By Franklin Vick – Prince Albert, Sask.
I was born Aug. 3, 1929, the sixth son of Henry William Vick III and Lydian Groff on the homestead near St. Walburg, Sask.
Mrs. Tydeman, the attending midwife, wanted to name me ‘Winston’ after Sir Winston Churchill, however, mother was reading the life history of Benjamin Franklin at the time, so the name Franklin prevailed.
Consequently, the heritage of my first name has its links with Pennsylvania (Franklin’s American home) and the Groff family, there having been a great-uncle by the same name.
I entered into this world some few months prior to the famous stock market crash of October 1929 and lived my childhood days through the Great Depression of the 1930s, totally unaware of the significance of these two historic events.
As a child growing up on a backwoods farm in the Deer Valley district, life offered many areas of adventure, limited only by your imagination. That was a commodity that I was never short on, the result was that occasionally it got me into numerous problem areas.
Mother raised chickens for egg production. The young chicks hatched in an incubator were purebred white leghorn stock.
They, of course, all came in the same golden yellow colour, while some of our neighbours had mixed breeds, and let the old mother hen do all the work.
This natural process and variety in colour appealed to me, so on one occasion I brought home a few brown eggs and went to the henhouse to find a suitable mother hen to sit on these eggs, plus a dozen of our own.
I placed the eggs in a nice nest and put the prospective mother on top, but when she failed to remain at her designated post, I selected another.
When that also failed, I tried dumping the hens in a tub of water and forcing them to sit. The net result of this experiment was a failure. Mother arrived on the scene and found a fair number of wet hens covered with broken eggs and I beat a fast retreat!
On another occasion, I placed hen’s eggs in a wild duck’s nest, thinking that she would hatch and raise them in the wild. I could come out in the bush later and find wild chickens was what I was thinking.
That, of course, also failed. The ducks hatched long before the chicks were due. So ended two of my unsuccessful preschool ventures.