Downpour followed a ‘perfect summer’s night’

From our February 2013 issue

By Art Johnston – Olds, Alta.

In the war years, I was stationed at Mossbank, Sask. I played in the station band, so on weekend leave I would get a 72-hour pass instead of a 48-hour pass.

One weekend we decided to go to my wife’s home, a farm seven miles southwest of Kronau, Sask., about 105 miles from Mossbank. It was a perfect summer’s night when we got there. There was a beautiful sunset and not a cloud in the sky.

In the middle of the night the rain came. There was at least two inches or more. In the morning, there was water everywhere and our car wouldn’t be going anywhere.

It was at about noon when we realized we had to figure out how to get back to Mossbank as soon as possible. The military would never accept an excuse as to why you didn’t get back to the station.

We harnessed the horse, hung the suitcases on the hames, and I put my wife, Hazel on the horse. Her brother, Roy, and I walked. We were heading for Kronau to catch a train to Regina. A seven mile walk in prairie gumbo was not fun, but we had to get there, and we did. We arrived at the Kronau station late in the afternoon.

Headed for home

We unharnessed the horse, threw the harness in the corner of the station and sent the horse home. He was back at the barn door the next morning.

With no cafe in town, we went across the street to the General Store. We bought a pail of jam and a loaf of bread. Without cutlery, we broke off pieces of bread and dipped it in the jam and enjoyed our supper.

The train came and we got to Regina where we spent the night. The next morning we caught a train to Moose Jaw, then another to Mossbank. Talk about a weekend to remember!

We lived in the town itself, so we had a night to recuperate before getting back to the station the next day. We decided there would be no more weekends in the country for us – no matter how nice the weather was on Friday.

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