Stories from the Kootenay valley in BC

Gold Must be Tried by Fire

My earliest recollection of Ernest McQuary is in a car. My mother picked him up from his mother’s house, I think, and he was chewing on a chicken bone. My mom introduced me to him and he smiled. I don’t remember him saying anything to me, but maybe he was too busy doing justice to the chicken. When he had stripped the bone clean, he flung it out the car window. Probably, he had eaten chicken dinner at his mother’s house and he took a piece “to go.”  My mom had met Mrs. McQuary at the Trail Pentecostal Church. Mrs McQuary was a widow. At some point I remember that Ernest was working for Mr. Wallace, making concrete blocks next door to our home on Seventh Avenue. It was summer time, I think, or else a Saturday, and with my mother’s encouragement, I went out to watch Ernest making the…

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