Telling Our Stories:
Story telling is the Shuswap
way of passing our history
to the next generations
As I have eluded to in some of my other stories, there was no welfare prior to 1964 and mom and dad had to find work where ever it was. This one year, it may have been 1956, after school was over we were all loaded on to the Greyhound bus at the top of the road and we were on our way to find a job. I don’t think anyone knew where that would be. I think dad bought tickets for the whole family as far south as the money would take us, and that was Cache Creek.
We got off the bus in Cache Creek, unloaded all the luggage we had which included pots and pans, dishes and cutlery, and whatever food we could take, all wrapped in blankets. All this was unloaded near the bus station on the street. Then dad took off on foot to find a job. We were to wait for him there until he came back for us. We had no idea where he was off to. At first it was fun for Jake and I. We ran up and down the street getting into mischief here and there. It must have been about, I’m just guessing, noon when we got off the bus. Mom, Mary, Jake and I waited all day for dad to come back for us. It got dark and we started to worry where dad was. People mom knew came and left, they didn’t know where dad had gone to. At one point, Jake almost got on with some people to go and look for dad in Ashcroft some six or eight miles from Cache Creek but mom wouldn’t let him. It turned out that was a good thing because those people were drinking and ran off the road before they got to Ashcroft killing a couple of the passengers.
It must have been around midnight and we had more or less settled down on the street covered with the blankets we had brought. I had fallen asleep and was awakened when a farm truck pulled up beside us. It was dad. He had found a job at a tomato farm just up the road at Semlin Ranch owned at that time by Chinese people. We gathered up all our belongings and we were loaded on the back of the truck to be brought up to the Ranch to settle in. Thinking back now, I am amazed at the great tenacity of our ancestors to make sure their families were taken care of. Dad, my grandfather, had no education, he couldn’t even sign his name, but he always provided for his family.
Once we settled in at Semlin Ranch, we were surprised to find that there were other people next door who we knew and were possibly related to us from the