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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Augiill J, 1977 THJ LETHBHICIOI HERA1D JJ Ilatlie 7. Chester Our fun with the mail order catalogue The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORIEY WINTER, evenings on the [arm sixly years ngo were long and entertainment scarce. Chores were finished soon after cupper, homework cleared away, and the big kero- sene lamp with the hand- painted roses on the bowl (at least that's what the descrip- tion said, for It camo from the mail order catalogue, too) was lighted on the library table in the big living-room where the huge healer glowed with its light from burning lumps of coal. Then we children gathered around the table with the big catalogue spread out on the top. Papa was usually reading the weekly newspaper nearby, my aunt softly playing the pi- ano in the parlor, Mama in the kitchen setting buckwheat pan- cakes for breakfast and beating up her sponge for bread next clay. We opened the big book, and each child chose from the page his favorite thing by say- ing, "f bonish this." Where the word bonish came from I never knew, hut it meant we chose that one and nobody else could choose it. We took turns, hav- ing the first say at "bonishing" on a page; others could choose anything else cm that page, but not what someone else had bonislictl no mailer how his heart desired it. If wo got into a dispute a-, to whose turn it was, Papa's threat to send us all to bed, coon ended it. This could occupy an hour of timo and interest never flagged. Even the baby, as soon as ho could talk, would take part from his perch on a brother or Bister's knee, saying, "I bo-is with a chubby forefinger pointing. Stormy days when outside play was curtailed, we spent with an old mail order cat- alogue, cutting out people, household articles, stoves, fur- niture, pasting cardboard strips at the back of each, to they would stand up, each member creating (or himself a family and a farm. Farm mag- azines provided barns, sheds, livestock and poultry. These ar- ticles were placed in boxes and when we had sufficient, we col- lected flat box lids or large pieces of cardboard to set up our farms. People visited each oilier, men farmed the land, put cattle in pastures all the endless things that as farm children we participated in. It was fascinating play and we never knew we were living de- prived lives with no recreation- al facilities such as public skating rinks, curling rinks, swimming pools, and that kind of thing. There were more interesting things about the old catalogue yet. Early In Ihe spring, when the dirt-crusted snow still lay in drifts against the fences and buildings, Papa would come homo with the mail some eve- ning, and there be a large brown-paper covered roll. We all knew what it was and clamored to bo allowed lo open it, but Mama always look it and said, "I'll opon it after sup- per." Everyone sped that eve- Local history "Wheat Heart nf (tie West: A History ot Karons and Dis- trict" edited by Mrs. Irma Mrs. Hallic Chester and Dr. Marshall Grant (D. I1' r I f. s n n and Sons I.tlt, 39.50, 57fi ff'HB homestead days on Ihe prairie with their hard- ships and toil had Iheir com- pensations in neighborly get- togethers, community baseball games, barn dances, and lit- cr.iry society These arc graphically described in reminiscences and pictures in the Barons community history book, Wheat Heart of the Wesl. In the pictures one can see Hie old ways