I woke at a quarter to five, opened my eyes to the west window,
and there were clouds in the sky!!
I didn't immediately spring from bed and find the camera to take a picture,
but this is more or less what they looked like
and I did give a small sigh of relief.
It has been so scorching HOT!!
I turned over and and closed my eyes and thought about cool, refreshing weather.
Maybe even a drop or two of rain....
The thought soon got me up and I retrieved the outside pillows on the blue bench.
By seven it had started to thunder, - quietly, in the distance.
Enough to disturb Callie, who looked around a little wild eyed......
By seven-thirty the thunder was quite ominous.
Callie had retreated to safety, under the blankets!
And then the rain started.
A wonderful downpour, clattering on the tin roof of the sunroom
and splashing up as it hit the patio in lovely little fountains.
That only lasted for ten minutes or so. The thunder went away
but the rain continued, gently and with great generosity as it nourished the dry soil.
Callie came out, Dot and Frank came for coffee, somewhere in the distance
the siren from a fire engine sounded for a very short while.
Everybody went about their business, and Callie ventured outside after the rain had stopped.
Later in the morning a telephone call informed me that the reason for the
short time the siren sounded was that it only had to go from the firehall,
a block up the street to the Red Bridge Pub.
The Red Bridge Pub is/was located in an heritage building which has stood on this corner of 7th and Veterans for over one hundred years, having been moved from Upper Keremeos by Mr. George Kirby, the Postmaster and Innkeeper there ca 1906 in anticipation of the V.V and E. Railway passing through
close to the Similkameen River. It was then known as the Kirby Hotel.
The South Similkameen Museum has a nice picture of the old hotel on its website, but I can't copy it without permission, - I can only tell you how elegant it looked, three stories with a small water tower on the south west corner, pristine and newly painted - up the road next to the Hardware store, is a wagon, a driver
two horses, and some ladies in long skirts chatting with the driver.
Later - I am now able to add a picture sent to me from the Chilcotin by our youngest son, Vince,
who has this picture of the original hotel in the background, behind the [stagecoach]?
and a drawing he did of a later boardwalk and verandah around the building.
Thank you Vince!
Although I understand the use of the building has degenerated somewhat in the last few years
when we first moved to Keremeos in 1951 it was a respectable two story hotel with a registry
desk and rooms on the second floor.
Of course it had a bar and pub, - a divided pub when we first frequented it,
with ladies on one side and gentlemen on the other.
It was a bustling establishment, - the town was booming and well settled with young veterans
who were wont to have their after-work pint on the way home to supper.
Charles informed me that it was 'the place to do business' and no doubt it was
as you were always sure of seeing whoever you needed to some time during the week.
It went through a period when the proprietor provided dinners and socials
for various organizations, and I remember fondly McGee's roast beef and white sauced onions.
I imagine our children and our grandchildren have different memories. The hotel grew old
and despite repairs the second floor was condemned and eventually removed
(as the third storey had been previously).
It had been used in later years mainly as a batchelor's residence.
The hotel continued to have guests in an annex on the first floor, but mainly it became just a pub,
with restaurant and bar and liquor store attached, and a new name.
It is sad to see the historic buildings of the town disappear in such a conflagration, but
hopefully the memories will linger on. This particular pub, along with many others, I am sure,
had a particular charm about time. Somehow it elongated itself
as you walked in the door, until it gradually disappeared amidst good times
and conversation, and just another for the road.....
Many a wife at dinner time put her husband's plate over a simmering pot of water
and covered it with a bowl, and many a husband, when she finally phoned the pub,
quickly said 'tell her I just left!!!'
I see a little blue sky fringing the top of the mountain. I fear the hot weather
is about to return, but alas, the sun will not shine on the Red Bridge Pub.