Telling Our Stories:
Story telling is the Shuswap
way of passing our history
to the next generations
I reckon I was about seven or eight years old. The Sugar Cane rodeo grounds were located just below the village beside the barns and the creek. That was where the first rodeo grounds was. Later it was moved to the other side of the creek, above the gardens and up higher on George Abbey’s field.
My story took place at the first location below the village. The soil down at this site was a very dry dark and dust producing kind. With cars driving, horses bucking, and people walking, the place was pretty much a dust bowl from beginning to the end of the rodeo. There was no concession stands at that time and I don’t remember any outhouse facilities for the rodeo customers. I think people just went behind the barns to do their business (or probably up to the outhouses at the village.).
In my little mind I saw an opportunity. That possibly was my very first business idea. I remember family members finding it quite amusing that I would even have such an idea. Nevertheless, I went ahead. There was no running water down at the Rodeo grounds. I guess I must have figured out that people wanted something to drink. So, I decided that I would sell them something to drink. The very next week I got myself an empty wine jug; there was a lot of those about. I mixed up a powder soft drink mix called ‘Freshie”. I went down to the rodeo grounds and began going from car to car and all around to people sitting on the fence. I would yell. “Anybody want a drink, five cents”. I must have had to refill a couple of times at each rodeo. I think I carried this on for a few rodeos until they finally built a concession stand. I think back now, about what a health department would have thought of my enterprise. I did not have paper cups or plastic cups. All I had was one ceramic coffee cup and I didn’t even bother rinsing the cup to serve the next drink. I almost laugh out loud thinking about that now. Yuk!