(0:31:38) Oh yeah, (Joe was on a lot of rescues). My very, very first rescue was in Lake Louise when I worked for Beef Woodworth. A guy came in and said (he and his friend) “were up fishing in the Pipestone River and his friend fell in the river and he can’t find him.” So, it was probably the first time (Beef Woodworth) had ever gone off the Warden station. He went to Calgary. He never left! He and his wife never left. So, anyways I am all by myself, so I get a hold of the guys in the camp for the highways (to help) and (we) put a net in. There is a bridge going down towards the campground where the Pipestone flows into the Bow and we wanted to make sure he didn’t get into the Bow River. Then, it was a matter of searching the river to find him. He was just up from the bridge at the Pipestone River by the Warden station. He was probably just up the river one hundred yards. He was caught on a rock and the water was rushing over him, so it was really hard to see him. But I just kind of saw him, “Oh man there he is.” So I put a rope on and a couple of guys held it and I went out and that water is cold! I got him and brought him into shore and I’ve never seen a person so clean. Fingernails and everything just polished, of course he had been in the water for two or three hours, I guess. There wasn’t any foul play or anything because the RCMP had to come up from Banff I think then. I guess he was looking for something and went into the water, probably hit his head or something because it is a very fast moving river there. That was my very, very first rescue. A few of them, (rescues) up on Victoria Glacier, sprained ankles… in those days we packed them out on a ‘deer toter’, which is a stretcher with one wheel. No helicopters, nothing! You could only go as far you could with the horses, then the rest was on foot…By the golf course two guys up there, one fell and Monte (Rose) and I went in up after the other guy and he was hollering, “How’s my buddy? I’m going to let go!” I talked to him, “Stay there, stay there.” I didn’t want to tell him, “Well, your buddy’s dead.” That was in the 1960s, the nearest we could figure was it was staff from the Banff Springs and I think they were in to the ‘wacky tobaccy’ and stuff like that because we would get a lot like that. They would get up in these areas and no ropes or nothing. How they even got there?
(0:34:50) Avalanches too, I don’t know how many (rescues he was on). Part of me, you know, the ones you bring out and they are okay, you kind of forget. The other ones who die you kind of wonder, “Well maybe I was too late?” It really sticks in your mind you know. But you got to say “No, I’ve done everything I could.” Same as the avalanche rescues, I pulled one, two, three, out. And one(victim) I knew very well. That was in Temple at the Ptarmigan chair lift and the sad thing about it, Bernie Schiesser – I don’t know if you remember him? Well, he was on the ski patrol and the guy, it was a Norwegian fellow who stayed in my house the night (before) in Banff, at the Buffalo Paddock. Why they went in there, I don’t know because we had it roped off. Bernie went in (and) he got thrown out of the slide. We found the other guy within an hour, but he was dead. I didn’t even recognize him until I got back into Banff. I had the name or something and someone said something about that and I remember Doreen she says, ‘Well, that was Fritz, he stayed with us the other night.’ “Oh my God.” So that was kind of a hard one. Like I did know him and being from Norway and what not. Of course we had the one at Sunshine. They fell off up on Brewster. We didn’t find (the victim) for a couple of days. (Earl) Skjonsberg had the dog, I remember that. There was quite a bunch and we put the dog in as soon as we could. We were trying to figure if we could find tracks where the cornice broke off.
(0:37:40) Bears! (I was) coming up Peters Creek, from Indianhead, I come around a corner and ran smack into a grizzly with the horses. It happened so fast that the grizzly did a sharp turn and went right up the bank and I don’t think the horses even realized because the wind was in our favor. I guess it shocked the bear more than us. But I thought here goes a wreck. Other than that, I used to have bears come to the cabin. (At) Bryant Creek (there) was a little black bear that always tore the screen door off every time, you know if I went into town or we were gone for a couple of days. (There was a) wolverine at Marvel Lake, he was cleaning out the fishermen and they were all complaining that the wolverine was taking their fish. I said, “Look it, he was here first!” They wanted to me to do something. I said, nah, “I ain’t doing nothing about it.” I said, ‘Any bears, or any wolverine that comes along and eats your fish, that’s your problem, not mine!” I said, “Just don’t leave the fish laying on the bank.” “Well, where do we put them?” I almost told them where to put them! Other than that, no (real problems with wildlife). At Egypt Lake we used to have elk come and eat oats with the horses. Then at Bryant Creek I could feed an elk right out of my hand. He’d come right up you know. (We did) tranquilizing and trapping.
(0:39:59) Yeah, it (the Warden Service) started to change (over the years Joe was there). I’m just trying to think when they centralized, when I came out of Cyclone. We moved up to that house on Harry’s Hill. At that point, you know it (was) like you were specializing because my job in the winter was the ski areas. I was kind of lucky because I got moved around so much. I pretty well did everything. But in Banff it was ten days in the backcountry, ten days in the high visitor (use areas). Of course all you could do was wait for those ten days to go into the backcountry! Just to get out of the high visitor use areas. In the early days we did it all.
(0:41:58) Yeah, I was with Monte Rose and we set a (bear) trap by Bumper’s Restaurant. Then we looked up and “Jesus, Monte here comes that grizzly!” She’s not really running but she is moving quite fast. “I think we better step in here (to the bear trap)!” So we were in the trap, but we got her anyways.
(0:42:29) Remember Toby Burkes? He worked on Lake Minnewanka and then he was at Aylmer Lookout for a number of years. The July st parade or something (in Banff), I had a Smokey the Bear outfit on and I was driving the half ton and Toby was dressed up in the Warden’s full uniform, buttons and the whole bit and we had him in the bear trap! Oh, that was a big hit! They (the crowd) got a kick out of that!
(0:43:07) That was Sid Marty, like he wrote that in that book (Men for the Mountains). Going up to Elk Lake and this was when we first started slinging (with the helicopter). We were learning. Into Elk Lake is about what ten miles? It’s not that far by helicopter. The guy was supposed to have either a broken leg or something, anyways, so I go the heliport and (Jim) Davies gets in and I (start to) hook up, and we have no radios to talk to one another, and the next thing he starts to lift off. All of a sudden, I thought “Shit! I’m not hooked in and if I let go of this (harness rope), I am going to go upside down.” Well I was (hanging) like this (demonstrating). I climbed back up and actually pulled myself up and hung on. Of course, I couldn’t call Jim and we just continued on. He flew in and he spotted the guy on the trail, so Jim is lowering me down kind of through the trees and what not and then I land there in a mass of ropes and harnesses! Just a mess you know, not very graceful! Then the deal was Jim would give me a certain amount of time and then come back and pick me up. The guy says, “What are you doing here?” I says, “Well, I’ve come to take you out.” He says, “No frigging way am I going up there!” I said, “Well, it’s your choice.” There were three or four other guys with him and they weren’t that far from Norquay you know from the parking lot. I think five miles. I said, “You can walk.” He said, “I will!” So after that a letter came out saying when we go to hook in or any rescue two guys got to go there. One guy to make sure everything is hooked in right. And you shall have a radio at the same time so you can talk to the pilot! Which was good because it was a learning (experience). I was sure that I was hooked in right, but I wasn’t! And that’s a long ride when you are trying to hang on! I remember Jim Davies said later on, “I looked under once, you kind of looked funny!” Thanks! Jim and I are very good friends. Like when I was a kid, I used to stay at his place when I was skiing and that. We are the same age, you know and we had a lot of fun. Yeah, (Jim’s dad was a Warden), he was at Saskatchewan River Crossing. That was where Jim was born.
(0:46:22) Just some of the old ones (stories about the Warden Service)…Jimmy Deegan and the stuff that he used to do. He was an Assistant (Warden) years and years ago. Like I knew him, he used to be our dispatcher for many years. I remember he was clearing trail and he always did a good job, except he was standing up on the saddle on his horse to limb a tree and he missed the branch and put the ax in the horses butt! I guess the horse took off. I mean it wasn’t too bad, but they had to stitch it up. Stuff like that; I don’t know there are so many darn things. We had a few ones, like with Andy and Walter Perren. I was out at Whitehorn and we were going to blast off some of these – what we called the ‘chutes’ for an avalanche to knock it out there otherwise they would go down and hit the slope below. So we are up there planting dynamite and Walter Perren is over on a rock watching Andy and I. We get all the dynamite planted kind of near a rock wall. Andy lit it and we had what, two and a half minutes to get out? Not a lot of time when you look at it. Anyways I started out and I said, “Hurry up, you better get going!” And Andy says, “I’m stuck!’ He had his foot stuck (in between some rocks). Anyway we finally got him out and Walter Perren is watching all this commotion going on. Even if the dynamite had gone off, we probably would have been okay. Probably would have had a headache! But I got him out and probably about fifteen seconds later BOOM! Holy, smokes he broke through the snow and got his boot caught in a rock. Then we were doing the same area, about a month or so later (with) Walter Perren and at that time Andy had Whitehorn and I had Temple. I walked out on the slope, put the dynamite in the hole, buried it in and all of a sudden CRACK! The whole thing released. I thought “Oh, Christ, here I go!’ I was going down and I was trying to get my skis off, but I couldn’t get them off and all I could think of was there was a little cliff at the bottom and I am going to go over this thing. Then all of a sudden, it just stopped. It only went so far. Walter Perren says to Andy, “Jeeze, I thought we lost Joe!” He had such a good sense of humor. I think he knew I was safe, he could probably tell by the way the snow is going that it is going to stop. But that kind of scared me!
(0:50:08) He (Walter Perren) could make you do anything. We did a traverse on Victoria from the south to the north. You stand up there, and it is just like a little knife, (demonstrating) like that. You look down here to Lake O’Hara and it looks about that big, you look down here and Lake Louise looks about that big. I was kind of going on my hands and knees and Walter says, “Joe, stand up, you won’t bump your head!” “Oh” he says, “Also if I slip and fall, if I am going on the Lake Louise side, you jump over to the O’Hara side because we are roped together!” He would get you so relaxed you did things that you never thought you could do. I’ve only seen Walter mad once. There was a girl Peggy Talford that got stranded up on Silhouette Glacier in Rogers Pass. There was a bunch up there skiing from Calgary and I knew her quite well. I knew most of them that were there. Anyways, somehow they got separated and a storm blew in and once they got out they realized “Where’s Peggy?” No Peggy, no Peggy. Anyways they went back in and she was just sitting there froze to death. Walter Perren, he just blew up. He knew these other people were supposed to be smart. Boy, he tore a strip off this one guy. I had never seen him mad. I knew this Peggy Talford quite well. She was really a nice gal, good skier and all that. I took her out of the Plains of Six glacier. We used to go up there in August they had a ski meet up there, a slalom race. That was years ago when I was first on with the Warden Service. I’d go up and camp overnight and then I’d go up on the glacier and I was kind of the one man rescue team, I guess. But Walter and I had been up before and we knew areas where (it was unsafe) and we’d mark them off, stay out of these areas. Peggy Talford she got sick or something, so I said, “Can you ride a horse?” She said, “Yeah.” Well, I said, “You can ride my horse and I will lead it. I will walk out with you.” That is a long hike in cowboy boots! Anyways, she was very appreciative. I don’t know what she was sick from, probably too much Chianti or something!