We were living in a duplex on the corner of Baines and Bell streets-the Baines side. In those days there was row housing opposite us on Bell street-perhaps 4 or 5 units-an ugly yellow/brown colour. Dr. Wilson’s house was next door but didn’t have any knowledge of its history at the time.
It was forbidden that I should cross either of those streets and in order to curb my wandering ways, Dad had fenced part of the yard with chicken wire. That only worked for a little while as I was soon able to climb over it but not without dire consequences in the form of long scratches on my lower legs. These scratches were followed shortly thereafter by eczema on both shins (at least this is what I blamed it on). Perhaps I was not explicitly told not to climb the fence as I was with the road because once over the fence, I didn’t cross the road although sorely tempted.
Eleanore (my younger sister) was allowed to cross as long as she was accompanied by a near neighbour (RMB) that lived by the powerhouse (almost a block away). RMB (my age) came to the house one day and took E by the hand and proceeded across Bell (enrollee her home) while I went as far as allowed to the edge of the sidewalk yelling at the two of them the whole time because she wouldn’t take me across with them. I must have said something that hurt because RMB-standing on the other side, faced away from me, bent over and dropped her drawers a moment. I didn’t know it then but I had been mooned (a fact that RMB always denied in later years) and didn’t like the posturing at all, even if I was momentarily confused by it. I probably stormed back and climbed back into my cage – at least until I cooled off.
Our neighbours (the other side of the duplex) were the Bardens-mother and two children-Patsy, slightly older, and Allan, younger, with whom we had a grand time-usually? I believe the father Les? Barden was off serving in the military.
In the photo we seem to be gathered in an old buggy or sleigh and behind us is the woodshed, which is where I was attacked from behind. I believe we were arguing about who owned which side of the shed and that the one or other should get out. I seem to have concluded the argument by saying something (not a curse?), turning away and that was it for a few moments. I just about brought the house down with my wailing, concerning the adults with my bleeding and setting two households at odds. It was the blame game for quite some time. I forget I still have that scar on the back of my head as I still have enough hair to cover it.
After the war, Les returned and later their family moved to Napoleon St; (east side near Wilson) few blocks from where we were living. We had visited them one evening when we received word of the accident on Hwy. 7, that had taken the life of Harry Saunderson -my good friend. A short time later Mr. Barden re-enlisted in the RCAF and moved away but I did catch up with them some years later when he was stationed in Portage La Prairie and I in Winnipeg.