(0:08:20) At any rate, I ended up out as a District Warden after I was an Assistant for almost a year. I spent the first winter at Bryant Creek. An interesting thing at that time too was a grocery store in Calgary, William’s Brothers, they used to grubstake the wardens. Like I went out in the fall and it was late. I had to get food and these sorts of things for the winter and William’s Brothers extended credit to the wardens. We bought stuff in bulk. It didn’t last too long, but it was there at that time.

(0:09:48) The first winter I spent at Bryant Creek. The second winter, I moved to the Panther River. I really taught myself to ski. I bought Ernie McCulloch’s book! Ernie McCulloch was the king of ski instructors of the day. I taught myself on weekends and (learned at) some ski Schools. When I was out at Windy, every chance I got, I would come in and (ski) at Norquay. After that, the second year, I’m sure it was, I was looking after the ski patrols in the winters… There were a few wardens that lived even closer in, but mostly they were bringing them (into Banff during the winter to work) at the lumber mill. At that time (the mill) was under the Warden Service. Most of them (working at the mill) were Assistant wardens, but they would keep them on (during the winter). (The mill was) down by the compound. We had our own General Works Department within the Warden Service. Art Cartlidge, he ran the lumber mill and any of the building stuff that we did.

(0:12:09) In those days, a lot of them look back on the District Warden as a great thing. It was to a point. But it was also a completely unfair system, because married men with kids some of them got sent out (to the backcountry), and they would leave their families in town and they got no allowances. That policy extended right up until the 1960s. We hired you; we didn’t hire your family. So you didn’t call the office for help. If anything was wrong, you looked after it!

(0:13:09) I had an experience after I was married and I was out at Cyclone. Barb and I went during the spring with the horses and the passes were all closed. We went in early and we went to the (Ya-Ha Tinda) ranch to pick up our horses. Then we actually took them up to the head of the Red Deer Valley and the passes were all still snowed in. Barb got bucked off her horse…It was a pretty green horse and it spooked. The horse was watching me and what I was getting and almost stepped on the dog and it ended up just bucking. Barb ended up on her back! She definitely had an injured back. I was very fortunate because we were about a mile from the cabin. I made a travois to get her over to the cabin. Then one of the Simpson cowboys showed up. He was coming through to see if it was possible to get their horses (over the pass). They would be bringing them up the Red Deer. He’d come up the Pipestone and he showed up at that time and he helped me. From my ski patrol supervising… I had Demerol to help kill the pain. We waited about a week and she was able to get around a bit, but she was still in a lot of pain. So I had to get her out to the Doctors. I got her mounted on my good, easiest paced pack horse actually and we rode up to the pass, Ptarmigan Lake, pass at Lake Louise…I was thinking how could I get the horses through this (snow)? There was no way. And up from the other side on foot comes Donny Mickle. He had a couple of his outfitter people with him. I just forget who was with him. So what we ended up doing was we took the tarps and made a sleigh and slid her over the pass on a sleigh, and then we managed to get the horses through. But like I say, at that time, it wouldn’t have even occurred to me to phone in, radio in and ask for help. That wasn’t done. There were things like that about the backcountry. People only remember the good times. Barb and I (also) remember the good times. We loved the backcountry!

(0:17:58) At any rate, the other thing about it was, there were wardens they hired on that never left town. One of them, he got promoted to up to the District Warden level, although he was never an Assistant. It wasn’t the district wardens that were out there running a district it was still classified as an Assistant warden (job) because there were numbers for each thing. The pay and that had to be (just) so. Things like that. This was also pre-union days. The wardens that got sent out into the real backcountry like Clearwater and those kinds of districts were basically not on seniority, not on anything, but they were capable. The more capable you were, the more likely you were to be sent to the boondocks! In fact, one of the most capable people I ever knew is no longer a warden. He was in the Clearwater district, but he had a wife and two kids and he had to quit. The district system was really glorified. ..The biggest thing about it, I think was the powers that be never recognized the warden’s families. The warden’s wives did the registration, sold fishing licenses, gave directions, etc. They were there at headquarters and they acted as the Visitor’s Services end of it, for free. On the highway, wardens particularly, they were who the people would go to. They went to the wardens. Most of the time, it was the wives who handled it (especially) when the wardens were gone. That was the other thing about the district system that really wasn’t functioning properly I would say. They thought (centralization) was the end of the world, but actually the (district) system just wasn’t viable any longer.