get the stiffness worked out of my legs before the team caught up to me. I was about a mile out when Bert caught up to me. About 12:00 a strong head wind started up, and was blowing very strongly all the rest of the day. We had to break trail every bit of the way today owing to the strong winds since Bert was over it when he came in to Smith. The only place we had a good trail was one Hay Lake which is so big that the wind had a chance to blow all the loose snow off it. We stopped for dinner at 2:30 on Trout Creek. At 3:30 we were on our way again. Long trout Creek there were overflows and we got into the water three times. The water was from on to five inches deep and the loose snow on top didn't show what was underneath. It was so cold that as soon as we stepped into the water our moccasins and snowshoes froze. This made the shoes very heavy. Three times we had to stop and turn the sleigh over to scrape off the ice off the bottom, and to take the axe and scrape the ice off our snowshoes. The ice on the bottom of the sleigh made it drag so heavy that the dogs could hardly move it, and on out snowshoes it made them so heavy that we could hardly lift them off the ground and out feet keep slipping all the time. My feet became so sore that I could hardly walk. Bert seemed to be suffering too, for all that he was used to it and travelling all the time. The last four miles my feet were in such bad shape that I had to take off the shoes and ride the sleigh. My moccasins were frozen stiff. We arrived at the shack at 21:45 and had supper. I changed my footgear to dry and hung the wet up to dry, I examined my feet and found that the bottom of both under the instep had chapped and cracked open. The skin at the base of the toes was cut by the bridle on the snowshoes and there were blisters on the heels. These were caused by the shoes not fitting properly and not so much from the tough going. One of my own shoes disappeared and Jack loaned me his. Before going to bed I soaked my feet for about fifteen minuted in hot salt water. It was midnight when we got into bed. Saw many moose tracks today. Most of them less than 24 hours old.
Monday, February 17
Bert was up at 09:00 and cooked breakfast. He heated up the water I used last night and I soaked my feet again before getting up. They felt much better today. Strong wind blowing all day and cloudy.==== Temperature 26 below. Neither of us left the shack today except for wood and water etc. It is Berts habit to rest up for a day after making the trip. I don't wonder either. Later in the afternoon the wind began to increase and snow began to fall, and by night there was a blizzard blowing, which wiped out all our tracks completely. We spent the time reading from magazines and telling stories to each other. When we became tired we just laid back and went to sleep for a while. About 17:00 we fell asleep and were awakened at 18:30 by a knock on the door. We were both surprised as the devil to hear a knock on the door when were some 90 miles out in the bush, practically on the border of the Barman Lands. Bert Hollered and Pat Brown came in. We were surprised to see him, and when he said he was on his way out to Jackfish Lake (three day travel from there) and that he had just come from the Fort we were still further surprised. We both thought he and Johnnie Broomfield had gone on about three days ahead of us. I wouldn't wonder, now, that if Pat hadn’t woke us up we would have both been asleep for the night. It was quite dark out. He had come across Trout Lake in the blizzard and when Bert and I went out to help him unhitch the dogs we could not see the leader from the back of the sleigh; and Pat only had four dogs. We had supper then sat around talking until about 01:00. The gossip was the usual kind for the bush, fur, fish, trails, the different catches fellows were making, etc. Before going to bed I bathed my feet again. Wind died down about midnight and sky is clearing up.
Tuesday, February 18
Up at 07:30. After breakfast we sat around smoking and talking until 08:30 then started out over to Berts Bine running east to the end of the lake and down Trout Creek a ways then cutting across several sloughs and into the bush. The line runs towards Pine Lake. It was quite warm today, about 15 below, but the sky was hazy. Bert shot a moose near the end of the line and we turned back, bringing a small piece with us, we couldn't bring more as we had left the dogs behind to rest them up. We saw fresh moose tracks today but no sign of fur. All the traps had to be cleaned and reset as some of them were under big drifts. It was 15:00 when we returned. Pat had left with us but branched off a few hundred yards from the cabin and headed straight east across the lake, where we had gone more to the N.E. Just before we got home Bert found a weasel in one of the traps. It began to snow before we reached the cabin and the air was damp and raw. We had a big dinner of moose liver then laid down and slept till 18:20. I woke up and Bert went for more dry wood while I started supper. More moose liver, bacon, bannock and tea. After I got the stuff on I went to the lake for water and swept out the place. He had some broom too. Len made it last winter. They shot an owl and nailed it to the cabin and when it had dried out they cut the wings off and fastened then on to a stick. It is pretty well worn now. I put a pot of prunes on also and they were ready at supper time so we had some of them too. I had put them on for tomorrow. We went to bed at 23:00.
Wednesday, February 19
Bert was up at 07:30 as he wanted to get an early start. Today he went out over the Jackfish Trail to clean and reset his traps. His line runs about 7 miles from the cabin. He did not take the dogs with him. I stayed in bed till 11:00, then got up and cleaned up and had breakfast. I took the rifle and camera and started back for Grassy Lake about five miles back over the trail we had come in on, although after the blizzard the other day there was no sign of a trail left. I crossed a fresh wolf track and a fox track but saw no moose tracks at all. I took several snaps and turned back at 15:00. Bert and I arrived at the cabin at the exact same time. He got a mink today that was all, and he had about thirty traps out. He had to re-set every one of course. Before going out I had put a pot of beans on to soak. We got the fire going and out them on to boil. While supper was cooking Bert told me some stories of the early day shipping on these rivers. He worked on the old McMurray and Echo, in 1921. There were only three trips a year from McMurray to Fitz in those days and the game laws were not as they are today. They used to always tie up at the mouth of Athabasca Lake and the crew and most of the passengers would go off duck hunting. Another time he was telling me when the Captain wanted to do some exploring up the Dog River across from Fitzgerald and he and one of the engineers and Bert and a couple others went up and were gone three weeks. They sure had a great life in those days up here. We went to bed early tonight.
Thursday, February 20
Up at 09:00. Today was a clear and calm day so we went out to fish the nets. It is three weeks since he pulled the nets out and we had to cut down thru ice three feet thick. We got 27 fish altogether. Four live trout averaging about 8 pounds each, and the rest were mostly whitefish and jackfish (Pike) it was 14:45 when we finished then Bert went for more wood while I got the fire going and the place swept out, then we had tea. At 16:00 Pat & Johnnie Broomfield arrived from their line. They are trapping together this year. We saw them out over the lake about two hours before they arrived. I was looking thru the field glasses at the country when I first spotted them. They were about seven miles away then. After supper we chinned for a while then played cards. The game of course was the ever popular game of “American Whist” with jokers for Aces straights and flushes, and 30 matches 1 weasel, I won 18 weasels. We had nothing else to do so played till 16:00. The wind came up again during the night and Pat said that if it was light in the morning he was going hunting moose. I decided to go with him. Bert told me on the quiet that Pat was one of the best moose hunters in the country and he got every moose he saw and usually saw one or more. He learned all his knowledge of moose hunting from Pat.
Friday, February 21
Up at 9:00. The wind has gone down, and it was snowing heavily so the moose hunt was off. It is almost impossible to hunt them unless there is a wind and the stronger the wind the better the day for it. By 11:00 all the chores were done and as there was nothing to do we started playing cards again. My luck was not as good as it was yesterday and I lost 4 of my 18 weasels. However I am still 14 to the good. We went to bed at 01:00. I fell asleep almost as soon as I hit the pillow and I never woke until......
Saturday, February 22
.......Bert got up to light the fire at 08:00. Breakfast was over at 09:00 and Pat and Johnnie left for the “Big River” while Bert and I started out to Jackfish Lake. Today was too calm for moose hunting and the snow out here is over four feet deep and as high as twelve to fourteen where it is drifting. We had the dogs with us today and brought in the rest of the moose that Bert shot out here the other day. It was 13:00 when we got back to the cabin while Bert went off to clean out the snow from the traps after the blizzard the other day. I took a few snaps of Trout Lake on the way in and arrived at the cabin at 17:00. I made a bannock and had a lunch ready when Bert got back I put a roast of moose spare ribs in the oven for supper. He returned at 17:30. We had supper at 19:30. After supper we sat talking and before either of us realized it was 23:45 so we went to bed.
Sunday, February 23
Bert got the fire going at 09:00 but we stayed in bed till 11:00. Bert took the dogs and went to bring in the fish we got the other day, while I cut wood. When he got back he had to rebuild the Fish stage because the wind of the past few days had blown a tree over on it breaking it down at one corner. I have to be back at the station on the 27 so we are going to pull out from here on the 24. So far we have had no luck at the moose but we might see one on the way home. There was another blizzard tonight but it began to die down at midnight. We both repaired our snowshoes this afternoon. I put a roast on for supper and it was one of the best I have ever tasted. It was from a 2 year old moose. Bert baked four bannocks while I did some packing. We went to bed early.
Monday, February 24
Both up at 04:00. The trails are all blown over and we have a long road ahead. High winds still blowing although late last night we thought they would be down by morning. It was not cold but was very cloudy and threatening looking. As we only have three dogs left and their feet are sore and the road will be tough, we could only put one hind quarter of moose in the sleigh, but we threw in four of the fresh trout. We left the cabin at 08:30. It’s now 21:30 here at the shack on the Hanging Ice at last and ready to drop. Just finished supper. We came from Trout Lake to here over Pete McCallums by the short cut over Petes trail. This trail has not been travelled for over two months and there is from two to two and a half feet of snow on it but it cuts about ten miles off the other trail which had about one foot on it so I believe we still saved time by this route. I couldn't get the dogs to go at all as the dragging was so heavy so Bert had to go behind the sleigh, and as some one had to break trail for them I went ahead. I had to break it the whole twelve miles and I had never been in that part of the country before. It was no picnic as the road had only been used three times this winter and I had to feel for it under the snow the whole way. Whenever I came to a drift that was strong enough to hold me up I would loose the trail then have to hunt for it again when I came to the end of the drift. At that I was able to keep ahead of the dogs by a few hundred yards. They had to stop for a rest more often then I did. Some of the meat stuck out over the side, and this acted more like a snowplow, the trail it left behind the sleigh looks like as if a plow had been over it. The trail is about eighteen inches deep all the way. To drag a sleigh over a twelve mile trail making a trail that deep with about two hundred and fifty pounds on and only three small dogs, two of whom have sore feet takes a lot out of them. We did not push them at all, other than to see that each pulled his share. I was so tired that I could hardly eat. I did however, and will go to bed as soon as I finish this. It took us 1 hour to do the miles; now that it is over I believe we made remarkable time, when I think of the trails we came over. It was cloudy all day with the wind about 20 m.p.h. blowing from the East all morning and from the South all afternoon. At 20:00 the wind died down and the sky began to clear. It is now bright out and the Northern Lights are all over the sky, and all colours.
Tuesday, February 25
Both up at 06:30 and breakfast was over at 07:15. Got away a little after 08:00 with 28 miles to do. The trail across the meadows from the Hanging Ice to the Long Slough was exceedingly bad with enormous drifts and it was 12:00 before we crossed it 5 miles. We stopped and had a cup of tea and gave the dogs a spell and a bite too. When we got about three miles down the slough the trail began to get better for the dogs. The winds have blown all the loose snow off the trail leaving a hard surface which they can get a grip on and the sleigh passes over easily, but it is hard for Bert and I as the trail has worn rounded on the top and all the time the sleigh and our shoes are slipping off. When we got down to the half way of the slough we came on the Johnnies and Pats trail where they came back to the same road that Bert uses and from there to the river. The trail was real good and after stopping at the end of the slough for lunch we made real good time to the river. It was just getting dark when we arrived at Broomfields cabin, but believe me those marathon runners had nothing on us for travelling steadily and fast. We kept up a steady dog trot of about five miles per hour with a break at every two miles for a spell. It turned hot this afternoon and it was necessary to take off my parka. We saw a plane going south while out on the slough. It was the Ballanca mail plane from Resolution. Johnnie was just making supper when we got in at 19:30. There were a lot of fresh moose tracks about a mile from the cabin but it was getting dark and we were too tired out to try hunting them. We were telling them about it at the cabin and they saw them and were going out to hunt in the morning. We sat around talking till a little after 22:00 then went to bed.
Wednesday Feb 26
We were up at 07:00 and after breakfast Pat, Johnnie and I took our rifles and the camera and went to track the moose down. Pat and Johnnie told me that if I saw him shoot as soon as I saw him no matter where I fired at. The moose would see me as soon as I saw it and once it saw or heard me it would be off and it would be almost impossible to get another shot. Unfortunately I didn't see it but Pat did and he fired four shots before it was dead. It was remarkable too that he hit it. It was about 70 feet away but the poplars and willows were so thick that he could only see a very little part of him. We had left the dogs behind but I ran back and brought them up to where we were while they cut a trail from the road in to where the moose was. It was a two year old buck that we got. We took some pictures of it but there was no blue showing in the sky and the bush was thick but I think it will show up ok. Pat discovered that there was another one there with this one so while Johnnie and I skinned and butchered it he went after the other one. When we were on the way back with the meat we heard him fire 3 shots. He got back to the shack a little after we did and said that he had wounded it but it got away so will wait till tomorrow and track it down. If he followed it up it would go for miles, whereas if he leaves it alone it will go a ways and when it finds nothing after it will lay down to rest, and in the morning will be too stiff to get up. It was after 10:00 when we got to the shack and we got dinner. We had the tenderloins from the moose for dinner and they were sure good. After we finished dinner and had all the dishes done we all went on to Salt River and got there at 16:00. Just at Salt River where the ice had dropped about twelve feet there was a wide crack that I fell into. There was loose snow over the top of it and the crack couldn’t be seen. I went down about five feet but managed to get out without help. I didn't have the snowshoes on at the time or I would have broken them. Billie Lyall had a dinner on for us as he had seen us coming. Then we all sat around till supper time chewing the rag and smoking. Just before supper Gagnon came in. He is on his way back to Smith. He came along from Reliance about a 1000 mile trip, he was a little tired out having come from Grande-de-Tour, ep miles today. Last weeks mail was there for me. I got three letters from Nona and an income tax form to fill out and send in. We played four handed cribbage and talked until about 02:00 then rolled in and went to sleep.
Thursday, February 27
I was up at 06:30 and lit the fire then got back into the robe until the place was warm. Billie cooked breakfast and Gagnon pulled out for Smith. He is quite a good sport on the trail. He is a good mixer and much better liked on the trail than Insp. Trundle. Lyall was going to Smith too today so Bert and I waited until after dinner for him and we all went together. Pat and Johnnie went back after their other moose. We got to Gravel Point and stopped for a couple of hours to talk to Burnett. He gave us lunch and we started out at Smith and made the ten miles with two rests. It was 16:30 when we got back to the station. Jack Taylor was here when we got in. Bert and Billy Lyall came in and talked and after leaving my stuff they went on up town. I had intended on going up but JT had been here waiting to see me so I stayed. Bert dropped off a big piece or moose at Pearsons and two trout on his way uptown. Joe had expected me back today as I had said I would return about 15:00 on the 27 before I left and made it just one hour later. Not a bad guess when starting out on an unknown country trip of 100 miles. He had invited Burstall, Browne and Jack down for supper and we had made the spuds, fried caribou and green peas (canned) and rhubarb it sure was a banquet to me. After supper we played cards and listened to the Sharkey-Scott right. The gang stayed here till about 01:00 and went home. JT slept here at the station.
Friday, February 28
I was up at 08:00 and got the fires going then while Joe and Jack started breakfast I took the set and worked Edmonton until Joe finished and he came and relieved me. Jack showed me all the official mail that came in since I left and the answers that he sent to it and showed me the ones that he wanted me to answer. The mail arrived this afternoon and I went up for it and got back at 17:15. I didn't get much work done around the station today. I answered Nonas letter but had to make it snappy as I only had a half an hour to get it to the PO. I got two letters from Nona, one from Dr. Andrew in Vancouver and a National Geographic, together with the Regina Leader that I get every week. I get the whole weeks issue every mail day. I took Nonas letter to the PO then JT and I went up to the house to get the stuff that belongs to him then went down to Lyalls and stayed there for a while talking to them and Bert. I went from there to Lanouettes to get some bread and saw Walt. He came over this afternoon and is going right back tonight. The dogs were being hitched up then. I promised to take a run over some Sunday when I was off duty. He said he would bring me back with the dogs and if I would phone he would come after me. I got back to the station at 22:00 and started to enter up this diary from the notes that I had kept on the trip. Joe was uptown too and got in about midnight. We went to bed at 01:00.
Saturday, March 1st
Well, today is the first of March at last and it sure came in like a lamb, warm, clear, and no wind. I guess we will have a storm at the end of the month. I finished up the entering of Februarys business today and made out the traffic check services to send to other stations. Things check up fine so far. I charged batteries all day and found everything in good shape. After supper I worked down in the office till 23:15 while Joe broadcast. It is now 23:15 and I am going to quit and go upstairs to read some of the Regina papers and finish a serial I am reading in the Cosmopolitan. Went to bed about 01:00.
====Monday, March 3rd. This morning I balanced up Smith accounts and sent traffic services to other stations, and while awaiting their replies Joe and I went out and cleaned out both the warehouses. We could not give then a thorough cleaning as our cars are still in them and it will be a month anyways yet before they can be taken out. However we swept the floor and piled up the stuff around the outside walls neater. After supper I read the Cosmopolitan for a while then studied the AMORC for a couple of hours. I got my first degree certificate from them this last mail, but the letter was in the P.O. until today. When Jack was uptown he brought it to me. It is about 8 by 10 inches and I am going to have it put into a frame. We had a short broadcast tonight at 11:30 till 12:15. We put it on especially for Bert and Billy Lyall who went back to Salt River this morning. It was about 1:30 when I went to bed.
Tuesday, March 4th
I worked on books most of the day. Went up town this afternoon but could not stay very long. While there I was collecting accounts. I stopped at the hotel for a minute to listen on their radio to a short talk from Joe. He wanted to test the new “mike” on the transmitter. Bob Browne was up tonight and we had a game of cards. Went to bed about 01:00.
Wednesday, March 5th
I went up to the house this morning. I brought in the big packing case from the warehouse and packed the bedding, clock, pictures and the silverware in it, and packed the two tin bread tins with nick-nacks and lined them then developed a number of prints. One roll that I took on my moose hunt was completely spoiled. It appears that when I pulled the tag on number three, the tag tore away from the negative and left the negative exposed in the holder, and all the balance of the snaps were taken on that one negative. I was very much disappointed as there were a few real good shots taken that I was anxious to have them come out well. Those that I took of the moose however were on the other film and were fair. There was a light spot on them but the moose and myself are plain enough, although they were taken on a very cloudy day and right in the thick bush. They were better than I expected but not as good as I hoped for. I left there about 17:30 and started for the station but had to call at Calaghans. Bill Johnson was there and we talked for a while. I stayed for supper and in no time at all it was midnight so came home. At that I was home a while before Joe. He had been up at Yorks all evening. I listened to an organ recital on the radio till 01:00 then went to bed.
Thursday, March 6th
Finished most of the accounting today and started on the reports. I finished them this afternoon and have the statements to type out yet. After supper Browne and Bob Middleton came down Bob brought his violin and Browne brought a new mouth-organ. We broadcast tonight at 20:00 till 22:00 then from 22:30 till 00:15. We started off with phonograph music then we put on music by the “Fort Smith trio”. Violin, mouth-organ and ‘uke’. Browne also played the mandolin at times when there was one that he knew. I played the uke . Paul phoned up to say that it was jake. Haven't heard any other comments yet. We had lunch at 01:00 then after they had left, Joe went to bed and I listened to the organ recital from Frisco. I went to bed at 1:45.
Friday, March 7th
Mail day again. I worked until 15:00 getting all balance of mail ready and when I took it up at 15:30 we were UTD for the first time in over a year. We got the ledgers, all correspondence, statements and all reports etc. off on the way. It feels good to have everything cleaned up at last. I got two letters from Nona and a box of marshmallows and salted nuts, they were dandy. (Don't keep very long tho) It was about 17:00 when I returned to the station, and Joe and I wrote letters till 20:00 then he took them up to the PO. I studied the AMORC lessons for a couple hours tonight while I was alone, then listened to the radio until Joe returned then we had lunch and went to bed.
Saturday, March 8th
Took my Meteors ok then slept till 09:00. I went uptown and saw Lanouette about some of my furniture that he wants, and called Vic on the phone to get a team then went up to the house. I had most of the stuff packed when the team got there and we took one load to McPhersons, and Lanouettes. I got 100 dollars from McPherson and will get the balance in a month or two. Leggo told me that he was good. The stuff that I had not sold I left at Lanouettes and he sent word later to me that he has sold the refrigerator and the white table, and maybe the aluminium-ware. Paul and Gerry were looking at the rug and are going to see me about it. I finished up a bunch of prints today then packed what was left of the developing outfit and all the rest of the stuff in the house came down to the station. We put it into the warehouse and I will get some of the big SITD packing cases and pack them up. When I got home, about 22:00, Browne and Middleton were here practising some new music, so I got in and we played till about 01:00. Are going to put on a program tomorrow night from 19:30 until 22:00. Went to bed at 01:30.
Sunday, March 9th
My original plan when I went to bed last night was to get up at 09:00 and go to the Halfway this morning. It was 10:00 before I woke so I got up and had a couple fresh eggs, toast and coffee then started out. I saw Lanouette for a while and left his place at 11:00 and walked to the Halfway. It was 13:00 when I got there, so I had lunch and then went down to the garage to see Walt. He says that the boat can be fixed ok. He hasn't started on it yet as he has Vics Ford to finish. He thinks he will get it done before the end of April, however. He has painted all their cars over in the Ryan colours. The sedans are both red bodies and black top and trimmings. He sure did a wonderful job and the red is a prettier red than they used to have. There isn't a brush mark on one of the seven cars. They look exactly as if they came from the factory. We tuned in to Joe at 15:00 and got him OK. He comes in loud over here. We went up to the house at 16:00 and sat around talking until suppertime then right after supper Walt brought me over with the dogs. They have a new team of white dogs that Walt just broke in this winter. They are all pups from the team of last year and everyone is all white and the same size as the old team was. The father of then, Roy, who was their leader before, took sick a short time ago and died. They only have two left of the old team now. One of them has been in the harness 10 years, and is still raring to go, in fact he is worse than the pups. We got over here in one hour, and as we were supposed to go on the air at 19:30, I came right out to the station. I got here and found no one around, so waited a while, then practised on the uke and mandolin for a couple of hours. Walt came down about 2:00 and stayed here till midnight. Joe came in about 00:30 and we went to bed at 01:00.
Monday, March 10
I was on the set all morning. During the afternoon I worked around on books and brought them up to the 7. Nothing much doing this evening. I read for a while and Joe and I did a little work on the transmitter. He did practically all the work while I helped in testing. I wrote to Bert Hooper tonight asking him if he had a spare mike around the station that I could borrow. I started to read Forlorn River by Zane Gray and read till 02:00.
Tuesday, March 11
I was off today and slept most of the time to catch up on back slumbers. I read a couple series in Nat. Geographic. I did not go uptown today but read and slept most of the time. Nothing doing in the evening.
Wednesday-Saturday, March 15
So little happened between Wed. and today that I didn't bother putting down any record. I spent most of the time here at the station. I was uptown a couple of times shopping and spent a lot of time on the books and the key while here at the station. After supper tonight Joe and I were asked over to the Pearsons. We played bridge until about 01:00. They had stayed here for supper. The way it had happened was this. Joe and I were upstairs getting supper ready and answering the mail that arrived yesterday, Mrs. Pearson had come over earlier in the afternoon and she and Jack were just ready to go home. He was finishing up with the traffic sheet and Mrs. Pearson and Joe and I were kidding each other. Finally I said that she could stay for supper if she would get it. They both called our bluff so they came up. I went ahead and got supper and she wrote a letter. It was just our luck too tonight to be practically out of spuds and everything else. We had plenty of caribou and a little spuds, a can of tomatoes and two pieces of bread each and some preserved rhubarb. Joe went uptown after supper and I finished a letter to Nona. I got one from her in the mail. I also got three books in this mail, The Might Atom, Barabas and The Master Christian all by Marie Corelli. Just before we were leaving Pearsons tonight Joe got the jug that we had given Mrs Pearson for winning the bridge game some time ago, and brought it home. We will have them over Monday and if they win will give it back to them as a prize. This, we had planned on before going over. We got home at 01:30.
Sunday, March 16
I was on duty today so didn't leave the station. Business was very slow. Only sent two to Edmonton and received nil. Nil business with other stations. We put on an afternoon concert and Champagne sang three selections for us, The Voice of the Violets, Always and the Gypsy Love song. He sang from Pearsons, over remote control over the telephone line. Mrs. Pearson accompanied him on the piano. It was our first attempt at a remote control and it worked fine. He promised to come and sing over it on our next programme Thursday night. The Pearsons came over tonight so we had our game of bridge and they won by 400 points, so before they went home we wrapped up the trophy and gave it to them. She thought there was a shinding in it somewhere and wanted to see what she was carrying home before she went but we wouldn't let her. Joe carried it downstairs and gave it to her just as she went out the door. She threatened to let us hear from her if there was any shenanigans going on. We fixed the fires then went to bed.
Monday, March 17
I was "off" today so I put on my overalls and overhauled a bunch of batteries that are dead. I tore eight to pieces and put new plates and separators in them, and got them ready to change. I finished at 18:30. About 19:30 Champagne and Middleton came in. Champagne was looking over our music but didn't take any away with him. Joe was going uptown, so Champagne went up with him. Bob wanted to do some practising so I got the mandolin and we practised some duets. I played the obligate. Bob left at 23:30 and Joe returned at midnight. When Joe returned we got to discussing Champagne and talked till 02:00. There is something in the wind and it started in when we were talking about the Thursdays broadcast, it looks to us as if there is going to be some hard feelings if not an open war, over the outcome of this and we discussed it till 02:00 with no compliments towards Mr.Champagne. He spoke of having been over to Gagnons with Mrs. Leggo practising up the songs he is going to sing, and causally mentioned that Mrs. Pearson might be coaxed into giving a piano solo, of course Mrs. Leggo will accompany him, so he said. Now ordinarily that would have been OK but last Sunday Mrs. Pearson accompanied him and when Champagne left it was understood that she would accompany him Thursday also. Joe and I know that she and Jack are momentarily expecting him out to practice over the pieces. If he thinks he can leave them with that understanding and on his own change his plans and get a new accompanist without making some arrangements with her, and then bring the new accompanist down there uninvited to take her place, in her own home, he is going to find that Joe and I are running this broadcasting and not him. We do not know how Mrs. Pearson will feel about it and we do know how she might, or how we ourselves would likely feel under the same circumstances about it. Not that Pearson capable or that Mrs Lyall is better, but he and Mrs Lyall are so obviously in love with each other, that the afternoons alone in Gagnons house to practice is what appeals to them. We don't give either of them of them credit for having gumption enough to be naugh ty (but I have heard there might be a synthetic kick to it at that). However, that is not the point. There is the other side of it to be considered and that is the only side that Joe and I will see. If there is hard feelings over it those feelings are going to end between Mrs Pearson and Mrs Lyall. We cant see how it will be different. If something busts, then Mrs. Lyall and Champagne will say that Mrs. Pearson was sore because she wants in the limelight, and that is not the case. She would not give a damn as far as that part is concerned. The way Bill said it, made us both very certain that the Pearsons do not know of the change, so we looked at all angles and there are many, and it is impossible to take the wrong step or there will be a war. Our best plan, we decided was for Joe to go uptown tomorrow, and drop in at Pearsons and ask her if there was anything she wanted from the store, and casually ask if Champagne had decided what he was going to sing. If she knew of the change, OK it would drop, but if she mentioned that she did not know as Bill had not been out to practice, then he was to go straight to Bill, and ask him if he had arrangements made with Mrs Pearson for the change of accompanist. He would likely say no, then Joe was to tell him how that looked to he and I and that we had decided that in view of the matter since we were here to entertain the people, and not to make ill feelings, that Bill would have to be indisposed with a cold Thursday night and that we would go on without him. Then any ill feelings between he and Mrs Lyall would be between them and Joe and I. Joe is going out in the spring and doesn't give a hoot, and neither of them are bosom friends of mine and I don't give a hoot. I can stand another log in that fire ok.
Tuesday, March 18
Well, another development that was unexpected happened this morning. I was on the set when Jack came in. When I was thru he asked me if Champagne had been out. I told him yes, that he came out to look over some music but only stayed a minute and went back. He said that he saw him and Bob coming, and they walked thru the yard and didn't stop and in a little while they saw him returning and he went right past the door. They had expected him to come in. When Joe woke up I told him of this and we decided that maybe Jack had got wind of it, so we decided the best way to do was to tell him straight what we knew, and how it looked to us and where we stood in the matter. He might also see a way out. We called him upstairs and told him. He hadn't heard anything about it but said that he thought there was something on our minds this morning as we looked as if there was something worrying us. He decided that whatever we did it would later reflect back on them, that they were sore because since it was their piano they should play it. He told us not to do anything until he has seen what stand Evelyn would take. When he came back from dinner, he said that the best way out was to overlook it and they would carry on as if they knew and wanted the change. He didn't want Joe and I to openly push Bill out as it would look as if Mrs Pearson was sore, and of course anything that happened to Bill, Mrs Lyall considers it to her as well. After a consultation we decided that the best plan was to carry on, but invite Syd down too. This will put a monkey wrench in the works for them, as the lone walk out and back together is what appeals to them. It is a dirty trick, maybe but it will be Bill who gets sore, and wont offer to sing again. That is the ultimate result we were trying to drive at without causing ill feelings and as Mrs Lyall and Middleton will be out we can certainly ask Syd out in all innocence as it would be a breach of etiquette to have all of the household but him there. Mrs Pearson came over to the station about 16:00 and brought her sewing along. Joe was kidding Jack that they were booked for a duet. Jack wanted to know what kind. Mandolin and banjo, says Joe. Jack took it seriously, decided that they would certainly have to practice something. Joe never had a mandolin in his hands before so he got the mandolin and my Uke and that started in. Joe had to pick out the piece that he knew the cords of by ear. They picked one two three four and my song of the nile. When Jack thought that Joe was serious, Joe went ahead to learn the pieces. He practiced all afternoon, and we both went over to the house this evening and they practised there about two hours. We had lunch then came home and he went at it again till 02:00.
Wednesday, March 19
Very little doing today. I was on the set from 09:00 until 01:00. Then when Joe relieved me I went upstairs and read nearly all afternoon. I read the Mighty Atom, by Marie Corelli. It was very good but very sad. It was so bad in placed places that I had to stop reading for a while to get back to normal. After supper I went uptown and stopped for a while at the Old Ladies (A.M.C). I talked to her and Mrs Conibear until about 21:00 then went back to the station. Joe and I tested out the transmitter for a while then made a lunch and went to bed.
Thursday, March 20
I stayed in bed till 12:00 today as there wasn't anything better to do. During the afternoon I soldered all the wires on the speech amplifier that we made and got it ready for the broadcast tonight from Pearsons. At 7:30 Middleton and Browne came down to the station for a practice, but something was apparently wrong with our transmitter, and we couldn’t seem to find the cause. It seemed to be coming in on the Marconi set downstairs, but the xmitter itself acted rather queer. We went over to Pearsons at 21:00 and the real programme started. Leggo was the guest announcer. He had prepared a darn good humorous announcement for the programme and certainly carried it thru in great style. We came on first with the orchestra but we hadn’t time to get properly ready. As soon as we got tuned up, Joe who was still at the station there to the control over to Pearsons and they started in and before we were thru the first selections our instruments began to get out on tune. This was caused by the cold in going over. Champagne sang his three songs during the evening, but why in the name of ---- couldn't he pick pieces that he knew. He had to bend down to the piano to read them and it was almost impossible to hear him in the microphone. I tuned in Jacks set with the phones and didn't like the way it was coming in. It seemed far to critical. Gerry gave a humorous lesson on bridge and as usual it was a scream. Joe Lanouette read one of Drummonds poems. The concert lasted an hour and a half. Everybody left there about 01:00 and Joe and I stayed and talked till 02:00. We were all in a sweat all evening as none of us believed it was going out as it should so decided to wait till morning to hear from the listeners. It was nearly 03:00 when we got to bed.
Friday, March 21
Syd phoned up this morning to say that he had called Fitz, and had seen Cummings and they both said that when we are on in the first part of the programme with the phonograph records it came thru OK but not as well as it used to and then when we turned over to Pearsons it went dead and we blocked out everything else on the air for the rest of the night. Later Gerry phoned and said he talked with Walters and Conibears and they said the same thing. We had in the meantime been going over the set and discovered that for some unknown reason the grids on the modulator tubes got overloaded from the amplifier and they went wild. The wave had no tuning all. We worked at it all afternoon between calls and intended working after supper but Fred Morie came in just before supper and stayed till after midnight. It was the second time Fred had been over since late fall. After he went we fixed the fires then went to bed.
Saturday, March 22
Yesterday was the day that mail was supposed to arrive but it did not come. Last week the planes went north to Aklavik, and at Resolution one of the planes in taking off hit a piece of jagged ice and broke a ski, throwing the plane to one side and wrecking it completely. No one was hurt, but the boys at Resolution say it is likely a total loss. The other plane went back to McMurray and brought in another. They have also been delayed somewhere between Simpson and Aklavik, by the high winds that we have had for the last two or three days. I wrote a letter anyway but did not post it. I will keep adding to it before the mail plane returns. Joe and I put on a test tonight to see if the line between Pearsons and here was going to be OK for Thursdays broadcast. I went over to their house and when we got thru OK Joe turned on the set and put us on the line. It was going thru fine and Leggo heard us so decided to phone us and let us know it. But when he started to talk it was on the air too. Later on Champagne phoned to tell us how we were coming in at the government house and of course he was on the air too. We kept up a running conversation all the time. Champagne speaking from the government house, Leggo from the HBC house, Jack and I from his place and Joe answering us over the air. We could all hear him on the set, in fact we could hear all of them over the speaker. Everyone around with a receiver heard it and they all said that they got more kick out of it than they did out of a regular program. Especially since Leggo and Champagne were unaware that we were broadcasting and were more witty than they might have been had they known. Browne came down to the station later and said he got a whale of a kick out of it but was afraid that we had got things twisted and didn't know that we were on the air. He said that he was afraid they someone would make a break. We had a game of cards then to pass the rest of the evening and finally went to bed at 01:30.
Sunday, March 23
This afternoon I got started on the N.E set of the police and just got started when Browne and Middleton came down for some practice. We ran over the pieces we will play Thursday then after supper Joe and Browne went uptown to do some S.W work. I went ahead and finished the N.E set and got it working OK. It was about 23:00 when I finished then put it away and straightened up the place and started to read when Joe came in. We went to bed about 01:00.
Monday, March 24
I did the books up to Saturday this afternoon. All morning I was on the set. There was a bridge party at Pearsons tonight and Joe and I both went over. There was Mr C.B. Dawson, Chief engineer of the Northern Lead Zinc Co of Resolution Mr. McDougal, Gerry Murphy, Champagne, Paul Trudel, Mrs and Mr Leggo, Bob Middleton, John Pearson and Joe and I there. Pearson played with Champagne against Mrs Pearson and Paul and they won the second rubber. We got home at 01:00.
Tuesday, March 25
Very little doing today. Bert came down to the station for a while this afternoon. After supper Joe went uptown to do a test with Hastings. S.W. and I took the second part of the Third Initiation into AMORC. Joe got home at 11:30 while I was just getting a cup of tea.
Wednesday, March 26
I was off today so went up to the house and finished packing all the same things left around into a box. I stopped at the HBC On my way home and Syd asked me to have a look at the charging plant. His No volt release has been out of order and burned out the Breaker contact. The copper has been so hot the==== Temper is all gone out from it. He asked me up to his house tonight to the weekly bridge party. He said that they wanted Joe and I to come every week. I wasn't going at first as I thought Joe and I would be busy testing out the line and amplifier for tomorrow night. We managed to get thru early and Joe wanted to go up so we went. We got there at 20:30 and found the same bunch as was at Pearsons. At the first table Joe and Emerson played against Mrs Pearson and I and we won the rubbers. At the second table Mrs. Pearson and Gagnon played against Champagne and I. We won too by 800 points. We all left early, it was only 00:30 when we got back home. We went to bed soon afterwards.
Thursday, March 27
There wasn't very much doing today. Jack went home early to test out the microphone for tonights broadcast. We are putting on the concert again tonight. Everything seemed OK so we left it for the final test after supper. It is impossible to get the true test without the transmitter into action, as the load on the amplifier changes. Before the gang came out we had Syd Leggo listen from his house and when he pronounced it ok they all came out to the Pearsons. The concert started at 21:00. Joe stayed at the station and played a few records, then switched over to the other studio. Syd, acted as announcer and he had a dandy program fixed up. Gerry took off Curtis Benson at KNX, the fellow who gives us the Friday night fight. Gerry’s fight was given fast and furious and was so funny that I got a laughing fit and trying not to laugh out loud I went into such spasms that both my sides hurt and tears run down my face. Mrs Pearson and Mrs Lyall and Champagne and Browne were sitting on the sofa and got laughing at me and that made it all the worse. Honestly it was the funniest thing I ever listened to and Gerry gave it without a smile. I missed much of it from laughing and after it was over I couldn't for the life of me remember how it went or who the fighters were. When the gong went once he said that Mr Rottenfeller was coming down the aisle dressed in one of those two suits for the price of one and described it. Then in another place I remember where one fellows chin tripped over the others glove. We signed off about 23:30 and had a lunch over there then came home and went to bed.
Friday, March 28
This morning I heard that the program from Pearsons was not as good as we wanted it. It was much better than last weeks but still too faint. It appears that we had it cut down to much. Jack was listening in at the house with the ear phones on and was controlling the volume but uptown where they wanted to listen in with the loud speaker it was too low. Mail did not arrive today as the planes are still north and said that another Commercial Plane was wrecked at Norman owing to a heavy wind storm. The plane was just landing when the wind upset it. No one was hurt. I wrote a letter to Nona anyway incase they got back in good time. Nothing much doing tonight.
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