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Friday, June 30, 2006

My Early Childhood Continued:

Please visit my Home Page Here: http://carl-baydala-wants-you-to-know.blogspot.com/2006/07/my-home-page_115336233019581745.html

This is a recent picture I took of modern day Steveston
You can also take a look at this:

My Early Childhood Continued: Right Here....

As far back as I can remember they called me Butch, except when a couple of the Japanese kids called me 'Banana' because that is what Baydala sounded like to them. My sister, her three children, and my father to this day affectionately call me Banana. I only started using the name Carl when I started school. My mother tells me that one time somebody came to the door and asked for Carl, and she did not know who they wanted. I stuttered a lot too and all through my school years I was terrified to talk in class. This self consciousness continued through high school and even into university.

One time when there was a solar eclipse a friend and myself looked directly into the sun. I remember I had a good right eye and almost perfect vision, but I used the right one to look at the ball of fire. Eventually I lost sight of this eye because of this incident. Later on I would have to wear glasses because of this and I did not like to wear glasses either. I used to put them in my back pocket and just sit on them.

We had to walk to school and I remember the metal lunch kits that we had and how the food smelled inside. In the fifties we had to recite the Lords Prayer and we used ball pens and we learned the McLean Method of writing. My teacher used to send me home sometimes because I had dirty hands. We sat in wooden desks that had holes to place ink in and I remember writing with quill pens. I played marbles a lot and collected them too. I remember how neat it was to get 'steelies' and 'cobs' or the big marbles. I remember buying new bags of marbles and just breaking them open and feeling and looking at the glass marbles. Later on I would collect baseball cards too. They came in the packages of gum and I remember how that smelled too. I remember going down to the store and loading up on different kinds of candy as well. I remember popsicles were 6 cents each and I liked licorice and ice cream bars and later on I was a big fan of MacIntosh toffee. And, at Halloween time I remember my sister and I going around with our empty pillow cases and loading up. It was fun to come home and just check out the loot. I liked it best when people gave me chocolate bars. And, I remember getting money from my parents to buy firecrackers and bombs and ladyfingers. The sparklers were always fun too. And, you had to have a punk going to light your firecrackers of course.

Christmas time was neat too. My sister believed in Santa Claus and I did not. Probably the most exciting time in my life was when my sister and I got brand new bikes. Mine was blue and hers was red. I was just so happy, I never thought it would happen. It was Ukrainian Christmas over at my father's parents house. I remember the cabbage rolls and perogies. I was a very big eater and could fill my plate two or three times and finish it all. I remember my Ukrainian grandmother used to give me a quarter for kissing her on the cheek. My father's mother and dad were very faithful Catholics. My grandfather, Daniel Baydala fought in the Austro-Hungarian Army and he owned a couple of pieces of land right near the dyke by the Middle Arm of the Fraser River. He was considered to be a pioneer and we even have a street named after us in Richmond.

My mother was born in Sointula, B. C., which is on Malcom Island, just off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Both of her parents were born there also. They are of Finnish descent, with some Swedish background as well. They were a fishing family and my Finnish grandfather built a gillnetter for my father and mother after they were married. And, incidentally, my mother and father were involved in a shipwreck just off the mouth of the Fraser River. They were clinging to remnants of their boat and had to be rescued.

I like winter too. I remember the cold days and waiting for the snow. All the fields would freeze up and the big ditches too. You could skate on the ditches also. Sometimes really big icicles formed on the roof edges of our house in the colder winters and I used to break them off. I remember one time we had lots of snow and my father let me and my sister tie a sled to the back of the car. He towed us all the way up Steveston Highway. And, Richmond was famous for fog too, being so low and all. I remember the thick fogs and having to look out the side of the car windows to try and figure out where you were going. There were many beehives along the river in those days-places where they burned sawdust or wood parts at the sawmills. I guess this caused pollution and allowed the fog to form. That is what someone told me later anyhow. And, I remember another time I heard a loud screech right in front of the house. A car went right through the stop sign and landed in the big ditch on the north side of the house. I walked over and saw a car sitting in the ditch, with a lifeless-looking body inside.....

Copyright: Carl Baydala 2006

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