Our mother had taken a tailoring course when she was a girl and she used to make nearly all our clothes. I remember one Christmas she made us each a beautiful navy blue velvet dress, the neck piped with pale blue satin. I also remember white lace stockings I loved and a white fur muff and cape.
When the 1918 flu epidemic was raging I had to wear a mask when out playing with other kids. My mother fumigated our house every morning by putting sulphur on the stove. We had to go out for an hour or so and it was a very cold winter but we didn’t catch the flu. Mrs. E.C. Johnson, a nurse, was a very dear friend of Mom’s and she certainly was busy. She just opened her home to any victims that needed care. Every room in her house was full of beds and her husband Dad Johnson did the cooking and laundry. They were both extremely kind people. I think you could write a book about the service Mrs. Johnson did for the whole Cochrane district through her years there; but she would scoff at the thought of it. To me, she was beautiful. One memory I have of her, she was all dressed up to go to town. Her hair was always shiny black, even when she was ninety years old. This day it was done beautifully as usual, piled up high on her head. She was always very kind to me and I loved to visit in her home. For a while Dad Johnson ran the butcher shop in Cochrane. I was too young to know but I wonder if he didn’t run himself out of business, he was so generous. Just about everyone and his dog got a big plump turkey from him as a Christmas present. They had the restaurant for a while. They were both excellent cooks. Copithornes always shipped cattle from Cochrane then and one day when Percy, Claude, and Charlie all walked through the door to the restaurant, Dad bellered out to the kitchen “Ma put the soup pot on now, here comes eighteen feet of Copithorne to feed.” (Donna Butters is her granddaughter).
My uncle Robbie Brown built and lived in the house R. E. Moore lived in for years. He had to move to Cochrane from his homestead that was later signed over to the Crawford’s so his children could attend school. His daughter Jessie was my age and we had a great time together as children. She had a buckskin mare called “Fairy”, it was just a darling, so intelligent and gentle. One day Fairy nearly cut her hind foot off. I remember the men packing her foot in a sack of flour to stop the blood flowing. She got better and raised a magnificent palomino colt called “Monkey”. Later Jessie and I had a lot of rivalry over “Monkey” and my horse “Kit”. She was trained for a show horse and loved to be ridden in the ring. She was Ruth’s horse but the apple of my eye and a few years after we moved to the farm I persuaded Ruth to trade her to me for my Welsh pony “Polly”. I rode Kit in the Cochrane Exhibition Ladies Saddle Horse Class several times and although there was usually a large entry she always won first prize. But she was always a very flighty craggy nature.