(2:14:18) Well, I don’t know if I even want to tell that! (The year of his birth.) 1927 in Manitoba, Portage La Prairie. Actually when I was born we were in Beaverton which is 12 miles from Portage La Prairie down the CNR (Canadian National Railway) line (Andy’s father was a Station Agent). I was born in February and they’d had snow storms. They had to go into Portage to the hospital. They didn’t trust the vehicles of the day to make the trip. The neighbor came over with his team (of horses) and sleigh and took my mother in by sleigh to Portage. All bundled up in that good Manitoba -30 degree weather!

(2:15:29) (As a young man, Andy worked on the railroad) in Jasper. Actually, my cousin was a warden, Johnston. I made a trip with him. I had little idea of what the Warden Service was all about. As I say, I quit railroading. I had actually gone up north to work on the DEW Line (Distant Early Warning Line). (Then) I went back to Jasper and worked for Mickey McGuire. I was thinking the other day, I must be almost one of the last World War Two veterans around. The only other one I can think of was Max Winkler and he was on the other side!

(2:16:54) I started in Banff (working as a warden). I almost didn’t start too because it was October, I think, late September anyways when I hired on. I was supposed to actually be there in time for the Fall School, but I couldn’t make it. So, I drove into Banff at eight o’clock in the evening and there wasn’t a soul on the streets. At that time, every business after Labor Day, folded up. They boarded up their windows for the winter. I hadn’t had supper and I drove up and down Banff Avenue. There wasn’t a café open, there was nothing there. It was the most dismal looking town. You know how Banff can be in the shadow of the mountain? On a dismal day, it just looks ten times more dismal. I thought, I could go out for a month at a time in the bush and I don’t think I’d miss this place, it was one of the worst little towns I had ever been in! In those days places like Hanna (Alberta) and places like that, were small little towns, but they had some life to them! At any rate, I found Jeannie’s Modern Café, it was off on the side street and it was open. I was having second thoughts about the Warden Service and Banff, mostly because of the town. But the next day of course, there were a few people there and that sort of thing. It came half alive…

(2:19:54) In those early days too you know, when the guys were in the backcountry the communication in Banff with the guys in the backcountry was not good. I’d been out there for over a month and never heard a word. One time when I was out at Indianhead nobody had heard from me for a month and there was some event. I forget just what it was, but Joe Halstenson and some others were expecting to see me in for it…For some reason or another, I decided I wasn’t going to go in for it. I was going to wait and go in later sort of thing. They were worried enough that they got the local pilot there to come out and check on me…Bob Hand wouldn’t have checked, but Mickey (McQuire, the Chief Warden in Jasper) would. Mickey was always right on the guys there. If somebody didn’t check in on the radio, he was right on it. The radio system in Banff was just God awful. The reception was terrible and the phone lines, with the old crank telephones had never been properly maintained. When I went into the Windy district, there were 40 miles of telephone lines, over half of it was on the ground. They didn’t maintain it. The only place it was maintained was up through the trees. All the telephone poles were up in open areas…the communication was very hodge-podge. Today, the guys got their satellite radios and phones. They don’t know how reassuring it would have been to have them in those days. When I went out of my cabin, I’d always leave a note. It wasn’t going to do me an awful lot of good, but it would save the guys a lot of hunting around!

(2:24:12) There are many more tales to tell! Like I say when I get back the interview transcripts, when I have a base like that then I can add more. One thing that involves Keith (Everts) it was kind of a funny story. Actually I was down in Ottawa. I was coming back and on the plane I picked up a book. The home computer thing was just basically coming into play. I had never paid any attention to computers, I was never that interested. Back at the Banff warden Office, I went to the guys and I said, “You know recording keeping for the avalanche control and all that sort of stuff could go on the computer.” So anyhow we were able to get some money and get one for Sunshine ski hill. Keith set up the programming to get all the data for the avalanche control computerized which was a first in that sort of a thing. He got carried away a little bit with it and decided to get a little bit more data into it.

(2:25:53) Anyhow, one of the other wardens got the idea that we should put our bear data on the computer…He made this little deal with Steve Herrero (Bear expert and University Professor) that he would do the programming for us, set up the program, and keep it updated over the years, and in return we would give him access to all the stuff that was on the computer for his teaching. So between the wardens there and Steve, we got that set up and all working. We got all of our wildlife stuff actually into the computer. We were still using the punch card and sending it in to Region and they did a compilation of it in Region. We kept that pretense up for a while! Anyhow I went to a chief warden’s meeting and at the meeting, (Don) Dumpleton went up and said to Jim Raby, “Why is it that Banff gets everything and in Jasper we are just left out in the headland. You know Banff has all of their wildlife stuff on computers…Why does Banff get this and we don’t?” This was news to Jim Raby! It was news to everybody there except me! I said, “Well, we are just looking over experimental programs.” Jim caught on to it right away. So, a week later I get a note…that basically said “Any purchasing of a computer and electronic equipment over and above a desk calculator must be approved! I thought that little term he put in there was really good, that word about the calculator – must be cleared through the Regional office. So that was my little reprimand! We got it going, but that whole computer program got its birth with Keith’s (avalanche work). Of course we had to put in to get the computer to do the wildlife stuff…

(2:29:26) I got accused one time of (not supporting Aboriginal wardens)…He was a great character, I really liked him …At any rate come fall they said that they were going to promote him up to fulltime warden. He didn’t qualify. I said, “You want to keep him on for the winter…He’s got good potential. Send him to Hinton; let him get the six months in Hinton.” So they went along with this. But then he wouldn’t go. I said, “If he won’t (go to Hinton) what’s he going to do for anything else? He’s going to be the Indian of the outfit?” That really had a bunch in Region mad because this was their program…I got accused of being unsupportive but actually we had three Indians on the outfit, two I didn’t know where Indians! One of them I did because he was a Cardinal. He belonged to that Cardinal family and the Cardinals of course are well known. One’s an Architect; the other’s a Senator and so on and so forth.

Andy, Moe and Bill Vroom

(2:31:19) Another little note, I got five minutes left, I got to tell you about this one. They were coming out with a new signing program for Parks. They sent out this book and the book had little pictures of signs…the ones that were “Do Not” had the circle with the line through it sort of thing. I got an idea. In Playboy magazine there…was a picture was just exactly the right size. So I made this up with the circle with the line going through it and I wrote this report that we had been conducting this study over the last three years and researching bear mauling in the Parks throughout North America and that on many, many occasions there were boy/girl relationship and being boy/girl relationships there was no reason to think that there wouldn’t be some kind of sexual activity going on. This could be an arousal thing for the bears and there could be maulings. This was all statistically put in and this sort of thing…What we should be doing and this is my suggestion is (posting) a sign for it. I sent this into Region and I waited and I waited and I didn’t hear a God dam word! I thought that’s strange, I thought I would get a rise out of somebody. At least three weeks later, I get a phone call from Jim Sime. He talked about inconsequential things for about five minutes. I couldn’t figure out why he was calling me…then he said “And by the way, we got your report and we know that you were just putting us on!” It must have been that they half believed it! But they just weren’t sure if it was for real!

Andy Anderson passed away on April 3rd, 2017 at the age of 90 years. Many of us have many memories of Andy that we reflect on with fondness.