Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Canada: a sketch of Manny and Edith's early years

Based on a conversation with Edith and Manny, July 18, 2011:

ARRIVING IN QUEBEC:
     On Anna Salen, sailing to Canada, from Bremerhaven, October 7, 1951.
     Edith turned 18 on the boat, on the 13th.

     Manny: “When we were off the coast of Labrador, we saw beautiful northern lights. Amazing, colorful. Then Newfoundland. We landed in Quebec City on the 17th. We were supposed to land in Halifax, but because the bow on our ship was cracking open, we had to reroute to Quebec City. We were processed as new immigrants. We were taken on a train way west to Ajax in Ontario (it's on the north coast of the lake).
     “They didn’t give me my money [in Ajax, during processing?],” says Edith. “They were supposed to give you $25. You had to buy the $25 in Germany. Then they’d convert it to Canadian money and give it back when you got to Canada. They didn’t give me my money. Happened to some other people too. Some screw-up. Luckily, I had some of my own money.
     “But then some German fellow took that.

THIEF:
     “I don’t recall where we were, but it was some place where you could buy things [on the ship?]. I only had this big bill that my mother gave me just in case. So this guy said, ‘Can I just borrow that?’
     “He wanted to buy a drink or something.
     “Maybe the story was that he was going to change it into Canadian currency for me. Something like that. But I never saw that guy again.


FIRST DISAGREEMENT:
     “Ajax,” (says Pa). “That was the name of the place where we were processed, I think. [Later, Manny reads his notes. They indicate that they took a “special train to Ajax. On the 19th—waited in Ajax to be processed.”]
     “But, first, we got off the boat, and I bought some food, ‘cause I still had my money. I bought a loaf of French bread and butter. That’s when we had our first disagreement. Edith prepared the bread, and I said, ‘don’t put so much butter on it!’ She was spreading it awfully thick. Edith was horrified that I didn’t want that. Our first disagreement.

TOO MANY IMMIGRANTS:
     “The problem was that immigrants were coming too thick, too fast. There weren’t enough jobs. So you’d go somewhere where you were assigned a town based on whether there were jobs there. You had to wait for the immigrants in front of you to get processed, sent out.
     “Whereever they saw there were possibilities of employment—that’s where they’d send you.
     Edith: “But Manny had a friend—a guy who came from Böblingen. [Detlef Griesebach?] His uncle had immigrated to Canada after WWI. So he had family in Canada. Manny therefore didn’t have to deal with these referrals. Our plan was to go to Kitchener, where the friend had a place for Manny to stay.
     Things changed with us. Plans changed often and fast.
     Edith: “Manny stuck with me. I had promised my mother I would do domestic work—to be with kids, learn the language, stay indoors at night. So I promised. That was the plan. But you can find that kind of work anywhere. Domestics were in high demand.
     “So the Canadians were looking for domestic work for me [in Ajax]. I was supposed to report to the next place of employment, in Oshawa, east of Toronto [Ajax is between these two cities]. Manny had to go to Toronto to take a bus to Kitchener, where his friend was waiting for him.
     “So, anyway, we were on the train together.
     “We had coupons from the Canadian government, for lunch, dinner, etc. Could cash them in on the train. But, being frugal, we never cashed in any of them. We didn’t want to incur debt just for bacon and eggs!
     “We got to Ajax. We were processed there. [October 19th—waited in Ajax to be processed.] All the buildings were made out of aluminum. Odd. (See note at end.)
     But we weren't gonna stick around for weeks waiting for a referral.

A drill on the Anna Salen
“I GO WHERE YOU GO”:
     Edith: “He got off the train with me. I asked him, ‘Why aren’t you continuing to Toronto?’
     Manny: “I said, ‘I go where you go, and that’s it.’ She was raised not to do that, and I was raised to do it.
     "We decided to go to Kitchener. That was a German town.
     “We stopped at the immigration service in Hamilton. They had a great sense of humor, those people in Hamilton. ‘Oh, you’re the couple that’s missing,’ they said. We ran away, and they searched for us. That was the idea. ‘We figured that, since you left together, you’d show up sooner or later.’
     “They knew we were in Quebec, then went on the train.
     “Did we go to the camp [for new immigrants]? Yes, we did go into the camp, but then we left. We were there two days. And we got food. That was good. A big improvement.
     Edith: “Manny was going to wait to see where I wound up. He wasn’t going to leave until that was determined. ‘How long will it be until you get me a job?’ asked Edith. They said: ‘Maybe three weeks, because of all the people in front of you.’
     “I would have had to wait. So I just left. I didn’t stay. I said to Manny, ‘I’ll just go with you to Kitchener, and you can do what you’ve got to do with your friend, and I can find a domestic job there.’ That was our plan.

Check out the green dots
MONEY STOLEN:
     Edith: “Manny may have had $20. We went on the road by the camp. We were told about hitchhiking: stand by the road, stick your thumb out like this. And so we did that. It worked.
     “Kitchener was far away. So, after the two or so days on the train, we still had to take a bus. A small Greyhound bus. We paid for that, then got on the bus. Put our stuff up where it was supposed to go. He had one case, and I had one. Everything we owned was in those suitcases.
     Edith: “I checked my shoulder bag, and well, there was no money. There were lots of pickpockets around those days. All the money was gone. Actually, we looked for Manny’s money first, and his was gone. Then I looked for mine, and mine was gone too.
     “We didn’t know what to do. I immediately turned to Manny, saying, ‘Don’t think that I took your money!'
     Manny smiles: “Nobody had accused her.” He smiles again.
     “Pretty soon, everybody on the bus was in on our little tragedy. They all knew that our money had been taken. They all helped us look for it. Didn't find it.
     “We got off in Hamilton to change buses. [I guess they had to wait until the morning.] We didn’t know where to go. It was dusk. We sat on a bench near the station, and this guy comes over. He had been on the bus with us. He was a Pole who could speak German.
     ‘You lost your money?’
     Yes.
     ‘Have you eaten today?’
     No.
     ‘Can I invite you for a meal?’
     Yes, that would be very nice.
     “So we did that. It was very nice of him.
     “He asked: ‘Where are you going to stay tonight?’
     We’ll just go back to that bench.
     “He had told us that we could go to the local Lutheran church, and the pastor would help us out, probably lend us money. So, next morning, we were going to visit that pastor.
     “’We’ll stay here on the bench,’ we said. But this guy told us that, in Canada, you can’t sleep on a public bench. It's not like Europe. A cop will arrest you. But we had no place to go.
     “’You can come with me,’ he said to me. ‘I have a sister and she’ll give you a bed.’ But then he pointed to Manny. ‘It’s my sister, but she can't take in a guy. You can stay on the bench.’
     “’No, we won’t do that,’ said Edith. We took some money from him, said we’d send it back, which we did, eventually. We always paid off debts as soon as possible.
     “Well, we figured: if the policeman is going to arrest us, why not just go to the police station? So we went there with the idea that we’d sit somewhere at the station all night. So we did that. The cop asked us what we were doing. We explained. He said: ‘So you’re going to visit the pastor?’ Yes. Tomorrow morning.
     “Then the cop says, ‘No, I’ll take you to the pastor tonight. There’s a service.’ And so he did. In the police car. The pastor then gave money to the cop; the cop drove us to the hotel, and then the cop gave the money to the hotel so we could stay the night.
     “We were supposed to go back to the pastor in the morning, and we did. He gave us some money. We got our bus.

LIVING WITH THE ELLISES AND THE GUNTHERS:
     Edith: “We got to Manny’s friend in Kitchener. I got a job as a domestic with a rich family, the Ellises. Her maiden name was ‘Forsyth.’ The Forsyths were the big fancy shirt maker of Canada. (Manny: "In the U.S., van Heusen made the quality shirts; in Canada, it was Forsyth.") Everyone knew the name. Mr. Ellis’s mother seemed to be German. They were nice to me. Manny could visit anytime.
     “Everything was fine until Christmas came. The Ellises went to Florida every Christmas, and they couldn’t take me along, because I couldn’t leave Canada for one year. So that put an end to my employment with them. So she brought me to some other lady. An English woman. This English couple had lived much of their lives in Asia. They had all these Asian things in their home, including a room where they meditated. They seemed to dabble in Buddhism. Very wealthy.
     “He was very sick; he seemed to be dying. Most of the time he was in the hospital.
     “She never gave me any food. I had to eat what the dog ate. She would make one meal a day herself. And she would put some food on my plate [for the dog?]. I was the only one working there, and I worked pretty hard. She didn’t like Germans at all. So the dogs would get toast to eat, and I’d have a little of that. Really sweet dogs.
     “There were photos of India. Photos of Mr. Ellis and the queen.
     “Gunther was their name. Very stuck up. She was an older lady, and a real bitch. She had two cute dogs. Even the dogs didn’t get much food because she didn’t want them to get fat. But I was OK. At least I had a nice room.
     Edith: "Mr. Ellis was the President of Goodrich tire, in Kitchener. 
     Manny: "No, he was a major stockholder in Westinghouse.
     Edith: "No, he actually worked there, in Kitchener. [The dispute continues.]
     Manny: "Kitchener was very German. Old German. It used to be called 'Berlin.' Changed the name after WW I. Kitchener was a general who hated Germans. Or so they told us in Kitchener.

"I QUIT"; "NO YOU DON'T"
     “One day I met some German people that Manny’s friends took us to. There was this German woman who was the manager of a well known German singer. A German actress. Very popular. She sang “Lili Marleen.” She was friends with Lala Anderson. She had purchased the Opera (building) in Heidelberg, sang there.
     “This former manager was doing a kind of plastic surgery illegally. She wasn't cutting; she would manipulated the skin with chemicals. (Edith shivers.) She didn’t speak English. When she saw me, she wanted to hire me immediately. So I left this horrible Mrs. Gunther.
     “That turned out to be a problem. She hadn’t paid me yet, and I’d worked six weeks. I asked, ‘Any possibility I can be paid a little money?’
     No, not until three months from now.
     Why?
     You’ve got to repay the money for the fare (150 dollars provided by the Canadian government). I’ll give you the money for that, but nothing more.
     Why?
     Because you haven’t paid for your uniforms yet.
     “I told her I didn’t want to wear those uniforms. ‘But I want you to,’ she said.
     ‘I think I’d better go and work someplace else,’ I told her.
     So I called Manny and he came in the evening. I had my suitcase packed upstairs. It was pretty heavy. I told him, ‘Maybe you can go upstairs to get my suitcase.’ Mrs. Gunther then said to Manny, ‘If you go up there, if you take one step into my house, I’ll call the police.’ I said: ‘All I want is my suitcase, and I can’t carry it.’ Too bad, she said. ‘You are not released anyway. You have to work for me for three months.’ I said, ‘You never told me that.’ ‘Well, you do.’ So Manny just walked in, went upstairs, and grabbed my suitcase. He walked down the fancy, spiraling staircase. Then we walked out of the house.
     She was on the phone calling the police.
     “As we walked to this new job—maybe a mile or so own the road—the police car drove up, followed us, but they never stopped us. They just rolled right next to us all the way to Mrs. Harder. They knew where I was, I figured. Maybe Mrs. Gunther already had a bad reputation in that small town. Who knows.
     “So I worked with this woman, Mrs. Harder. Manny couldn’t get a job. We started planning again. We figured, in a big town like Hamilton, Ontario, there was industry. So maybe we could get jobs there.
     “As it was, we had to walk miles and miles to see each other sometimes.
     In the meantime, Manny worked for the Mennonites, farmers. Manny was putting in telephone lines in the abundant snow. He would shiver. Didn’t have the warm clothing he needed. I bought him a pair of gloves for Christmas. Then things were better.
     “One day, Manny said, ‘we should go to Hamilton, because I can only get jobs with farmers here.’


HAMILTON, THEN NIAGARA FALLS:
     Edith: “So off we went to Hamilton. Manny tried to get a job there. He'd get up, 3 or 4 in the morning, day after day. Went to factories. It was so cold. I found a job at the hospital for the insane. That was tough work. Worked there quite a while. Manny still didn’t find a job.
     Finally, he went to Niagara Falls with a friend. They hitchhiked. They both got jobs there. It was a while before I heard from him again. He was jailed because he had no place to stay, all that stuff.
     “I finally quit and went to join Manny in Niagara Falls.
     “Then I got sick with my gall bladder. Terrible pain. I couldn’t eat any more.
     “I called Manny, who took me to the hospital. They brought me to the delivery room! ‘It’s not a baby!’, I said. No, I’m not pregnant. They eventually figured out that it was my gall bladder. I had the operation. I recovered.
     “Then we decided to get married, then Manny’s mom said you can’t get married because I want to be there and look at this Edith person first. Oma [i.e., Luise Bauer] was not very nice, not to me.
     I had written my mother and she was very excited. She was not feeling well and could not travel. She wrote a nice letter to Oma. She said, the two were getting married, and she was happy about that. Great that Edith found a good partner. Oma never answered. My mother wasn’t very impressed. [Gross understatement.]


NEXT: WEST TO BRITISH COLUMBIA
     “After that, we went all the way to British Columbia, to a job. This was in the summer of ’53. The Niagara job was finished. Manny was given a really nice letter of recommendation. They just thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.
     The hiring office was in Vancouver. We went there, Manny got the job. There was nothing for me. Then I became pregnant. [She cringes.]
     “I took a job in a household in Vancouver. Jewish people. Nice people.
     “The man of the house always had asthma attacks. He’d stay up all night with them. The wife didn’t seem to care. Sometimes I’d be up all night with the guy.
     “We stayed in BC from that point. Manny had a friend at a construction camp. His parents were this old couple, the Woods, who owned a chicken ranch. We stayed with them, bought a trailer.
     “When Manny went up to work there—that was in Kemano. The hiring office was in Vancouver. Manny was hired because of this great letter of recommendation. We were gonna take this car. A thousand miles north of Vancouver. Only two [three?] ways to get there. The ocean. Or drive. Could go with the boat or he could take the plane and go there –or there was one road that went close–200 miles north of there. Then take the ship to Kemano. (Manny evidently made the trip more than once; he took the plane the second time.)
     “One time he got hired and we tried to go up there together and stay together, but that never worked. We got to a site, but we had to be apart. So Manny quit again. Couldn’t do that. We needed to be together. There was the time I drove and the moose was in my way and I couldn’t move. (Manny says something about Burns Lake and Francoise Lake. See map.)

British Columbia
Detail
PREGNANT WITH ANNIE:
     Edith: “We came back [to Vancouver?] to get jobs again. Manny went up [to Kemano?] by himself for three or four months. And I was working in Vancouver. I was pregnant with Annie. I came down [from?] about Christmas and Annie was born in May. We had this trailer. We lived in it for maybe a year (see photo). Then we got a little house. There was a lean-to that they built on to that trailer. It was so cold. The toilet was a hundred yards away. It was in a trailer camp. I had to go to the toilet all the time. Manny had to go with me. One night he lost his wedding ring. And we never found it.
     “So we got to BC in the summer of 53. I remember I was so sick. Every day. I could eat like a horse and we didn’t have much money. Manny was alarmed at all my eating. But then he got a job, and then I got a job too with these people.


THE GUTKINS:
     “They were pretty nice people, this Jewish family. I had to take care of the household. The husband was very sick, usually at night. The woman wasn’t very kind to him. They may have been in their early thirties. He owned a haberdashery. He was a tailor, in Vancouver. She didn’t seem to do anything but spend money. Seemed like they were native Canadians for generations. Might have been German Jews because she had friends he would come over who spoke German. Yiddish, I guess, but I could understand them.
     “She always wanted me to cook. Her specialty was some kind of muffin with meat stuffed inside, with broth.
     “Yes, they were somewhat religious. They had two kids. One kid would say, ‘Edith, you’re a brat.’ She was maybe 11 years old. Nice kid. This couple loved to visit San Francisco for weekends. And so I’d play with these kids; pretend to be the nanny. I was in charge. I fed them, dressed them, cooked for them. Don’t remember their names. Their family name was something like “Gutkin.”
     “They brought me to the ship when I was allowed to go. Wished me well, told me to write, but I never did. They were nice people. Had a nice home. Not too fancy, but nice.
     “One thing though: the Gutkins had me sleep in the basement, the raw basement in the dark. They knew I was pregnant. I would never ask anybody to do that! There was nothing in this basement. Just concrete. There was a bed, like a bunk bed. Very hard. Like an emergency place for somebody who shouldn’t be there. Maybe a dungeon or jail to punish a misbehaving teenager. It was like that. I tried to make it cutesy. I asked for an old table and chair from the barn. Got that. Put flowers there. But I really didn’t have much free time anyway.
     “I wasn’t especially involved in their religious rituals, but otherwise, I was part of the family, did what they did. They always told me to come in for Hanukkah activity, but I never really did. They didn’t treat me badly. They’d ask, “Did you do that yet, Edith?” Yes, I did. “Good.” That sort of thing. Pretty nice.

DHC-2 Beaver
MANNY TAKES A PLANE, IS "LOST":
     “At one point, I thought that Manny had died. He took off in this little plane, and he was lost for three or four days. The plane didn’t turn up. My God! Mrs. Gutkin said, don’t worry about it. You can stay with us.
     “Manny eventually called by radio. I had to go to a special place for that. You had to say, “over and out,” that sort of thing. Very complicated.
     “Here’s how Annie was born in Prince Rupert. I couldn’t have the baby in that camp we were staying in. They had a bad experience with this one pregnant woman there. There was a Red Cross lady with a little medical knowledge. She brought all the babies into the world there. One time, things went wrong. “I’ll never do this again,” she would say. Maybe the baby died.
     “So all the women who were pregnant had to leave the place three or four months prior to their time. She still ended up dealing with childbirths. Anyway, I was pregnant, and so I had to leave.
     “This coincided with Manny having to testify in court.

COURT TESTIMONY FOR EDDIE:
     “We had this friend. His name was Eddie Schultz. Seemed to be a very nice guy. On New Years Eve, this baby was reported to have been molested. This was in a little camp outside the main camp. We were about ten miles from the ocean, where we received freight.
     “There was just a small group of friends, and he was one of them. We had a New Years Eve Party. This woman was checking on the baby in her trailer. She found a small amount of blood on the baby. The authorities determined that the child had been molested. A tiny baby. The mounted police came in. They arrested Schultz. And so he was taken away, to Prince Rupert, the next city where there was a court. About three hundred miles away. It was just that time when I was supposed to leave that place because I was pregnant.
     “Manny was called to be a witness for Schultz's defense. So we both went. I stayed with an old couple in their 80s. The Johnsons. Manny went to court. The guy was convicted. Sent to penitentiary. He was declared guilty, but he claimed innocence.
     “We used to go hunting with Eddie with these little 22s. There was just nothing to do. So we’d go to Deadman’s Valley and hunt. People said that Indians roamed in there still and killed white people occasionally. We thought it was really romantic!
     “We had this boat and we floated into that canyon and we just looked. We looked for grizzlies. Some German fella got killed by a grizzly. It was pretty dangerous around there.
     “We would watch the grizzlies near the trash where they'd look for food. There were these marmalade buckets made of metal. We were standing there watching the grizzlies. The grizzly was licking this marmalade bucket. And he got it stuck on his head. He banged it so that he couldn’t get it off. He was very angry. He was in a fury, dancing around. We got out of there fast, saying: ‘If he ever gets that bucket off, we’re goners.’ We had Annie with us in her little carriage. We ran.
     “When Annie was born, I was living with these Johnsons in Prince Rupert. Same as court time. Staying there worked out fine. Women who were pregnant often stayed with them. They rented a room, got food. Mrs. Johnson was a very good baker, made great cinnamon rolls, wonderful yeast bread.
     “I stayed there for four months or so. Annie was born. I took my walks, got good food, exercised, etc. A little boring, but the people were very sweet. The old man gave me this old Klondike gun that he used when he arrived for the Gold Rush. He liked me. ‘You give this to your husband,’ he said. Ultimately, it was lost in the fire (2001).


THE TILDNERS:
     “One day, there was a knock on the door. This lady came in. ‘I hear that you’re the people who give pregnant ladies a place to stay. I’d like to rent a room.’ She was from Hamburg, Germany. ‘Unfortunately,’ said Mrs. Johnson, ‘I have someone living here already. There’s no room.’ She described me to her. She said, ‘She’s a German girl, too. Why don’t you meet her?’
     “This was Margaret Tildner. Her husband was a warehouse man. Manny got him his job. They knew each other. But I didn’t know her. So I said, ‘I don’t mind sharing the bed, if you have no place to go.’ So that’s what we did, until Annie was born.
     “I waited for the ship back to Kemano. Meanwhile, Margaret was in the hospital with her baby, Stafanie. Later on, she and her husband lived right next to us. We became good friends. Stefanie, the little girl, would sit outside, and people would drive or walk by. Stafanie would always say “Hi!” Very loud, a busy little girl. Annie just smiled, didn’t say much. Stefanie said it for her.
     “That marriage didn’t last very long. He, Gunther, became a bandleader in San Francisco. Apparently, he was gay. She went back to Germany with Stefanie when the child was maybe a year and a half old.
     “I never knew he was a musician (or gay, evidently).
     “There was another friend, he was gay. He always came visiting Margaret and Gunther. (There were two Gunthers: Bauer and Tildner.) So this guy would visit, a good friend. He was a skinny, tiny guy. Very effeminate. He was a janitor. But Gunther Tildner was a tall blond good looking guy.
     “Margaret was one of these actresses from Hamburg. She would always act. Make grand gestures. Do scenes. It would drive you nuts. (Edith mimics her; holds her hands and head dramatically.) Otherwise she was very sweet, intelligent. Gunther was about 40 at the time. We were in our early 20s. Margaret was maybe 30.



A GAY FRIEND:
     “The gay friend’s name was Lothar. He would always be in our group. I wondered why he visited the Tildners so often. Maybe he was visiting his gay friend, Gunther? I don’t know.
     Roy asks: Whatever became of this guy?
     “He just stayed behind. Don’t know what happened to him. Maybe Gunther took him along to San Francisco [a joke, or not]. There were lots of odd characters up there in those days.
     “Another one: Roger, a Frenchman; he really liked us. He would always visit. He often traveled to Acapulco for vacation. He’d work for three years, then go down there, spend big. He’d come back broke and work another three years. Then he'd head to Acapulco again.
     “As I recall, he was involved with some dictator that was ousted or something. He could never go back to France. (Maybe Vichy?) We had his address. He had no one. His parents had died. I tried to write him after we parted, but the letter came back. He was from Paris.
     “Lothar was a very nice guy. Don’t recall what part of Germany he was from. Northern maybe.
     “He was pretty obviously gay. He never talked about that part of his life. We never said anything. We never saw anything. He would come by all the time.
     I asked: Did you ever hear from Margaret afterward?
     No.

KITIMAT:
     “Manny got changed over to another construction site. Kemano was where the water went into the tunnel. That’s where we lived. Then there was a big power line over the mountains. Huge, glaciers. Wonderful. This power line went over the mountains to Kitimat, where the aluminum smelter was. It was a bigger place. A big factory, a city built for workers. Homes, stores. Fifty miles over the mountains. An Indian village. Kitimat.


LOST AND FOUND:
     [Manny enters the room.] I ask him about the time he was “lost” with that plane.
     Manny: “we took off from Vancouver. We went up the inland passage, cut across the mountains to get over to Kemano. I was just hired on. Had my toolbox with me. It was just the pilot and me. We had to hit this hole in the wall (a pass in the mountains). We were overloaded. We nearly lost our pontoons, but we made it. Couldn’t see the rocks. We broke through. It was too narrow to turn around.
     “They were called Mystery Mountains,” says Edith. That was an unexplored area at the time.
     "But how were you lost?", I ask Manny.
     “We broke through that hole, but there was a storm on the other side. So we entered this at 110 mph. We were in this cloud. The pilot kept saying, 'read the topo map, see what there is here.' We were in this soup. We had to come down, ‘cause we were running out of fuel.
     We kept going down. We came to water. We tried to set her down on the ocean, but then we saw these whales—nearly ran into them. So we throttled up, then sat her down. It was eerie, still. Had the doors open. It was daytime. We were on the coast, we knew we were on the ocean because we tasted the salt. We had two choices: either 'plow' at 50 mph with pontoons—that used up a lot of fuel—or skip and bounce along. [I think they decided on the latter.] But we weren’t sure if we were going to hit the mountain! We just couldn't see.
     In the end, we ended up at Bella Bella or maybe Bella Coola. The one without the road. An Indian village. We ate mushed salmon for three days. The salmon were dying, they were pretty rank. But these Indians would make them into this awful mush.
     I asked: weren’t you able to use the radio? “Eventually, yes.” [This appears to be some form of “no.”]
     They had fuel there, but the weather was bad. We had to wait for it to clear. So we were stuck for three days. Basically just one family lived there. They were Hyda Indians.
     In those days, they had beautiful totem poles, says Edith.
     It was an interesting life, back in those days.
     I ask Edith: How’d you get the word that Manny was OK?
     Edith: “I figured he’d get in touch with me by radio. There was no telephone. I waited and waited and nothing came. After a few days, I must have called up there, and they said, they have landed and they’re OK. Then Manny called by radio. I had to go to some special place, “Over.” “Over and out.”
     [Manny enters:] It was a Beaver plane. The Beaver was very agile. They still make ‘em, I think. It’s a bush plane. Those bush pilots were great pilots. And there were no runways.

NOTES:

Encyclopedia of Canada’s peoples, p. 1103:
...By contrast, immigrants who arrived after World War II found the way much easier. European refugees screened by the IRO [The International Refugee Organization] were housed at one of two hostels operated by the immigration service of the Department of Labour, one, primarily for single men, at Ajax, Ontario, and the other at Saint-Paul-l’Ermite, east of Montreal, which housed five hundred men, women, and children while the adults awaited work assignments….

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