(49:57) Connie – When we were at Leanchoil actually, I liked to be away from people and I liked to walk up the back fire roads. We always had to tell our parents where we were going. So I said, “I’m going for a walk.” My dad said, “Don’t take the dog.” I always wanted to take the dog. He said, “Don’t take the dog because if anything happens the dog is going to bring that bear back to you.” And that is knowing how an animal thinks eh. Oh, but I wanted to take him, so I did. The dog went. I am hoofing down the road doing really good and talking away to the dog. I was looking down at the road. Then I looked up because I saw him move. He started to go forward and I looked up and there was a bear right in the middle of the road! The first thing I thought was, “Oh, he told me not to take it!” So I hollered at him to stay and of course he didn’t. He took off. I stood there frozen. The bear stood up and made that bear noise that they do and the dog went right after it. The bear started to come down on his fours and I looked and I thought, “Can I get across that ditch? What do I do? Try to run up a tree?” Well, I was a fat kid and there was no way that I could run up this evergreen tree and get across the ditch before the bear came. So I thought, “Maybe I play dead then, should I do that?” In the meantime, the dog has already got to the bear and they are coming towards me. I thought, “I am going to run like mad!” I turned and I started to run. Well, the next thing I know the dog is beside me and the bear is right behind him. The dog ran past and the bear started to run past. That happened twice. I thought, “Oh, my legs have to run faster.” So I was just running as fast as I possibly could and I heard him behind me breathing right behind my neck. I thought, “Now what do I do?” I thought, “I will just have to run faster until my feet don’t touch the ground!” But I could hear him and I thought, “I wonder what he is going to do?” I quickly flicked my head back and looked and he wasn’t there. I thought, “He is on the other side then.” So then I looked back on the other side and he wasn’t there either. I thought, “What in the heck?” He was off in the bush. What it is was is I had asthma and didn’t know it. When you run it sounds like something is behind you. I was wheezing, it was this gurgling wheezing sound and I thought it was the bear right behind me breathing down my neck. I never ran so fast in all my life! Oh my lord! I got back and my dad said, “I told you, you don’t take him with you.”

(52:29) Rod – Well Fred definitely had a special way with animals. I felt that when I worked with Fred in the Elk Island Park. He was special with horses, but he also knew the bison and the geese of Elk Island and about trapping elk. He really had a special relationship, a special knowledge of animals and how they think.

(52:52) Connie – In Field one time at one of the houses there. I don’t know how they got in, these people were away and these two little cubs got in their house. Somebody was walking past and they saw these cubs looking out the window and the mum’s out there wanting these little cubs eh. So my dad gets called to get these cubs out of the house. He goes down to the house. Well, they had made a mess everywhere, like a real mess because they’d get scared eh. This woman had gone and left the iron plugged in on the ironing board. Those little cubs had got up on the counter on the ironing board. My dad’s thinking, “Okay. We got to get these cubs out because the old lady is out there waiting.” They have to get the cubs out and reunite them. They are feisty those little cubs, you know! You go to pick them up and they would chew and grab onto you. I can’t remember who it was…but he told this guy, you stand at the end of the hall. I’ll grab this cub and I’ll fling him down the hall because they had so much bear manure on the floor that they slid eh…The trap they backed it up to the back door. He couldn’t hang onto them long because they would bite you. He just grabbed them by the scruff of the neck and flung them and they slid down the hall and the other guy grabbed them and aimed them and they just flew into the trap and then they shut it. They slowly drove and had the old lady follow them until they got out of town. Then they opened it and she shot them up a tree right away. That’s how they reunited them. He (Fred) knew that she was there and he knew that they had to not handle them very much and also that they would bite and scratch…they had to get them to their mom right away.

(0:07 – Part Two) Connie – In the old days they just use to throw their garbage from the restaurant out the back, you know. Cans or whatever and chuck it out the back door. Well, the bears would just come. Then they would holler to the warden that they had a bear problem! I can remember my dad went up there lots, Old Schmied or the cook actually too, he would just hit them with a broom. Just hit the bears with a broom. This one day a couple of cubs came around and he hit one of the cubs with a broom, I guess it was Schmied because he was the one who got hurt. He nailed one of the cubs with a broom and the cub hollered. Well mama comes around the car and Schmied went up a tree and she got him. I think she took most of one side of his butt off and part of his leg…

(0:59) Rod – So there were a lot of bears around Saskatchewan Crossing?

(1:04) Peggy – Lots of animals, like lots of moose. I remember the dogs, you know you would be out with the dog team…they would smell an animal and this one time they smelled a moose. They are going down the trail and all of a sudden you are going sideways and they are going through the bush and they are not stopping!

(1:27) Rod – How about life in the wintertime at Saskatchewan Crossing? It was semi isolated there I guess. You could get out when you absolutely had to.

(1:36) Peggy – We were used to staying at home. Really, weren’t we? Like my mom and dad always made everything really fun. Like the dog team, everything was fun. We would go with the dog team a lot as kids. We got to ride in it and mom sometimes she drove the dogs. Not a lot but sometimes…

(2:02) Rod – Lots of great family memories from that area. How long were you in Saskatchewan Crossing? A couple of years there? Then you moved to Field didn’t you.

(2:14) Ann – Two and a half years at Saskatchewan Crossing.

(2:18) Rod – And then you moved to Yoho?

(2:19) Ann – Yes, we did.

(2:20) Rod – At one of the stations there, wasn’t it right across from the town of Field?

(2:25) Ann – It was at the West Gate.

(2:27) Rod – Oh, okay.

(2:28) Ann – It was a new house too.

(2:31) Peggy – What year was that?

(2:32) Rod – That would have been in the early 1960s, would it?

(2:35) Ann – Yes because we didn’t go over there until 1960. That was when I started keeping the diary because Fred never could get his diary done and in on time! So I kept mine. First, I started on the calendar and then I got started in books. Lots of times I wrote what he did and he just copied it.

(3:05) Rod – Those were the days when the wardens had to keep a daily diary…and then a report at the end of the month? It was a diary anyway. They had to turn the diary into the chief warden wasn’t it?

(3:17) Ann – At the end of every month and that was when you got to get into town and get your groceries and your mail, and the correspondence lessons (for the children) that had been corrected and sent back to us. Then you would send new correspondence lessons into Edmonton.

(3:39) Rod – So you lived in several locations in Yoho park…

(3:47) Ann – We lived at the West Gate first. Then they moved Fred into Jimmy MacDonald’s house in town.

(3:58) Peggy – Wasn’t it Leanchoil? The town was last, I think.

(4:03) Ann – Was it last?

(4:05) Connie – West Gate, Leanchoil, then Hector and then town, yes. We were there for 10 years in all.

(4:11) Ann – So we lived in all of the warden stations in Yoho, except where Malcolm McNabb lived.

(4:19) Peggy – Yeah, what was that called?
NOTE: (It was the Ottertail Warden Station).

(4:20) Connie – I forget because we didn’t live there!

(4:26) Rod – There were cabins at Takakkaw Falls, but there wasn’t anybody there year round, that was just a backcountry cabin. Or at the lake, Lake O’Hara…Did you travel up to Lake O’Hara? Any memories of that trip?

(4:44) Connie – Not really. We didn’t go a lot because we weren’t really close to it. The bus ran up and down with paying customers. My dad was really careful about not having people much in the truck when he went to O’Hara because it wouldn’t look good to the public. We did go up some.

(5:05) Ann – It was on his patrol.

(5:10) Connie – That was one of their rules.

(5:13) Rod – Yeah, not to ride in the truck.

(5:15) Peggy – At first we could (ride in the government truck) a lot easier and also ride the horses. After a while they came out with a rule that the warden’s family wasn’t allowed to ride the horses either.

(5:27) Rod – Really, wow!

(5:28) Connie – And we weren’t supposed to use the telephones either.

(5:31) Peggy – No, that’s right.

(5:32) Connie – Heaven’s no. I can remember even at Chancellor’s Peak there, at Leanchoil. Oh no, we weren’t allowed to use the phone.

(5:40) Rod – Even the wife?

(5:40) Connie – Nobody!

(5:42) Peggy – Not unless it was park business…

(5:45) Connie – Or the radio or nothing! Unless you were in trouble.

(5:49) Ann – They were the old crank phones.

(5:54) Rod – Fred started or was part of a gymkhana that was held in Field, pretty well every year, wasn’t it?

(6:02) Ann – Yes, he did. They had a lot of fun. For a couple of years in a row Fred and what was that young fellow’s name?

(6:15) Peggy – Was it Lee Edwards?

(6:16) Ann – Lee Edwards.

(6:18) Peggy – That was after Connie left.

(6:21) Ann – They were setting it up and those two won all the medals!

(6:30) Connie – Trophies, they won a lot of trophies.

(6:33) Rod – Well that sounds fair!

(6:33) Peggy – Well, mom I have to ask you, was it Frank Coggins that my dad was going to race? There was a pick up race. One guy had to race up…

(6:45) Connie – Wasn’t that Bill Walburger?

(6:46) Peggy – I know it was a smaller fellow. It might have been Frank Coggins, but I am not sure…They would race up, gallop up to a spot where somebody was waiting for them and then they would turn around really fast, pick up the other guy and put him on behind and then race back to the finish line.