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Thanks George... I tell you, I now look back and realize just how lucky my childhood was.
Posted by: Mikie
Date: December 30, 2008 10:31PM
I have been back a few times with the detector. But most stuff is found there just by digging... or at least it was. That was years back so things may have changed.

One of my most prized finds from there is a mother of pearl poker chip. [at least I think it is a poker chip.. correct size and all.. but no numerical value]. Found that when I was wandering through chinatown , just poking out on the surface. I had forgotten all about it and when my father died, I found it in the effects. I guess I gave it to him when I was young. He must have saved it for me [knowing my propensity to lose things when I was a kid. :): ]

Courtenay is far too cosmopolitan these days. I suspect that very few people even know of the tribulations that were extant in those turbulent days. The population is probably around 25-30,000. When I was there, total population was 800. With those small numbers, grudges were easier to maintain.

Calm seas

Micheal



"A dog is better than me, for she has love and does not judge"

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most; That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in"

Those old mines were terrible and if the miners had not
Posted by: Royal
Date: December 31, 2008 05:59AM
Unionized the conditions would still be bad. Many are still killed in the mines. Those owners are not much different than the modern mine and factory owners. If not for the Unions and the laws the Unions forced through we would still be working in dangerous conditions for a buck an hour. Now we have to worry about the Unions, sadly.

I remember that old town you took me to, I think it was a mining town, where the river ran right down under the main street. What a rough life



http://royalottmar.blogspot.com/

INCREDIMAIL TECH SUPPORT SUCKS. IT IS TERRIBLE AND DO NOT SIGN UP FOR INCREDIMAIL!!

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That was Sandon... in the part of our area they call "The Silvery Slocan"
Posted by: Mikie
Date: December 31, 2008 07:54AM
It amazes me that the owners could be so brutal to their men.. A mule was worth more than a man back then. :(:

calm seas

Micheal

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Mikie, as the daughter of a union carpenter, I know all about
Posted by: Sunny
Date: January 02, 2009 09:28PM
the "scabs" crossing the line. This happened in my daddy's union a lot, or so it seemed! The book sounds interesting.........are there any signs that the mines are still there today???

If our fathers knew half the things we did, or places we went,.........all our butts would have stayed red!!!! :rofl:

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There are all manner of signs where the mines were............ if you know where to look.
Posted by: Mikie
Date: January 03, 2009 08:30AM
However, the adits have now been all cemented in so access to the mines themselves is pretty much impossible. However, those with a lot of knowledge of the area [ME !! ME!! :):] still know where the ventilation shafts are/were. Not that I have any desire to go down into those mines any more. :):

fair winds

Micheal



"A dog is better than me, for she has love and does not judge"

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most; That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in"

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Re: Morning Eric.. Hope that you are managing with all that whote stuff [sand :): ] on the ground.
Posted by: bdahunter
Date: January 04, 2009 11:26AM
Quote
Mikie
The more I think about it, the more I appreciate just what Courtenay was in those days. A safe place to grow up..... and really, it does not get any better than that for children.

Where did you live while in Courtenay? My home was the forty houses!! [any old timer can tell you where that is/was] However, I spent much of my time on my uncles farm out Tsolum way!!!

Fair winds

Micheal

Hi Mike:

Apologies for the late reply. I used to live at the Puntledge Terrace Condos that backed onto the Puntledge River, right beside the bridge. The bald eagles would perch in the trees along the river when the salmon were running and the seals would travel up that farm on the high tide. 3 blocks to downtown but 3 steps to farmland, perfect. Eventually I moved up to a house on the golf course at Crown Isle as I was a builder there. I sold out in 1998 and headed east and then eventually south to Bermuda. Where were the 40 houses?

Cheers,

Eric

Here is Google Earth view of Sandon. What beautiful country!!
Posted by: Royal
Date: January 04, 2009 01:45PM




http://royalottmar.blogspot.com/

INCREDIMAIL TECH SUPPORT SUCKS. IT IS TERRIBLE AND DO NOT SIGN UP FOR INCREDIMAIL!!


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17th and Mcphee Eric.. Roght beside the railrpad tracks.. It was the first subdivision in Courtenay... All postwar homes!!N/T
Posted by: Mikie
Date: January 04, 2009 02:53PM

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:canadaflag:Black coral
Posted by: Mikie
Date: February 24, 2009 08:12PM
The year was 1964 Late May or early June. I was 16 years of age, newly graduated from high school, on my own and with no plans for the summer. I had applied to the University of Victoria for the next semester starting in September, but I had not heard from them. I assumed that I would be accepted I had a few scholarships so my financial worries were done for the upcoming year. It was now time to figure out just what my summer plans were going to be. All of my school buddies were in the process of applying for summer jobs. That, however, sounded like a pretty dull way to spend what I felt would be my last free summer. I decided to hit the road and head south to Mexico.

In those long ago times, hitch-hiking was a reasonably safe method to travel. It was the summer of love, hippies and free spirits abounded on the open roads. Riding your thumb really was the only way to travel for a poor starving, soon to be university student. I informed my father about my plans. This was just the beginning of our estrangement period and harsh words were exchanged, on both sides. Once he realized that my mind was made up, he did relent a little and arranged for me to base my activities out of palm desert California, at some friends of his.

Pack all set up [toothbrush, a couple of changes of underwear] and a little money, I set out. Getting from my small hometown of Courtenay to the B.C. Ferries was actually the most difficult part of hitching a ride. This was my first big adventure and I was determined to make the most of it. Once on the other side [the mainland] my anticipation of adventure increased. I stuck my thumb out and almost immediately caught a ride.

I cannot remember having any problems at the border, when we crossed into the US. After that, much of the trip is a faded memory. I would travel for a while, do the odd job now and then, and then continue on my way. I can remember on part of the trip was down the west coat of Oregon. This was such a spectacular part of my odyssey, that to this day, I can see that coast as clearly as the day I traveled it. There were large stretches of Open Ocean with the waves thundering on shore. I believe that I spent a couple of days just reveling in the solitude and splendor of that wild coast.

In due time, I arrived at my fathers friends. I guess that he had arranged everything for me since these wonderful people pretty much pandered to my every need. I spent a couple of days just relaxing, cleaning up and preparing for my expedition to Mexico. When I was ready to go, I called my father to let him know that I had arrived safely, and was heading out. Time and distance must have played a part in our conversation since he was so much more cordial and agreeable. { I will never admit that perhaps I was growing and maturing and that perhaps parts of his benevolence was a reflection of my change. :): ]

Once I entered Mexico, I found myself in a whole different world. The people were very friendly and giving. This, in spite of the fact that by our standards, they were extremely poor. When they found out that I was from Canada, they could not do enough for me. Canada was an exotic location, just rampant with Eskimos, igloos and red coated cops. At least that was the impression that most everyone that I encountered had. I had to do a lot of explaining that we were not perpetually ice bound, and that Canada was a country not unlike the US. I should mention that I was fluent in Spanish back in those days [as well as German, Italian, Latin, Russian] and this paved inroads into aspects of their lives where a foreigner might not normally be accepted. I spent a few weeks just bumming around and in time, I found myself at a small community called Cozumel.

Oh the memories of that place!! It had pretty much everything I dreamed of at the time. I was from a small town. Back then, Cozumal was a small town. The people were jovial and outgoing and friendly. I was made to feel welcome and invited to stay for as long as I wished. But the best thing, the most exciting aspect for me, was the diving. The water was clear, warm, full of life. Diving consisted of a t shirt, fins, mask, tank and regulator. No more suiting up in a home made suit, no bulky weights to carry around. The visibility went on forever [or so it seemed] and the days were considerably longer that they were at home. I could dive to my hearts content. I got a job helping out at a marina there. Not that there was much to do. Maybe the odd inspection job, perhaps a small salvage, or, if I was lucky, taking a couple of divers out. Even though I was comparatively young I had turned 17 by this point], I still had more dive time than most anyone there. There was one fellow there, and unfortunately I cannot remember his name { I keep coming up with Juan.. that is too stereotypical and I am certain that it was not his name] who I formed a good relationship with. He was younger, perhaps 22 or so, and he was a diver. We went everywhere diving. He had a boat so he took me to some great areas unreachable under normal circumstances.

One day, he asked if I wanted to go and get some black coral. Now for anyone who does not know, black coral is pretty rare. As such, Juan[?] could get a pretty good dollar for it, or peso as the case may be. The problem is that it is only found in deep water.. very deep water. I was all for it. When we arrived at his chosen site, we prepared ourselves for the dive. He told me that we would be around 175 feet of so. I had never been that deep before. But, I was 17 years old and indestructible.:):

Down we went. I wish that could tell you that it was an exciting dive, full of peril and shock. No, it was a straightforward dive, albeit very deep, One thing I had never been able to do while diving was see the boat. However, this time, a very tiny boat could be seen while we were down. That in itself was worth the dive. We did collect a few trees of black coral came up and the dive ended. I still have a few pieces of that coral even now!! I think I might have given Royal a piece when he was up here.

The summer continued on and all too soon, I had to return to the island to go to University. However, my first summer by myself, away from home, was a most memorable experience. I still remember those dives with fondness.

Calm seas. fair winds

Mikie



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2009 10:16PM by Wayne in BC.

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Mikie, I am surprised that your dad relented and gave
Posted by: Sunny
Date: February 24, 2009 08:28PM
you permission to go, or at least helped you. You were so young. It is sad about the hitching rides. I used to pick people up all the time when I was that age though. I think I wrote a story about picking up a young girl and her baby, and took her home with me. But that's another story.

I have to agree, I have been to Cozumal one time in my life, and loved it. We went diving, but not very deep. We did find a private beach and had a great skinny dippin' experience. I remember dropping a quater off the boat and watching it fall almost 50 feet. It was amazing. I would love to go back, but people tell me it's not the same as it used to be. When I was there, the only place we could find was a TGI Friday's and got a hamburger! Now I'm sure it's probably a big town.

Loved your story...........and it musta been Royal you gave the black corral to,.................it sure wasn't me!!!! :poke:

Re: Black coral
Posted by: Cupajo
Date: February 24, 2009 08:46PM
Hi Mikie,

What wonderful memories!! There are so few people in this life that are willing to step out of their rut and live a little that it is amazing.

I'm glad you shared your experiences with us Friend,

Cupajo

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Skinny dippin', Huh??? I shoulda been there :):
Posted by: Mikie
Date: February 24, 2009 09:52PM
It would appear to be tourist central now... But back then, it was a small, cozy little place.

Fair winds

Mikie



"A dog is better than me, for she has love and does not judge"

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most; That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in"

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Thank you for taking the time to read it Cupa.. :thumbup:N/T
Posted by: Mikie
Date: February 24, 2009 09:57PM

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Mike, I really enjoyed this story...........
Posted by: Kelley (Texas)
Date: February 24, 2009 10:07PM
I have always enjoyed stories about adventures like this one. I have never heard of black coral until I read your story...learned something new. Thanks for sharing this story...it is a good one! Please have a great day! Kelley (Texas) :)



"Try to live up to your dog's opinion of you!"

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Hey Fred... Cozumal is only a short skip from your area...
Posted by: Mikie
Date: February 24, 2009 10:29PM
Those were the days though.. You were young, had your whole life in front of you and everything was coming up roses.

Good memories

Calm seas

Mikie



"A dog is better than me, for she has love and does not judge"

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most; That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in"

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