The buildings looked familiar, but…

From our March 2012 issue

By Earl Boan – Moose Jaw, Sask.

I can’t remember what year it was, but the economy had slowed down and I got laid off from Cushing Mills in Moose Jaw. It seemed that nobody was hiring.

My suggestion of trying to find work in Calgary was met with disbelief, because all of Alberta was in a slump. It was difficult to find employment there also.

I was stationed there for a short time during the war, so knowing a little bit about Calgary, I jumped on a train bound for Calgary. At that time, passenger trains travelled regularily.

Sometime after we crossed the Sask.-Alta. border, I fell asleep. I woke up and saw that we were slowing down. I thought some of buildings look familiar.

When we stopped, I left the train with suitcase in hand. I found a hotel close-by so booked into it. It was dark out so I went to bed and decided to look for work the next day.

As I started to undress, I glanced down at the phone directory sitting on the side table. In bold letters, it stated Medicine Hat phone directory. I was in the wrong city!

Hoping the same train would still be there, I dressed and rushed to the guy at the desk and tried to explain that I was in the wrong city. I was in a rather nervous state by this time, so probably babbled at him. He was probably thinking “How could anybody be so stupid?” but gave me back my money.

When I rushed to the station I realized I had been on the wrong train. When I tried the next one, it was the correct one so I ventured on to Calgary where I found employment the following day.

From then on, I stayed awake while traveling by train!