Interview with Bea Dezell

The history of Prince George continues to emerge through the work of historians, students and the dedicated group of staff and volunteers at the Prince George Oral History Group. In order for the Oral History Club to exist, there must be candidates who are willing to participate and share their histories.  I am grateful to Bea Dezell for allowing me to come into her home to record her life’s history.  She is a testament to the pioneer spirit of the women who helped shape our community.  Her graciousness and her willingness to share her story has made this a truly rewarding experience for me. Thank you, Bea.
Completing the manuscript would not be possible without the dedicated people who assist in putting the final transcript together.  Special thanks to Kathy Plett, at CNC, who offers her time to index our transcriptions.  An index is a key element in saving time when doing historical research. Thanks to Ernie Kaesmodel for taking the time to share his knowledge and expertise on the ‘art’ of Oral History. This transcription would not have been completed without the help of Elaine Hauck.  Her support, encouragement and knowledge have been a key factor in the successful completion of Bea’s transcription.  Many thanks, Elaine.
Denise TrickJuly 2, 2004

Tape One – Side A

This is Denise Torgerson of the Prince George Oral History Group. These interviews are with Bea Dezell, who arrived in Prince George in 1946. These interviews were taped in May and June of 2004. Bea’s biographical history is woven in with her story.

Denise: So, your dad started working in Montreal at fourteen years old.

Bea: At fourteen he worked in the dairy farm, and, so then he, my mother, the oldest of eleven, and her name was Johns, and she was sent out to apprentice to a tailor in Montreal. And that’s where my mom and dad met. And, so, they got married later and came to Vancouver right after Vancouver had the big fire, burnt down.

Denise: Do you know what year that was?

Bea: It would be 18, somewhere in the later 18’s, and so, that’s where they settled, in Vancouver. Dad got into a wire working business. So, then my brother, five years older than I, but when I was four, we moved to North Vancouver, from Vancouver, and there was just all bush and logging roads, and well, my brother and I used to play at these old type of mill places where there was a pond where they used to haul the logs up to process them.And of course, we had a small farm, about an acre, and that’s where I grew up. So, I went to school. First off I went to school in the city school, but because we were two blocks out of the city, I had to go then down to the district school. Which was a long way, must have been a couple of miles, down in Linmore. And, so then when, say grade eight, I guess, I went to Lynn Valley school, and then to High school. I had two years high school, and then I went to work. So, I worked in a Real Estate office then, in North Vancouver, for a few years, and my boss died with a heart attack. So, after that I had other various jobs. I work in Real Estate in Vancouver, and then for a Collection Agency. I worked for the lawyer, in the Collection Agency. I learned to serve summonses.

Denise: Oh my.

Bea:So, it was kind of a fun job too, as well. And then the depression hit of course and my Aunt needed somebody in Williams Lake to come up and help her. She, they had a barbershop, poolroom and ice-cream parlor. And they always had the concessions for the stampede, and so, she phoned and asked if I could come up and help her for the summer. So, my brother, and at that time I was engaged to Garvin, and so, the three of us came to Williams Lake.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So, we worked all summer. My husband worked in the, round, in carpentry work and one thing or another. He wasn’t my husband at that time. My brother worked At haying, and I worked helped my aunt. All through the summer, the stampede and then, in the fall, Garvin had a chance to work for Bill Orr to build, help build the Overwaitea in Williams Lake. I said “Well, if you’re going to be up here all winter, lets go down and get married and come back,” so that’s what we did.

Denise: So you asked him to marry you?

Bea: We had our house in everything all in North Vancouver ready, but, because of the depression, you know, we lost it. We couldn’t keep up the payments on the mortgage and stuff. So, anyway, we got married, we went down and got married  and came back. That was in November 1932, came back to Williams Lake.  That’s how I got to the Cariboo.

Denise: There you go.

Bea: Yeah. Then we stayed first in a little cabin that belonged to my Aunt. And it was down by the lake. We had to go chop a hole in the ice to get water, outside plum- bing. I had to be careful every night to empty the kettle, or it would freeze, full of ice. Had an airtight heater. Very primitive and everything, so, you know, but, oh Such a lot of fun we had. The butcher would come with his team of horses and the bells, and you know, we’d go for sleigh rides and. Nobody had much money, but somebody would find a few cookies and make some coffee, and one thing another. We’d end up, really, we had a great time. (Laughter)

Denise: Sounds wonderful.

Bea: It was really fun. And then the fellow that Garvin had worked for wanted to go back to Chilliwack, this was Bill Orr. And he asked Garvin, cause he had the Auto-Court in Williams Lake, and he said to Garvin, “If you’d like to take over and pay up the bills on the Auto-Court, then you can have it.”  So, we talked it over and we thought, sure we’d do that. So, in April we moved up to the Auto-Court, which is where the Travel Lodge is now.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: And so, anyway, to get a bit of cash, and one thing another, we’d put on Saturday night dances. And we supplied the food. It’s the only thing we could charge for. and took up a collection for the musicians, which were just pick ups from around town. Like a musician, a fiddler, and a drum and a piano. And so, we’d take up a collection for them, but these sandwiches that we made, we’d sell them. I made great big slab cakes, chocolate and a white, and then all these sandwiches we made, we’d serve them, put on paper plates. A sandwich and a half and two pieces of cake. We sold it for twenty-five cents. (Laughter) And so, that was part way through the dance, we’d sell that and then I know how many cups you can get out of a pound of coffee—it’s a hundred. And so that’s what we- sold the coffee and the sandwiches, that was for twenty-five cents. (Coughing) That’s how we made some money.

Denise: That’s so wonderful.

Bea: You better stop that for a minute, cause I’d better get a drink.

Bea: Then, after that we, at least Garvin dealt with Mr. Mackenzie, who had the General Store in Williams Lake. And he, Wells was starting to go. And he asked him if  he’d like to go into Wells into the store there. So that’s what he did, and I stayed and ran the Auto-Court. We called it Auto-Court in those days. Now it’s a motel.

Denise: Yes right, okay.

Bea: And then, so then 1935 Cliff was born in Williams Lake. It was just like an out-post hospital. Everybody was in the one bedroom, like one room. Natives and everything. Anyway, then Garvin went into Wells, and he built the place for Mr.Mackenzie, but the, Wells was starting to go, and there was lots of work there.And so, in 1937 my mother came up from North Vancouver, and took over the Auto-Court, and she had the same deal as what we had. We just let her take it overand pay the bills or whatever, look after it. So, and I went into Wells, moved in to Wells. So I was in Wells from 1937, to 1940. I was expecting Noreen, and so, because, we didn’t really know what we were going to do, I lived in the trailer in Kamloops, so I’d have the same doctor that I had when Cliff was born. He had gone to Scotland and taken Post- Graduate work, and then come back to Kamloops.So I was in a homemade trailer in Kamloops. And we had a girl stay so that she could stay with Cliff when I went to the hospital. So, anyway, after, oh, I was there about a month I guess, and then I had Noreen. And I was there for, we moved then up into rooms for about two weeks. And then I came back to Quesnel, and Garvin had built a house there. So, I never did go back to Wells to live. I lived in Quesnel. And I was in Quesnel from 1940 to 1946. And then of course Prince George was starting to boom. So Garvin was doing, building here. And of course, his dad had come up North Vancouver, and his dad was in with him, so, in those days it was called J. N. Dezell and Son. And so, then in 46 we moved up here into Prince. And I don’t recall exactly. You know, I had been to Prince quite a few times, Garvin played ball and hockey and all that kind of stuff, and golf. So I had been here. But it was a very small place and dirt roads, and wooden sidewalks and you know, just a small town.

Denise: Yeah

Bea: I think there were about, maybe in that time, about three thousand people.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So, Cliff was going, he was, he was eleven years old and Noreen, and so he was away at school, but I know Noreen had her sixth birthday here.

Denise: Oh okay. What school did he go to here?

Bea: Cliff just went across here. What do you call it.

Denise: Duchess Park?

Bea: Prince George Jr. Sr. Secondary

Denise: Okay.

Bea: And then Noreen started school here too. You better shut that off for a bit.  (Laughter) You’ll probably get that in there.

Denise: So the first house you lived in was the house next door to here.

Bea: Yes, yes, and because it was war time, Garvin was on the war effort. And when we moved into that house, all there was a stand pipe in the kitchen, the bathroom was usable, the bedroom and Noreen, we had to put her crib in the kitchen.

Denise: Oh is that right?

Bea: No cupboards, no anything. So we just moved into it unfinished. Because, we couldn’t get the material.

Denise: Do you want to talk about that a little bit? Did everything go, was it all sent away?

Bea: No, just wasn’t available, that’s all, because it was being used for like the wartime houses here, and all that kind of thing, and After that you know, Garvin started to build all over the place, like in Vanderhoof and up on the Alaska Highway, Hazelton. Built schools and buildings and houses and, you know, whatever was available to do. I’m trying to think.

Denise: Yes, I know, that must have been an interesting, well, what did you do well he was away building? Did you have a lot of friends in Prince George?

Bea: Oh yes, I had friends, and anyway I had my family. That’s all I ever wanted to do, was live long enough to raise my family. I never intended to go back to work at all.

Denise: Oh is that right?

Bea: After a bit, Garvin’s dad wanted to retire, so we sold everything we could possibly sell to get enough money to pay him off. So, then Garvin says to me, “I guess you’re going to have to go back to work and keep the books.  And I said, “I don’t want to go back to work.” (Laughter) So, anyway, we talked it over with Noreen and that and that she would have to do certain things, and not be running the streets after school and that. She had to come home and everything. And besides Garvin bought me a little car. I could come and go, and get her away in the morning, and you know, make her breakfast. and then at lunch I’d come home at about 11:00 to get her lunch. And she would always, I’d leave things ready, and she’d get the dinner on the way.

Denise: Okay

Bea: She wasn’t allowed to go out unless I was home. She had to stay in. So, that’s the way we managed. But of course once I went back to work, I didn’t want to quit. (Laughter) I wasn’t the same. So, then, it went on for quite a while. We of course got more on our feet and was able to hire a carpenter staff, but I still went down, and I was the secretary and I was one of the signing officers. So, I was very happy to work. And of course as Noreen was growing up too. Which was easier.

Denise: Right.

Bea: And Cliff was away to University. So, anyway.

Denise: What, did you belong to clubs or anything like that when the kids were growing up?

Bea: Oh yes, oh yes. The church circles and you know, Knox church had, I don’t know, quite a few circles and we did different things. I was very active in the Girl Guide Program too. And I had Brownies. I started out with Brownies and. I don’t know It just seemed like it was a really busy life. And of course, Garvin got into politics, at least, local politics. We’d always been interested in politics, even my own family. And so, he ran as an Alderman first, and he got in for one Year. And then Mayor Nicholson quit, and the city clerk was running as Alderman, no, he was running as Mayor, the city clerk. That was Mr. Fraser. Then he, let’s see, Garvin decided he’d run as Mayor against him. And so, he did, and Garvin made it, he got in. And he was Mayor for quite a few years, off and on. And that was a most interesting life, because we did lots of traveling, did lots of conventions, and everything, and met a lot of very, very interesting people. And while I saw most of, most of Canada through all the conventions you know.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: But our first trip was to Chicago. That was, at that time it was, international I guess because there was people from Australia and everywhere. And that was the last Year they had that. The Federation of Mayors, or something. And after that it was just national.

Denise: Okay, so what was the convention for?

Bea:  It was like for the Mayors and municipal things and. You see now they have theUBCM. That’s the Union of B.C. Municipalities. And they meet once a Year at the conventions, and all the Mayors and as many Aldermen as can afford to go, go to there, and they go there and discuss their problems. But the men were always busy of course, the Mayors and Aldermen and stuff. But the women had a great time. (Laughter) It was always lots of good things for us to do. We just had a, you know, luncheons and everything and tours.

Denise: Oh that must have been exciting.

Bea: Yes it was. Like, we had visitors here like Vincent Massey (Governor General of Canada) and then St. Laurent (Prime Minister of Canada) and oh, different government people, like Pearson and Diefenbaker.

Denise: Did you meet all these people?

Bea:  Oh yes, yes, so. I never really met Trudeau, but I was at the rally for him. But I never met him. He was different. Turn that off. (Laughter)

Denise: Okay.

Denise: So Garvin was the Mayor for four years. Do you know what made him decide to run as a Mayor? [This was actually his first two terms, 1950 – 1953. He was also the mayorfrom 1960 – 1969.]

Bea: Well, when he was in North Vancouver, he was on, at eighteen, he was on the School Board, so he was always interested in politics. And because he was an alderman here, that one year, and the city was in more or less, kind of financial I don’t know what you’d call it – trouble, or what. But, they didn’t have enough money or something so when he got in as Mayor. He put an improvement tax on. which helped, because there wasn’t enough money to take care of the things that had to be done in the town. So, but he always was interested in politics and he liked being Mayor, and I think he was good at it, because, he decided that he’d try and keep the town more or less compact. But every little subdivision that they opened, he wanted to put a little green belt in it. He didn’t want this town to spread out. He thought that for tax wise and all that. Maintenance, it was better if it stayed more compact. And he had a very good city manager at that time. Which was Aaron Thompson.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: Anyway he, his city staff were just great, and that helped a lot. So after we bought Dad out, then he had to go back and run the business. And so, then for six years, yes, six years, there was Gordon Bryant, Carrie Jane Gray, and Johnnie Morrison.  They each had two years as Mayor. And then by that time Garvin had taken in a partner, so then he felt he could give a bit more time to the city again. So, he ran again. And was in for, I think it was, I know it was two other two Year terms, or a third, or three.

Denise: Yes, my husband said he was in for two or three, quite a long time.

Bea: Yes, he was. That was such an interesting time of my life. I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved going to the conventions and, you know, meeting people from all over, and we got to be a little group of ladies there. There was Kim Wing from Kamloops, Nelly from Maple Ridge, Nelly Janouwin, and Milly from in the Kootenays, and then, Nelly Brown from Victoria, who was the Deputy Minister’s wife. And there was a couple of more of us. We always would get together, every convention. We just had the greatest time. Yeah, I loved it, and I liked entertaining the people when they came to town. And we did have one UBC convention here. That was great too. So, but, the conventions got so big that they always have them in Vancouver now

Denise: Okay, okay.

Bea: And the city manager that was there when Garvin was Mayor was Aaron Thompson. And he was just great. Ted Kent was there too. And Ted Kent, being English, he was very good to know all the protocol that we had to do if we were entertaining people.

Denise: Oh okay, I was wondering.

Bea:  It was on the straight and narrow. (Chuckles) Made sure that we did things right.  But he was the clerk. His wife is Peggy. I think she just died recently, Peggy Kent?

Denise: Yes, yup

Bea:  So, he was great. Well all the city people and I think Peter Petello was in there too, at that time. So they were all very, very helpful and good.

Denise: Did you, as a wife, did you have input into the city?

Bea:  No, no, oh no, I didn’t do anything like that. I just looked after people if they came to town, or something like that, or at that time, I could drive, so I could pick people up and take them places. My sight was okay. So that’s what I did. No I was so happy all the time Garvin was in there, but the last term he wasn’t very well. I just said to him, “ I don’t think you should run again. But he wanted to, so he did, he got in and after that of course, that’s when he was not at all well. So, in ’72 he died. He’d been in the hospital since from November till February.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So, I’ve been alone since ’72.

Denise: 1972

Bea: Yeah, in February

Denise: Okay

Denise: So, I just want to go back a little bit, when we were talking about meeting all the dignitaries. What were some of your impressions of some the people that you met?

Bea: I liked Lester Pearson very much, Diefenbaker too, was quiet. His wife was a very quiet person, I felt. Kind of kept to herself more or less, she didn’t seem to be as outgoing as some of them that I’d met. But I loved meeting Vincent Massey. I think his granddaughter came with him. And we drove them all over Prince George and showed them, and of course. Then Vanier too. I think we met him too. I think he came to Prince George, but, St. Laurent too, came to Prince George. And there is a picture that we had that I gave to the museum, with him and the Boy Scouts are the honour guard. And they came in a DC3, in those days. You know, the old airplanes.  No I, although I didn’t have as much to do with them as Garvin had. But, I enjoyed meeting them. Then, so.

Denise: And Diefenbaker, I got the impression that he was sort of gruff. Was he gruff?

Bea:  Yes, he was, yes he was, and, you know I didn’t have, I just met them, and that’s all really, so I didn’t really have to much to do with them.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  You know, cause we would go like maybe put on a tea for them. And you know,like maybe I would sit next to his wife or something, at a banquet, or something like that, but, you don’t get much out of them. So, I think that um. It was interesting. That’s about all I can tell you about that.

Denise: How did you like the winters in Prince George?

Bea: The winters?

Denise: Yeah.

Bea: I love them.

Denise: Do you?

Bea: Yeah. Now I can’t get around, I’m afraid of the ice. But years ago I always liked them. I’ve never been much good in winter sports, but when we were in Wells, I skied, everybody cross- country skied.

Denise: Okay

Bea: But, when I came Prince George, I guess I was too busy. I didn’t get out. And besides that, Garvin was so busy with every thing, sports and politics, that I felt, somebody had to stay home with the family. (Laughter)

Denise: Okay

Bea:  So, I did.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So. I didn’t do much at all in the sports or anything. No, I like the winters. I like the seasons.

Denise: Do you?

Bea:  Yeah, I like the outdoors. Rather than doing things inside, I’d rather be outside.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So, is there anything else?

Denise: Oh I’m just, because, for myself personally, I remember being a little girl, and, you know, the schools being closed and 40 below, and when you’re little, you don’t really think about those things, it’s just a day off. But I wonder how parents dealt that, and you know just, just so cold. (Laughter)

Bea:  Oh I know, it was very cold. We haven’t had cold winters like that for years now. and, at one time, when they’d bring the cars or the trucks home at night, they’d  take the batteries out and take them into the house. Because it was so cold. And of course, I don’t think there was anti-freeze in those days. You had to drain the water out of the radiator, and so, put it in in the morning. Oh yeah, it was kind of difficult. And you’d go out to dances or something, and open the doors into the hall, the steam would come in. It would be just like a fog. Yeah, it was really… I don’t know, but I never minded it. I mean it was just part of it. I don’t know, I just. I like Prince George. I like it. Of course now, with my vision impairment, I, about all I can do is go and shovel the snow. I don’t do much walking.

Denise: You’re still shoveling snow?

Bea: I shovel the walks. But then there hasn’t been much. Years ago, when I shoveled.  it was over my head, when I shoveled the walks. I couldn’t even throw it up over the bank, but now, it’s just nothing. So, it’s sure changed a lot. It’s so mild here now. But, we never let the weather bother us very much. We kept doing things.  And of course, we had the cabin. Of course the kids spent a lot of time out there.

Denise: Where is your cabin?

Bea: At Tabor. We called it Six Mile Lake. But now they call it Tabor. So, it was all bush and swamp when we first went out there. Noreen was about twelve, I think when we first bought it. We had built it originally, just a shell for Mr. Bateman, who owned Right Way Cleaners, at that time. He, was, I saw him One day when I was in the bank, and he said something about he sold the Right Way Cleaners.  And I said, “Where are you going?” And he said, “I’m going to move to Kelowna.” And I said, “What are you going to do with your cabin?” He says, “Oh, it’s up for sale.” END OF TAPE

Denise: So, you said, you’d buy it?

Bea:  Yeah, I told Mr. Bateman, I said, “ I’ll buy it.”  Of course I came home and told Garvin I had said I’d buy the cabin, And he said, “What do you want that thing for?” But you know who enjoyed it the most? Was Garvin.

Denise: Is that right?

Bea: Yeah, and of course, we were both driving at that time. And I was still working in the office, more or less. And, so, but we used to spend from about April till November out there. And, we had an old heater in the place, so it was warm enough. But, I tell you, the kids sure enjoyed it. They had a water ski club out there. And Noreen and all her friends, and. There must have been, I’d say, five or six, or eight, or something like that. You know, these grown up kids, almost. and they really enjoyed it. And they had the ski jump and they had the slalom course, and all the rest of it. And, so, but, as time went on we gradually improved the cabin, and the land around it, because it was all swamp and everything. All  around there.

Denise: So, the lake was, it seems like a big lake to me.

Bea: It’s not very big.

Denise: Okay

Bea: No, but it’s pretty.

Denise: Oh yeah.

Bea:  Very pretty, lots of green.

Denise: So how did you spend your day at the lake?

Bea: Well, I don’t know it just seemed like I always had a garden, and there always seemed to be company, and Noreen was very good when her group came out. She and the rest of them always took care of everything that, you know, what ever was to do with food or what ever. So, no, it was—oh, I just loved it, just loved it. For quite a while, of course, I came in everyday to work too. But, we entertained quite a bit out there too, because at that time Garvin was mayor.  So, sometimes he’d say, “We’re bringing so and so out for dinner.” Well, I was driving, so I could come in and get whatever I had to if I didn’t have it out there. No, we had lots of groups out there. I still have groups out there. Right now I have three I know of that are coming, and maybe more. They use the cabin. It’s well used.

Denise: So, how did that work? You’d get up in the morning out there, come into town, work until 5:00 and then go back out?

Bea:  Cook supper out there. Oh yeah. And then, we’d be packing up to come in, and the snow would be flying and everything. (Laughter) So, by that time we had moved from that place, down to the far-side of the duplex here. After the children got married, I thought, we don’t need the big house any more, and so, we built the duplex, and moved over to the far side, first off. (Laughter)Of course, the grandchildren started arriving. And so, nothing was large enough anymore, so, then we built a house up on Dezell Drive. Which was a really nice house, it over looked the Nechako. And when Garvin was sick. I just didn’t feel like staying there by myself any more, because this was the part where my friends were. Down here. So I decided to come back down here. So then the people were out of this side, so we moved into here. But Garvin really never lived back here, because he was in the hospital and so on. No, I still like it except I can’t drive and I can’t get out there whenever I want to go. I really miss not being able to get in the car and go out to the lake. Cause I love. I love it out there.

Denise: Do you still have a lot of friends that live out there?

Bea: Well, yes, but mostly my friends from here come out.

Denise: Okay

Bea: You know, from town, they come out. There’s not many people, the Wests live close by, and then Ian Evans lives next door, then the Moffats are through the bush a bit. There’s a flat through there. No I have my friends come out from here. Come out for lunch, or coffee, or whatever, so I usually have lots of company. And then of course, when the grandchildren were growing up they were out there all, too, so, so that was good. And I think it was good for all the children too. Even Noreen and her group. Then the grandchildren. I think it was good to have some where like that to go. I think it’s a good way to raise children. I think it’s really wonderful to, and even Ross and Mike and Tammy, who were  the three oldest, they used to, of course it was all bush. They used to figure it was a jungle, and they’d be up in there, as little kids you know. Nowadays, you just don’t seem to let children do those things.

Denise: That’s true

Bea:  Now… then, they had the greatest time, and I have an old movie camera and they’d take that and make (Laughter) and make the silliest pictures you know. Of course the two youngest children Kathleen and Vicki. Now, Kathleen is Noreen’s youngest and Vicki is Cliff’s youngest. And they didn’t spend as much time out there as these three older ones. They are very close, because they had, and their cousins you see, there’s, like Tammy and Ross are Noreen’s [and Jim’s] and Mikeis Cliff and Sharon’s, so, they are very close even yet, cause they spent a lot of time together.

Denise: Yeah, that’s nice.

Bea:  That was a great place, and I still love it. I just, if I had some way I could get out there whenever I felt like going, you know. But it’s very difficult get out. Cause, when I was driving, I could just go for two hours, or whatever, just take a run out there and see how things are going, but when you don’t drive and you depend on somebody else it’s very difficult. That’s about all I can tell you about the cabin. I don’t know except I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s the best thing I ever bought.

Denise: Yeah, yeah, oh, that’s good, that’s good.

Bea:  Is this thing still on?

Denise: Oh yeah it’s on.

Bea:  I never know.

Denise: Yeah, tell me a little bit about the Good Cheer Club. You told me a little bit the other day, but

Bea:  Oh, yeah, well it was the first club that was I think started in Central. Before there was any Prince George, in 1922, and it was.

Denise: Where was Central?

Bea: Well, up where the bypass is now.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  That was Central. And there used to be a big water tower up there too. Somewhere where you go down to go to the bridge, but, there was no Prince George really, as such, in those days. It was just starting.

Denise: Okay

Bea: And but it started by this group of ladies, and they decided they would try and bring good cheer to, to whoever they thought needed it. And during the war, they sentpackages [hand made and knitted items] all the time, and of course, they had their constitution and their own rules, and things that had to be abided by. And, but, the minutes of that, of them, Um let’s see, I think they’re in the museum. And, it tells you, and oh, they’re most interesting. Anybody that wants to know anything about the Good Cheer. And there is a tape made by Floss Moffat, now that’s Harold Moffat’s mother.

Denise: Okay

Bea: It’s in the library.

Denise: Okay.

Bea:  She has set down most everything about it. And when person, they are limited to twenty people and if somebody moves away or dies, then you can invite another person to join, but they don’t take in more than twenty.

Denise: Okay

Bea: Except they have a few on the inactive list, the ones that are like say, in Simon Fraser, or something. Yeah. I don’t know, you could get most of the history from this, from all this here.

Denise: What are some of the things that you do in this Good Cheer Club?

Bea: Well, we have two garage sales a year, which, held at the Moose Hall. They’re quite large garage sales. We make seven or eight hundred dollars in that. And  then we have a raffle, so that makes around three hundred dollars I think. We donate our money, as much as we can, to the Salvation Army and the Child Development. We look after their library. To any, lots of other little things like Cancer, or most anything local, we donate money to. But we don’t make an awful lot of money, and so, we spread it out as best we can, but it has to be local.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So that’s what the aim of the Good Cheer is, anyway to bring cheer to anything local.

Denise: Okay, so do you meet once a month or?

Bea:  Yes, once a month we meet. And usually it’s at the people’s homes. Although, this past year or so, because I can’t get out very well in the winter, I have the meetings here. And whoever is the hostess brings the raffle for that night. And the one that then another person brings sandwiches, another one brings a cake. Then they looked after the lunch. I make the tea and coffee when it’s here, but if there’s a hostess and have it at their house, then they look after tea and coffee and pickles.

Denise: Okay

Bea: Then these other people bring the food, and whoever is the hostess that night brings the raffle for you. A house raffle.

Denise: What’s the house raffle?

Bea:  Well it can be anything. It has to only be something small, you know, we make, we sell three little tickets, numbers like for a quarter. And that money, we make about five or six dollars in that.

Denise: Okay, so everyone that comes buys a ticket.

Bea: Oh, yeah, you have to buy a ticket. (Laughter)

Denise: Okay

Bea:  So, no it’s ..

Denise: And then you raffle off homemade, something that someone has made, or..?

Bea: You can bring anything for the raffle. The last time, somebody who’s Joan Crow was the, supposed to be the hostess, but she was going to Kamloops, so we had the meeting here. And she brought a great big long sunflower. Sometimes it’s a bouquet of flowers, sometimes, it can be anything you want to give towards the raffle.

Denise: What are some of the things that you’ve brought for the raffle?

Bea: Well mostly jam or jelly.

Denise: Aha!

Bea: Because I make that.

Denise: Do you? What kind of jam do you make?

Bea: Anything, rhubarb, or grape, or mostly, like, I make lots of rhubarb jelly. I just, whatever’s going, I get and make it, whatever’s in. Blackberries, whatever I can get. Raspberries, I make lots of raspberry jam and I make raspberry jelly, and all that kind of stuff.

Denise: Mmmmm

Bea: So, that’s usually what I give when it’s my turn. So, and of course, I make the, have the Rhubarb wine made too.

Denise: Oh, do you?

Bea: Yes, I save all my rhubarb, all year.

Denise: Ohhh

Bea:  And then I have it taken over to the Hobby Brew. And the girls like that for a hostess [gift] (Laughter) too. So, when we have, like we’ll be having on the fifteenth the Good Cheer party, or barbeque at the lake. And, of course I make a punch and I have the rhubarb juice which I’ve put a bit of sugar with and then I put that in the punch bowl and pour ginger ale over it, so that’s the punch. But I also take some of my rhubarb wine out. Of course a lot of them like the wine too.

Denise: A little thimbleful.

Bea: Yes, yes, so, no, anything I can do I do. I always have, and then usually, in the Spring every ear, what I have left in jams and jellies and all that type of thing, I bring it up in a basket and just put it here on the table and let them help themselves. To what’s left. Because I like to start a fresh batch every ear. I don’t like it. And if I have too much left over, I just give it to the Salvation Army.

Denise: Oh, that’s nice.

Bea:  Start fresh, so, but, because I like the outdoors I guess is why I like to do all These things and collect up the, all the fruit I can. People give me crab apples, and, I take the juice, I’ve got a freezer full of juice right now, to start, in the, you know in about August, I guess. So I’ll make lots more stuff. And I bring over pulp from Hawaii of passion fruit. Get the passion fruit there and then freeze it. And then when it starts to freeze it for a bit, and then it’s easier to scoop, as it’s thawing, just scoop out the center.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  And so then I bring that over. And when I get home, I take and stew it up, and get the juice out of it. So I make passion fruit jelly too.

Denise: Oh, boy.

Bea: Yeah, so that’s a real treat.

Denise: That sounds like a REAL treat.

Bea:  Yeah it is. So,

Denise: So, I got, I got off track ‘cause I love jam and jellies, so, with the ladies in your meetings, are they, is it an organized meeting? Or is it…

Bea: Oh yes, there’s a president, and we keep minutes and the treasurer, the meeting, and it’s a very controlled meeting, more or less, you know. But it’s not long because we don’t do very much. And then of course, we have a real visit afterwards with our tea and coffee and our food. So, it’s, it’s, I just love it. I think they’re the greatest bunch of ladies. They seem to all get along so well. So friendly and I don’t know, just a great bunch.

Denise: Yeah, so the other day you told me, so, I want this on, I want this on, I want to talk about this a little bit. You don’t just, you don’t join.

Bea:  No, you don’t join. When a member moves away, or we have an opening then names are submitted and the persons’ names that are submitted, they are not asked to join or anything. They don’t even know their name is being submitted and the group vote on them. The one that, say we have space for two members. The two that get the highest vote are written a letter, and asked if they’d like to join. And most of them help us anyway at the rummage sales and stuff, and so, they know pretty well what we do. But it’s set out in there what we do. And then they’re asked if they want to join. And they can say they do or they don’t. And so, then they come to the meetings. But usually they have been to help us at something, that’s the ones who are usually asked. So, but they don’t know.

Denise: They don’t know until they’re invited.

Bea:  No, they are invited. So, so, I think that’s a very good deal, because it’s, I suppose sort of exclusive, and they don’t want a person asked, like this one here might ask this one, and someone, and somebody else might ask somebody else. Then you haven’t got room for all of them.

Denise: That’s right.

Bea: So, you just have to take in..

Denise: No hurt feelings.

Bea: No no, so anyway that’s the way we do it.

Denise: And what’s the age group? Who’s the sort of oldest member and who’s the youngest member?

Bea: I think I’m the oldest member, Ellen Adams is

Denise: How old are you?

Bea: Hm?

Denise: How old are you?

Bea:  I’m 95, I’ll be 96 in July. And Ellen is about 92, I think. And I think our youngest ones are probably in their 40’s.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  Yeah, we would like to get younger members, but most young people work nowadays, women. And so, most people that we have, we have, you know most are retired. But we have, I’d say 1,2,3, we have about 5 that still work.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  And so, when we have our barbeque, we have to wait till 5:00, or after, so that the workers can get out there. So, the rest of us are all getting toddled. (Laughter) So, Anne Hoyer is the president and she does a really good job. But, every two, I think it’s every two ears we have an election.

Denise: Okay, okay

Bea:  So, they’ll be a new president in another year I think.

Denise: Okay, okay

Bea:  So, but there’s not that much to do. Like Anne has quite a struggle with the rummage sale because, there’s so much stuff comes in, and she is the one that, with a helper, she sits, and all the dishes and everything else are brought to her. And she prices them. Now our, like T-shirts and jeans, and stuff like that, there’s one price, shoes, one price. So, but all this other, like plates and cups and there might be a radio, or could be any- thing. Anne has to sit there, look it over and price it. And so she has a big job.

Denise: And do you get the stuff from, just from the group?

Bea: Yes, mostly from our group and their friends. Like Noreen donates quite a bit at different times and so do my grandchildren. And you know, and Sharon gives me things. So, wherever we can get it. Anybody with stuff who knows about it, and they feel like they can. And there’s always quite a lot of books too. That we have. No it’s, I always enjoy it. I like it. I guess I don’t do as much work as I used to. (Laughter) But I always enjoy it. And I haven’t missed very many of them through the years. I haven’t been away for many of them. But we usually try and set up on Friday night, or Friday afternoon we go in there about 1:00 and start to set up. and then a lot of the stuff is brought in Friday. That’s if we can get the Moose Hall the night before. And then of course, the ones of us that can work, we go up and help set up Friday, and then the workers, the people that work, come in Friday night. And then we’re open at 9:00 on Saturday morning 9:00 to 1:00.

Denise: Okay, oh okay. So it’s 4 hours, so it must be busy.

Bea:  Yes, oh will we be busy, it’s like a swarm when you open the door. (Laughter) People come rushing in. Cause we try and have good stuff. We don’t try and put any junk out. This year we had a lot of things from Dorothy MacLean, who had to go into Simon Fraser, so we had a lot of stuff from her. And we made extra amount of money this. But that’s only a one time thing. Cause usually we only make around $700.00 dollars. And so that’s good enough. What we give away.

Denise: Oh yeah, it’s wonderful

Bea:  We usually buy one of those flower hanging baskets too. To donate to that.

Denise: Okay. Oh for the city, downtown.

Bea:  Yeah, yeah

Denise: Oh, they’re beautiful.

Bea: So, we try and help around town as much as we can. Different people apply at different times for help. You know, if we feel it’s good and it’s in the town we try, if we have the money. You’ll be able to see from the financial statements here. We usually spend a little more than we make.

Denise: Oh. (Laughter)

Bea:  So, we have to be very careful. (Laughter)

Denise: That’s nice of you. That’s cute.

Bea:  So, that’s about all I can tell you about it.

Denise: Sounds like a wonderful thing.

Bea:  It is. A lot of people think because good cheer, they think it has something to with booze. But it isn’t, It’s just that they started in Central and helped the school and did different things. And at one time we used to have a barbeque for Harwin, was it Harwin school. Which had a few retarded children.

Denise: Yep, yes

Bea:  We used to do that too, but for some reason or other, they don’t, I don’t think that they have the children there any more, do they?

Denise: No, I think the kids are mainstreamed now into all the schools. They don’t all go to one place anymore.

Bea:  Yeah, for some reason they don’t do that anymore. So.

Denise: Sounds like you’ve had some worthy causes that you’ve helped.

Bea: And like Mrs. Pooley, who was, like Mrs. Pooley and Mrs, like Floss Moffat, they were the older people, the originals, and Gertie Stevens and I think you’ll find most of them in here.

Denise: So, I’m just going to switch tracks completely now, and just - tell me one of your very favorite memories about Prince George. One two or ten of your favorite memories.

Bea: Will you turn that off for a minute?

Denise: Okay

Bea:  Oh yes everything, everything has been very important to me, my whole life, and, even when my sight started to go, you just have to learn to cope. And I helped a lot of other people with vision problems, and I know they get frustrated, but, you have to learn to, just make the best of it and if you have too change and do something different, you do.  I’d never let it really bother me. I’ve had to stop doing a lot of things that I like to do. I used to do lots of crafts and everything, and I would learn to play the organ and a few things like that. Then I stopped that. But I thought that if it gets so in the winter, I can’t get out too much—this winter I’m going to take up the computer. [Bea’s loss of sight is due to Macular Degeneration]

Denise: Oh good for you!

Bea: Yeah, and I have had a couple of lessons. I can get into it, and I can whack things out. (Laughter) But I have to, I really have to get in there, so, and I can type anyway, so I wouldn’t have that problem. I would like to, only be able to write letters and things like that. I don’t care about the Internet.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  But, now, I think they have computers for us vision impaired people, that our sight- or, you can talk to them. And I think they will come on, or do certain things, and they’ll read to you.

Denise: Yes

Bea: So, I have had a couple of lessons down at CNIB, but I’m going to do that in the fall. In the summer, I like to do other things. In the fall I’ll get a computer.

Denise: I was going to ask, when did you lose your sight?

Bea:  About fifteen years ago, around there I think. It’s been very gradual though. and I notice that, for a long time it was quite stable. I have quite a bit of Periphial vision, and I manage to get around. But the last while, I think it’s starting to go again.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  I guess there’s spasms when they..

Denise: Okay

Bea: You know, when sometimes it goes and sometimes it stays, more or less stable. And, but, you know, it’s made a, made changes in my life, but, I still do lots of things.

Denise: umhm umhm

Bea:  The only thing that’s slowing me down is this, my legs are not as good as they were. You know, to get around. I feel I like to go with people now, instead Of by myself.

Denise: Okay.

Bea:  I used to walk a lot by myself and everything, but, just don’t feel quite as, quite as good at doing that by myself anymore.

Denise: Okay. So are you involved with the CNIB then?

Bea:  Oh yes, oh yeah.

Denise: What, what, tell me about that.

Bea:  Well, if anybody wants to, I’ve got lots of equipment in this back room here that I use and that, and, I go down there. And of course, you know, people can come up here and see what I can do. And then I go down to the CNIB and, I don’t do volunteer work there, except to have people come up here.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  And look at what I’ve got, and how I manage. And it’s good for people that are just starting to loose their sight, to talk to somebody that is, you know, my sight is quite bad now, so, no I, like yesterday they had…. END OF TAPE

Denise: Okay, so

Bea: Yeah, there’s an open house at CNIB yesterday, and they had all the new technology. All, it’s just great what they’ve got now for, like would help students or people in the work force and that. They now have a, I’ve always said, you know, years ago, when I’d be going somewhere and traveling by myself, I’d say, “I’d love to have something that I could carry with me that would magnify things, so I could, you know, see, and get along by myself.” And now they have it.

Denise: Oh good

Bea: An eleven pound thing you can carry. They also have a tiny little thing, that you, it magnifies, it’s like a little screen, and it magnifies. Oh, all the new technology that fellow had yesterday, it was just wonderful.. It’s like a camera that picks up things. There, he has a big screen, and it can be either television, or you can switch it over to like, my machine out here, that magnifies everything, you put stuff underneath it, it magnifies it. Oh, it was so interesting, the stuff that he has. And now the talking books and all that for, especially good for students. They’ll, they’re on CD’s. They’re transferred to CD’s, and these CD’s that, if the student has a, like a class, and whatever they might want to find in this book, there’s something they can do on the outside of it that they can just find the page that it’s on. Oh, it’s just so great now, what they’re doing for these [visually] impaired people. Yeah, so, yeah, I was quite impressed yesterday. I really don’t need anything more than I’ve got, because, I don’t do those kinds of things. So I keep myself busy with what I’ve got. And, I have my typewriter which has a thing on it that magnifies and projects it onto a screen. And then, so, whatever I type is magnified onto the screen, so I can see what I’ve been typing. And then the big screen, it magnifies up to 45 times. And it has, this last one I’ve got, you see there’s one there, I use that for my recipes.  And the other one I had now is, for the first time for years, I can see snapshots. Under this I, you never, under this I couldn’t see snap shots.

Denise: Oh, oh, oh, okay

Bea: Cause they’re black and white. But this one, it shows up the snap shots, and I can almost see who the people are.

Denise: Oh, that’s nice, that’s nice. Yeah

Bea:  It’s really wonderful. I’ll have to show you all my equipment out there.

Denise: Yeah, yeah

Denise: So, I’ll just say, in Mrs. Dezell’s kitchen, there’s a television screen. And then, some kind of electrical thing underneath it, so, she slides recipe books in there.

Bea: You put your paper underneath, and it magnifies up on the screen.

Denise: Right.

Bea: But the new one they have out, is, this is just a magnifier. The new ones they have out, they can be a television too. You can switch them back and forth, so it can be television as well as this. It’s just amazing what they’re doing for us. And I’ve had so much help from the CNIB, and when my sight was first going, Alan MacCuaig was here, and they phoned me up, and they said, “what would you like to do? What do you feel you want to do now?” I said, “ I want to know how to get around on my own in the winter.” We’ll let it ring. Unless…

Denise: No, it’s okay, it’s all right.

Bea: And so, he came up and he walked me all over this town. He walked behind me, and then, and after, we’d go somewhere for coffee, or something.  And then he’d sit down and tell me what I should do better, or how I should you know. And like when I’d get to the corners, I can’t see the lights across the street or anything, and so, he said, “Well you know you can look back up here.

Denise: Oh yes, yes.

Bea: You don’t have to look across the street to see. All sorts of different things. And he said one day to me, he said, “I’m going to take you up and you’re going to walk across Central.” I says, “Oh no I’m not.” And he says, “Yes you are.” And so anyway, we walked all the way up fifth, and I hate going across Fifth, but he would make me go across the one side and then go up a bit further, and then I’d have to come back this way. Oh the traffic was just, He says, “You have to learn to go across.” So, anyway, we did, and we got To Central, and I thought, how can I with all this traffic. Anyway he was right behind me sort of. And anyway, I made it. And then he said one day “Where else would you like to go?” I said, “I’d like to be able to go across to the Dairy Queen, over here.” And he says, “Okay, we’ll go down.” And so, he says, “Hold out your cane first, and when the first car stops, then you go out in front of that car.” But he said, “Don’t go any further until the next one, you make sure the fellow in the next lane stops.” And you hold your cane out, and then you go on, you know. But he says, “Don’t ever walk out in front of a car.” “Once a car is stopped then that’s fine, then go on to the next one.” But he says, “When it’s two lanes, he says you have to wait until your sure that all lines of traffic have stopped.” So he taught me a lot. And there’s many other things that they have shown me down there too, and how to cope with things. They’re wonderful, just wonderful, what they do. As you know, the CNIB has such a large territory here. They go from Hundred Mile, to Whitehorse, to the Queen Charlottes. And all out in the country. They go to visit, quite often children that are out on farms and that. They have a big territory to cover. It’s, you know, for such a few people.

Denise: Not very many people work there.

Bea: No, no, and we don’t get very much funding at the present time. We used to get quite a bit of funding from the government, but now, we get about seven percent of your funding.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  So, it’s very difficult for them to, you know, get enough money to pay people to do this, this work.  Started out here, when my eyes first went, there was one, just they had one room down at the Professional Center, and, a man and a secretary and that was all. And then they’ve moved several times. And now they have about five or six employees. And, but most of them are away out of town all the time. Cause they have so much traveling to do. So it’s very difficult. But we have over three hundred people, vision impaired right in town here.

Denise: Is that right?

Bea: Yeah, and I think on the, whole, over the whole area around two thousand. in our White Cane club, we have forty seven members. Now that’s the fun part of the thing, pretty well. We have a business meeting once a month. And then we have lunches and table bowling and, oh we play crib, or some other kind of games.

Denise: Just a minute, what’s table bowling?

Bea: Well, that’s a long thing like a table, a long narrow thing, like a bowling alley.

Denise: Oh, okay.

Bea: And then we have the little, little, what do you call it?

Denise: The ball?

Bea: No, we have steelies for the balls.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  And then we have the pins, like…

Denise: Oh oh oh, okay.

Bea:  Yeah and it’s like five, five pin bowling. And you roll these up, you know. So, we have that. We have three tables of that. Then some of them go and play crib, and some play other things. We have some kind of another game there that I have never played. No, that’s kind of a fun thing. And for that we have, we have, like a barbeque out at the cabin. Then we have a Christmas party. The Salvation Army puts on the dinner for us. We have just had our 25th anniversary. We had a friendship tea at the Moose Hall.

Denise: Wow.

Bea:  Lots of people were invited. We had about seventy-five people.

Denise: My goodness.

Bea: We should have had more, you know. But, it was a lovely tea. The Moose Ladies put on the tea, and it was so well presented and everything. And, it was just lovely. And the dainty sandwiches and…

Denise: Yeah?

Bea:  Yeah. It was a real tea.

Denise: Oh I like that. I like that. So people in the White Cane Club, I’m assuming that they’re all visually impaired.

Bea:  Except we have a few volunteers.

Denise: Oh okay.

Bea: But they join, we pay $20 a year, $15 of that goes to National, we keep $5. but for that they get their lunch in a month, they get the Barbeque, they get the Christmas party. Sometimes we had a trip to Quesnel to visit the White Cane Club down there.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  So, we get a lot for our $5.

Denise: No kidding. (Laughter) Sounds like a good deal. And are they all, age group again. Like a varied age group that belong to the White Cane Club

Bea: Anybody can join.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: Anybody that’s visually impaired. And they, and like if you want to join and help us, anybody with good eyes, we accept them.

Denise: Oh okay, okay.

Bea: Yeah, and but we have to have drivers you see. So, we have, now like Sylvia Cooney is our treasurer. Doreen McFarland is our secretary. They’re all sighted people. Doreen McCrae is the one that puts on the lunches for us, that’s the Saint Giles ladies, and Ron McIvor is our president, but he’s visually impaired. I think our president  has to be visually impaired.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So, it’s a, if you’re visually impaired you get a lot of help and a lot of fun. (Laughter). So, you know, it’s a really fun thing.

Denise: Yeah. You’re a very positive woman, very positive woman. Yeah.

Bea:  Well, I enjoy life. And you know, I think too, I had such a great family. You know, I think that makes a difference. A lot of people, well, the family’s not here, their kind of on their own, and everything. And, I don’t know, my kids are so great no matter what.

Denise: Aah

Bea:  You know. Like Ross goes walking with me, every Tuesday, you know.

Denise: That’s your grandson?

Bea: That’s my grandson, that’s Noreen’s boy. So he goes walking with me and, he doesn’t seem to mind.

Denise: No, I bet he doesn’t mind at all.

Bea: (Laughter). And of course, I talk all the time anyway. But, you know he’s got two children and first we have to talk about John and Nicole, what they’re doing, and you know, so. Of course I don’t think he does much of the talking. I think it’s usually me.

Denise: That’s all right, that’s all right.

Bea: But we always do our mile at the track and then in the winter we do it at the Coliseum.

Denise: Yeah, that’s a nice service they have over there. It sounds like your life, when, you know, you’re telling me sort of separate incidents. But you seem to very connected to a lot of different communities in Prince George.

Bea: Yeah, yeah, well I worked hard at one time in the church, but I don’t do that any more. Also, I belong to the Royal Purple. I’ve had 55 years that I belong to them, but I don’t help them any more either. I just can’t do it anymore. But I still go to the odd meeting.

Denise: What does the Royal Purple do?

Bea: That’s the Ladies of the Elks.

Denise: Okay

Bea: And, well, they raise money as best they can and help others. And the Elks, of course, do the deaf detection for babies.

Denise: Okay

Bea:  Then they have, I think the liver, liver transplant or something. And like they have the May Days.

Denise: Okay

Bea: They just had the parade, the Elks and the Royal Purple. And we had they have a bazaar, and they do catering in order to raise their money. And they help with some of the, I think, Bingos, and things like that. But I haven’t been very active in it for quite a while. But I was, when, you know, when we first started. And we were in the old Elks Hall. I was very busy, helped all I could but now I just enjoy myself.

Denise: You just go to the parties.

Bea:  I just go to the parties. (Laughter)

Denise: Perfect, perfect. That must have been, in 55 years, in, that, you must have seen a lot of changes, or was it all sort of the same.

Bea: There’s a lot of changes now in the, like the ritual of the Royal Purple was beautiful at one time. Now it’s just like an ordinary meeting almost. although we do have a drill team, and they, you know, do their thing. And they do have the chair officers, and that kind of thing. But it’s more informal. It’s changed a lot. Since. But at one time there was passwords, very secretive.

Denise: Oh, so I was going to say, “Tell me the rituals.” But you can’t.

Bea: Yeah, you know, we have, and for, like our initiation. Oh, it was so beautiful. Now it’s so quick. (Laughter) You know, I think they’re trying to get away from. They want people to feel more easy.

Denise: Okay

Bea: Maybe, I don’t know. I loved it the other way.

Denise: Can you tell me a little bit about the initiation ceremony?

Bea:  Well, they take a person, from, like the drill team. Which is usually six people, or maybe eight. And they come up, and then they, then the Conductress takes the arm of the person that’s being initiated, brings it up to the first chair officer. And she goes through a lot of things and tells them all about it. Then they go on to the next one, and then the next one, and then they go to the Honoured Royal Lady. And, of course this is all done in candle light. And then from there, they’re taken back to their, usually back to their seat and then after that, there is, they call it the Pansy Ceremony, because the pansy is our flower. And the Chair Officers come up one at a time to the altar and take this chain that has pansies on it, and they sing different, there’s hymns that they sing. And then after that usually there’s, then they turn the lights on after that. And then they do a drill that usually spells out the letters OORP, [Order Of Royal Purple]or what ever, there’s differentkinds of drills. The ladies are all in long white dresses, and as they go around they make these letters, what ever drill it might be.

Denise: Okay. Oh it sounds beautiful.

Bea: Yeah, it is beautiful. And if somebody dies, they, she’s draping of the Charter. It’s just beautiful, just beautiful. And I said, “ I want my family invited to the ceremony. And I hope they get there when they’re draping the charter for me. Yeah, because it’s so lovely, the ceremony. But not many organizations, you know, everything is more casual now. They don’t seem to do a lot of this any more.

Denise: It sounds like there was a real sense of honour. And yeah.

Bea:  Oh yeah. I just love the ritual that we went through and everything. Yeah, but, times change, and they have to go along with what people want. And of course for a long time, we had to, of course, we wore white skirts and a blue, or purple blazer. And then they had a white pill box hat which was purple. Now I never could get one small enough to fit me. So, I bought them, I just gave them away, cause, I couldn’t, I couldn’t, they wouldn’t stay on my head. And, so now, they can wear slacks. We never could wear slacks, if somebody came in slacks, they were sent home. But now, they wear white slacks and a purple blazer. So, you know, they have to go along with the times I guess. It’s a great organization too, and it’s national of course. It’s all over Canada. We had the convention here, was it a year ago? The National Convention, and one of our ladies was the Supreme Honourable Lady that Year.

Denise: Oh. That would be national.

Bea:  She was the head of the national.

Denise: My goodness, my goodness.

Bea: Yeah, that’s Bev Uckart.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So, but they did a great job of the convention. So there’s a B.C. Elks, as well as the National. But they’re all getting smaller. They’re all…well you know we sold our building down on Sixth. And now we meet at The Legion.

Denise: Oh is that right?

Bea: Yeah, the Legion, in the basement of the Legion.

Denise: Okay

Bea: So, I don’t know what they’re going to do. If they’re going to buy another building or just, just keep on renting something.

Denise: Yeah

Bea: Yeah, but clubs are hard to get enough members now. People are so busy, young people are so busy. Both husband and wife nearly always work now. And so, it’s almost impossible to get people to do anything extra. You know, their lives are so full of working, and their children. And you know, cause they have to get up, get the children off to play school, or, some kind of school, or something, what ever, and, so, you know. It’s…

Denise: You worked, though, the whole time

Bea: I did, I did, but I worked in our own place so I could take off. Cause my Brownies at that time, that I was working. But I could take off in the afternoon and. It made it easy. I don’t know what I’d do if I had a, if I’d a had a 8 to 5 job.

Denise: Right

Bea: But I made sure that, at least I hope Noreen wasn’t neglected. And of course Cliff was away, so was taking care of himself. And, but I  can see mothers that are working, and if they have an 8 to 5 job or something, you know they need to spend as much time as they can with their family. Children are important.

Denise: Yes, yeah.

Bea:  Yeah, that’s what I say, I have a great family. You know the grandchildren are so good to me, oh goodness, it’s just. And I think of these other people sometimes that, you know, haven’t got anybody around close. Like a lot of people up in the Seniors Homes. You know, it must be tough. Yeah, not to have some family around. Cause, there’s a picture on the wall when we were out at Tabor Lake.

Denise: Oh, the boat.

Bea: The boat… that was one of my birthdays.

Denise: Oh that’s recent. Is that recent?

Bea:  Yeah, it’s fairly recent, a couple of years ago.

Denise: Oh boy!

Bea:  Yeah, last year was 95, so we had my birthday party up at Noreens’s.  Open House. Anybody could come. (Laughter) [Over 100 people attended]

Denise: Oh boy (Laughter)

Bea: But I don’t get another big bash till I’m 100. This year will just be the family, I think, they’ll come up, and not until about the middle of July.

Denise: When is your birthday?

Bea:  July the seventh. I’ll be 96, should I make it.

Denise: Well you look fabulous. You look fabulous.

Bea: I feel good too. For a few days last week I was all cold and shivery.  And I said, I think I’m coming down with something, but I didn’t.

Denise: Good, good.

Bea:  But I think it was just the change in the weather.

Denise: Yeah, I was cold and shivery too.

Bea:  Yeah, it was miserable so. Yeah those are all family pictures there. My mom and dad.

Denise: That’s your mom and dad. And is that is that who’s that up there? Jack and

Bea: Which one is it? The next one or the top one?

Denise: The top one. Actually it says Jack and Jean.

Bea: Oh that’s my sister, my sister and her husband.

Denise: Do you have a picture of you and your husband?

Bea: Is there one up there?

Denise: Is it in the middle?

Bea: I can’t see them.

Denise: Oh yeah, yeah. It’s all right.

Bea: I think I have one in a book when the kids were little. I can probably find it for you ,or you can find it. I’ve got this stuff mostly in albums, but, there’s Noreen and Cliff and. Noreen and Cliff when they were little, the two of them.  So.

Denise: Neat.

Bea: Yeah, grandchildren and. There’s a bunch of us when we all get together, whenwe’re walking for the Cancer thing the other day. [Relay For Life] I was walking with Shawna’s group. Now that’s Ross’s wife. And there was 10 of us walking together, and we’re all family.

Denise: Yeah yeah.

Bea: So, we walked, well I walked, let’s see, a mile and a half.

Denise: Good.

Bea:  And the rest of them kept going and going and going. (Chuckle) But, they were counting the laps or something. I don’t know that cancer thing. I’m not sure how they work that.

Denise: Okay, oh yeah, yeah. That’s neat.

Bea:  I did my mile and a half and they kept going. I quit. (Laughter)

Denise: That’s okay I think, I think that’s all right.

Bea: Yeah, I always do a mile when Ross and I walk. And sometimes if we have time, if he comes early enough. We have to be downtown for lunch. And Noreen quite often comes for lunch with us. Kathleen usually comes to lunch with us. If Ross doesn’t get here ‘till 11:30, well sometimes we only do the mile.

Denise: Okay.

Bea:  If he comes earlier, well then we get to get a little bit more in.

Denise: Okay

Bea: But a mile is about enough for me. My legs are getting too wobbly, by the time I do a mile. I slow down. Sometimes I go, just walk by myself with the cane.  I don’t hold on to Ross, but after about two laps, I feel I like to hold on to his arm. Yeah, so, and I’m getting more apprehensive about going out by myself.I used to go everywhere by myself. I still go up to the Phoenix [Medical Building] though, I don’t mind that. But I sort of, I don’t know what it is about going downtown.

Denise: Yeah

Bea: Yeah. I don’t know. But, anyway, it’s just…

Denise: Yeah, it’s busy, busy, lots of traffic.

Bea: Yeah, yeah. I guess it’s, yeah I guess it is. And people, you know. And although people should know, when I have the white cane, but people don’t know. You know, they don’t realize that you’re vision impaired.

Denise: Right, right.

Bea:  But, anyway, that’s the way it is, so.

Denise: Well that’s been a wonderful story. I think this is going to, snap off again in a minute.

Bea: Yeah, I’ll show you what I have in the back.

Denise: Okay

Bea: How I make out and.

Denise: Yeah, sounds great. So, I’m going to turn this off. I just wanted to say thank you before I do.

Bea:  Oh well, I hope you’ve got what you wanted.

Denise: I got what I..

Bea: But you know, I (Chuckle) you know, me, just go on and on forever.

Denise: Very enjoyable, thank you very much. END OF TAPE

Denise: Hi, today is July the 8th and I’m back to talk to Bea because I wanted to ask her some questions about a couple of things that she mentioned in the transcription that I didn’t follow up on the day I was with her. So, I‘m back. I’m going to put the tape to the other side now because it’s almost out and I we’ll start another conversation.

Denise: So, in your transcription you talked a little about the Girl Guides and the Brownies. I wondering if you can tell me how you got involved in that?

Bea: Well, when I first came to Prince George, which was in 1946, Noreen was six about that time. And one day we were walking downtown and here there was a group of Brownies out in a yard on 3rd, right close to Northern Hardware, just over from the street. And so, we stopped to watch. And I knew the lady She had, the leader, [Brown Owl] she had been in Quesnel and I knew her there. And so, anyway, we stopped to watch the little girls dance around and do their thing. And so, on we went downtown. And the next day, who should come to see but Margaret Langford, the leader. And she asked if I would come and help. And I thought, well, sure, I had nothing much else to do with my time, so I thought that would be fine, I’d go. And so, it wasn’t very long before she left and went and took over a Guide company, so she asked me if I’d take over the Brownie Pack. So that’s, I had to be then, the Brown Owl of the Third Fort George Brownie Pack. And from then on in, we did all sorts of things together. We used to go camping, but that would be with the Guides. Brownies are not allowed to camp with canvas, they have to camp in a building. And so, there was a camp site at Nukko Lake that the Allens had given to the Guides. The first, my first experience out there with Margaret. We had taken a stove and I, I can’t remember how big the stove was, it couldn’t have been too big, but it seemed to me it was. (Laughter) We had to put ropes on it and slide it down to the beach. And we had to also cut our own tent poles.

Denise: That was just you and Margaret?

Bea: Just Margaret and, got them ready for the girls to carve. And so we had Guides at that camp. And then as the years went on, of course, I would go out quite often with Alma Smart. She was the Brownie leader at that time and she, she would take the camp. But I always went to help her. And so one time, we had Belsham’s old house out at Nukko Lake, where we took our Brownies. And it was so funny, it rained and rained and rained and the girls, they had the greatest time because this old house, the paper was all starting to get loose on the walls. And they were poking the (Laughter) the thing and letting the water run through. Anyway, somebody felt so sorry for us, having to camp like we did. But we really had a lot of fun. Really; and the kids were good too.

Denise: (Laughter) Yeah.

Bea: Another time we used Sons of Norway Hall at Tabor Lake and that time had camp cots that we had borrowed from the Forestry, I think. And well, the little girls, they found out that they could, if they laid on the edge of them, they could tip them over. All night long they were tipping these things over. (Laughter) I finally went to sleep, I don’t know what happened, but I don’t think Alma got very much sleep. (Laughter)

Denise: (Laughter)

Bea: But anyway, it was always a fun thing. And then we decided that, at least the Guide company and Guiders, decided we would like to start another camp.  And so Kay Yardley was the Division Commissioner at that time, and her and Marie Glacier, they went out and found a spot at Ispa Lake. And it was off the Buckhorn, quite a little ways out. I guess they walked all around this lake finding the best spot and somehow they got permission from the government. And so, I wasn’t too involved in that except our company was. We hauled all the stuff out for them, the material and that.

Denise: I’m sorry, your company meaning the construction company?

Bea: Yeah.

Denise: Oh, okay.

Bea: Dezell Construction. They, we used the truck. My brother drove the truck and we’d take out material that Marie Glazier and other people had scrounged from the mill people and that. We did get a grant of money from the government to pay the wages of the carpenters to build the cabin there. That is still there, it is still well used and they, through the years, they finally got three nice camp sites cleared for tents for the Guides.

Denise: Oh good.

Bea: But if the Brownies go out there, the Brownies must use the cabin.

Denise: Right.

Bea: And so, that was, oh through the years, and I finally gave up the Brown Owl and I was the District Commissioner for a while. And then I took over the books as far as, like treasurer for, and we had quite a few different. We had, like our district, we had division and, there must have been five different accounts, I guess.

Denise: Oh.

Bea: That I looked after. And, we took donations if, like somebody would come to town and they wanted to donate to something. Like the opening of McDonald’s, I think, and they asked me where I wanted it, so I said, “I’d like it to be donated to the Brownies.”

Denise: Right, yeah.

Bea: So that’s about the way I got involved.

Denise: Okay but, what was it, what did the District Commissioner do? You said that you were the District Commissioner?

Bea:  Commissioner, yes, you had to be appointed. There’s, you see, the Guides would, the Guiders would have about three different Guide companies in a district. And then, there were probably about three, as the Guides expanded, there got to be about three districts here, and then of course, there was a Commissioner for each one. And then, also, there’s a division. And it took in the whole area, you see.

Denise: Oh okay.

Bea: So, then there was a Division Commissioner, so that’s how we sort of… And we would go to, the Commissioners would go to different events, like the Brownies or the Guides were putting on in their companies, or packs, and maybe give out certificates, or give out badges or something, or just make a little speech or whatever. And so, so that went on for years and years until I finally go so I just thought that it was time somebody else took over. You know, you get older and you need new blood in things. And so, but through the years I really enjoyed it all, really.

Denise: So when you first started in Brownies, as a Brown Owl, how many Brownie packs were there in Prince George?

Bea: Just three.

Denise: Just three, yeah.

Bea: Just three of us.

Denise: Yeah, and at the end, when you finished?

Bea: Oh, gosh, I don’t know. Nearly every school, it seemed to me had a Brownie pack. There was quite a few. I don’t know for sure how many we had. There was lots of them. And they all met then in the schools. When, oh, I must tell you too, when we first, when I first was Brown Owl, we met down in an empty building between Winnipeg and Vancouver Street, I think. It belonged to Burden’s. And there was a big stove in there, like a, they call it a barrel. And in the winter, we had to haul down our own wood. I used to haul it down on the sleigh, to get the fire going to warm the building up so we could have our meeting. And then, I guess, at the time when the town started to go, they sold the building, so then moved over into an army building over close to where the library was, which was just north of Brunswick. And we met there for a while.  Then after that the City built a library at the corner of 4th and Brunswick, which is now the Senior’s Club.

Denise: Yeah.

Bea: And we met downstairs, down in the basement there. And then, the City needed that eventually. And we, they built a place behind the City Hall, which is still there, that we could use and that’s what we were using when I quit.

Denise: Oh, okay.

Bea: So, and now they all meet at different schools.

Denise: Right.

Bea: In the auditoriums.

Denise: Then you met with the Brownies in those buildings, or with the Brown Owls, like the

Bea: Yeah, no we had our meetings there, the Brownie meetings.

Denise: Oh, okay.

Bea: Yeah.

Denise: That’s quite a bit of dedication to haul your wood to the (Laughter)

Bea: (Laughter) Oh yes, on the sleigh, and of course Noreen was, always came with me too. And I remember Leslie Maxwell too, that’s Doctor Maxwell’s wife, and, and she had a Guide company that met there too. And I think she hauled wood there too, to light the fire, and warm the building up so, you know. Everything was kind of primitive along the way along.

Denise: Yeah.

Bea: Yeah. So that’s about, I think about all I can tell you, how I was involved in, you know, we used to go to Conventions in Vancouver.

Denise: Oh.

Bea: In New Westminster too. And we’d meet other Guiders and, from all over B.C. Very interesting.

Denise: Yeah.

Bea: And a lot of fun. I loved the girls and I still get letters from some of them.

Denise: Do you, yeah, yeah.

Bea: Of the Brownies, yeah.

Denise: How old are you when you start Brownies, at what, eight?

Bea:  In those days, you were, Brownies could start at about five, and then they’d go to ten and then they’d go to Guides. But then they raised the rates, the age to about, I think it was from six to ten. I don’t know what it is now. I think they have something in between there too as well.

Denise: Okay, yeah.

Bea: I don’t seem to have very much to do with them, although at my birthday party last year, there was two or three of the old Guiders, the ones that I knew.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: Came to my party, so!

Denise: Okay.

Bea: So, a few of us are still around.

Denise: Yeah, so when you say Guiders, you mean the kids that were in your pack, right?

Bea: No. A Guider is a leader.

Denise: Okay, oh, okay. Okay.

Bea: That’s what you call a leader, is a Guider.

Denise: Okay. I’m still, at the very beginning of this conversation you talked about you and your friend hauling a stove down to the beach. (Laughter) I just can’t envision that.

Bea: The stove, yeah. Well, we put a rope around it and we held on, either of us held on to, you know, the sides, and just slid it down. I thought it was a big stove, But I guess it wasn’t or we wouldn’t have been able to do it. (Laughter)

Denise: That’s hilarious.

Bea: Yeah, but we had to have something to cook on, down at the beach. And of course in those days it was right out in the open on the beach, rain or shine. You cook out there. Of course, after we got Ispa, why they could cook indoors.

Denise: Right.

Bea: There’s a nice building there now. (Chuckle) But it was all kinds of kooky things happen when you’re out with a bunch of girls.

Denise: Yeah. How many, how many kids would come out to the camp?

Bea: The Brownies, we would have, it says we could have six Brownies, but, each six had to have a leader.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: And so usually about four leaders, we always had a cook. And quite often a nurse and also somebody would come through the day, most times, and to entertain, or, you know, sing or have a guitar and entertain the children, or Lead them in a singsong, or whatever. At night we’d have bonfire and, I can hear the, one thing we’d always have warm apple juice with a cinnamon stick in it.

Denise: Oh okay.

Bea: So, we’d sit around the bonfire and..

Denise: It would take a lot to organize all of that?

Bea: Well, I don’t know, it just, the leader would get it all, like, Margaret Langford, if it was with Guides. The cook had to arrange her own, herself, and but, the leaders themselves, like Margaret herself would have to arrange all the things we were going to do; all the hikes we going on and so on. It was the same when I went with Alma for the Brownies. She looked after that end of it, well we sort of got together beforehand and decided what we’d do. And then after that, why, you know the cook would take care of things and the little girls had to, had their dishes, like they had a knife and a fork and a dish and a cup, they had it in a mesh bag. They had to take care of that and hang it up. That was their contribution, they had to do that, had to wash it and look after it.

Denise: Right. One of, I’ve, one of the plaques on your wall, one of your awards, I think says 1976. So were involved in the Guides for thirty years, Brownies and Guides for

Bea: Oh, I would think so.

Denise: Yeah.

Bea: Mostly the last few years was just keeping the books, being treasurer and doing that. And just going to the meetings, but I, after I got to be a Commissioner, I didn’t have a Brownie Pack or a Guide Company after that.

Denise: Okay, okay, yeah.

Bea: But I enjoyed, I enjoyed the little girls. They’re all so cute and. And I was, and When we were at camp, as long as the parents didn’t come out they were fine.  If the parents would come out and then some of them would be very homesick.

Denise: Ohh, yeah, yeah.

Bea: Yeah. They’d want to go back home with their mom. (Laughter) So, but, as Long as they were there by ourselves, they were fine. So that’s my, contribution to, to the Guides and Brownies.

Denise: Yeah, Mrs. Dezell, was it all volunteer?

Bea: Yes, oh yes.

Denise: And how much, odd question, but how much time a week or a month do you think that you devoted to..?

Bea: Well, before, when I had the Brownie pack, before the meeting, I would say, to get everything ready for the meeting and, I would say it would take about half a day, you know, off and on through the week, planning what I was going to do. And of course, different things would come up, like Maiden Pole Day and that, so we always had something special, and Thinking Day so we have to arrange something. Have a bit of a special. And then every once in a while the girls, of course, would have, the ones that were working for their badges, we would have tea and toast and invite the mothers. That’s one of the things they’d have to do for a badge and they had to use an old fashioned toaster that flipped over.

Denise: Oh yes.

Bea: You couldn’t use the kind that popped up.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: So, and they have to learn how to make tea properly and serve it to their mothers. No, I, I felt that getting ready for the meeting was very important. And another thing, the kids would arrive, the girls would arrive at different times from school, so I always tried to have a game or something going, and so as they came in, they could all just gradually work into the game. Mostly a singing game, so that when they were all there. Then we’d start properly with the Fairy ring, and each little group had a little sing song they did them- selves and so on. But until they all got there, to keep, (Laughter) to keep them quiet, more or less, and I just tried to keep them busy.

Denise: Yeah. So, what is Thinking Day?

Bea: Thinking Day is the day that we think of Brownies and Guides all over the world. And we always had to have some special deal to think of the Brownies in different countries and. Sometimes we’d talk about the girls In Mexico and sometimes about the Guides and the building in Switzerland. And different places, you know, and lots of our Guides would get trips to these different places, like to Mexico, to the Cabana and to the place in Switzerland. When I was in Europe, I took a tour up to the Guides chalet in Switzerland and had a look around.

Denise: I didn’t know there were Guides in Switzerland or Mexico.

Bea: All over the world, yes, yes, oh yeah. So, and I, I never did get to Mexico. Though, but… Then we would have Jamborees in Canada, you know, for Brownies and Guides in, all over the world.

Denise: They’d come to Prince George?

Bea: No, they never came here. The B.C. ones would get together here once in a while, out at West Lake at Camp Hughes.

Denise: Okay, umhm.

Bea: But, no, not the, I don’t think that we ever had a worldwide Jamboree here, I think that was mostly like Toronto or Vancouver. So that’s about it, I think.

Denise: And you said, was it a May Pole Day or, what did you, you had two special days. One was the Thinking Day?

Bea: Thinking Day and Lord Baden Powell. He, he was the one that started the Boy Scouts.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: And then he, then his wife started the Girl Guides. And so they had a day, twenty-second of February, I think it is. And we always had the church parade and the big deal where everybody would take part in it here, all the Guides, Brownies, Scouts and

Denise: Okay.

Bea: Here in town, and so, yeah, all on one day and we were celebrating that.

Denise: Right.

Bea: You know, everybody would go, different groups would go to different churches.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: And then usually they would have a candlelight, some kind of a candlelight parade or service at night, when everybody, it would all take place.

Denise: Oh and all the Brownies and, oh, that must have been really neat for those kids.

Bea: Oh, it was. And it was a good thing that, that, that they got to know about all the other countries that had Brownies and Guides and Scouts and, so, yeah.

Denise: Yeah.

Bea: It was, it was a good movement, and lots of things that the girls had to work for. You know, especially the Guides, there was some tough things they had to pass to get, you know, for their camping and get their Gold Chords, which was the highest at that time.

Denise: Okay.

Bea: And they got Gold Chords to hang on (Chuckle). So yeah, so.

Denise: I just wanted to know, did you see any changes in the programs of Brownies and Guides in the thirty years that you belonged, or did stay the same?

Bea: It stayed, all the time I was there, it was the same. I don’t know what’s happened now. But they had quite strict rules and they worked for their different badges and camping all this type of thing. I don’t think the girls have to go through so much primitive stuff anymore, because as time goes on, everything is made easier in this world, and easier to do. But they still have the same things they have to work at, and as far as I know. I haven’t had much to do with them at all.

Denise: Yeah, what’s an example of a primitive?

Bea: Well, you see, to, for the camping, it was, now I imagine that if they’re on some kind of a camping trip or something, it would be easier to do. Rather than before. You know, especially if they went around the Bowron Lakes, they had to pack their own canoes and, you know, portage and all that kind of stuff. which now, I think maybe they would make it easier for them because, yeah. I don’t think anything is as difficult as it used to be. (Laughter) Like us pushing a stove down the (Laughter). Now they wouldn’t bother with that, but and cut our own tent poles, you see. So, you wouldn’t have to do that now Because if the girls, like go, like getting a camping badge, going around the Bowron, they would have their tents with the poles already, so things are a little different.

Denise: Yeah. Yeah. Did you have your favorite badge that you like to teach or?

Bea: May favorite what?

Denise: Your favorite badge, was there a favorite, sort of task that you liked?

Bea: Oh I just liked the girls to, of course I liked them to look at their gardening And work at their gardening and their, having their mothers for their tea and toast badge and that. That was more my thing than a lot of the other. The badges were never too difficult for the Brownies though. When you got into Guides though, they, you really have to do a lot of work and especially the nature part of it.

Denise: Okay, survival sort of stuff.

Bea: Yes, yeah, yeah. So, no, I, of course, and I hadn’t had anything to do with them for so long, so I don’t know what changes are there now.

Denise: Yeah, yeah, okay.

Bea: I think that’s about it.

Denise: I just wanted to, I just wanted to ask you about the Guides and Brownies because I knew it was a big part of your life.

Bea: Oh, it was, for a long time. And that’s once a week meetings you know, besides meetings with the Guiders, which are the leaders.

Denise: Yes.

Bea: So, it was a lot of my life. And then we’d go to conventions too, so that always took up some time.

Denise: Umhm. Yeah. Pleasant memories?

Bea: Oh yes. Lots of fun. (Laughter) Lots of fun. Lots of funny things too, well, kind of, for the girls maybe, you know, they’d get a leech on them or something when we were camping and then they’d be screaming and hollering and then going down. And then you’d have to get the salt-shaker and get the leech off. And then of course, they’d come in to the hall, proudly with a snake of something. (Laughter) Oh yeah. It was a lot of fun.

Denise: (Laughter) Oh, that’s good.

Bea: So, and you had to never, never show that you were frightened about anything, you know.

Denise: Right.

Bea: You couldn’t let them know that, they were hoping you’d be squealing and hollering. (Laughter)

Denise: Oh, that’s nice.

Bea:  So, yeah, I have very pleasant memories so that, that it all. I still like the outdoors, that’s my thing.

Denise: Yeah?

Bea: Yeah, I just don’t get enough of it now.

Denise: That’s right, yeah.

Bea: I could be outside all the time. I’ve even, at different times, planted my garden in the rain.

Denise: Yeah?

Bea: It just doesn’t matter to me. But now I don’t do the same, slowed down and so.

Denise: Well, you know, not, it’s my impression that you haven’t really slowed down all that much. (Laughter)

Bea: (Laughter) Well, I do what I can. I still do. And, I love my garden, I love my garden at the lake, that’s what I was going to do today, had it not rained, was go out and thin the beets out, and, you know, so. And pull the rhubarb so I can make my, get my rhubarb all saved for my rhubarb wine. But when it rains, well it’s not as easy out there.

Denise: Yeah, right, yeah.

Bea: Of course I grew up on a small farm, so I’m, I like it, I love it outside, outside Never bothered me, walking and all that stuff. I enjoy doing that, so.

Denise: Part of your life.

Bea: Yeah it is, it’s part of my life. I never get bored, I always find something, always weeds in the garden or something. Lots of things to do so. And you know, and Then there’s vegetables to, to pull up and give away, because I can’t use them all. But, everybody seems to enjoy getting a few vegetables once in a while.

Denise: Garden fresh.

Bea: That’s right, and it tastes so good.

Denise: Yeah, yeah.

Bea: Yeah. So.

Denise: This is going to click. I just want to say before it’s done, Happy Birthday!

Bea: Oh, thank you.

Denise: It was Mrs. Dezell’s, how old?

Bea: Ninety-six.

Denise: Ninety-sixth birthday yesterday. So.