Lynn – The way it all started was by a phone call. By “it”, I mean the life of a warden’s wife. Smokey had proposed to me, but I hadn’t accepted yet. So, when I decided to marry him, I had to phone him as he was out at Indian Head, and I was still in Banff. But that phone line! I remember the number I had to get through the Fire hall was “four longs on the north line. ”Anyway, the phone line wasn’t working well. So, Smokey followed a standard procedure. He rang up Andy Anderson who lived at Windy at the time and shared the phone line with us. Andy picked up his phone and while he and I could talk, and Smokey and he could talk, Smokey couldn’t hear me. For some strange reason I could hear him. However, in order for him to hear that I wanted us to get married, we needed Andy’s help!” Dixon Ann, Silent Partners Wives of National Park Wardens (Pincher Creek, Dixon and Dixon Publishers, 1985) 155,156.

Yes, (I proposed over the telephone), that is how we did it. I wasn’t too keen on spending the winter by myself! We got married on October 22, 1958. We were at Indian Head until April of 1961. When they moved us out of there, they moved Andy Anderson in. We were the longest residents at Indian Head. I fixed up the corrals, built fences and gates, put in flag poles, patrolled the park boundary for poachers and fires and generally maintained the Clearwater district and established a presence there.

Smokey – I’ll never forget that between Andy, in the Windy district and me at Indian Head right on top of a ridge there was one telephone insulator that was crooked. Andy said, “That’s the district boundary.” I said, “Well, do you want me to fix it?” He said, “No, that’s the boundary. I will fix it myself.” We had an inspection by Harry Dempster and Jim Sime who were accompanied by Mrs. Dempster. I met them at the summit. In the report I got blamed for having my insulator out of place. I’ll never forget getting blamed for Andy’s insulator! I also got criticized for not wearing my uniform. Yes, they were pretty strict!

Smokey – At the new house at Indian Head, they had put in a waterline, damming up the creek. The whole thing just washed out in the spring. There was also a basement with a coal burning furnace in it. How stupid! A coal burning furnace with no coal! I didn’t get coal. I cut firewood. That meant that you had to push one piece of wood into the firebox to get the second piece of wood in place and then you drop it down. Then you had three pieces of wood in there which would last about two hours. I was getting up steady in the wintertime to keep that fire going!

Smokey – We paid rent out there too! No northern allowance. We would buy our groceries just like most of the guys did, from William’s Brothers in Calgary. We would post date cheques. William’s Brothers was a godsend to the likes of us!

Lynn – We had to buy a year’s supply of groceries at one time…Tobacco was part of the purchase.

Smokey – We bought tobacco by the case. There were 48 half pound cans. The story is in Ann Dixon’s book about Lynn rolling my cigarettes for me. (The novelty of rolling Smokey cigarettes wore off quickly so Smokey and Lynn settled on a price of 10 cents a package. Because they had no money in the backcountry, Smokey wrote Lynn I.O.U.s which she planned to collect when they went to Banff. He tried to win the I.O.U.’s back from Lynn by gambling but Lynn refused to play the game! Pages 158-59, Silent Partners Wives of National Park Wardens by Ann Dixon.)

Smokey Guttman at the new Indian Head House

Lynn Guttman at Indian Head 1959

Smokey – We (Lynn and I) met in Banff. When I was up at Mount Eisenhower a friend of mine, (John Pearson) was working for DPW (Department of Public Works).

Lynn –. John met my friend Shirley. Then we met Smokey through John. So the four of us spent a lot of time together and I learned to play the guitar then. We would play country and western music on our guitars whenever we got together. We also played a lot by ourselves.

Smokey – There was a guy we’d get together with too, Clifford Cook. “Gunsight” was what everyone called him. He was a Brewster cowboy. He could sing pretty good and play guitar. We also “jammed” with another fellow by the name of Murray Dixon. He was an artist and a real nice steel guitar player. In fact, I bought a Dobro guitar off him. We would all get together at Murray’s to play and sing.

Lynn – I was going to school in Banff. For a couple of summers I worked at the Cave and Basin swimming pool and also at the Upper Hot Springs.

Lynn Guttman at Indian Head 1959