Interview of Angie Prudente

Angie Prudente being interviewed by Carol Johnson in the presence of daughters Eva Carr and Rose Koeler at Parkside, April 21, 1987. Mrs. Prudente was born on September 8, 1897 to Joe and Rose Rizzuto in Mongone, Italy near Cosenza. She came to Canada in 1919 in her early twenties with an aunt. She married her husband George in 1919 and had five children, Flora born in 1919, Rose born in 1921, Steve born in 1923, Mike, birthdate unknown, died at the age of seven from pneumonia and Eva born in 1934.

Johnson: Where did you come from?

Prudente: Southern Italy.

Johnson: Do you know the name of the village where you were born?

Prudente: Mongone

Johnson: When were you born?

Prudente: 1897

Johnson: Do you know your birthdate?

Prudente: September 8th

Johnson: What's your dad's name?

Prudente: My mother was Rose and my father was Joe.

Prudente: My dad came three or four times to Canada.

Johnson: When did you come to Canada? .

Prudente: 1919

Johnson: Did you come to Prince George?

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: Who did your father work for?

Prudente: He was a lumberjack.

Johnson: Your father. Did he come to Canada?

Prudente: No. He remained in Italy.

Eva: She's getting mixed up with her father and my father. Mom, your dad, did he ever come to Canada at all?

Prudente: Yes.

Eva: That's our dad she's talking about.

Johnson: Your husband. What was your husband's name?

Prudente: George

Eva: Mom your mom and dad. They never came to Canada did they?

Prudente: No.

Johnson: Did your father ever come to Canada?

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: Did he live here?

Prudente: No they stayed in Italy.

Johnson: You married George?

Prudente: George Prudente.

Johnson: Were you married when you came over here?

Prudente: I was single. I married him over here.

Johnson: You married him over here. Did you know him when you were in Italy?

Prudente: I don't know.

Johnson: You came over here as a single girl.

Prudente: I came over with an aunt of mine.

Johnson: With an aunt.

Eva: That's Gabriel.

Prudente: I met him over here.

Johnson: You were in your twenties when you came over.

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: Why did you come over? Why did you come to Canada?

Prudente: Change of country. There were hard times in Italy.

Johnson: No jobs for ladies.

Prudente: No jobs. We worked for ten cents a day.

Johnson: What did you do when you came to Canada?

Prudente: nothing. I got married after one month.

Johnson: Then you started to work like a horse.

Prudente: When I married him, he was a section foreman.

Johnson: For the CNR.

Prudente: CNR

Johnson: How did you meet your husband so fast?

Prudente: He says, "Do you want a guy t o marry you?" My uncle said that ,

Johnson: Your uncle found George for you.

Prudente: I said “Why not tell that guy to come over here?" When I say that, he says I am.

Johnson: Your uncle brought George.

Eva: I think she's saying that's what George said to her himself.

Johnson: Is that what George said to you?

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: Was he a friend of your uncle?

Prudente: Yes

Eva: Her uncle and aunt were the ones that had the London Rooms, the Gabriels.

Johnson: Gabriels, right. That would be Eugene.

Eva: What was old Mrs. Gabriel's first name, Mom?

Prudente: Teresa Sarafella

Eva: What was her husband's name?

Prudente: Nick

Johnson: Where did you get married? In Prince George?

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: In a church

Prudente: In the Catholic Church, Father Kokoloa.

Johnson: You were married in 1919. Did you have a big wedding?

Prudente: There was nobody here. Everybody was in Italy. I never had one present in my life.

Eva: Not one present when you got married.

Prudente: No

Johnson: That's terrible. Italian weddings are lots of presents.

Prudente: They drank lots of beer and lots of whiskey.

Johnson: Lots of beer, lots of whiskey but no presents. Did you miss your family when you got married?

Prudente: Kind of.

Johnson: They were all in Italy and they couldn't come for your wedding.

Prudente: No, we didn't have a wedding. We had something to eat and drink.

Johnson: Did you have a honeymoon?

Prudente: We stayed in the Prince George Hotel.

Johnson: What was the Prince George Hotel like? How many rooms did it have?

Prudente: The same.

Johnson: Not that big. Its quite big now.

Eva: The outside is the same.

Johnson: Was it that big then?

Eva: No

Prudente: It was the biggest hotel in town.

Johnson: It was the only one, wasn't it?

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: When did you get your own house?

Prudente: My house.

Johnson: When did you move from the hotel? Where did you go from the hotel?

Prudente: In a trailer.

Eva: On the line.

Johnson: You were living in the bush when your husband was working on the railway. How long did you do that?

Prudente: I stayed five years.

Johnson: Five years in a little trailer.

Prudente: In the station.

Johnson: Right in the station.

Eva: He was section foreman so they would have a place to stay. Where were these places?

Prudente: Hansard

Johnson: Did you live at Giscome?

Eva:  Did you stay at Willow River, Mom?

Prudente: Yes, five times,

Johnson: Giscome

Prudente: Three times

Eva: Willow River

Johnson: You moved a lot. When you came off the Stations, where did you live? Where did you move to when you got off the trains?

Prudente: In Prince George

Johnson: Where did you live there?

Prudente: One week.

Johnson: You didn't stay in Prince George very long?

Prudente: A month

Johnson: When did you come back to Prince George to live?

Prudente: My uncle gave me a room in a house.

Johnson: In a rooming house you lived.

Prudente: My uncle built me a house.

Eva: Are you talking about the hotel?

Prudente: Europe Hotel

Johnson: Built the Europe Hotel and you lived there in the hotel. That was your business. You looked after the Europe Hotel.

Prudente: I worked and everything in the hotel. Made beds and laundry.

Johnson: Did the laundry? Did the dishes?

Prudente: Yes. At that time there was no washing machine, nothing like that.

Johnson: Did you use the wash board?

Prudente: Yes. It was small but I washed baby clothes and diapers.

Johnson: When did you start having a family?

Prudente: After one month.

Johnson: When? I'm sorry. I didn't understand.

Eva: After one month she got pregnant.

Johnson: Who was your first baby?

Prudente: Flora, in 1919.

Johnson: What month did

Prudente: December

Johnson: Who was after Flora?

Prudente: Rose, in 1920._

Johnson: Then who?

Prudente: The boy, Mike.

Eva: When was Mike born Mom, do you remember?

Prudente: October

Johnson: Who came after Mike?

Prudente: Steve, two boys and two girls.

Eva: What about me?

Johnson: You just happened along.

Eva: I was much later.

Prudente: Two boys and two girls and then Eva.

Eva: Rose will be able to help us with the dates maybe. For me, 1934.

Johnson: Steve was probably 1921 but we'll check with Rose.

Eva: Flora, deceased; Steve, deceased; Mike, deceased.

Johnson: Do you know what years?

Eva: Flora died in 1966. Steve died in 1966. Mike was only seven when he died.

Johnson: Did your children go to school from the hotel? Where was the school for your children? Do you know where the school was?

Eva: Where was the school Mom?

Johnson: Did you go to K.G.V.?

Rose: Yes.

Johnson: Wasn't there another annex called Baron Byng?

Rose: Yes, that was a high school. The first school we went to was the Millar Edition up on Queensway. It's not there now.

Johnson: From the hotel, you went all the way up there!

Rose: To school. That's when we had winters.

Eva: Mom, when did you move into the house on Fourth Avenue? When did you move out of the hotel into the big house?

Rose: We were going to K.G.V. then. We went to Miller Edition on Queensway from the hotel until we were about grade four.

Johnson: Then when you moved to the other house on Fourth Avenue, you went to K.G.V..

Rose: From there to Baron Byng. That was Fourth Avenue, right where the Village Pandora is now. In fact, the Village Pandora was our living room.

Johnson: Do you remember when you moved to the house on Fourth  Avenue?

Prudente: I don't remember.

Johnson: Were you happy to move into a house?

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: And get away from doing all the hotel work.

Prudente: I still did it.

Johnson: You still did it. You just didn't live there. You didn't have the noise at night.

Rose: By that time, we did the work.

Johnson: Home from school and over to the hotel.

Rose: Doing the laundry. There were no laundries to start with. We had an ironer and washing machine. All the clotheslines strung at the back (couldn't hear what she was saying) We always did all the laundry, folded the sheets and ironed them in the ironer.

Johnson: You earned your keep. How did you wash the sheets before you had the machine?

Prudente: Hand turned wringer.

Johnson: You had to crank it by hand.

Rose: That was before the electric ones. I remember the electric ones.

Johnson: Did you have a gas washing machine? You went right to electric from the hand one.

Prudente: I can remember picking it out of the sink, put it in the roller and roll it.

Johnson: After that, did you get an electric washing machine?

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: Were you happy to get an electric washing machine?

Prudente: Yes, but lots of work still.

Johnson: What kind of education did you have? Did you go to school in Italy?

Prudente: Yes, but a small school.

Johnson: How old were you when you stopped going to school?

Prudente: I started at six. I didn't learn very much because we had to attend to the work. The work came before school.

Johnson: Did you live on a farm?

Prudente: No.

Johnson: You had to do the housework and the water, and firewood.

Prudente: We worked, then go to school.

Johnson: What sort of things did you learn in school? Did you learn reading, writing?

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: Was it a convent?

Prudente: Sign your name.

Johnson: Did you learn sewing, cooking, that sort of thing?

Prudente: I didn't learn that much because I worked before I went to school.

Johnson: How old were you when you stopped going to school?

Prudente: I worked all day.

Johnson: What about the boys? Did the boys in your family go to school too? Did you have brothers?

Prudente: No

Rose: Two sisters

Johnson: In the early days in Prince George, what did people do for entertainment? Did they go to the Europe Hotel and drink beer?

Rose: No, I remember.

Prudente: We used to go to the corner and a bunch of girls would sit

Eva: That was in Italy.

Johnson: You would sing and dance. What about in Prince George? What did you do for entertainment in Prince George?

Prudente: Not very much.

Johnson: You didn't have time with five kids and a hotel.

Prudente: I was tired all the time.

Rose: You used to go dancing with Dad.

Johnson: Where did you go dancing?

Prudente: At the hall at the Prince George Hotel.

Rose: The old Princess Theatre at Brunswick that used to be called  the Princess Ball Room and all the social events were there.

Johnson: Did it have a flat floor?

Rose: Yes. That was a ball room. There was another place on George Street where the Holiday Inn is. It used to be called the Ritz Theatre. Between the two places, the older sisters having long gowns because every dance was all long gowns. I can remember playing with them as a kid  after they got tired of them.

Johnson: Whenever you went to a dance, it was a formal occasion?

Rose: Yes.

Prudente: Sometimes there were house parties.

Johnson: A house party wouldn't be so formal.

Rose: No. Prince George used to always host a ski event.

Johnson: Can you tell me about the ski parties that they had. Prince George used to have ski events.

Eva: Tell us about the ski jumpers, Mom.

Johnson: Where did they do the ski jumping? Was that on Connaught Hill where everything was held. I can remember as a little girl?

Eva: When the ski jumpers came here, where did they ski?

Prudente: Sometimes they went to Aleza Lake to. ski?

Eva: What about here Mom?

Johnson: Where did they ski in Prince George?

Prudente: Connaught Hill

Rose: Where the park used to be. They had a big ski jump.

Johnson: Over the edge of the hill.

Rose: When they landed, they landed where the Civic Centre is now. It was that big of a jump. They had tournaments here all the time. They came from Burns Lake, Smithers and around Williams Lake.

Prudente: We had to feed the guys. I had to make hats for the skiers.

Rose: She used to knit toques.

Johnson: Was that a souvenir of the competition?

Prudente: (...)

Rose: That used to be an event of the day.

Johnson: Lots of important people coming into town for that.

Prudente: Yes. It was a long ski jump.

Rose: Just for a week. Instead of Miss Prince George, they used to have the Ski Queen. All the girls that were eligible would compete.

Johnson: Did the ski jumpers stay at the hotel?

Prudente: Yes, some did.

Johnson: Did they give you a present?

Prudente: Nothing

Rose: I think they did.

Prudente: Silver tray, a coffee pot and tea pot.

Johnson: Was that because they liked your hospitality?

Rose: You always had to cook spaghetti for it?

Johnson: Did you cook lots of spaghetti?

Prudente: We had to feed them.

Johnson: They liked your spaghetti. You knew how to make good spaghetti.

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: Were there lots of Italians in Prince George at that time?

Prudente: No, a bunch of Indians.

Johnson: Anybody else. You didn't have an Italian Club. There wasn't a group of Italian people.

Prudente: I didn't like the place.

Johnson: You didn't like the place. Not at all like home.

Prudente: There were no people here at all.

Johnson: Were there any other Italian people?

Prudente: Not very many.

Rose: Some

Johnson: Did you get together with the other Italian people?

Prudente: Yes.

Rose: Mrs. Barome, Mrs. Castino, Mrs. Gabrielle, Zimmaros. There were about four or five families living here at that time.

Johnson: Were they all connected with the CNR too?

Eva: Mom, when Mr. Zimmaro came and before he built the hotel and Mr.. Castino, Mr. Barome, where did they work?

Prudente: They worked for the CNR.

Johnson: Station Foreman.

Prudente: Labourer

Johnson: He was a labourer on the railway.

Rose: That's all there was basically.

Johnson: They all worked for the railway.

Prudente: There was Castino and Barome)

Rose: What about Mr. Barome?

Prudente: He worked with the CN too.

Rose: He worked with the CN too. I think they all did.

Johnson: Labourers.

Rose: Then they all built businesses.

Johnson: How did the Italians manage to build businesses?

Prudente: At that time they were cheap.

Johnson: They were cheap and they worked hard. They had their family to help. The children stayed home and contributed until they got married.

Prudente: Yes.

Rose: Mind you that was getting on afterwards, but you stayed at home and worked basically until it was time to go to school.

Johnson: Which is why the businesses were able to build up. Family is cheap labour.

Prudente: Rose got twenty five cents to dust the furniture.

Johnson: Did she do a good job?

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: All the girls had to work in the hotel.

Prudente: Everybody

Rose: Except Eva.

Johnson: Eva was too young.

Rose: Things were starting to pick up. She was the only one that had a bicycle. We never had a bicycle.

Johnson: The pampered younger child but you didn't get in on the Work end of it.

Eva: Not really, not that I recall. I used to help fold sheets and iron them and get rides in them.

Prudente: (....)

Rose: Not when she was born, when Gary was born? You had a wicker buggy.

Prudente: You would take the baby all the time, take them for a walk.

Rose: That's so I wouldn't have to do the work.

Johnson: You thought that was easier than doing laundry. I can  understand that. What did you do in the winter time? Did you take her in a sled? It was probably worth it to your mother to get her out of her hair. We all know what that's  like.

Rose: She had it easier between my sister and we had to do everything. My Dad thought we shouldn't leave home. There was nothing to do for young girls on Sundays so we used to walk down to the Fraser bridge. The nicest cafe in town was the Shasta cafe, next door to the Prince George. It was owned by Greek people. My Dad would always go for a walk looking for my sister and l and our friends. He spotted us in this cafe having a coke. He really embarrassed us. I can see him today with his hands in his pockets and saying, "What are you doing here? Why aren't you home helping your mother with supper?" I felt like so. What was there to do on Sundays?

Johnson: What was there to do?

Rose: Nothing. We could go skating. There was an open air rink where the Fourth Avenue Mall is now. That's where we went skating. We never went to dances unless we went with friends. It was always the whole family.

Johnson: What about house parties? Did the Italians get together for house parties, feast days and that sort of thing?

Prudente: There were no parties. Everything was work.

Johnson: Everything was work. You had a tough time. What about Christmas?

Prudente: We couldn't afford to party.

Johnson: Everyone else was partying at Christmas so you were busy.

Prudente: Yes, we make lots to eat.

Johnson: Did people come to your hotel to eat Christmas dinner?

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: What kind of things did you feed them in your hotel?

Rose: There wasn't a restaurant. We had a big dining room in our house. She always had a lot of company.

Johnson: What did you cook for your family and friends?

Prudente: Anything, turkey

Johnson: You did cook turkey. You didn't stay with the Italian things?

Rose: We always had spaghetti to. We used to make big Christmas cakes.

Prudente: Oh yes, we used to make Christmas cakes.

Johnson: Great big ones.

Prudente: We used to make three layers, a big one.

Johnson: A fruit cake. Did you make it a long time ahead and let it.age? How did you keep the kids out of the Christmas cake?

Prudente: They didn't touch.

Johnson: They were afraid of you, were they?

Prudente: No

Rose: Decorated too.

Johnson: Did you decorate it? Were you artistic? Did you make it look pretty?

Prudente: Yes, we made everything for Christmas.

Johnson: How long did you have to cook to get ready for Christmas?

Prudente: About a week.

Johnson: You didn't have a deep freeze then, except outside. It was cold outside. Did you freeze things outside?

Prudente: It was cold in those days, real cold.

Johnson: Is the weather different now? Is it warmer now?

Prudente: It's warmer now. There were thirty five below days.

Rose: It was colder than that, fifty below sometimes.

Johnson: It really has changed though. Since I've been here in '57, it has changed.

Prudente: People who worked in the station had icicles.

Johnson: Very cold. Even in the station it would be cold. How did you keep the hotel warm? What did you use for heat?

Prudente: Water and coal furnace.

Johnson: Did you have to look after the furnace too or did your husband do that?

Prudente: We had to stoke it and clean the ashes.

Johnson: You didn't have the garbage man coming by once a week. Did you have to carry everything away to the dump?

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: Where was the dump in those days?

Rose: I think the dump was where the fairgrounds are now. It was wooden wagon with horses. I remember that .

Johnson: Did they have garbage collection.'

Rose: They came down the alleys. Do you remember how they collected the garbage?

Prudente: There was an old man.

Johnson: Did he come with the wagon and take the garbage away or did you have to take it away?

Prudente: They took it away.

Rose: Remember the wagon with the two horses. They were such stinky sight. They didn't know any better then. Didn't have anything else.

Johnson: When did you get a car?

Prudente: I didn't have a car.

Johnson: Did your husband get a car when you had the hotel?

Prudente: Yes, an old Ford.

Johnson: Do you remember when you got the car?

Prudente: I remember.

Johnson: Was it really exciting?

Prudente: Yes, we used to take the car to pick up people from the train to bring them to the hotel.

Johnson: Did you have a car before other people?

Prudente: Mr. Zimmaro had a hotel too.

Johnson: So he had a car. Normally people didn't have cars.

Prudente: Not very many.

Johnson: Just the big important people.

Prudente: We had to go end get somebody and bring them back.

Johnson: Ordinary people didn't have cars right away. Do you remember when you got the car for the hotel?

Rose: Had you been in the hotel very long when you got a car?

Prudente: About four or five years.

Johnson: How did you go to the station before? Did you have a horse and cart?

Prudente: We didn't. We had to borrow money from people to build the hotel.

Johnson: How did you get the people from the station? Did they walk before you got the car?

Prudente: No, we bought it at that time.

Johnson: You bought it when you built the hotel.

Rose:  I can remember my Dad going to the station. There would be Mr. Zimmaro and my Dad parked side by side. They were sort of business rivals. One would say Columbus Hotel. Dad would say Europe Hotel. Of course, the passengers would go to whichever hotel they wanted.

Johnson: Was it difficult with them both being Italian and being rivals in such a small town?

Rose: Mr. Zimmaro had a bigger hotel than we did. He always got a bigger span of persons.

Eva: It was later also. The Europe Hotel was there before the Columbus Hotel.

Johnson: Do you know when the Columbus Hotel started?

Rose: No, I don't.

Eva: Mom, when did Mr. Zimmaro build the Columbus Hotel?

Prudente: Before us.

Eva: Before you?

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: How many rooms did you have in your hotel when you built it?

Prudente: Thirty

Johnson: Thirty rooms in your hotel. Who lived in the hotel' Was it people who worked on the railroad? Who stayed in the hotel?

Prudente: Lumberjacks

Johnson: They would come into town .

Prudente: For fifty cents a night.

Johnson: Did you have to do their laundry too, their clothes?

Prudente: No.

Johnson: Just the sheets and towels.

Prudente: That's right, yes.

Johnson: Can you think of anything that you would like to tell me that I haven't asked you about?

Prudente: What?

Eva: Is there anything else you want to tell Carol about Prince George in the old days?

Prudente: Nothing at all, all bush.

Johnson: All bush. When did it start to get bigger?

Prudente: Not long ago, a little bit at a time.

Eva:  Mom, did they have a First of July parade?

Prudente: Yes, and we had a good time.

Johnson: What did they do?

Prudente: They had races. People come from the farm and the bush.

Johnson: They had races. Did they have horse races?

Prudente: Horses on the street.

Eva: Did they decorate things?

Prudente: They get into their groups.

Johnson: Everybody decorated. Everybody got excited.

Prudente: They go into the woods, cut the trees and nail them in the sidewalk and make them look like the bush.

Johnson: So the sidewalk looked like the bush. Even the big city was the bush.

Rose: They put them on the telephone poles.

Johnson: Just for decoration.

Prudente: Just for decoration, yes.

Johnson: You would hang the flag on the trees.

Prudente: Yes, we had a good town.

Johnson: It sounds really exciting. When did the canoe races start? They started pretty early, didn't they?

Rose: That would have been in the park, the '50s probably.

Johnson: I thought they would have been longer than that.

Rose: No.

Johnson: What stores were in Prince George when you first came here? Where could you go shopping in Prince George?

Prudente: There was only one store.

Johnson: One store. Was that a grocery store or everything?

Prudente: One grocery store.

Rose:  On George Street. You know where that hairdressers used to be on Fifth Avenue. It used to be a chinese restaurant, Assman's Grocery Store.

Johnson: Assmans were in the grocery business.

Eva: Did they have a grocery store called Assman's, Mom?

Prudente: Yes

Rose: It wasn't called Assman's. Assmans run it.

Johnson: Assmans had a grocery store. Did they have a funeral parlor at the same time?

Rose: No, they had the funeral parlor later.

Prudente: The father worked in the grocery store. The kids were old enough. They used to deliver groceries with their little truck.

Johnson: Did you have to make your own clothes? Could you buy clothes in the store?

Prudente: No, we bought.

Johnson: When did they start to build up the sidewalks, make everything look more like a modern city? When did they start to pave the streets, do you remember?

Prudente: I remember that, it was quite late.

Johnson: It wasn't that long ago.

Rose: After the war.

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: What was it like during the war?

Prudente: Nothing to eat.

Johnson: Nothing to eat.

Prudente: Not enough.

Johnson: You couldn't get meat or vegetables.

Prudente: One hundred and fifty grams a person.

Johnson: For meat.

Prudente: For everything.

Rose: We had coupons.

Prudente: One hundred and fifty grams for each. (???)

Rose: Things were rationed.

Johnson: How long did that last?

Prudente: War time.

Johnson: What did you do to get extra food? Did you get extra food from somewhere?

Prudente: My mother hide a little behind the wooden (???)

Johnson: Did you eat wild meat. Did you eat moose end deer?

Prudente: Chicken sometimes. Rabbit.

Johnson: Did you eat moose?

Prudente: Sometimes, we would get a big piece.

Johnson: They didn't have that on the ration cards, did they?

Prudente: No

Johnson: Did you have a garden?

Prudente: I had a little garden.

Johnson: That would help in the ration times. What kind of things did you grow in your garden?

Prudente: Everything, peas, carrots, potatoes.

Johnson: Did you can things for the winter?

Prudente: Some (missed some conversation as tape ran out)

Johnson: Not at the hotel. When you got onto Fourth Avenue, did you have a garden?

Prudente: Yes, I had a garden when I was in the Station.

Johnson: You had a garden when you were so busy with little babies. That's hard work.

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: Did you can things when you were in the Station?

Prudente: Yes, go picking blueberries and strawberries. Go in the bush and pick them up and make things.

Johnson: Was it hard to get the jars to can? Were they very expensive?

Prudente: No, nothing was expensive in those days.

Johnson: When you lived at the Europe Hotel, you didn't have a garden so you had to buy everything from the grocery store.

Prudente: Yes

Johnson: Were you happy to get a garden again?

Prudente: Yes, but I didn't have time for a garden.

Johnson: Because you were still working at the hotel. Did the kids have to work in the garden too?

Prudente: No, they didn't know how to plant the peas.

Johnson: You don't know how to plant the peas.

Rose: Don't you remember the garden we used to have on Fourth Avenue? I took a cabbage to the fair and got first prize.

Johnson: You must have had a good garden.

Prudente: Yes, we had an empty lot.

Johnson: You used it all for the garden.

Prudente: Yes, even tomatoes.

Johnson: Did you get tomatoes?

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: Did you have to protect them?

Rose: We used to get warmer summers, long warm summers.

Eva: From about May to September.

Rose: We had a longer growing season.

Johnson: Colder winters and longer growing seasons, that's interesting.

Rose: It was Thanksgiving weekend and Dad was going to tar the roof. Of course, he made friends with all the guys from the camp . In October it was eighteen degrees.

Johnson: That would really help the gardens.

Rose: Sure

Johnson: You could grow more things than you can grow now. That's incredible. When the troops were in Prince George, did you have lots of them down at your hotel?

Eva: When the soldiers came to town during the war, did you have lots of them at the hotel?

Prudente: Yes.

Eva: And lots of them at the house.

Johnson: They liked your cooking, did they?

Prudente: All the soldiers came in the beer parlor.

Johnson: Did some of them come home to your kitchen too?

Prudente: Yes, they had a camp by the graveyard. There was a great big camp. They  all came to the beer parlor. Ten cents for a glass of beer.

Johnson: Can you think of anything else I should know about?

Prudente: I work hard, raised the kids and did my best. I rented the rooms. They all turned out. Sometimes I spank them. They make me mad.

Johnson: That's what moms are supposed to do. What happened to your son, Mike, that died when he was seven?

Prudente: I don't know. They think he had appendix. They said they have to take it out right away but he didn't have appendix at all. They went to the bush and ate saskatoons. They find that the berries poisoned his system. They operated and he died.

Rose: I think he got pneumonia and didn't have too much immunity.

Johnson: He got pneumonia after the operation.

Rose: Yes.

Johnson: Was it the appendix or did he eat something he shouldn't have?

Eva: It's hard to say.

Johnson: What about Steve? When did Steve die?

Prudente: Steve died at the end of May, 1966.

Johnson: Let's go from the first kids. What did Flora do? How old was Flora when she left to get married?

Prudente: Flora, twenty four.

Johnson: Did she work in the hotel until she got married?

Prudente: No.

Johnson: Who did she work for?

Prudente: The Government.

Rose: She worked in the Government Building and she also worked for the Bank Manager at the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Eva:  In the beginning it was the Government Building.

Rose: It was Mr. Carter.

Johnson: Who was Flora's husband?

Prudente: A soldier, a Sergeant.

Rose: He was an Officer Lieutenant.

Johnson: What was his name?

Rose: Bert Wood.

Johnson: Did they live in Prince George?

Eva: No, he was from New Brunswick.

Johnson: They just traveled wherever he was sent.

Eva: They went back.

Johnson: Rose.

Eva: You were born in 1920, weren't you Rose.

Rose: Don't make me a year older.

Johnson: 1921. Did you work at the hotel until you got married?

Rose: No, I was a hairdresser.

Johnson: So you went to school.

Rose: In Vancouver.

Johnson: How far did you go in school here?

Rose: Grade 11.

Johnson: Then you went to Vancouver to be a hairdresser. You came back and worked here.

Rose: ( Too faint to hear what was being said)

Johnson: You thought that would be easier. Who did you marry?

Rose: Don Koehler. He was from Kitchener Ontario. He is now deceased.

Johnson: When did he die?

Rose: Five years this May. I was also divorced.

Johnson: You were divorced. Did you marry again?

Rose: No.

Eva: Flora was also divorced and she married again.

Johnson: Who did she marry again?

Eva: Joe Green

Johnson: Did she come back here?

Rose: Yes, actually she did.

Johnson: Was Joe Green local?

Rose: He was at the time I guess. He was living here but he wasn't local.

Eva: Where does Mike fit in? Where was he born?

Rose: Here.

Johnson: Do you know when Mike was born?

Eva: Steve would have been born.

Rose: I thought he was thirteen years older than Steve but I might be wrong.

Eva: I'm thirteen years older.

Johnson: So he would have been eleven.

Rose: Probably.

Johnson: Steve would have been born in '23.

Eva: So Mike would have been born, do you remember when?

Rose: Was Mike two years younger than Steve or one?

Prudente: Younger.

Rose: Mike was two years younger.

Prudente: Yes.

Johnson: What did Steve die of?

Rose: He died of liver failure.

Johnson: He was married to Sophie. Do you know her maiden name?

Rose: Tweeton

Johnson: And Eva is married to?

Rose: Robert Carr

Johnson: You work at the hospital, public relations?

Eva: Employee Relations