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Dmytro Zuzak (1902.10.04? -- 1972.04.10) emigrated in 1927 from Stoyaniv, Ukraine to Canada via his uncle Hryts Oranchuk in Tarnopol, Saskatchewan. He worked on farms in the region and eventually bought a quarter-section homestead two miles east-southeast of Crystal Springs. Anna Genyk (1907.01.18 -- 2005.05.01) emigrated in 1930 from Seredni Bereziv, Ukraine to Canada via uncle Vasyl Fisich also in Tarnopol. For several years, she worked as a housemaid in Gilbert Plains and the Dauphin area in Manitoba. Although they had originally met in 1930, they were married in March 1937 and settled on the homestead farm. On two quarter sections of rocky farmland and one quarter section rented as pasture, they raised a family of four boys: Harry (1938.04.05 -- ), Maurice "Moe" (1939.12.26 -- 1998.10.25); William (1941.04.24 -- ) and Bohdan "Bob" (1948.02.08 -- ).

Ukrainian Childhood
- My earliest memories are associated with moving from our old "white-washed" house about 100 metres west-southwest into our new "red brick-siding" house built with the help of my godfather Nicola Dorosh circa 1944.
- Our parents spoke exclusively Ukrainian at home. I vaguely recall shedding tears as my mother insisted that I write out the Ukrainian alphabet.
- I also recall Moe whispering in my right ear, angrily presenting him with my left ear and only later (after he told our parents) realizing that the deafness in my right ear was abnormal. The doctors checked my hearing and said that there was some problem in the inner ear. (Many years later, doctors told me that I could be fitted with a hearing aid, but advised against it.)
- More vividly, I recall my mother shedding tears, when Uncle Vasyl Fisich brought a letter (probably 1945) informing her that three of her brothers had been murdered by the "Communists". With bravado, I told her that when I grew up I would kill all the Communists -- at which she laughed bitterly and said that there were too many of them.
- We obtained electricity in late 1948 or early 1949, since I specifically recall my one-year-old brother, Bob, staring up at the glowing 100 watt light bulb, as he was standing without supporting himself on a chair for the first time. (We did not get a "party-line" telephone until the early 1950's and I vetoed a television set until I had finished school in 1959.)
- In 1947?, cousin Stephan Zuzak arrived from a DP refugee camp in Germany. He had been arrested  in Lviv in September 1941 by the Germans on the (erroneous) suspicion that he was a member of the OUN underground trying to establish an independent Ukraine. He was released from prison after 18 months, but was re-arrested some months later by two Gestapo agents -- to be shunted amongst various German concentration camps for the duration of the war and to participate in a "death march" before being liberated by the Americans. (His younger brother, Bohdan, was subsequently exiled to Siberia for Stephan's refusal to return "na rodinu".)
- Stephan taught us to play chess and loved duck hunting with our double-barreled shotgun. While picking roots from newly-cleared land, he would exclaim "Maizhe vpav" (almost fell) every time I would end up on my rear end after a root snapped as I was pulling on it. Some summer weekends, he would borrow Harry's "ballon-tired" bicycle for a 10 kilometre trip towards Yellow Creek to visit Halya Kuchta, whom he later married. As he had promised God, when he was in the concentration camps, he entered the priesthood in the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada.
- When I was 12 or 13 years old, I attended a two week summer camp at "Zelenyi Hai" (Green Grove on Wakaw Lake). The highlights on the last day were: (1) speeches and fund-raising for the Petro Mohyla Institute (Pleschit i davaite = clap and donate); (2) a speech by Bohdan Panchuk (a war veteran) describing how he had convinced Lester Pearson (later Prime Minister) to facilitate the immigration of Ukrainian refugees to Canada; (3) my father singing in his beautiful tenor voice the patriotic song "Chervona Kalyna" (Red Cranberry) around the group campfire in the evening.
- When my mother was a little girl, her father bought her a Bible, which presumably contributed to her reading ability and becoming a religious person. In our area, Sunday "Sluzhba Bozha" religious services were only held once a month in either Yellow Creek or Tarnopol. Consequently on other Sundays, my mother would insist that we sit around the table and perform the Sluzhba Bozha from our little prayer books -- she would read the priest part and we would read out the choir part.
- My father had obtained a Ukrainian-language translation of "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas. Many winter evenings, he and my brother, Harry, would take turns reading it out loud, while the rest of us listened attentively.
- Although Crystal Springs was a multicultural hamlet, the area to the east was mostly settled by Ukrainian families (with the exception of Jim Welch, Norman(?) MacLeod and Charles "Chad" Horley). Along our north-south road allowance were Mudry, Oselinsky, Zuzak, Philip Chitrinia (younger), Tkachuk (elderly), Pylypets, Papish, Dull (Polish), Semeniuk. To the southwest were Powalinsky and Boscow. Still further west (north of Tway) were our relatives Peter, Bill and John Oranchuk and friends Stanley Chitrinia -- all with school-age children. Perhaps once every winter Dad and Mom, would invite friends for a social get-together and a big feast. The women prepared the meal, fed us all, then reverted back to the kitchen to wash dishes and continue their gossip. The men would continue sitting around the dining room table discussing "affairs of state" -- although occasionally Mrs. Powalinsky would break into the conversation from the next room to correct her husband's description of some event.
- When it was time for me to attend university in Saskatoon in September 1959, my mother insisted that all three boys stay at the Petro Mohyla Institute at 401 Main Street. I resided at the Mohyla Institute until I graduated with my Master's degree in the spring of 1965. (Except with a one year break in 1960/61, when I stayed with my brother, Harry, and his newly-wed wife, Mary, on Avenue J.) This environment certainly contributed to my Ukrainian patriotism.

School Days
I picked up my English from my oldest brother, Harry, after he started school in 1944. From 1947 to 1959, "Dixon Lake" started out as a one-room school house, but eventually expanded to a three-room building as schools from the surrounding area were consolidated -- Invergordon to the east, Trombly to the west and Tway to the southwest. (The year after I graduated, a brand-new school was built.) If I recall correctly, we would start at 9:00 AM (later 8:30 AM) with the Lord's Prayer and sing "O Canada". At the end of the day (3:30-4:00 PM) we would sing "God Save the King". The teachers that I best recall were Mr. and Mrs. Marchenko (who drove me home in their car, when I got sick in school), Daisy Reid (who loved teaching us Irish songs, such as Galway Bay), Mrs. Kreutzweiser, Mr. Gillard and Annie L. Orton (principal, who really encouraged and prepared me for university). Normally, we would walk 2.5 miles cross-country, joining up with the Jim Welch children (Maurice, Myrtle, Herb [Harry's classmate] and in later years Jack [Bob's classmate] and Jean) and sometimes with Peter Powalinsky and the Boscow children (Audrey, Annie, Boris [my classmate] and later Alexandra). In winter, either Dad or Mr. Welch would often deliver us in a horse-drawn caboose or open sleigh. Nevertheless, I remember walking cross-country across Danchuk's open field against a light but bitterly cold wind at -49 degrees Fahrenheit.

At school, we had two 15-minute recess breaks and one one-hour lunch break. In the fall, we would take the opportunity to play soccer to prepare for our annual match against the Yellow Creek school. (This usually ended badly for us, since Yellow Creek had won the Saskatchewan High School Soccer Championships in previous years.) In winter, we would either go to the skating rink or play "marbles" on the concrete floor of the basement. (Or outside in early spring.) In the spring, the boys would all be playing baseball, "catching flies", etc. (The girls would play softball.) The Zuzak brothers gained a reputation for being excellent ball players, who were part of the Crystal Springs baseball team that played in tournaments in the surrounding area. Harry was an excellent pitcher, Moe could do everything (especially stealing bases), and I -- although smallest and weakest -- never struck out.

In later years, over the lunch hour, some of the boys would go to Kowbel's Cafe and Pool Hall to pick up an ice cream cone ($0.05) or Coke ($0.10) and play pool in the back. (I recall my classmate Clifford Holland shooting at a ball that was still moving and driving it into the corner pocket -- to everyone's amazement!) After school, Dad would sometimes be playing pool at Kowbel's or nickel poker at Lester Franklin's repair shop.

In grade school, I liked to browse through the 20(?) volumes of the encyclopedia. The initial attraction there was the Grimm's Fairy Tales that were interspersed throughout the various volumes.

In high school, I took a full load of classes including Maths (Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry), Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Health, Social Studies, English, French. I always did my homework and was invariably the best in the class. (Harvey Sandvold bears honourable mention.)  After Grade 12, I was pleased to receive a Governor General's Bronze Medal and a couple of scholarships to the University of Saskatchewan.

Typical Day
Our activities during a typical day varied over the course of the years as we grew up and as general socio-economic conditions changed. And, of course, these varied with the seasons over the course of one year. Nevertheless, I will try to summarize our activities on an hourly basis for a typical day in the early 1950s.

12:00 AM -- 07:00 AM

- 03:00 AM: In winter, Dad would get up to throw wood in the furnace in the basement and the stove in the kitchen.
- 05:00 AM: In summer, Dad would often be up and out in the fields -- plowing, discing, harrowing, seeding.
- 06:00 AM: Normal time for Dad to get up to wash, shave, smoke and have his "smoker's cough". He would stoke the furnace and stove if/as required.
- 06:30 AM: Mom would get up (?). Dad would turn on our old RCA radio (using vacuum tubes and two batteries) to listen to Jack Senon(?) on CKBI 900 radio and the news at 7:00 AM.
- 06:55 AM: Around this time, we would get up to the sharp whistle and chug-chug of the CPR locomotive arriving at the Crystal Springs train station. (Later this was replaced with the sonorous siren and roar of a diesel engine.)

07:00 AM -- 08:15 AM
- We would get up, put on our work clothes and go out to do the chores. Milk the cows and feed the cows, horses, chickens, pigs (if Dad hadn't done that). The pails of milk would be taken downstairs to the "separator" to separate the cream from the skim milk. (Every third day, would be my turn to turn the handle.)
- We would then wash, change into school clothes and have breakfast -- usually porridge (Quaker Oats, Sunny Boy cereal, Cream of Wheat) followed by bacon and eggs (sometimes other meats).
- By 08:15 AM or later, we would be on our way to school past Welch's -- by foot in summer/winter or by caboose/sleigh in winter.
- Of course, during the July/August summer holidays, rather than going to school, we would be assigned other chores to be done around the farm.

09:00 AM -- 04:00 PM
These were the typical school hours, although I recall the 08:30-03:30 time frame also.
- I do not recall what year we stopped reciting the Lord's Prayer and singing O'Canada in the morning and God Save the King/Queen at school end.
- I also do not recall what year Dixon Lake became a 3-room school with 3 teachers -- for example, grades 1-4 with Mrs. Kreutzweiser, grades 5-8 with Mr. "Ike" Gillard, grades 9-12 with Miss Orton.
- Each student had an individual desk (with a drawer under the seat and an obsolete inkwell, often used to hold water "cones" obtained at the water cooler at the back of the classroom).
- The desks were arranged in rows and columns to segregate each of the 4 grades.
- The teacher would assign work for each of the grades and interact with one grade at a time, although sometimes the whole classroom would participate in excercizes such as reciting multiplication tables.
- There was 15-minute recess in the morning and another in the afternoon.
- There was a one-hour lunchbreak during which we quickly ate our two sandwiches (baloney, peanut butter with honey, meat, etc.), desert (cookies, cake) and lastly a fruit (apple, orange, banana).
- After eating our lunch, we would normally go outside to play -- baseball in spring, soccer in fall and hockey/skating in winter -- unless the weather was atrocious.

Of course, during the summer holidays, Christmas holidays and weekends when there was no school, our activities during this time frame were much different. During the summer, there would always be farm chores such as haying, picking roots, picking rocks, mending/building fences, weeding/hoeing several gardens, etc. More pleasureable, but useful, activities were picking mushrooms (smurzhi, kozari, babky, pecheritsi, pidpenki), picking berries (strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, saskatoons, pincherries, trips for blueberries and crab apples), etc. In winter, chopping trees for firewood, splitting wood blocks, crushing chop (grinding grain) for cattle, pig and horse feed, etc. were necessary activities.

Mom insisted that Sunday mornings be reserved for the monthly church services in Yellow Creek or Tarnopol when available or reading the Sluzhba Bozha at home -- with her reading the priest's part and us boys as the choir. Sunday afternoons would often be hijacked for work duties rather than relaxation and pleasure. In later years, we often participated in baseball tournaments on Saturdays or Sundays.

04:00 PM -- 07:00 PM
After coming home from school by foot, caboose or sleigh, we would change clothes and do the evening chores. I do not recall if we had supper before or after milking cows.

07:00 PM -- 11:00 PM
Regularly assigned school homework was done during this time period. Nevertheless, there was usually time for reading, playing games (cards, checkers, chess, crokinole) and discussions with Dad and Mom.

11:00 PM -- 12:00 PM
We were usually in bed by eleven o'clock -- upstairs during the summer and downstairs during the winter. In winter, Dad and Mom made sure that the furnace and stove were well stoked before retiring for the night.

Memorable Vignettes

[1] Original House and Farmyard
[2] New House and Farmyard
[3] Attic Bedroom
[4] Hill on South Edge of Farm
[5] CPR Railway
[6] Machinery
[7] Wood Pile
[8] Chop Crusher
[9] Swimming Hole
[10] School Route
[11] Traplines
[12] 0.22 calibre rifle
[13] Sport and Dicky (Dyki)
[14] Bees, Wasps and Bumblebees
[15] Moe's Escapades
[16] Harry's Whipping
[17] Harry's Lightning Strike
[18] Moonshine Raid
[19] Baseball Tournament in Yellow Creek
[20] New Year's Eve Blizzard of 31Dec1957 (or 31Dec1958?)

[1] Original House and Farmyard
The original house was, presumably, built by Dad shortly after he purchased the homestead in 1935(?). It was a typical log cabin with the cracks filled with a clay-dung mixture and whitewashed with lime. The entrance was via a "shanda" (closed porch) to the south. The roof was of spruce shingles. (Years later, after it was abandoned, I remember our neighbor, Herb Welch, shooting a BB-gun pellet through the little window on the west side. Eventually, the walls collapsed, but the roof maintained its integrity on top of the ruins. I do not recall, when the debris was removed.)

The log barn with a "straw-pile" roof (some 100 yards to the south of the house) was used year-round to harness the horses and milk the cows, and protect the animals during extreme cold weather in winter. The hay stacks were just south of the barn. The chicken coop and pig sty were west of the barn. Between the house and chicken coop, Dad had dug a well by hand into hard clay (some 30 feet deep with wood cribbing) to produce clear, cold, "hard" water.

A "slab" picket fence from the house to the barn, and also to the northwest from the house separated the farmyard from the gardens and fields to the east.

[2] New House and Farmyard
The new house was built in 1943 or 1944 on a knoll some 100 yards to the West-SouthWest of the original house with the help of my godfather Nicola Dorosh from Yellow Creek. (I have never confirmed its dimensions, but it must have been about 20' x 30'.) It consisted of a master bedroom (NE corner), a second bedroom (SW), a kitchen (NW), a living room (SE) and a stairway between the bedroom and kitchen. (This stairway was later moved to the north wall of the master bedroom.). In addition, there was an "open" porch over the "official" entrance to the east, which was seldom used and was "insulated" to preserve heat in winter. The "real" entrance was from the east into a "shanda" (porch) attached to the north side of the house, then up 3 steps through the north door. In addition, there was a "komora" to store non-perishable food products attached to the west side of the "shanda". The walls of the house were of 8" squared logs (aspen or spruce?) covered with bright red "brick-siding". Spruce shingles covered the roof. The main floor and ceiling crawl-space were of good quality "tongue-and-groove" wood, with linoleum overlaid in the kitchen. The walls and ceiling were of soft chipboard -- painted white.

The basement walls and floor were of concrete within which were rather large rocks to save on cement. (I do not think that there was any metal rebar.) There was a cistern to store "soft" rainwater in the NW corner and concrete bins for potatoes, carrots and turnips on the east side of the cistern. Another "komora" in the SW corner housed hundreds of jars of canned fruit, sauerkraut, pickles and other vegetables. The two main appliances in the basement were the "baishtokh" furnace and the cream separator. The furnace was constructed from a 50(?) gallon steel drum with a door welded onto one end and housed within a tin(?) sheet metal frame from which ducts delivered the warmed air to the main floor of the house. It was fueled with wood blocks (occassionally coal), which on cold winter nights required Dad to stoke up the fire at 3:00 AM. Smoke exhaust from the furnace and the stove upstairs was directed into a brick chimney located on a concrete pedestal at the centre of the basement. The wood stove on the main floor (which was transferred from the old house) was the typical 1930s design with 4 burners, oven and hot-water tank. Later, after obtaining electricity in early 1949, Mom got herself a big "deep freeze", which was always full.

The buildings in the farmyard also migrated west as Dad built a large granary into the side of the knoll west of the house and a new "semi-cylindrical" barn covered with aluminum sheet metal to the north. There was also a workshop, more granaries, a pig sty and a 500 gallon gasoline tank. During the 1940s, Dad gradually made the transition from horses to machinery as he bought a little Ford tractor, a used Model A Ford car, a threshing machine, a 3/4 ton GMC truck, a Massey-Harris combine (which is still on the farm some 200 yards to the west of the house) and a 1956 Dodge car (courtesy of Moe).

[3] Attic Bedroom
Our attic consisted of a crawl space on a good tongue-and-groove wood floor directly under the rafters comprising the roof. There were small windows on the north and south faces of the house, which were removable and replaceable with screens. The entrance was a hinged trapdoor above the stairwell on the north edge of the house. It was meant to be used as storage of dry food (corn, peas, beans, mushrooms, onions, garlic, even green tomatoes waiting to turn red) and imperishable items (stacks of Ukrainian Voice and New Pathway newspapers, ???). As one can imagine, it could be extremely hot during summer days and extremely cold in winter. During thunder and hail storms the noise could be deafening. The sound of howling/snarling coyetes in the dead of the night seemed amplified. The early morning rooster, as well as the shrill whistle of the CPR steam engine seemed to be just outside the house.

Nevertheless, during the summer months, we insisted on sleeping on a mattress (two mattresses?) spread out on the floor near the south window. We passed an electric cable through the ceiling for a hanging light bulb and electricity for a radio. We tried to utilize our summer upstairs bed as long as possible into winter by using warm quilts and a "pyryna" (feather-bed). Unhappily, Mom would remove all bedding without warning and force us to sleep in the bedroom or the folding couch in the living room.

[4] Hill on South Edge of Farm
I do not know when Dad filed his claim to our homestead in the Rural Municipality of Invergordon #430 designated NE18-24-44-W2. In the late 1920's the CPR extended its railway north from Watrous to Prince Albert. As partial compensation, they were deeded the title to every second quarter section of land, such that the quarter section directly north (SE19-24-44-W2) became available for sale in the early 1940's. Dad purchased this land for $1,600.00 "cash" -- since he arranged a loan at 6% interest from Mr. Purby at the Bank of Montreal in Domremy. (Years later he again arranged a loan to purchase our red Massey-Harris combine.) In addition, we rented (along with Jim Welch) the quarter section directly west of our homestead to serve as pasture for our cattle. Years earlier, a person by the name of Digby had tried to farm this very rocky land and finally abandoned it to the Municipality. We, thus, grew up on 3/4 sections of very rocky land.

The highest point of land was a hill on the south edge of our farm (directly south and slightly west of our house). To the west was a north-south barbed-wire fence to separate the pasture land from the crop land and farmyard. From that hill you could gaze to the northeast across the Carrot River Valley to see the huge white grain elevators in Kinistino -- some 30 miles away. [The Carrot River meandered through Tway Lake, Dixon Lake (just north of Crystal Springs), Struthers Lake (which we called Fishing Lake) and eastward toward the town of Carrot River .]

To me there was something magical about this location. One could easily imagine indigenous native Indians communicating with smoke signals with their brethern to the northeast. Presumably, in the late 1920's or early  1930's there was a huge forest fire and/or windstorm from the southwest which uprooted many old trees. Every fall, in the pasture along the north-south fence, we would pick pailfuls of "pidpanky" (mushrooms) growing under the rotting tree stumps, which we would then string and dry for winter. I recall digging for buried treasure in the indentations at the base of the fallen tree trunks.

The quarter section directly south (owned by Philip Chitrinia) was very rough hilly morraine deposited during the last ice age, which was unsuitable for farming. There were several old cart trails in this area crossing onto our land. According to Bob, Dad related that there were a couple of old Indian natives, who lived in the area in the early 1930's. They taught him how to use thin brass wire to make snares to catch rabbits or to attach to poles to snare partridges roosting on tree branches in the early fall/winter evenings. I recall setting snares on rabbit trails and bringing home the unlucky rabbits for Mom to make soup.

[5] CPR Railway
The CPR railway from Watrous to Prince Albert through Tway and Crystal Springs was built in 1929. (I vaguely recall Dad saying that he worked on the building crew after arriving in Tarnopol in 1927.) This railway link contributed greatly to the settlement of the Crystal Springs area, as well as enriched the CPR which was granted title to every second quarter section of land in the area. Two grain elevators were built. (Later consolidated.) Every morning and evening, people would gather at the train station. Some people would be going or returning from Prince Albert; others would be sending or receiving shipments. (In my time, the train station agent was Mr. Austin with his children, Colin and Carol.) About once a week, we would send off a 5 gallon cream can to the Creamery in Prince Albert and eventually receive a cheque from $5.00 to $8.00 in recompense. (Although this was Mom's money, as we grew older Mom would let us have every second cheque.)

Every morning around 7:00 AM, the surprisingly-loud sharp whistle and chug-chug of the steam locomotive heading north would signal that it was time for us to get up to do the chores. In about 1956, the sound of the steam engine was replaced with the roar of a diesel engine and its sonorous siren. I do not recall the typical time that the train would return from Prince Albert in the evening. (The railway became less important, when motor vehicles became more prevalent and when the "44 Trail" to Domremy (20 miles west) was connected to Highway 2 heading north over the bridge in St. Louis and onto Prince Albert.)

[6] Machinery
During the 1940's all the machinery on the farm was drawn by horses -- Dolly, Prince and Beauty (who was later sold). This included a binder, plow, discs, harrows, hay mower (kosarka), hay rake (hrabarka). After Dad purchased a small grey Ford tractor in (date?), the "poles" (dyshel) of this machinery were cut such that they could be pulled with the tractor rather than the horses. Dad bought a plow to attach directly to the hydraulic of the tractor, and later bought a tractor-drawn swather to replace the "hrabarka". I do not recall when we got our red 3/4 ton GMC truck, which turned out to be the main means of transportation for many years. The next big purchase (with a loan from Mr. Purby at the Bank of Montreal in Domremy) was a red Massey-Harris Ferguson combine -- probably in 1954 -- to harvest a bumper wheat, oats and barley crop. I recall us working late into the night -- shovelling the wheat from the truck into openings in south elevated side of the granary built into the side of the hill. (The combine is still on the farm some 150 meters west of the house location.)

Although our first car was a Model A Ford (probably inherited from uncle Bill Fisich, soon abandoned and still on the property some 60 meters east-northeast of the house location), Dad did not own a car until he inherited Moe's 56 Dodge purchased in Toronto in the early 1960s. Later he had a 65 Pontiac inherited from Bob.

[7] Wood Pile
The indispensible woodpile was located just west of the slab picket fence surrounding the house. Every winter Dad would locate some white poplar (aspen) trees in our pasture, that he and/or us boys would cut down for firewood. The trees would be trimmed of branches and arranged in piles, which days later would be hauled home in a sleigh pulled by Prince and Dolly. Still later, these would be cut into 18" logs with a circular saw hooked up with a belt to the pulley of our little Ford tractor. The two people nearest the saw had to be extremely careful not to have their hands or fingers amputated by the lethal teeth of the whistling saw -- which emitted a typical ringing sound as it cur through the wood.. One year, I spent the entire day receiving the cut log pieces and throwing them onto the woodpile. For many days thereafter, I had a ringing sound in my ears. This tinnitus periodically reccured, even into old age. Of course, the log pieces still had to be split with an axe by hand -- big pieces for the furnace downatairs and small pieces for the wood stove in the kitchen. In later years, we would borrow a circular flywheel wood chopper from Jim Welch.

[8] Chop Crusher
High protein "feed" for the pigs, cows and horses was prepared by "crushing" (i.e. grinding) various combinations of oats, barley and wheat to produce "chop". Once again, the pulley from the Ford tractor was hooked up to the "crusher" and the appropriate grain mixture would be shovelled from the wagon box into the crusher located just inside the "granary". The person inside the granary would invariably emerge completely white.

[9] Swimming Hole
The slough which served as our swimming hole was located in the pasture on our way to school. It was shaped like a sock with the "toe" being the outlet to the northeast and the "heel" being the inlet from the south. A shallower section stretched to the west. Every spring the slough would be brimming full and by fall would be almost empty. We even hauled several wheelbarrows of dirt and rocks to build up the outlet to try to preserve the water level. Harry recalls swimming with Herb Welch on his birthday (April 5th) following an unusually early spring breakup. Their stomachs were numb by the time they climbed out. Serious swimming started in late May during calm, warm, sunny days which resulted in a 6" layer of warm water. We would swim out on one path and return via another path, since the churned up water was still very cold. And no one even thought about wearing swimming trunks.

[10] School Route
Our school route was normally cross-country from our house past the toe of the swimming hole, on to Welch's house, across the N-S road onto Danchuk's field, across a ravine and exiting in the NW corner onto the E-W road. The last half mile was usually via the road with a small NW shortcut within the hamlet to the school. If the fields were unusually muddy, we would follow the road from Welch's. For several years in winter, Dad and Jim Welch would take turns in driving us to school in a horse-drawn heated caboose or an open sleigh. (We would walk to Welch's.) One nice March day, Welch's hired hand, Jim Brown, was driving us home in an open sleigh, when we saw a huge black bird that Jim Brown proclaimed to be a raven -- just before it cawed like an ordinary crow. Thereafter, all crows were called "Brown's ravens".

[11] Traplines
Sometimes in the early 1950s over the winter months, Harry started his trapline for weasel and squirrel. He laid out a circuit several miles long in the vicinity of our farm and used leg-hold traps. Every evening after school, he would inspect his trapline. Sometimes the victims were alive and had to be killed, sometimes they were frozen and occasionally the animals had chewed off their leg. Sometimes Moe and I would do the circuit. The animal had to be skinned and the skin stretched and dried on a board. Periodically, Harry would send in the skins by mail and receive something like $3.25 per skin.

Also, toward spring we would set traps for muskrats in several sloughs in the area. We would cut a hole into their domed houses poking through the ice and snow to set the trap. In later years, Moe and I would get up very early, harness the horses to the sleigh and head out to the big slough south of Tkachuk's (about 2 miles) to inspect the traps and collect the booty. We would be back in time to do the chores and go to school.

[12] 0.22 calibre rifle
From earliest childhood, I remember Dad's little 0.22 calibre rifle and 12 gauge double-barreled shotgun. I particularly recall Dad shooting a gopher at a distance of some 100 metres(?) on our 2-acre clearing. I could barely see the head of the gopher poking above the mound around his gopherhole. After the shot the head disappeared, but when we got there the gopher had a bullet hole right through the head. [In about 1920, Dad was drafted to serve 12 months in the Polish Army, where he trained as a sharp shooter. In a contest with a machinegun shooting at a moving cardboard cutout of a man on a horse at a distance of 500 metres(?), he won first prize -- with 97 of 100 bullets hitting the target.] When shooting partridges perched on a branch in the early evening, Bob recalls Dad relating how he would wait until the heads of 2 birds lined up -- so as to save on bullets.

Dad always admonished us to be very careful with guns and to NEVER point a gun -- either loaded or unloaded at a person. Unfortunately, we were not as careful as we should have been. As related below, Bob inadvertantly shot our dog, Dicky and he recalls putting a bullet through the ceiling of our house. I recall him pressing the barrel of the gun against the toes of his rubber boot and pulling the trigger. When we took off the boot, there were little burn marks right between two of the toes. Harry recalls how he was haunted for days, when he pointed the supposedly-unloaded .22 at Mom -- remembered Dad's warning and swung it vertically -- then pulled the trigger. The bullet went through the ceiling.

Much later (after 1956?), we got another .22 and a lever-action .32 rifle. Bob recalls an inadvertant discharge of the .32 rifle, when he tried to fix the lever-action eject mechanism, which was jamming. I do not recall using the shotgun [12 gauge shotgun shells are expensive], but I think cousin, Stefan Zuzak, used it when he went duck hunting.

[13] Sport and Dicky (Dyki)
Sport was, presumably, born in 1938 -- in time to act as Harry's companion-guardian as he was growing up. He was an extremely intelligent 3-legged German Shephard-type mongrel, who lived to a ripe old age of 20(?) despite having lost his hearing. He lost his right-rear leg as a pup to the sharp teeth of a "kosarka", when Dad was cutting hay. His untimely death was a result of being run over by a hay-rack during haying season. Bob was driving our little Ford tractor, while Harry and Moe were throwing alfalfa from swathed windrows up to me on the hay-rack. Sport was under the hay-rack to sniff for mice or to shade himself from the blazing hot sun and didn't hear as Bob started up. We found him dead in the yard the next morning -- and honoured him with an appropriate "boy's" funeral.

Dicky appeared sometimes in the early 1950s and was anything but intelligent. He was a yellow-brown fluffy extrovert, who liked to accompany Bob when he was "getting the cows" to be milked. He met his demise, when Bob inadverently shot him with our .22 rifle in the pasture. He ran home crying "I shot Dicky!". Bob said that Dicky yelped, ran back to him to lick his hand, then fell over dead. There was no blood, but we later found a small bullet hole in his neck.

[14] Bees, Wasps and Bumblebees
For most of my younger years, Dad kept bees. Each spring, he ordered the bees and wax frames to be delivered via the train station. He would place the beehives in strategic places near our alfalfa and clover fields. Several times a year, we would "extract" the honey using centrifugal force technology -- a 50 gallon barrel equiped with holders to whirl the bee frames, first on one side, then on the other side. The honey would splatter on the wall and flow down to the bottom. The hexagonal bee cells would normally be covered with a thin layer of wax, such that we would use a hot thin knife to cut it off to expose the honey. Chewing this honeyed wax was a real treat. Dad had a tan-coloured bee suit -- complete with pants, body, gloves, hat and screened mask -- to protect himself from stings. However, he seldom used the gloves, but did use a smoke apparatus to quieten the bees. (Years later, I inherited that tan felt hat, which I used when it was raining outside.)

In later years, after Dad officially stopped raising bees, we would sometimes notice a "swarm" of bees clustered around the queen bee on a branch of a tree. Dad would transport a behive to the location, break off the branch and carefully scrape off the queen bee onto the bee frames inside. The operation was usually successful, such that we would have honey that year.

Inadvertant encounters with wasps and their nests would be a yearly occurance resulting in bad swellings from wasp stings. The solution was to tie a gasoline-soaked rag to a long branch, light it and burn down the nest. We would be especially watchful for wasp nests in granaries and barns.

Bumblebees are not usually aggressive, unless you happen to step on their nest in the ground. Then the stings can be very painful. Bob recalls stopping the tractor, just as the stone-boat(?) on which Dad was standing had passed over a bumblebee nest. Dad screamed at him to get moving.

[15] Moe's Escapades
Moe was, by far, the most active (hyper-active?) of the boys -- doing naughty and daredevil things. He could also run the fastest, such that Harry couldn't catch him, when he made Harry angry. Both at home and at school, he was often singled-out and disciplined (often unfairly) for altercations and insubordination. Two events stand out.

Just to the east of the house, there was a tall thin tree -- the top of which had dried out. As he climbed to the very top, it broke under him, such that he fell to the ground squarely on his back. For several hours thereafter, he could barely breathe. Another time, he carelessly jumped from a tree onto a shrub within which was a sharp stem that ripped through his pants and scrotum on his testicles. Although he tried to hide the accident from Mom, the wound became infected such that he had to be taken to the hospital in Prince Albert. It took several weeks for the wound to heal.

Moe had extremely fast reflexes, such that he was an excellent goaltender for the Crystal Springs school hockey team. I remember him running a 200 yard race at a school meet against Dave Kildon of Northern Lights. Moe got out in front and stayed there. At the turns he would coast a bit, but turn it on in the straight-of-way section as Dave tried to pass him. However, in the Saskatoon meet, he described how he got a big lead at the start with instantaneous acceleration of his short powerful legs, but by the 40 yard mark his competitors passed him like a wave as their long legs started churning. His acceleration served him well in stealing bases in baseball and softball games.

Moe also had excellent eyesight in his youth. The girls often commented on his sparkling blue eyes. From the windows of our high school, one could see the grain elevators some half mile to the southwest. One recess he asked his classmates how many lightning rods they could count on one of the elevators. Of all the students, only Gladys Kowbel (with glasses) could see them and give the correct answer: two.

[16] Harry's Whipping
We always picked up the mail on our way home from school. (The post office was incorporated into the home of Percy Fisher.)  One sunny June day (in 1950?), after picking up the mail and walkiing to the Welch farm, Harry and Herb decided to go swimming in the slough along the way to our house. At that time, Dad was digging the foundations of a granary being built into the side of a hill. When he eventually got home and Dad asked if there was any mail, Harry realized that he had forgotten his schoolbag at Welch's. Dad calmly selected a long root, laid Harry over his knee and gave him a whipping that left his rear end blue for weeks. It didn't take long for Harry to run back to Welch's to retrieve his schoolbag. There was a $700.00 cheque from the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in the mail.

[17] Harry's Lightning Strike
For a couple of years, we rented a quarter section of land across the road to the northwest of our farm. Harry and Moe were harrowing(?) the field with our Ford tractor, when a thunderstorm descended upon them. As the lightning strikes kept getting ever closer, they stopped the tractor and Harry jumped off to unhook the harrows. Just then lightning struck several meters away and Harry was knocked unconcious. He recalls Moe waking him up and trying to get him to breathe. For several days thereafter, Harry had the sensation that he was walking on a cloud.

[18] Moonshine Raid
Just like many other people in the area, Dad brewed moonshine whiskey -- starting with a fermented sugar-wheat mixture. The paraphenalia consisted of an 8 gallon cream can with a hooked piece of copper tubing emanating from the lid on top. A second piece of copper tubing then proceeded downward through a coiled section (cooled with snow-iced water) and a final hook from which the alcohol dripped into a glass jar. To remove the musty smell and to increase the alcohol content of the condensate, Dad would distill the whiskey twice. (Dad related how he treated a neighbour to a sample, who carelessly downed the brew in one gulp and then coughed, sputtered and could not speak for several minutes.) After the distillation operation the paraphenalia would be hidden in the bushes and the whiskey hidden in a safe place.

Unfortunately, making moonshine was illegal and the RCMP offered a reward to people who reported suspects and the moonshiner was caught and convicted to a hefty fine or jail. Mom related how on a cold bright winter day (when neither Dad or us boys were home), the police arrived and started searching the house. When they opened the kitchen cabinet and removed a bottle which smelled of alcohol, Mom panicked and tried to take it from them. They ignored her and left the house, presumably, in triumph. Later, Mom found the bottle propped against the verandah door. Its contents were a mixture of alcohol, garlic and honey used to treat colds, flu and other maladies. In actual fact, Dad had stashed a bottle of the real stuff in the cylindrical container for twine in the binder, which was parked several meters off the main road. The RCMP did not notice a lightly used path heading towards the binder.

[19] Baseball Tournament in Yellow Creek
I recall a particular Sports Day and Baseball Tournament in Yellow Creek in the summer of 1955 or 1956. Crystal Springs got into the final against Prince Albert. Harry was pitching, Theo Toner was catching, while Moe and I were in the outfield. In the last half of the nineth inning, we were behind by one run (2/1, if I recall correctly), when Moe came up to bat to hit a double and drive in the tying run. Then it was my turn. To everyone's surprise, I also hit a double to drive in Moe with the winning run. Although jubilant, it was dark by the time we drove home in our red 3/4 ton truck, the cows were still unmilked and Dad was furious. He wasn't interested in our excuses. Only several days later, did he proudly learn from the townspeople that the Zuzak boys were heros at the Yellow Creek ball tournament.

[20] New Year's Eve Blizzard of 31Dec1957 (or 31Dec1958?)
Saturday Night Dances were a typical feature of many small towns in the Crystal Springs area. The organizers would usually hire a local band to play waltzs, polkas, two-steps and later rock-music. The macho boys would buy a 12-pack of beer, a bottle or two of whiskey and "cruise" around from town to town to try pick up any "free" girls. However, most people (both old and young) would go to the dance with their wives, children and girl friends or, if unattached, simply show up at the dance with no intention of "cruising". People would sit in chairs on either side of the hall or stand talking near the entrance. Intermingling was encouraged and the males were expected to invite the females to dance. Unattached boys would ask unattached girls to dance and, if they were attracted, ask if they could drive them home.

The New Year's Eve dance on 31Dec1957? was especially memorable. Harry was home for the Christmas holidays with his black 1946 Ford car (or was it the black 1949 Mercury?). The weather was unusually warm -- almost melting -- that day, but a severe blizzard warning for that evening was issued. Despite the warning, the Crystal Springs Hall (part of a "cylindical" curling rink complex) was packed, with most participants thinking that they would be able to slip away home, if and when things got bad. The storm held off till midnight, just as everyone was greeting the New Year and exchanging kisses. Then the blizzard hit with snow and wind of unbelievable fury. Snowdrifts appeared almost instantly and the roads quickly became impassable.

Harry had arranged to drive three girls from Yellow Creek home after the dance: Vera Dorosh, Helen Borsa, Adele Novak. (They were classmates one year older than I, who also sang in the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox church choir under my Godfather Nicola Dorosh.) We hastened to the car and headed for Yellow Creek -- with Harry and Moe sticking their heads out the front windows to stay on the road. We were fortunate to get there and spent the night in the hotel owned by Adele Novak's father. About 10:00 AM the next morning, we followed the snowplow cutting through the huge drifts back towards Crystal Springs. Just in case Dad would be coming out with the horses to get us in Yellow Creek, I got out at the grid road heading north past our place and walked home through the snowdrifts in my good shoes and thin dress pants.

However, Dad had other worries. Bob had become very sick the night before, such that he had to drive him and Mom to the train station to go to the hospital in Prince Albert. (I do not recall when they came home.) It was a very stressful 01Jan1958 New Year's Day.