By Gordon Phillips – Surrey, B.C.
One year my younger brother, Bob, and I received a little red wagon for our birthdays which occurred about two weeks apart in the same month. In fact, all three children in our family, including my sister, Gwen, had birthdays in the month of May.
I used the wagon frequently to bring in the wood and keep the woodbox full for mother.
One morning I had a big load and was carefully pulling the wagon towards the house on a very narrow wooden sidewalk. As I passed the outhouse the wheels slipped off the sidewalk and the load overturned. I was quite frustrated and used some socially unacceptable language to describe my feelings.
I didn’t realize mother was in the outhouse and the first thing I knew as I started to reload the wagon was she grabbed me and turned me upside down and paddled my bottom.
Later on I heard her describing the situation to dad and she told him that I was using language that would make a sailor blush.
That nice little wagon almost met an untimely end.
In front of the building where we lived, which was right on the main street of the tiny village of Colfax, Sask., there was always a huge puddle of water when it rained.
On this particular day, after a long wet spell, Bob was pulling the wagon on the crown of the main street and tried to cross through the puddle to the sidewalk.
He was wearing rubber boots but got mired down behind a truck parked along the street so he left the wagon and managed to get to the sidewalk. The owner of the truck didn’t notice the little wagon and backed out over it.
Bob was standing on the sidewalk, saw what had happened, and let out a great scream. The driver, Louis Cryderman, heard the racket and saw Bob screaming and crying, so he stopped to see what the problem was. Bob couldn’t speak but just pointed and Louis saw what happened.
He jumped out and gathered Bob in his arms and took him into the post office where dad was and explained the situation.
Louis took Bob down to the corner store and bought him some candies to sooth his feelings. He threw the broken wagon into the truck and took off for home.
The Cryderman family farmed about seven miles north of the village during the 1920s, then moved to Radville.
In a few days Louis repaired the wagon, repainted it, and brought it back. It was almost like new.