Today Husband and I were enjoying the sunshine, and commenting on a delightful letter contributed to the local newspaper from an old timer in this area.
The writer reminisced about the Stagecoach that went from Keremeos to Princeton, and Penticton, twice weekly. He went on to comment on the old log stage coach barns in the Boundary Country, with doors right in the centre where these coaches could drive in, change horses in a minute or two, and drive out the other side, often on a gallop. He also commented on the possibility of the coach getting to the next stop as fast as some of the present buses.
To further compare the efficiencies of the olden days he described the activities of the old fire hall in Castor, Alberta.
When the fire bell rang the horses would head for the hall no matter where they were and when the door opened, they stood in front of the machine and a rope was pulled, the harness fell on them, was buckled - and away they went!
This led to Husband and I remembering Nichols' Department Store in Penticton, as it was when we were first married.
I was a City Girl, (one who wore white gloves to town to shop) and I was amazed at the intriguing cash register system at Nichols'. The store was rigged out with a traveling belt which traversed around the store and up to the staff offices which were located on a second floor at the back of the store. When you had made your purchases you handed the cash to the sales lady (no plastic, no cheques) and she placed the bill and the payment on the moving belt. It made its way to the cashier in the office, and was returned with any change to the sales lady and the customer, via the same belt.
Our memories continued as we recalled friends from those days, and wondered where life had led some whose names were so familiar to us then.
We thought about some of the idiosincracies of commerce and travel in the early part of the last century, and I remember now how exciting it was to travel on the train and how elegant the dining cars were!!!
Husband's father drove Stagecoach in Washington, with two beautiful white horses, Sam and Mons.
And here are my parents in their courting days.
Is the letter writer bang on when he says that for his money we have been going downhill ever since?
Or is that just a yearning for the old, less complicated days....?