(27:05) I’ve only been riding for 75 years on my own. I grew up with horses. Dad, being a forester, he had horse because in them days they didn’t have roads and trails and that in the Athabasca Forest district. The first time I was ever in the Wilmore was in 1939. I was 9 years old. I was out on a three week trip with my dad. Just me and dad. The only cabin was at Rock Lake the rest (of the time we were) in tents. We went up to Rock Lake from Brule and then up the Wildhay. Then, we did go all the way over to Willow Creek, we went over there, then we swung down over the Moosehorn. Then from the Moosehorn over to the head of south fork of the Hay and back down it. Down the main trail and back out to Brule.

(28:48) I wasn’t back out to the Willmore until 1992. We went with Mac Elder and a couple of guys from Sundre, Wilbert Olsen and Gordon Tooth. We were coming back out to Rock Lake. That trip we went over to the Little Sulphur River, then up the Sulphur up to Glacier Pass and then down the Snake Indian River and into Willow Creek. And then from Willow Creek back over to Rock Lake. We were coming along, this was from 1939 to 1992, and there is a big bend in the Willow Creek and there is a big high gravel bank. Even Mac Elder wondered where the trail went up. He had never been on that particular trail, even though he was stationed at Willow Creek for a long time. He said, “I wonder where the trail goes up over to Rock Lake?” I said just at the other end of this gravel bank it goes up the ridge and sure enough, that’s where it went. I hadn’t been there since 1939. I just knew that place as soon as I seen it.

(30:19) I went into the Park Service (because) it was a steady job. You weren’t laid off in the winter time. It was good money. When I was driving truck in Jasper it was $175/month. Well, that’s not very much money. That was in 1951. I knew that you couldn’t survive on that because I grew up during the depression. Dad worked for forestry and he got paid ever month, so we had money…The warden service it was a steady job.

(31:23) I knew most of the wardens in Jasper at that time. Mickey McGuire and all them. Old Curly Phillips…a whole bunch of them guys. They were all wardens at one time or another. I knew all the outfitters around Jasper…

(32:05) With the (warden) districts it was all your responsibility; everything was your responsibility. Once they centralized, and I was in Wood Buffalo and Waterton, I was fire control. When I was in Kootenay it was a little bit of everything because it was still the district system. But I was in charge of the horses. I had to issue the horses to the other two districts, Marble Canyon and Radium.

(32:44) The life! (was the best part of being a warden). The life… Actually being a park warden at that time with the district system and everything it wasn’t a job, it was a way of life. Once they centralized, it was a job because they moved everybody to town and nobody had any pride in what they were doing. “I’ll only be here for a couple days, someone else can do it.” When you were in the district you kept the trails in shape, your phone lines, your cabin, everything, because it was your business! It was you that suffered, not someone else. That was the biggest mistake they ever made, was centralizing Parks Canada and forestry. There is nobody out in the bush anymore and they don’t know what’s going on. I know your dad agreed with me…So did quite a few other older type wardens who were still around when the district system was on…I guess they got cameras all over the park and they sit in the office and look at it. If I find one of their cameras, I’ll give it a show…It’s gone to pot right now. It all started with Doug Martin and his God damned hand guns.

(35:52) The bureaucracy (was what I liked least about being a warden). I’ll give you an example of that. In Wood Buffalo we got Tom Smith as a Superintendent, he turned out to be a good superintendent, but he was brand new when he came up there. We had some small fires. I had two different fires going. I had one of them down. So I sent the one 25 man crew back. Then two days later we had a heck of a thunder storm come in. We were on Fire 14, then that thunder storm hit at about 10:00 in the morning. By 4:00 in the afternoon it was 34 degrees celsius. I radioed into Fort Smith for another 25 man crew or better. The fires were popping up and they were coming in faster than we could write them down. I was in the helicopter…I radioed in and Tom Smith came on and said, “You don’t need them, you just laid them off the other day.” I said, “Yes, I did. I didn’t need them then, but I do (need them) now.” (He said) “Well you’re not going to get them.” I said, “Okay, I don’t need them. Send me out six school buses.” “What do you want six school buses for?” I said, “If you can run these fires from the office in Fort Smith (we’re 30 some miles south of Fort Smith in the bush) you can do it. I’m going to bring my crew in, my 25 men crew I got on the fires in.” I never had him question me again! I got my men! (Tom Smith) wasn’t a warden. He was a superintendent, same with Dave Eadie. He come out of the east. He was a superintendent too. He didn’t have a clue about anything. Then he went to Waterton. He turned out to be a pretty good superintendent once we got him educated (about) what life in the bush was… Then he got transferred to Calgary I think it was to Regional Office some place. Then Tom Smith got shipped from Wood Buffalo to Waterton, I was working under him again. I had no problem with him down there.

(38.02) Just the way you lived (was the most memorable part of being in the warden service). The way you lived. I got along with all the outfitters along the park. I never had any problems with any of them, in them days. When I was with the forestry in these later years, they were a bunch of dinks, a lot of them. They called themselves outfitters but they weren’t. They were city people and this was their area and they got to do what they wanted. But it’s not that way. It (this land) belongs to the people of Alberta. The park belongs to the people of Canada. I’ve had a lot of people tell me out here, when I was with forestry “We’re on holiday, we pay taxes. We can do what we want. I’d (tell them) “I pay taxes too and I have a little book here that says you can’t! If you want to argue, I won’t argue with you. You can argue with the judge!”