Throwback Thursday #3 – Magic Markers & The Outhouse

Decades 5 & 6: 1960’s & 1970s

1960 marks the beginning of quite of few changes for the family and the business.  Charlie marries Nellie DeBree in the summer, and during that decade 4 more grandchildren are born.  Charlie & Nellie have 3 children:  John, Sharon, and Glenn all by October 1965, and Bill & Jean welcome Betty in January of 1966.  On January 15, 1966 that the Wallish family said goodbye to their father and grandfather, John Wallish, who was buried in Clover Bar Cemetery after living for 84 years.

While all of this is happening, John Wallish is slowing down to retirement.  A new business move begins; property is purchased in Strathcona County on the eastern bank of the North Saskatchewan River and Wallish Greenhouses officially incorporates in 1963 with Robert, Jean & Bill, and Charlie & Nellie. The focus shifts gradually over the years to more greenhouses & bedding plants and to less vegetables.  Bill & Jean found land just a mile down the road and settled there.  Part of that land was used to grow vegetables in the summer. At the peak, they were growing 20 acres of vegetables and greenhouse was added yearly as funds would allow.

There was a lot of work done as a family during these years – the grandkids were now joining in the work on Saturdays. In their junior and senior high years, other students also joined the transplanting crew while others mixed soil and filled flats. There were some interesting shenanigans that were pulled in those days with all those lively imaginations peculating – like the day a bunch of the transplanting girls wrote all over Glenn’s chest with magic marker in retaliation to him throwing dirt lumps at them.  Scrubbing that marker off for church the next morning proved interesting for Glenn. Sometimes those days were long and drumming up some pranks was a natural consequence….

Another fun one happened on a cold winter Saturday when Sharon & Betty just didn’t want to work.  There were ALWAYS more interesting things to do than work when your cousin was around.  It was one of those cold winter days when there had previously been a little melt and a wonderful crust settled onto the top of the snow.  It was 4 – 6 inches thick and just perrrfect for cutting with those old school vinyl mitts.  Betty and Sharon had decided that filling up the old outhouse with snow would be a great project.  So they filled the hole full to the very top.  The giggles and peals of laughter were heard in the greenhouses where everyone else was diligently working….but they didn’t know what the girls were up to.

Well, come the next Saturday, and Uncle Robert is just STEAMING mad.  You could see the steam shooting out of his ears.  He was completely choked with the two girls because some evening between last Saturday and this Saturday, he went out to use that outhouse.  And you knowwww …  it was filled with snow.  LoL.  The girls never knew that anyone used the outhouse anymore … we did have indoor plumbing by now….  And poor Uncle Robert couldn’t use the outhouse until the spring thaw.  Who knew??

Charlie designed and built new equipment to fill flats and together with Robert, they put systems in place to increase efficiency and improve their growing skills.  These years taught the grandchildren how to work and the value of a dollar.


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