First off, some words about my wordless Wednesday post. The book was published in 1985 by Powell River News, with an initial printing of 500 copies. I suspect that was the only printing and it was likely shared with family and friends. As I mentioned last week, it was written by a third cousin, Golden Stanley, who passed away less than a year after his memoirs were published.
|17 Dec 1917, The Vancouver Sun|
He was born in 1910 in Vancouver, B.C. and moved with his parents in 1916 to the Horseshoe Valley, where they set up a homestead. Golden describes the trek from Vancouver, first by steamship to Powell River, followed by a train, a small dory boat, and finally a long walk through muskeg to reach his uncle's small shack. Their journey took several days and was made more difficult by rain and snow.
Within months his father had cleared the land and built a home for the family on their homestead and they were able to move to more comfortable digs. Golden went on to describe the pets they had over the years (all who seem to have met with horrible ends), the large garden his mother planted and harvested each year, the foods they ate, the quirks and peculiarities of their neighbours, and the family activities outside of their daily life.
As I was reading the almost 90 pages, I was mindful of the title "Pitlighting Through Conscription" and was most curious to gain an understanding of its meaning. However it was never explained, and the words pitlighting (used twice) and conscription (used once) never appear in the text in the same sentence or paragraph. Based on the context in the book and a definition I located on the web indicates pitlighting is the practice of using bright lights to blind an animal temporarily to provide an easy target in night hunting. It was an illegal practice back then as it is today. The word conscription appears in a latter chapter and seems to partially explain the rationale for the family (and others) who moved to valley may have been to allow the men to avoid joining in the war effort. Though the timing doesn't appear to make this a concern in the earliest years. It was only after much debate, the Military Service Act was passed in August 1918, requiring all male citizens between the ages of 20 and 45 subject to military service for the duration of the war. Thus, I can claim no real understanding of how or why the title was chosen but it obviously had some meaning to Golden Stanley.
While the story was interesting, it provided little in way of family knowledge that I can use for my research. However, I've spent some time on Ancestry, the newspapers website, Facebook, and Google looking for other family members. Golden was an only child, who had one son who passed away in 2014. There are two grandchildren, one with a very unusual name (that always helps the research). My goal is to make contact to offer the book to a family member. I've located a telephone number for a grandson and plan to reach out over the weekend.
Beyond that it's been a pretty quiet week. Housework needed doing, (again, pesky stuff!), I did some errands and grocery shopping on Wednesday, and I even got off my butt and did more caulking in the new basement room. I've still got more to do, in the bedroom, laundry room, and bathroom. Next week, maybe as the weather heats up?
We had more rain early in the week and it was cool. Three of the nights the temperature dropped below 10C (50F). That's August weather. Friday started out a little cool but with a forecast of 28C (82F) I was out watering, weeding and mowing early in the day. By 11 a.m. I was dirty, sweaty, and ready for a break. My daughter called and after a brief conversation I cleaned up, made my lunch and went back to the deck. I took my latest book, Belva Plain's "Fortune's Hand" to read. It's what I call a summer read, light fare and no need to think too hard.
Back indoors for the afternoon, I sat on the couch and read for a bit but it wasn't long before I felt myself nodding off. I set an alarm for 30 minutes and the next I knew it was buzzing. I guess I needed it. That evening our Riders had a game against the BC Lions (they lost) but before that I kept an eye on a couple of baseball games. Just a tad bit annoying, the Jays game was only being streamed on Apple TV so I could only keep an eye on the score. With the sports on television, I've been working away on my knitting - I'd hoped to finish the back piece last weekend. Ha! Maybe this weekend; I am getting close.
This morning I headed back outdoors to do some tree trimming. I need to finish the waterproofing of the fence in the back and several branches need to be removed. I discovered, too, that a smaller bush had a lot of dead branches so those were cleared out too. And then there were the branches that overhang the lawn. Since I'm short in stature I tend not to notice them but I had the clippers out so several were lopped off. The debris filled a large garbage bag and now my mower and wheelbarrow are tucked away nicely near the trees.
I'm about to sit down to watch the Blue Jays baseball (and knit) so I'll leave you with a couple of photos from the back yard.