Christmas Letters C.C. Walden 1965 – 2000

Christmas Letters
C.C. Walden
1965 – 2000
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Christmas – 1965
Last year’s description of the misadventures of the Walden family was sufficiently well
received to encourage us to attempt duplicate our efforts in describing 1965. Well, one
thing for certain, Olive and Craig became one year older. Or was it two or maybe three.
However the passage of time is more evident in the younger family, who continue to
grow like weeds.
Philip became a teenager and entered high school this fall. His parents are eagerly
awaiting some sign that he will begin to emulate his older brother, but if the signs are
there they are still very difficult to read. However Philip had a very fruitful session with
an allergy specialist this spring, who pinpointed his allergic reactions very precisely.
Knowing what to avoid has helped a lot, even though things like ordinary house dust are
almost too ordinary.
Despite the Lions’ (Vancouver’s pro football team) subsequent failure to make the
playoffs and the slight tarnishing of his hero, Bob’s big moment of the year was
undoubtedly winning a radio contest which permitted him to have breakfast with Joe
Kapp, the Lion’s quarterback. Although the boys, and for the most part, the family, saw a
fair share of the Lion’s home games, Bob remains the only candidate for football glory.
At least he is eager.
Back in May, the family (the young ones that is) decided to forego the projected return to
Disneyland and join the new family sports club in the neighbourhood. It proved quite a
boon to Trevor, who was swimming on his third day and hasn’t looked back since.
Altogether the Arbutus club proved particularly attractive over the summer, with seldom
a day passing without the three young ones in the large indoor pool.
Skating didn’t prove quite as popular, particularly since no one knew how to skate. The
old skates, a holdover from Pat’s younger days, were blamed. However with the arrival
of new skates all around as an early Christmas gift, attempts to really skate have become
more serious and progress is being made.
The fall and winter bowling league is in full swing with Philip showing the way in the
league with the high boy’s average and high single game.
Bob and Trevor changed schools this year when Philip went to Prince of Wales. Actually
we have been in Lord Kitchener school district ever since we moved to Quesnel and the
boys decided to quite climbing the hill home from Trafalgar.
Pat continues to excel at University and obtained two 1 scholarships passing from third to
fourth year. He worked all summer for the Water District again, collecting samples in his
own car and boat 2 . Tough life! We may lose Pat this coming year. He will be oing to
Actually only one scholarship, a scholarship to cover 50% of fees for having a first class standing. - Pat
This was the summer I worked with a Michael Twist. He was accident-prone. He poured water into Nitric
acid and it blew up in his face. No harm done. Quick action and his glasses saved him. He swerved into
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graduate school next year and anticipates no trouble landing a National Research Council
bursary which would enable him to study anywhere in Canada. He is not too sure he will
leave Vancouver, but if a good offer comes in from one of the larger American
Universities, specializing in Nuclear Particle Physics, we are afraid he will be gone 3 .
We had a beautiful summer, enough to make you want to stay in Vancouver for the next
100 years or so. We didn’t get too far from home but did take a few days into
Washington State. Olive and Craig spent their weeks holiday, sans family, combined with
a business trip to Winnipeg. Actually most of the time was spent riding the train. Believe
us, times have changed and if you want a few relaxing days and have to travel, we do
recommend the railroad. What used to be boring when we had no alternative, turns into
peaceful relaxation in getting away from the hectic scramble of day-to-day living.
Well 1965 find us all well, healthy and happy and looking forward with anticipation to
the Yuletide season 4 . May Christmas and 1966 treat you as well.
oncoming traffic to avoid a dead cat. He pulled back in time to avoid a head-on collision. He drove away
with the trailer while I was still standing in it while launching the boat. I had to jump and dive into the
water to avoid serious injury. He thought it was funny. I expect he has accidentally killed himself by now.
This proved to be prophetic. I was offered a $4500 teaching assistantship at Caltech. I turned down a NRC
scholarship as a result. - Pat
Mom and Dad were not expecting me to propose to Christine on Dec. 24th. She accepted. I spent some
days before agonising over the decision. That was before the offer from Caltech arrived. - Pat
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Christmas – 1966 (recollections by Pat)
Dad’s letter for this year has been lost, so I will try to recollect what happened during that
year to the Walden family. Being a 22 year old in search of a future, my mind was not
particularly orientated to the trials and tribulations of the rest of the family as would befit
a father, so my seemingly self-interest in this recollection will be forgiven.
We retreat to Christmas 1965. I proposed to Christine on Christmas Eve. I had
deliberated the matter a few days before, and finally went downtown to buy a ring. I
asked Mom to come along. She later told me that my request to accompany myself and
for the purpose it was for hit her like a ton a bricks. However she did not show it. It was
not a decision that was unanimously popular. I remember Bob in particular did not want
me to get married, and Lance did not receive the news with heartfelt congratulations. Bob
was 12 at the time and probably did not want to see the break up of the family, and Lance
was probably seeing the end of the carefree bachelor days.
I do not know what I would have done if Christine had refused me. We had discussed
getting married, but we hadn’t actually discussed solid plans before I proposed. I know
Marie was surprised. I wanted to take her and Christine back to my parent’s place for
Christmas Eve, but Marie was unprepared to go, as the event was a complete surprise.
Christine came, and we met Karl and Lance there.
At the time of the proposal I was searching around for graduate schools in which to
pursue an advanced degree in Physics. The American schools had all accepted me, but
required me to come at my own expense, which was impossible. I had received a NRC
scholarship, so I could virtually go to any school in Canada. I wanted to take particle
physics and the obvious choice should have been the University of Toronto. However, for
some reason I decided against it. Perhaps I was too much of a homebody and did not wish
to leave Vancouver. Toronto did come through with an acceptance.
I decided to stick it out at UBC. My first choice was to work for a new faculty member, a
Dr. William L.H. Shuter, who was a Radio Astronomer working with the Radio
Telescope in Penticton. There was a fantastic project of combining the Penticton
instrument with the NRC dish in Algonquin Park to form the world’s largest radiotelescope interferometer. They were going to look at the fine structure details of a quasar,
mysterious objects at that time, a star like object pumping out about as much energy as an
entire galaxy.
However in thinking about how Christine and I would be together, she in Vancouver
working at Shaughnessy Hospital for Dr. Morton, and I in Penticton working for Dr.
Shuter, I figured the arrangement would immediately put a strain on the marriage, so I
declined the project. It was unfortunate as Astronomy was my prime interest. I settled for
Plasma Physics working for Dr. Nodwell. I was not interested in Plasma Physics,
however Roy Nodwell and I seemingly got along quite well. Everything was sign sealed
and delivered in March.
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Then came the bombshell. Caltech finally came through with a $4500 offer to pursue
graduate studies in Physics in Pasadena California. At first I was inclined to decline the
offer as I had already made arrangements with UBC and Dr. Nodwell. Dad would have
none of it. He took me aside and said if I was serious about becoming a Physicist, I had
better accept the Caltech offer. It was the best school on the continent and perhaps the
world to do research in Physics. He would hear of no alternative. I phoned Christine and
she readily accepted the idea. I do not know how Marie took it. I think she was expecting
to have her daughter and son-in-law live at her place for many, many years. In retrospect
leaving Vancouver when we did was the best thing that could have happened for
Christine and I although I did feel we were living in exile and our life was on hold while
we were living in the States.
I got through the uncomfortable situation of telling Dr. Nodwell I would not be working
for him. I thought he would not be pleased, but he readily understood and wished me
luck. Thus after final exams my ties to UBC were to be severed for 8 years. There was
still graduation. I attended and got my degree. I forgot who all came to the ceremony. I
know Mom, Dad, and Christine were there. I remember being ticked off that Dan
Kennedy won the Physics prize. He should have been disqualified. He changed his course
from honours physics to a physics/engineering combination in his final year because he
was going in for nuclear engineering for his graduate work at MIT. He was not forced to
take Melzak’s course in Differential Equations. Melzak taught nothing all year, and the
exam he set did not require one to have taken the course. That was my poorest mark.
Kennedy was competing via some Engineering Math course. Engineering math was
considered to be simpler because it was taught more by rote than by first principles. This
is probably an unfair statement, but whatever math was taught, it was more than likely
taught by a better teacher.
Now that I was not going to work for Nodwell over the summer, I had to find a summer
job. I approached the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District & the Greater
Vancouver Water District (both really the same entity) and asked Doug Devlin if I could
have my summer job back for the 3rd summer in a row. They hadn’t found my
replacement yet, so I was hired and for $50/month more. I would now be earning
John Enman, the regular beach water sampler, was shipped out, like last year, to be a full
time fill-in for the lab technicians at the sewage treatment plants while they took summer
vacations. Unlike last year I would not be the vacation replacement for the drinking water
sampler. John Enman would do that too. Perhaps the teaming up of Michael Twist and
John was not a happy experience last year, and I think Doug Devlin’s thinking was that I
would be more compatible with whoever would be the second summer sampler.
My first co-sampler was a Derek Wright. He had to quite half-way through the summer
because of the extreme pain in his legs caused by pressure on his nerves from his spinal
chord. He went into the hospital and was placed in traction. I did not know this at the
time, but the traction did not work. They had to open him up and see what was going on.
They found him with advanced spinal cancer. They closed him up, put him on morphine,
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and made him comfortable until he died. I learned this the following summer, 1967,
during the visit from Pasadena.
The name of Derek’s replacement I have forgotten. I believe it was Tom. However he
was a wild one. He had a sports car which he soon totalled a week after starting. He was
going to quit as he did not have transportation. I did not want to train yet a third
individual so I let him take the truck home. He picked me up in the morning. This
worked; however, he was crazy. He loved to run the boat at full throttle over rough water.
This ended up by smashing a large number of samples on several occasions. He never
really cared s--t about the job. He was one of Canada’s Olympic hopefuls in track and
field, but I don’t think he ever won anything. His participation in sports was notable
because he had only one kidney. The other was removed because it was diseased, and he
was fearful that the other one would go too.
The summer was glorious. The team of Karl, Lance, Pat, and Christine continued on as
normal, as if nothing had really changed. Jack Oakie, Lance’s friend came along too. One
night John Enman had us all over to the Billy Bishop Legion Club on Laburnum.
Christine turned up in a white and blue striped T shirt, white bell bottomed pants, and
barefoot. She looked really alluring. The proprietor wanted to kick her out because he
thought she was fourteen.
There were wedding plan preparations, but it did not absorb a considerable amount of
time. Perhaps I did not do my fair share. Christine had the dress to obtain, so she must
have been involved. Maybe I have just forgotten the work. However, I remember being
extremely happy.
The wedding finally came. The first hint of what was up was a visit to the minister who
was going to perform the services, a Reverend George Struthers, of Dunbar Heights
United Church. He was concerned that Christine was a Roman Catholic and the match
would not last. His concerns proved groundless.
There were moments. I asked Christine what she wanted as a bride’s gift. She said she
wanted lingerie. Thus I ventured into the lingerie department of Hudson’s Bay and got a
sympathetic sales lady to help me out. They were wrapped and delivered to Christine at
my parent’s house when Karl and Lance were also over. Christine opened them there on
the spot and proudly displayed them to Lance and Karl. They thought it was some humdinger of a bridal gift. Patsy held the bridal shower for Christine.
Next came the stag party. Jack Oakie and Karl Acton who were sharing an apartment
hosted the party. It was well attended. John Enman brought over the ball and chain. It
was locked onto me after I was stewed with several screwdrivers. After that I kept
dropping the ball onto the floor waking up the lady with the heart condition. The landlord
eventually arrived. He was an alcoholic. He was soon part of the festivities. The party
goers were going to dump me off somewhere in North Vancouver, but their fear was that
I was too far gone to do that. Instead they hauled me over to Christine’s and dropped me
off there. I remember falling out of the car with my head logged between the wheel and
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the curb. I was picked up and carried to Christine’s. While this was happening I was
observing the stars to see what direction they were going. Having been plopped in the
living room upstairs, the party goers left. I soon woke up, asked Christine for a hack saw,
and sawed off the ball and chain. Christine phoned my Dad and he collected me. I still
have the ball and chain as a souvenir.
Next morning I phoned John Enman 5 that I was ready for work. He was surprised.
Arrangements had been made for me to have the day off. He was going to come by
Christine’s sometime with the key and free me. I was feeling pretty crummy, but I got
through the day. I later learned that all my friends had phoned in sick that day.
The next evening was the rehearsal. My cousin Jeanie, the bridesmaid, and all the
Saskatoon relatives had now arrived. After the rehearsal Karl, Lance and Jack took me to
the Fraser Arms for one last night of pubbing before I got married. I never was a pubber,
and that was the first and last time I can ever say that I spent an evening for the prime
purpose of pubbing. I delivered sets of cuff links and tiepins to my friends for the
ceremony tomorrow.
The next day was the wedding. I said good-bye to Philip who was stuck home with
asthma and headed for Church. I met Karl, my best man, and awaited Christine at the
alter, while Lance and Jack, as ushers, showed the guests their seats. Christine marched
down the aisle accompanied by James Morton followed by Jeanie and Kathleen, Patsy’s
daughter who was the flower girl. Christine was absolutely stunning. Morton gave the
bride away. The ceremony over, Karl said he almost fainted, we marched out
accompanied by a lot of confetti, some of which was poured down my neck. On exiting
the church, I spotted Joyce and Ken, Karl’s mother and partner. They were sitting in the
car across the street waving at us. Did I forget to invite them to come? I often thought
that I did not invite them, and regretted it ever since.
The reception was held at the UBC Faculty Club. My uncle Don drove us there in the
new Rambler that Mom and Dad bought us for our wedding present. I suggested our
route go by Spanish Banks. I immediately regretted that decision as it was a beautiful hot
day, and every man and his dog were at the beach. As a result the marriage caravan was
slowed down to a crawl because of the traffic and Christine and I were subjected to catcalls and hoots from the beach fauna inhabiting the scene for the day.
The reception was extremely fun though terribly short. I knew nothing of the traditional
procedures although the Faculty Club staff did. I was directed into a receiving line with
Christine to greet all the guests. I was exceptionally nervous at this because I was very
shy at that time. I soon found myself with all eyes on me having to make a toast for
something or other. I forget, except that I cast about for words as my mind went blank.
Ian Allen later saved the day with an amusing anecdotal toast to the bride.
This must have been after Derek Wright had quit. John was filling in for Derek until his replacement was
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After some quick munchies and some talk, the Faculty Club staff directed us to rooms
where Christine and I changed to our going away outfits. We had the throwing of the
bouquet and garter ceremony. Bob outdid the young bachelors, who were not overly
enthusiastic to win a clothing article that indicated that they were next to be married, by
grabbing the garter. George Chant, a retired gentleman and friend of my maternal grand
parents, offered Bob $0.50 for the garter which Bob readily accepted. After the deal was
done Arnold told Bob he was crazy to sell so low, he could have gotten a much better
deal if he had waited for a better offer. Bob believed him, and was somewhat putout.
Leaving involved a bit of a melee. Lance and Jack had painted our Rambler with large
“Just Married” signs, attached tin can chains, etc. To avoid driving away to our
honeymoon with all that clatter, Dad put our luggage into the Galaxie and told us to take
that car. When Jack and Lance saw that we were going to bypass their practical joke, they
tried to prevent us from leaving. We had our defenders. Bob ran up and booted either
Jack or Lance in the behind. We eventually got away. After we had left, the guests went
back into the Faculty Club to eat some more food. However the Faculty Club staff had
cleaned it up. My parents and Marie were a bit upset, because the reception was quite
short and more than half the food was not eaten.
Christine and I drove to our honeymoon destination, the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. I
though it was a secret that no one would guess. However we fooled no one. Lance, Karl
and Jack readily guessed where we were going. Every newly wed couple in Vancouver
went there at that time. We walked into the lobby occupied by young nubile teenaged
girls. They all knew we were newly weds. “How long have you been married?” was the
common greeting. I didn’t think we would be that obvious. We spent two nights at the
Harrison. We took a drive to Princeton and rented a powerboat on Harrison Lake while
we were there. We saw the Hope/Princeton slide for the first time. It wiped out a huge
section of the road in 1965. The department of roads were still working on repairs. After
the honeymoon, we came home to Marie’s place to live in the upstairs suite.
The real fun was not the honeymoon, but the party held at my parent’s place after the
reception. Karl and Jeanie were given the decorated Rambler to drive home. Arnold
drove after them beeping his horn all the way in order to embarrass them. At the party
Uncle Erson, Bumpa’s brother, arrived drunk (was he forgotten from the guest list too?).
“Heard you had a wedding”, he said. After a while he said, “where’s Donny”? “Oh, I
gave him permission to pee in the neighbours’ yard”, quipped Arnold. That brought roars
of laughter. Karl and Lance were reported to be rolling on the floor with that one. Donny
appeared later and wondered why everyone broke into peals of laughter on his entrance.
We missed all this.
The time we spent at Marie’s, I remember, was tense. Marie was always calling upstairs,
“Chrieesteen!” every five minutes. Mom and Dad were expecting us to drop over every
night. Our departure for the States was imminent. They may have wanted to see much of
us as possible before we left. We had to send out thank-you notes for all the gifts some of
which were not really appreciated and some of which were given in duplicate or
triplicate. Life was constrained! There was one especially trying evening when we had
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James W. Morton over for dinner. Christine was obviously not in a good mode. She
seemed irritated by her boss’s attempts at humour at her expense. We saw Lance, Karl,
and Jack a few times. We were not free.
I continued on at the GVS&DD+GVWD and Christine worked at Shaughnessy. Christine
walked to work. To make a fun time out of it, I frequently met her halfway on her return
walk home. The most memorable time, I am sorry to say, did not involve Christine. I had
arranged to go on an overnight observation expedition with Hugh Ross 6 to the Mount
Baker region with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). We hiked up the
road to the spot where the Artist’s Point parking lot now exists and commenced
observing. Before sunset we observed, through the telescopes, a mountain climbing party
ascending Mount Shuksan. We saw the flashes from their flashlights throughout the
night. It was a magnificent night and bloody cold. The Milky Way stood out in all its
glory. Dawn brought a magnificent parade of planets. First came Jupiter, then in
succession Mars, Venus, Mercury, and finally the Sun to end the show. A glance through
the telescope showed the climbing party almost at the peak of Shuksan. We clambered up
nearby Table Mountain and looked at the magnificent view. The route to Mount Baker
appeared to be a pleasant stroll up through a wooded park. We then spotted a European
couple amongst our telescopes below. They had arrived to take in the morning. We
scrambled down to meet and talk to them. They appeared to be newly married. We finally
left and drove back home for much needed sleep. Driving pass the huge Scott Paper Mill
going up in flames topped off the adventures of the day and night.
Christine and I had to obtain a visa in order to move to the States. Christine would not be
able to work in the States if we entered on a student’s visa. She could not obtain an
immigration visa (she went on the Polish quota having been born in Warsaw. That quota
was almost zero). I decided on obtaining an immigrant’s visa myself, as I had a B.Sc. and
would be placed on a no-wait list. Christine would then qualify for a visa. That however
would make me eligible for the draft, and the U.S. was fighting the war in Vietnam. I
decided to take the chance as I was sure Caltech would protect me with an exemption.
Finally the day came, September 3rd, 1966. We left for Pasadena. Mom and Dad came
over the evening before and rescued us from our miserable efforts at packing, and placed
all of our effects and the wedding presents into the Rambler for the trip. Mom and Dad
then left us the Ford Galaxie, took our packed car home, and locked it in the garage. We
did not want to wake up to find nothing left in the car and possibly the car gone too. In
the morning we collected the Rambler and casually left. We first drove around and
visited everybody to say good-bye and then finally made our way to the border where we
said good-bye to the family, Marie included. Then about 3PM we crossed over the
border, and onto our new life. We made our way down to Tumwater, just south of
Hugh Ross was a year behind me at UBC. He graduated in 1967 and then went to Toronto for his Ph.D.
After that he went to Caltech as a post-doc in astronomy. We did not cross paths at Caltech as he arrived
just after I had departed for SLAC. Hugh got me practising amateur astronomy again with the RASC
during my fourth and final year at UBC. I had been a member of RASC when in high school, but dropped it
when I started UBC. Hugh did not finish his term at Caltech. He quit astronomy, and started a ministry in
Southern California called “Reasons to Believe”. I had no idea he was religious. He is an old earth
creationist, has written many books, and has earned far more money than he ever could as an astronomer.
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Olympia and stayed at the Tyee Inn just opposite the Olympia Brewery on Instate 5. We
explored downtown Olympia that evening, and in lapse of mental cognisance I ended up
driving on the left side of the road. We were pulled over by the police and asked if
Canadians, like the British, drove on the wrong side of the road. We were let off with a
After a breakfast next day in which I heard some Americans denigrating Canadian coffee,
we drove though the rest of Washington, all of Oregon and passed over the Siskiyou into
California. We stayed at the Royal Shasta Inn, just south of Mount Shasta. It was a first
class motel, costing the outrageous sum of $14/night for a huge room with a king sized
bed. We enjoyed it and we stopped there frequently on other trips to and from Vancouver
while living in California 1966-1974. I looked for it on the 1989 trip to see Philip and
Catherine, but it was no longer there.
The next night we made it to Tulare in the San Joaquin valley. The biggest impression I
have of this day was the heat. We drove most of the day through the Sacramento/San
Joaquin valleys and it was hot! It brought back to mind a similar day back in 1960 on our
family’s return trip from Disneyland pulling the trailer. Trevor, aged 2, ran a fever and
we had to take a side trip to a hospital to have him looked at. Tonsillitis! The family
stopped at Redding that evening 7 . I thought it was cooling down, but then I saw a
thermometer that read 107! The drive through the valley in 1966 brought back this sense
of dejà vu. I wondered how I would ever be able to study Physics in this oppressive heat.
Not familiar with interstate route travel, we left the highway and drove into central Tulare
looking for accommodations. It was spotty. We finally located a seedy motel south of
town located across from a tavern/restaurant that served sand in their scallops. When we
drove out the next morning, I finally spotted all the motels. They were located on the
Interstate! I wondered where they had put them.
That day we drove into Pasadena via La Cañada and took a room at the Pasada motel on
Colorado Avenue. We checked in at the graduate student office in the Bridge Laboratory
and left with a list accommodations to look at. The accommodations were an eye-opener.
We felt like we were being welcomed to the noveau-poor. The first place was in the
Pasadena ghetto sharing a house with a Black woman landlord. I had never known a
Black before, it was just a year since the Watts riots, and I was definitely uncomfortable.
However it was also some distance from Caltech. At least the Black woman’s place was
clean. Other accommodations were veritable pigsties. We settled on what seemed like a
relatively luxurious accommodation for slightly more rent at apartments on N. Catalina
Avenue run by a Dorothy White. The place was large and had “air conditioning”, so we
were settled.
We moved in our entire worldly possessions from the trunk and back seat of our
Rambler. The thought of theft had not occurred to us during the entire trip. The move
required bounding up a flight of stairs as the apartment was over a car park. When
That night was magnificent. I wished that I had brought my telescope with me. We listened on the radio to
the coverage of the Democratic National Convention. John F. Kennedy was nominated to run for the
President of the United States.
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finished we started to hack and cough with some deep-seated tightness in our chests. We
had never experienced anything like it before. This was out first introduction to the smog.
Our second introduction came a day or so later. We woke up on a clear day and
discovered Pasadena was right up against the mountains ringing the Los Angles basin.
We did not know they were there because the smog had obliterated them. The mountains
are considerably higher than Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains, and were as close as
Lonsdale is to Grouse Mountain. From the higher floors in Caltech’s Milliken library, the
vista of Pasadena faded away into a sickening whiteness within a few city blocks on a
bad smog day. I hated the smog. It was the main reason I wanted to leave the Los Angles
area as soon as I could.
Christine quickly got herself a job. She was hired to be a nuclear medicine technologist at
the Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital in Los Angles. This mostly concerned injecting
patients with radioactive iodine and scanning the thyroid. Patients had to lie still for a
long time. Apparently it was the cat’s meow for detecting thyroid tumours. The hospital
sent Christine, one night a week, to the LA city college8 to take a course on Nuclear
Medicine paid for by the hospital. However what we had not counted on was the
commuting. I had to drive Christine to LA every morning and then drive back to
Pasadena to attend classes at Caltech. The traffic was heavy, bumper-to-bumper even on
the freeway! I couldn’t imagine that until I saw it. We had a double-commute every
morning and evening. Then there was the LACC course one night a week. We tried
alternate routes. Nothing worked. We spent an inordinate amount of time each day
driving back and forth, and it wasn’t working. We had to admit that, and Christine quit.
She was quite upset about it, especially when she was told at the job market place that the
hospital said she quit because she couldn’t hack the position.
I got started at Caltech. The first thing I had to do was write a set of comprehensive
exams. I thought these were just a survey in which you ticked off the subject matter you
had studied before. Instead they were the most difficult Physics exams I had ever written
in my life, and I walked into them cold! I did not, as expected, do very well. The advisor
I had, R.L. Walker, wanted me to take my undergraduate material over again. I refused!
However I was talked into taking “Introduction to Modern Physics” taught by Charlie
Barnes. I absolutely refused to take the undergraduate course in Quantum Mechanics. I
signed up for “Advanced Quantum Mechanics” given by Feynman. This was a bad idea.
UBC never properly taught Quantum Mechanics and I was out to sea throughout most of
Feynman’s course. However, I did learn something. I was fortunate that the only mark
was a pass or fail. I passed. George Blumin, who preceded me by two years from UBC,
said the Caltech QM course was excellent. He took it. The UBC equivalent was such a
miserable little course. I must say I now agree with him. I never did appreciate the true
nature and weirdness of the Copenhagen convention and the collapse of the wave
function until I read Penrose’s, “The Emperor’s New Mind”, in 1994.
While Christine attended the course, I amused myself on the LACC campus. There were a bunch of
businesses that catered to students located nearby. Since we hadn’t really had dinner (we came directly
from Christine’s work), I snacked at the establishments there. Here I had my first taco. Until then I had not
heard of them.
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I ended up taking four courses in my first quarter at Caltech. Besides “Intro. to Mod.
Phys.” and “Adv. QM”, I took Electrodynamics 9 by “?” and “Mathematical Methods of
Physics” by Jon Matthews. I was a fairly naïve 22 year old at that time, and I had no idea
who Feynman was. The only time I had heard of him before, was listening to George
Blumin raving about the “Feynman lectures in Physics” book set at Physoc at UBC. Thus
I was surprised that the room assigned to the QM course was filled to overflowing on the
first day. Feynman walked in and tried to encourage a sufficient number of students to
drop the course. He tried to scare us. “This is ADVANCED Quantum Mechanics”, he
stated. Not enough were discouraged, so he had to find a larger room over in the
Chemistry building. Feynman, I learned, was a world famous physicist, winner of the
Nobel Prize in Physics (1965), and main Guru of the Caltech establishment. Everyone
wanted to take his course whether they needed it or not.
To earn my tuition and the stipend being paid to me, I had to teach as a teaching assistant
or a TA. I do not know why, but I was not assigned to a tutorial helping students solve
problems, or a lab marking assignments, the more conventional roles of a TA, but I was
assigned to the senior laboratory as a technician. I did not like the role, and I would have
gotten a much better experience if I were assigned to the former two. I had to set up, run,
and learn about all the experiments in the senior laboratory. These guys were only a year
behind me, were Teckies (I was only an average student here), and I had no idea how
most of the experiments ran. This was the CALTECH senior lab, not the UBC senior lab.
To make matters worse, I had to know about all the experiments at the beginning. I did
not have the luxury of progressing through the experiments one-by-one week-by-week as
the students taking the course. I was definitely uncomfortable. Thank heaven I was just
the technician and did not have to examine these guys.
Caltech had a weekly ritual of the colloquium. Each week on Thursday, I think, tea and
cookies would be served (they had lemon for the tea, yuck, not cream and cubed sugar,
English style) around 3:30PM, and afterwards everyone would mount the stairs to the
huge lecture theatre in the Bridge Laboratory. Every week a notable physicist
(astronomer) would present an important lecture in the annals of Physics. In the front row
would sit the intimidating line up of Feynman, Gell-Mann, Anderson, Leighton, Fowler,
Zweig, et al. If the speaker goofed up, this crowd let him know. The first colloquium I
attended was presented by Kip Thorne, then a freshman faculty member. His topic, Black
Holes, was my first introduction to the subject. It was perhaps the best colloquium I ever
heard. It was presented, old style, blackboards filled out in detail beforehand in chalk and
diagrams. The blackboards were several layers thick, and could be raised and lowered as
needed. To my mind a carefully prepared lecture presented old style is still superior to the
power point presentations of today.
As autumn progressed we got into a routine. I was always working on problems.
Caltech’s teaching style was for you to read the textbook and do the problems. Lectures
were not lectures, but tutorials. The professor went over the problems of the lesson
before. All professors did this; except for Feynman, he delivered lectures. There was no
I did fairly well in the E&M part of the comprehensive. This Electrodynamics course was a graduate level
course taught from the notorious text by Jackson.
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textbook. He assigned his poor graduate student the job to turn his lectures into readable
hand out notes. This was a huge task taking up the entire student’s time. Each week he
scrambled to put something readable and understandable together. Feynman’s lectures
were not always crystal clear, and considerable material had to be inserted to make up for
the gaps.
Whenever we could we travelled all over the Los Angles basin familiarizing ourselves
with the area. On one very hot day 10 we drove to Santa Monica beach. I took my Jackson
and worked on problems. We also visited Disneyland. I think that was the first time we
went through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I think we also drove up to Mount Wilson
to see the telescopes. One evening we made an impromptu first visit to Grauman’s
Chinese Theatre. The movie was “The Fantastic Voyage” 11 starring Raquel Welch. I
remember being outraged at having to pay $1.00 for parking. Every Friday we bought our
groceries at Fedco and ate at their cafeteria. I enjoyed their jumbo all beef hot dogs.
Fedco posted security guards armed with guns. This unnerved me a bit, but I soon got
used to it. At Fedco, the price was right.
Mom and Dad visited that autumn on a business trip. They stayed at our apartment. I
remember some trying times, as Christine settled in with her new in-laws. There was one
incident where she ran out of the apartment and Mom told me I had to go after her. Mom
and Dad looked up some old neighbours of theirs, Gib and Mildred Wood. They lived
next to us at 2761 W. 21st in 1951. Gib purportedly worked for Walt Disney as a
comptroller during movie shoots to keep them on budget. Dad looked up his name in the
phone book and found they lived in La Cañada. He phoned and Mildred told Mom and
Dad to come right over. Mildred did not inform Gib in order to surprise him. When Gib
came home, my father went to the door. Gib looked at him and said, “Well it’s Craig
Walden; I believe”. The friendship was renewed immediately. Gib gave Mom and Dad a
tour of the Disney studio. They were working on a film called, “Black beard’s Ghost”,
starring Peter Ustinov. The friendship was not renewed for long. Gib and Mildred were in
the process of emigrating their family to New Zealand. Contact was again lost. The New
Zealand experience did not work out too well. Gib and Mildred returned as soon as they
could. My parents found out they had returned from a mutual acquaintance and found
them again. This time contact was maintained until death intervened.
It must have been a bad day for Marie Marki when her daughter moved away. As soon as
we were settled, we gave Marie our phone number. Maybe we should not have. From the
beginning there were the phone calls. Every night Christine’s mother would phone and
keep Christine on the phone for hours. That is how our evenings were spent. I would
Although we had “air conditioning” in the apartment, it was really a lost cause. The air conditioning unit
was really too small for our large apartment. There was no noticeable difference between conditioner on or
off. To make matters worse, the apartment had little or no insulation. Hence we just baked! The sun would
hit the roof in the morning, the heat would seep in and heat up the apartment by noon, and the apartment
would stay hot until midnight. Dorothy White’s apartment was actually the nicest apartment we had in
Pasadena. However, we could not take the heat. We moved in the fall of 1967 to 425 N. Garfield, near the
Black ghetto, where we had an apartment with a good air conditioner. The irony of all this was the fact that
I would be freezing when I attended classes in the Sloan Laboratory. It had good air conditioning.
I found out later that Isaac Asimov was contracted to write the novel based on the movie script.
13 of 81
work on problems. Christine would talk to her mother. This was not very good. I was
concerned about how much this was costing Marie and suggested she stop. She assured
me she had lots of money for the phone calls. She had received $50 from a tax rebate, and
intended to spend it on phone calls. It took me a little while to figure out she would have
gone through that tax rebate in a matter of days. Lance reported to me, during a trip back
to Vancouver, that Marie told him she had spent well over $300 in one month on phone
calls. Lance was not supposed to tell us.
Marie had an uncanny knack of knowing just when we would arrive home. The phone
would ring either just as we came in the door or shortly thereafter. It was infuriating. This
would even be the case if we had spent the evening out and came home late. I could not
figure out how she did this. However, eventually the obvious solution hit me. Marie
would start phoning in the early evening and keep on phoning every few minutes until we
eventually came home and answered the phone. It was bizarre. This modus operandi was
demonstrated on one night when Christine got angry with her mother and hung up. Marie
called back again and again and again until Christine relented and picked up the phone.
However, it still took me awhile after that to figure out how she phoned us just as we
were coming in the door. I was not very bright sometimes.
Soon after we moved into Dorothy White’s apartments, a couple from Wyoming moved
into the apartment next door to us. We shared a catwalk and a flight of stairs to level
ground. Their names were Don and Carlta Titus. I do not remember exactly what town
Don came from, but Carlta hailed from a ranch near Pinedale. She described it as the least
populated area in the 48 contiguous states. They used to bring over the Pinedale
newspaper to share laughs with us about what the Pinedaleans considered to be
newsworthy. We drove through Pinedale in 1975 on a route that took us from
Yellowstone to Dinosaur National monument. This was during a trip to see the geological
sites of the Western United States. Pinedale did not appear to be that unpopulated, but we
thought of the Tituses as we drove through.
We did not at first socialise very much with them. Christine was brought up by her
mother to not interfere in other peoples lives and to keep to herself. However their
constant presence soon broke down the barriers and we spent many pleasant evenings
with them. One evening I discovered there are differences between Canadians and
Americans. I asked Don to pass the serviettes. He looked at a lost for what to do. I
pointed out the serviettes, and a light came on. He said, “Oh, you mean the napkins”!
Another time Don was going out our door to fetch something from his apartment. As he
opened our door our whole apartment started to shake. We asked him to stop it. He
couldn’t. He did not know what was going on either. It was our first earthquake. There
would be others.
They moved out of Dorothy White’s place during summer 1967 while we were in
Berkeley. I was working there on a Caltech experiment at the Bevatron. The reason why
they moved, I believe, was that they got a cat. Dorothy White did not like cats in her
apartments. Hence they moved out to better quarters. To meet expenses they became
managers of their new apartment complex. The new apartment was much better for them
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as their apartment on N. Catalina was very small. Their cat later had kittens which would
have really freaked out Dorothy. It was all for the best. I remember Don acted as a
midwife when their cat gave birth.
We did not lose contact with the Tituses after they moved. We continued to visit each
other until we left Pasadena for SLAC in the Bay area in 1971. By that time Carlta had
given birth to their first child, Stephanie, a bouncing baby girl. Thinking back on it, we
should have had a child at that time too.
Don was taking Chemistry at Caltech. He received hid Ph.D. after me and found a post
doc position at Temple University in Philadelphia. It worked out quite successfully as he
is still with this institution today.
One of our immediate tasks after arriving in Pasadena was to teach Christine how to
drive. The first step was for me to get a California drivers licence. I took the test as soon
as possible probably late September or early October. I did not bother reading the
California driving instruction manual and took the drivers test cold. There were a certain
number of differences in the requirements between California and BC. One was that you
could use signal lights when turning. In BC they had the quaint requirement that you had
to use hand signals when taking the test. I used hand signals. After the test the examiner
said he had never seen anything so stupid in his life of my using hand signals when I
could have used the signal lights. I was so incensed that I had to quell the urge to kick the
bum out of the car. I passed nevertheless and got my licence.
The next stage was to teach Christine myself. We had a lot of problems learning how to
use the clutch. Shortly before Christmas, Christine was turning left at a non-busy
intersection and kept on turning. We ended up on the boulevard and hit a concrete garden
wall cracking our radiator. The Rambler was not driveable. The family who owned the
garden was black, and were very nice and understanding. The husband was a postal
worker. They let us use their telephone to call a tow truck and played host to us for a
couple of hours while we waited for the truck to turn up. We attracted the attention of the
neighbourhood children, a mixture of white and black.
One white boy said, in a Southern drawl, “Why would you ever want to teach your wife
how to drive”?
The truck eventually came and towed the Rambler to Fox Rambler on Colorado Blvd.
The repairs were expensive and it would not be the last time we visited Mr. Fox’s
We got a loaner while we waited for repairs. It was a beat up old Chevrolet. However it
was an automatic. I used the opportunity to teach Christine how to drive in it without the
added distraction of learning how to engage the clutch. We discovered the Santa Anita
racetrack on one drive. It had a huge parking lot, the racing season was over, and the lot
was completely deserted. It was the ideal place for Christine to learn how to manoeuvre
the car. There were no obstacles to hit. Christine got her licence early in 1967.
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In 1966 we celebrated our first American Thanksgiving. It was most unusual to have it in
November. I do not believe we had turkey. We just enjoyed having the extra day to
ourselves. However, I had a brilliant idea. We would use the Thanksgiving break to get
an early start on our Christmas shopping. I thought this was a unique idea. However
when we got out shopping, we found out that every man and his dog was out Christmas
shopping. This was not unique. The Thanksgiving break had the biggest shopping days of
the year in the United States. It was a great American tradition. The crowds were legion.
We ended the day at the LA Farmers’ market just North of the La Brea tar pits and south
of Hollywood. I do not remember if we bought anything there, but I do know that after
that one day we had everything purchased. Sending it all to Vancouver was another thing.
We had purchased as if we were in Vancouver. Sending it all up to Vancouver by post
was expensive. There was one gift that was refused by the post office because it was too
large. We sent it by rail 12 . The cost was more than the value of the gift. In subsequent
years we sent smaller gifts, and eventually my brothers were happy just to receive
Christine had trouble finding another job. The nearby hospitals, like the Huntington, were
not interested in her skills. Finally she got a job at an electronics firm called Phaostrom.
They built measurement devices, like voltmeters. She worked in the drawing office
Xeroxing drawings, as they were needed. We were terribly homesick, or at least I was.
After about two weeks in LA, our adventure was over, and we were ready to come home
(at least I was). I had thought of driving back to Vancouver during the Christmas break
for Christmas, but with Christine’s new job, she couldn’t get away. I even looked into
flying to Vancouver on the evening of Friday the 23rd and returning on the 26th. Christine
would have had to ask for one day off (no Boxing Day in the U.S.). However, for one
reason or the other, we decided against going. Then shortly after the New Year 1967,
Phaostrom let Christine go. She was just Christmas help. For all the money that was
involved, Phaostrom could have shoved it. I would have rather gone home to Vancouver.
I have never forgiven that firm for missing that Christmas in Vancouver. I believe they
are now deservedly out of business.
Our Christmas was lonely. We bought a little snow-flocked tree with pink lights and blue
and pink bulbs. We still have the bulbs. I think I was grumpy enough to irritate Christine.
She got angry at my mood and knocked over the tree on purpose. I restored it. We spent
Christmas Eve at Dorothy White’s get together for her tenants, mostly other exiled
Caltech students. On Christmas we received some funds from my parents designating it
to be spent on a proper Christmas dinner at a restaurant. Hence we headed out Christmas
afternoon in search of a Christmas dinner. We could not find anything that was open or
appropriate in the whole of LA. We finally settled on some Chinese restaurant in
Herein lies another tale. In 1958 my father discovered a discount house in Seattle for which he was
eligible. We could buy great stuff at fantastic savings, but it was open only Monday to Friday. Hence he
took the whole family down to Seattle on Nov. 11th which was not a holiday in the U.S. We bought lots of
stuff. To avoid paying duty at the border, we were going to mail it up to Vancouver with Art and Patsy’s
return address on it. We then discovered that the U.S. post office was closed for veteran’s day. The U.S., in
their way, also celebrated Nov. 11th much to our discomfort. We ended up shipping everything by rail at a
tremendous cost. I am not sure whether the duty would have been cheaper. However we saved no money
buying from the discount firm.
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Westwood village near UCLA, miles from Pasadena, to partake in a non-standard
Christmas dinner. Every time I see “A Christmas Story” starring Darren McGavin where
his family ends up at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas, I think of our 1966 Christmas.
17 of 81
Christmas – 1967
Rather naturally the major activities of the family have centered around the fact that we
are now divided., the parent branch and the younger boys still residing in Vancouver,
with Pat and Christine resident in Pasadena. However we consider ourselves fortunate in
seeing one another as frequently as we have in 1967.
Probably the big event of the year was the Easter vacation when we took off in mass to
visit Pat and Christine in Pasadena. It was a very eventful trip for the younger fry, at
least, and even if visits to Disneyland, Marineland, Knott’s Berry Farm and various
movie studios did take second place to seeing Pat and Christine, it was a very close
second place. The cold weather 13 was the only detracting influence in the whole trip and
even the pool outside the motel door wasn’t too attractive. The trip was enjoyed by
Trevor especially, who was only two on the last similar excursion and had had to be
content with having his brothers tell him who much he had enjoyed himself.
We had Pat and Christine back in Vancouver for two weeks in the end of June, although
Craig was still at work and the younger boys (Bob and Trevor) were still at school.
Again this fall we managed a business trip to Catalina Island 14 and Craig and Olive were
able to stay in Pasadena one weekend plus a few additional days. Incidentally we can
recommend Catalina Island most highly. Even though it was considered the off-season,
the weather was clear and very pleasantly warm. Our two-day stay was enhanced
considerably by the acquaintances we struck with members of a Walt Disney film crew,
who happened to be staying at the same motel. Actually the trip had some other assets;
we managed to see San Francisco’s Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and some night
life 15 . Something we hadn’t managed too well on previous trips.
As I write this we are expecting Pat and Christine to arrive for Christmas in eight days 16 .
So if we are separated, we feel we don’t do so badly.
An added and unexpected highlight to the year was the flying trip the whole family took
to Saskatoon to attend Jeanie’s (our niece) wedding. After all that Bob came down with
the flu and missed the wedding.
On the way home they ran into a snowstorm in the mountain passes north of Los Angles. - Pat
Joyce Cooling accompanied them on this trip. Mom said to her, “wouldn’t you like to come”? without
really meaning it. She was quite shocked that Joyce took her seriously and accepted. - Pat
Pat and Christine spent the summer in Berkeley. Thus they saw all these San Francisco sights just before
Mom and Dad. Pat worked at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory for the Caltech users group. The Caltech
group had an experiment running on the Bevatron. Christine’s Mom visited them while they were there. Pat
We came up by car on summer tires. The Siskiyou had snow piled higher than the top of the car.
However the road was clear and we had no trouble until after staying the night in Vancouver WA. That
morning we woke up to a heavy snowfall. We almost wiped-out on a bridge just north of Vancouver. As we
were extracting ourselves, somebody else wiped-out right beside us. We got away and spent a harrowing
day crawling along the highway as maniacs zoomed by us irrespective of the weather. The snow did not
disappear until we were well north of Seattle. We never traveled by car during Christmas again. - Pat
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Other activities are proceeding normally. Bob entered high school this year, leaving
Trevor the only member of the family still in public school. While we have no complaints
and we still even have some hopes, we really don’t have any scholars to match Pat among
the younger three 17 . However they are bowlers and Saturday morning and the bowling
league is a very active time in the Walden household. Philip and Bob graduated from the
juniors this spring and celebrated by bringing home the team championship for the
league. The mantel in the family room looks like a repository for bowling trophies.
The family health has been reasonably good. Philip seems to be growing out of his very
debilitating asthma, although with all his colds we wonder if Bob hasn’t acquired a touch
of the same thing. Craig spent an enforced two weeks in bed, with walking pneumonia,
which followed a cold he didn’t shake off during the Disneyland trip and a quick business
trip to New york and Boston which followed. All in all, 1967 has been a good year for the
Waldens in Vancouver. We trust it has been the same for all our friends, that you will
have a very Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous 1968. With very best
regards from the Waldens.
This was in grade 10. With the passage of time, however, Philip went onto having a higher grade point
average in his undergraduate years than his brother Pat. - Pat
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Christmas – 1968
Well, as the Yuletide season draws near once again we are very much aware that we
haven’t seen the Pasadena branch of the family since this time last year. Pat’s plans to do
his Ph.D. thesis research at the Brookhaven laboratory in Long Island were changed 18
and he is still in Pasadena. We had made plans to go east, and these didn’t change, so east
we went, instead of south. Christine’s new job 19 , which she likes very much, doesn’t
permit leaves with less than a year’s service. So we don’t expect to get together until next
Easter. Pat completed his Ph.D. prelims this summer and target date for graduation is
June 1970. Craig’s sister and family moved to the Los Angles area in July and Grandpa
and Grandma Walden will be down there for Christmas, so Pat and Christine will not be
alone as they were for their first Christmas 20 .
The younger members of the Vancouver branch of the family continue to grow like
weeds, although some of them had better stop pretty soon. Philip is a very slight 6 ft. 3,
and doing exceptionally well in Grade XI. We suspect his high school performance is
tempered by the realization that any lesser performance might result in some enforced
curtailment in his model airplane building activities. Since last spring it has been his
Model Airplane Club two nights a week, all day Sunday plus an additional night or two
during the week, as the opportunity offers. To the rest of us, it seems like he spends
Sunday flying and breaking all the planes he owns, and the rest of the week repairing
them. Apparently they use castor oil as an engine lubricant and he isn’t exactly the most
popular person in the household when he comes home Sunday evening, after a day’s
During the past year Bob has been transformed from a somewhat pudgy little boy into a
strapping 5 ft 10 young man, with a vocal range of about two octaves lower. His major
interest is still athletics and it was to his considerable dismay that the Lions (the
Vancouver pro football team, to you misinformed) failed to make the playoffs for the
third straight year. Bob played on the high school juvenile rugby team this year, and
although he was a mass of contusions and bruises all fall, we were happy that no bones
were broken. Sometimes we thought there were, judging from the vocal nature of the
I came to the realization that we were going broke because no one would hire Christine as my studies
would take us on jaunts all over the country every summer if I continued my research efforts with the user
group. Hence I jumped ship and joined up with R.L. Walker’s synchrotron group. It was only 1.5 GeV, but
at least they did their research at Caltech, and Christine could seek employment. It turned out to be a lucky
decision. - Pat
Christine got a job at Huntington Memorial Hospital at $10,000/annum. She was hired to set up the
pulmonary function laboratory there and be the blood-gas technician. She was hired by Dr. Eisenburg from
the Altadena clinic when she went there looking for a job. He was looking for someone like Christine to set
up the lab at Huntington. Prior to this the personnel office at Huntington said there were no jobs at
Huntington for Chrisitne. - Pat
This was a memorable Christmas. There was a broadcast from Apollo 8 as it orbited the Moon. “In the
beginning, God etc…..” We watched it from Patsy’s place at Long Beach, CA.
20 of 81
Trevor is still the only one left in public school, although at 5ft 4, is a very big boy for his
age. He is very interested in swimming and with a little professional help has developed
into a very competent little swimmer. His enthusiasm is hard to maintain in this cool
weather, despite the availability of facilities.
With the family growing up, Olive and Craig are managing to live a little more. Of all
things, we are taking dancing lessons. However olive doesn’t need them, and they don’t
seem to be doing Craig any good. However never say die! We are still curling, although a
variety of minor ailments keep interfering. I guess we are getting old.
Holidays consisted of Craig and the boys taking a cottage at Lake Hefley, with Olive
relaxing at home. A month’s trip in September across the continent to Montreal and back
in the new car, with various stopovers, was a new experience for Olive and Craig. The
boys stay at home with Grandma Hamilton. A four day stint at Harrison Hot Springs,
during the spring, was also an enjoyable first. Once again we hope that 1968 has been a
good year for all our friends as it has been for us. A very Merry Christmas and a happy
and prosperous 1969. With best regards from the Waldens.
21 of 81
Christmas – 1969
Well, as the Yuletide season fast approaches and we sit down to document the activities
of the Walden family for 1969, it doesn’t seem like a very particularly momentous year21 .
To go back to the very beginning, we managed to survive Vancouver’s worst winter in
recorded weather history. It actually went down to zero 22 . I am sure our many friends on
the prairies and in the East will feel for us. In a more serious vein, Olive’s mother was
very ill with the Hong Kong flu and had a very long convalescence, stretching into the
summer months.
Pat and Christine arrived to spend the two weeks proceeding Easter. It was Christine’s
first opportunity to absent herself from her job in the hospital laboratory in Pasadena.
They both still like Pasadena 23 very much, smog and all, and can’t wait to get away from
it all. At the last telling, Pat hoped to complete his Ph.D. and graduate next June.
However, there is a little matter like language exams 24 and a thesis to write. We hope he
finishes as he plans. We gather the future plans are still a bit unclear, although they talk
about a post-doctoral at CERN (Centre for European Research Nucleaire) at Bern 25 in
Switzerland. They also talk about TRIUMF here in Vancouver, although it is not
supposed to be operative before 1975. Actually it is just next door to the new BC
Research Building.
Our present plans call for the entire family to take an Easter vacation in 1970 and visit the
fair city of the angles. Actually we feel that we need a holiday, since we really didn’t
have one in 1969. We took a week at Lake Heffley, north of Kamloops. Craig spent the
first five days there with the boys and then they were joined by Olive and some friends
for the weekend. Of the first five days Bob spent two days in the hospital. Fortunately it
turned out to be nothing but a bellyache. Less fortunately it turned out to be the only two
days it didn’t rain. And it was hot! However, when it did rain the fishing was good, it was
even wonderful. After catching and eating 18 trout we couldn’t even interest anyone in
getting in the boat.
The rest of the summer sort of proved the adage that if you live in Vancouver you never
have to go anywhere to see people, you just wait for them to come and see you. We
enjoyed seeing those may friends who got out here this past summer and exhort the rest
of you to come out and visit God’s country.
It was for Pat. He got most of his thesis data finished. This was accomplished by some 16 hr shifts at the
synchrotron accompanied by Christine as a warm body (safety regulation of having two people always
present). We played classical music from the tape recorder, and watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the
Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. - Pat
This is 0° F. Canada had not yet adopted the Celsius scale. - Pat
We liked Caltech, but hated Pasadena. It was mostly the smog. However in 2006 when I returned to
Caltech for a symposium, I enjoyed it immensely. Pasadena was such a neat place after all. There is no
place else on earth like the Huntington Memorial Library, Art Gallery, and Gardens. - Pat
Fortunately they dropped the language requirement before this became an issue. - Pat
CERN is in Geneva. - Pat
22 of 81
I might mention that we voted Social Credit in the provincial election. Bob even arranged
to have a large election poster placed on our front lawn (our candidate lost).
This was Philip’s last year at high school. We expect him to go to University. In fact if
we can ever wean him away from his model airplanes (not toy airplanes) we expect great
things of him. He builds and flies planes, almost to the exclusion of all else. If he didn’t
make an A average at school we could get quite irritated.
Bob is all sports. More or less to save his mother’s nerves, he broke his ribs at the
beginning instead of the end of football season. However, as I write this he is away
playing volleyball.
Trevor has acquired a mouthful of braces and Dad has acquired a $850 hole in his pocket.
Trevor is the only one who is still shorter than Dad. Also he remains the only avid bowler
in the family.
We celebrated Grandpa and Grandma Walden’s 50th wedding anniversary 26 last month.
Olive put on a big do, with about 50 guests. Merry Christmas and the very best in 1970.
The Waldens.
Christine and I had to miss this. We also missed Mom and Dad’s 25th anniversary in 1966. We missed
Jeanie’s wedding in 1967. We actually felt quite left out of things down in L.A.
23 of 81
Christmas – 1970
Well, it’s that time of year again, although we are a little later than usual. I seem to have
more kibitzers than usual, also. It is hard to tell where to start, although the highlight of
the year had to be the Easter vacation. We went down to see Pat and Christine in
Pasadena, and you guessed it, Disneyland again. Actually Pat was going to take his Ph.D.
final oral on February 1st and then start at SLAC on the Stanford campus on the 15th.
However he expected to be through earlier (all Ph.D. candidates do) and had previously
offered to start January 1st. So now he is going to have to finish writing his thesis at
Stanford and go back to Caltech later in the spring for his oral 27 . Both Pat and Christine
are anxious to get out of smoggy Pasadena. Actually we saw a lot of the Los Angles area
and almost feel that we know our way around it and its freeways. We will miss Pat and
Christine this Christmas. They surprised us by showing up 28 at the last minute last year 29 ,
but we don’t really expect them this time.
I guess the other major event wasn’t our summer holiday. On the Wednesday morning
before we were due to take off Bob passed out in the bathroom and was separated from
his appendix 30 in an emergency operation later that same day. With his usual excellent
timing Craig managed to be in New York. Even our family doctor had the good grace to
be on holidays. However Olive had two stalwart men to call on and the day was saved.
Philip, the oldest stalwart, is 6’ 3”, 18 years old and in first year university. He is meeting
his first crisis (i.e., exams) by going out tonight. However we will see. He graduated from
high school with a first class scholarship and the top marks in the school in Chemistry.
He doesn’t care much for Chemistry; he says he is going to be an electronics engineer.
Anyway, his principal avocation is still model airplanes. He spent all summer tending
fish for his father; he doesn’t want to be a biologist either, or should I say an
In case you are worried, we finally did have an abbreviated summer holiday; a few days
at the lake and a flying trip to Calgary. Trevor was the only successful fisherman. Trevor
is in his first year in high school and a big boy for 13, at 5’ 10”. He seems to be enjoying
I had actually only started on the appendices to my thesis by the beginning of 1971. We stayed in
Pasadena over Christmas so that I could actually get started on the thesis. I had made arrangements to start
at SLAC on the first of February and write the thesis at SLAC. Caltech did not want to let me go. They
stated flatly that they did not expect me to ever be able to finish a thesis. My advisor, R.L. Walker backed
me up. He said if anyone could write a thesis this way, I could do it. - Pat
Christmas – 1969: Christine’s mother Marie had not been taking care of herself. A poor diet had
developed a severe case of anaemia. She was as white as a ghost when we saw her. Christine was quite put
out by her mother’s behaviour. She was in the habit of putting on shows to get Christine’s sympathy and
keep her close to her. Marie ended up in the hospital getting a blood transfusion. That is where we spent a
lot of our Christmas holidays. Marie ate better after that. - Pat
It was my first airplane trip since I flew back to Saskatoon with my mother in 1952. Mom was pregnant
with Philip at the time. For Christine it was her first airplane trip ever. We went Western, “the only way to
fly”. - Pat
Actually I had my appendix out as well. I had it out before Easter this year. There was nothing dramatic,
just a dull pain in my abdomen. The MD said it could be nothing else and insisted on removing it. He was
correct. - Pat
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high school. He is surviving his braces, but I think he hopes to get rid of them soon. He
remains the only avid bowler in the family.
Bob remains the most avid sportsman. He managed to get through the rugger season
without breaking anything this fall, so he is going to take up skiing. He is just waiting for
Santa to show up with skis and a few hundred dollars worth of equipment. Bob insists
next year he is going to try out for the Meralomas, the local junior football team. He is
really quite active and the only one to get our money out of the Arbutus club. I guess it
helps if he has a lot of friends there.
Olive and I get quite a bit out of it too. It really isn’t the bar, but we do enjoy the dances
and some of the social functions. Olive says that I wasted my money taking dancing
lessons, but she does agree that it got me dancing again. I do curl occasionally, as much
as my knees will let me. Craig has acquired a new title of Associate Director, but no less
work. In fact, the work and the travel seem to accumulate as the years go by. We are all
in good health, although Grandpa Walden has been quite ill with two heart attacks.
However we have to be thankful for, living here in God’s country and all that. We are
thankful to be able to wish all our many friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New
25 of 81
Christmas – 1971
Well our most important news first. Pat and Christine will be home for Christmas, the
first time in four years that we will spend Christmas together 31 . Actually we don’t have
too much to complain about, because we did get to see them twice already this year. Pat
took a post at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre) on February 1, bringing them
about one day’s journey closer by car. Olive and Craig made a flying trip down in March
and stayed about a week 32 . Later this fall Craig had a business trip to the PortlandCorvallis area, so down we went again; just for a couple of days this time 33 . After what I
am sure were months of agony in the throes of composition Pat finally finished his Ph.D.
thesis and was due to have his oral today 34 . So come the next Caltech commencement we
will have two Ph.D.’s in the family. Pat and Christine are living in Menlo Park, which is
a big improvement over Pasadena. Christine is working in the Stanford University
Hospital, as a respiratory technician 35 ; only part time, which makes life a little less hectic.
Philip is in first year engineering at UBC and, at the moment, right in the middle of
exams. He did very well last year, getting a scholarship, and during the summer found
that one thing he did not want to do for the rest of his life was work in the kitchen at the
White Spot. Model airplanes are still a major, if not the major motive in his life.
Bob is in grade XII this year, if you could refer to his cursory interest in school as being
in school. However we thoroughly enjoyed his playing in the local juvenile football
league. There’s a real bargain. We would get to see three games for $1.50, if you could
stand to sit on the seats that long. Sometimes we were lucky: Bob played in the first
game. His team didn’t distinguish itself, but we all had fun. School sort of suffered,
because Bob was playing senior rugby at school at the same time. Fortunately the only
thing going at the moment is skiing, and the present sprained ankle doesn’t help. Bob
Dad has forgotten that we came up, at the last minute in 1969 for Christmas. - Pat
We lived on Encinal Ave right across from Beltramo’s, the best liquor store in the county. One evening
we put on a roast and baked beans from scratch. We had invited Mom and Dad for dinner. The roast beef
was cooked to perfection. I have never tasted a better roast since. We polished off a whole bottle of
Canadian Cold Duck, and then visited Beltramos for more supplies. It was one of the best evenings we
have ever spent with Mom and Dad. - Pat
We also had a visit from Karl this summer. In expectation of his visit we went out and bought a hide-abed sofa for him to sleep on. He arrived by bus, I think, and for some reason checked into a dumpy hotel in
San Francisco. We pulled him out of there and brought him back to our place. The hotel did not refund his
money. I was in the middle of writing my thesis and to my horror Karl informed me that Lance was about
to receive his Ph.D. I had thought that, because of my head start, I was way ahead of Lance. - Pat
It was a memorable occasion. My committee consisted of Robert L. Walker, Frank Sculli, Tommy
Lauritsen, and George Zweig. George Zweig and Murray Gell-Mann independently invented the quark
model. Even at age 27, I was still quite naïve. I had no idea of what constituted a thesis defence. I was told
to start talking about what I did for my research, so I gave an impromptu lecture on the spot. It was a good
thing I knew my work backwards and forwards and inside out. Everything was at my recall. At one point I
stated that all the nucleon resonances predicted by the quark model were present with the correct spinparity, no more, no less. George Zweig challenged that. I then proceeded to give him a lecture on the quark
model and showed him I was correct. I did not know at that time that he was the co-inventor of the quark
model. Tommy Lauritsen thanked me for the learning experience. - Pat
Actually she was a blood-gas technician in the preemie ward for premature babies. She bathed the heel in
hot water then stabbed it to get the blood. - Pat
26 of 81
didn’t take as long as Philip to find out about the kitchen at the White Spot. We suspect
that was because he didn’t start work there until a month and a half later.
Trevor is working hard at Grade IX and still finding time to pursue his hobbies. He had a
feature role in the school operetta, “The Song of Norway”, which was just completed last
week. Trevor said that he was in it only because he didn’t know how to say no, but we
think he did very well. Even Bob agrees and that is quite a compliment. Ever since his
cousin Larry was out here this summer, Trevor has been a tropical fish hobbyist. There is
one aquarium downstairs now and two more are scheduled to appear over the Christmas
season. Trevor is the only boy still bowling. He has some of the old touch, coming home
with the league trophy for the high double.
We did manage to have a holiday with the boys this year. Philip and Bob both quit work
before they had to go back to school and we did some touring by car. Most of it was in
B.C., but we did get as far as Yellowstone. We did want to get back to Cody 36 , where
Olive and Craig were so well treated some years back when they hit a deer.
Olive and Craig seem to be very busy, socially at least. Craig had to give up curling. He
didn’t learn anything from all those dancing lessons, but he still tries. We may have an
economic recession, but the pollution control business is sure thriving. The grandparents
are all well and the Waldens Sr. are down south for most of the winter. Despite our
unseemly winters (snow, four of the last five years), we still like Vancouver and may stay
here for the next 200 years. However life is good as we wish you all a Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year.
Mom and Dad’s descriptions of Cody tweaked Pat’s curiosity and he had a hankering to visit the place.
He finally got his chance in 1991 when he and Christine, Jamie, and Erek took a cross continent trip to
Quebec city. They passed through the States and Cody WY on the way back. - Pat
27 of 81
Christmas – 1972
The Christmas season seems to come earlier every year, so at the risk of writing what our
growing crop of teenagers call another corny letter, here goes the annual Christmas
missive from the Waldens in Vancouver. 1972 has been a good year for us. We are all
well and healthy with no untoward mishaps.
I guess we are going to spend Christmas separated from the Menlo Park branch of the
family, but Pat and Christine did get back to Vancouver for their holidays this summer 37 .
In addition Olive and Craig managed to get down to San Francisco area twice this year 38 ,
so I guess we shouldn’t complain. Christine has a new position in the university at
Stanford and they just can’t get away 39 . Pat turned in his thesis early this year in the year
and the formal degree was awarded at the Caltech June convocation, so now we have two
Ph.D.’s in the family. They are both well, but working, oh so hard.
Philip is in third year at UBC, with his bent for physics leading him into electrical
engineering. He seems to do a minimum of work but continues to do very well. He
topped his year in June, collected two scholarships and is actually being paid to go to
university, rather than the other way around. He spent the summer as a junior design
engineer at TRIUMF (TRI-University Meson Facility), which is under construction at the
UBC campus, a period of employment which he enjoyed thoroughly. He still finds time
to maintain his interest in model airplanes and such things as intramural sports.
Bob graduated with a flair and a flourish 40 from the local high school this June and is
presently enrolled in Vancouver City College. He is still as sports minded as ever and the
highlight of his year had to be playing first string center on the football team that won the
B.C. juvenile championship. He certainly worked hard at it and it seemed that he saw a
good bit of two-way play as a defensive guard. I think Olive and Craig enjoyed the
football season just as much as he did. Skiing is very much on his mind at the moment if
it would only snow. On the top of the local mountains, that is. Rugby also is in the offing
and he is talking about foregoing football next year in favour of a trip overseas with the
rugby club. He spent the summer as a laboratory aide (glassware washer) in the
We came up in our new Fiat 124. It handled like a sports car, and was real fun to drive. It replaced the
Rambler which had the habit of failing catastrophically at the worse possible moment. The final straw was
the crack in the car frame through which a windshield wiper blade was mounted. The blade came lose and
fouled the other blade in a driving rainstorm on the interstate to Pasadena to attend my orals in Dec 1971. I
had to rip the offending blade out of its mounting in order to continue. The repair would have seen us
replacing the whole roof of the car as the windshield mounting holes were attached to that panel of the car.
- Pat
We now lived at 555 Willow in Menlo Park. The apartment on Encinal was always in darkness, and you
had to have the lights on all the time. Furthermore it was next to the commuter train tracks of the Southern
Pacific. The commuter train shook the apartment every time one went by. - Pat
We did, however, get away to Las Vegas for the New Year’s weekend. It was an adventure. After a
couple of days in Las Vegas, we had to leave Dec. 31st because everything was booked. We drove to Reno
through snow, it was harrowing, and spent New Year’s eve there. We drove home next day. - Pat
It could be that Dad is referring to Bob’s incident with the police for throwing rocks at the school. He
was letting off steam for the bible thumpers ruining the graduation ceremonies. The incident scared him a
bit, but came to nothing. - Pat
28 of 81
Provincial water quality lab. His only comment was that it beats serving drinks at the
local drive-in and the pay is better.
Trevor is in Grade X and is progressing well. He went back to Saskatoon on a separate
holiday this summer as both of the other boys were working. He has become an avid
tropical fish enthusiast and we have three large aquaria scattered around the house. He
has become an excellent bowler, although he plays it down. However he tops his league
and bowls over 300 on occasion.
Olive and Craig have had a busy year, not the least of which was two parties 41 for some
40 football players and coaches. Olive is still bridging with the ladies and doing a
considerable amount of entertaining. There doesn’t seem to be the time to involve
ourselves with the Arbutus Club as much as formerly. The two trips to San Francisco
served as some holidays although we are looking forward to two weeks in Hawaii in
February. Craig’s work seems to grow by leaps and bounds, although his new
administrative assistant helps with the work load. We hope that all of you have had a very
good 1972. We all wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
One party involved a stripper that the quarterback hired for the occasion. I believe that was the last party
to be held in our house. Mom and Dad were out at the time, but Philip and Trevor were home. I believe the
neighbours heard the ruckus. – Pat. Actually the story about the stripper did not come out until
arrangements were made for a second party, which was too late to cancel. However we did insist on much
closer control by the coaches. – Dad.
29 of 81
Christmas – 1973
Our Christmas letter seems a little late this year, but no doubt with its new postal code
system the Post Office will manage to get it to all of you by Christmas. 1973 has been a
good year for the Waldens, albeit not as eventful as some.
Pat and Christine are still in Menlo Park and we don’t expect them home for Christmas 42 .
However we did have a good visit with them this summer when they spent three weeks
with us. Pat was taking a course at TRIUMF 43 (UBC) here in Vancouver and also worked
in some holidays 44 . Pat’s term at SLAC on the Stanford campus is up next summer and
his future plans are still indefinite. However is angling for an appointment at TRIUMF 45
and we are keeping our fingers crossed. Otherwise, maybe Long Island 46 ?
Philip is in fourth year at UBC and in third year Electrical Engineering. He is still doing
extremely well. He topped his class again last year and with two scholarships the
university is again paying him to attend. He had an emergency appendectomy this fall,
but it only kept him out of school a week. He worked the summer again at TRIUMF, but
next summer he expects to work at some engineering firm. He has now found that he is
now a marketable commodity and the pay will be better. He is still model airplaning as
much as time permits. However, although he says his course is no harder there are a lot
more assignments.
Bob is in second year at Vancouver City College and manages surprisingly well with all
his outside activities. We have a very cute little girl around the house quite frequently, by
the name of Laurie Grant. Olive says that she doesn’t feel quite as surrounded as
Marie, however, visited us for Christmas.
It was an IPP (institute of particle physics) summer school taught at the IRC at UBC. I came armed with
a letter from D.W.G.S. Leith from Stanford to treat me with respect. In 1972, I tried to contact people at
TRIUMF and ended up with the librarian giving me a tour like some tourist. Apparently the UBC group
had very little contact with the American particle physics community. It would have been easier if I came
from CERN. During the summer school I met most of the people who were to become my colleagues. It
laid out the basis for my subsequent employment at TRIUMF. - Pat
We spent the rest of our holidays traveling to Denver to meet Marie’s Uncle and Aunt who were Jewish.
Marie had a fit when she found that we were going. She probably fretted that her Aunt and Uncle would let
too many cats out of the bag. We went anyway. She need not have worried. The only thing we found out
was that Marie had a sister who was killed during the war and that was divulged by Marie herself. I guess
that was the most obvious fact that would be revealed, and she probably wished for us to hear of it from her
first. I believe she had revealed to Christine earlier on a visit to Vancouver that she had been previously
married before the war. The trip to Denver was terrific. We visited Rocky Mountain Nat Pk, Great Sand
Dunes Nat Mon, Mesa Verde Nat Pk, and Arches Nat Mon. It laid the foundation for the tour of the west in
1975 with Trevor. - Pat
While in California I was always terribly homesick and wanted to go back to Vancouver and continue
where I had left off. I do not believe this was the case for Christine. However early in the year we got news
that Karl had decided to go back to the UK, to find employment, and to continue his life there. Karl was an
integral component of continuing where I had left off. It was now quite clear to me that no one can ever go
back to continue where one has left off. The passage of time prevents that. - Pat
Dad here is referring to Brookhaven National Lab which did have the largest accelerator in America.
However Fermi Lab was being built just outside of Chicago, and all experimental groups were sending
their post-docs there. Hence dad should have written “Chicago”. - Pat
30 of 81
formerly. Bob forewent his trip to England with the rugby club, despite some pressure
from the coaches. His ankle was bothering him a good deal. He did play football
however. The season wasn’t altogether a success. However the local club that did make it
to the Canadian final did not manage to beat Bob’s team (two ties). Incidentally Craig is
director of a football club. Bob is still skiing and a sizeable proportion of his available
income goes in that direction.
Trevor is in Grade XI and doing well. He continues to bowl and walked off with most of
the trophies last spring. We can’t seem to get much of a report on this fall’s activities.
Craig would like to think of this as Olive’s year, but I am not sure she agrees. She got a
new little Datsun this spring, which Bob promptly smashed up (we think it wasn’t his
fault, although the insurance company for the other party hasn’t settled yet). However the
car is all fixed up and Olive has been driving since mid-summer. She seems to enjoy the
mobility. We have a brand spanking new kitchen. We tore out the previous kitchen,
breakfast nook etc, moved the doors and windows around so that it opens out onto a large
sundeck with the best view in Vancouver. However there were seven weeks of trauma
while we lived and cooked in the basement, even if we did have the stove, fridge, and
dishwasher hooked up. I guess it was worth it.
Craig and Olive spent two glorious weeks in sunny Hawaii last February and present
plans call for three more weeks next February. That is, if the charter planes are still
flying. We also spent two weeks in Eastern Canada: a week in Ottawa where we attended
the Carlson wedding and on to St. Andrews-by-the-sea, N.B., where Craig had a
conference to attend. Social activities seem to include a lot of bridge and not a few
dances. Craig is as busy as ever, even more so. Everybody is healthy, including the four
grandparents. We hope that all of you have had a very pleasant 1973 and we wish you all
the best during 1974.
31 of 81
Christmas – 1974
We sincerely hope you all have had a pleasant 1974 and trust that you will have a very
Merry Christmas. 1974 has been a very busy year for the Waldens and also a very
enjoyable one.
I guess our big news is that Pat and Christine moved back47 to Vancouver on August 1st.
Pat has a one-year appointment 48 with TRIUMF on the UBC campus. The expectation is
that it will lead to a permanent appointment, if suitable financial support materializes.
Probably it will if they ever get the damn thing running 49 . However we have our fingers
crossed. Pat has retained his American visa, just in case. It has been very pleasant having
them back, even if they did have to turn around and spend a month back at Stanford.
We are afraid we will lose Philip next summer when he graduates in Electrical
Engineering. He wound up last year with a 95% average, a UBC nomination as a1967
Science Scholar, which if he gets it, carries an annual stipend of $7,000 for three years. It
is tenable at any Canadian university and he is in the process of making a selection. We
are very proud of him. Model airplaning has declined somewhat, although Philip still
finds time for intramural sports. He spent last summer as a junior engineer with Trans
Mountain Pipelines; a local firm.
Bob completed his two year course at Vancouver City College and currently is taking a
year out to build his finances. He is proposing to go to Simon Fraser University next fall
to complete a degree in physical education. He acquired a car a few months back, which
is his pride and joy. We agree that it is pretty nice. It is a1972 Toyota Celica, for you car
buffs. He played football in the junior ranks this season. Although the club didn’t win any
championships it did have a winning season and split their games with the league
champions, who incidentally won the Western Championship. Laurie, Bob’s girl friend,
is still very much in evidence. She completes her course in Education this year.
Trevor is in Grade XII this year and is doing well. He is still contemplating next year and
we aren’t second guessing him. He is still a very avid bowler. He is also taking his driver
training this year, which means I can finally stop being a chauffeur.
Olive and Craig have had a good year but I hate to admit that they are a year older. We
spent three glorious weeks in Hawaii last February and had reservations to go back next
February. However our Airclub is under court order to disband, so at this moment we are
not sure where we are. If our hotel reservations still are good we can probably go CPAir,
or some such. However we should know shortly. We were east again this past fall, with
We camped for the first time and took our time by driving up through the back roads. The trip was most
memorable and deserves a separate section to describe it. - Pat
I believe it was a two year appointment. One year plus an automatic extension of another year if
requested. I know of no one year appointments in nuclear physics. Nothing can really be accomplished in
that time period. Anyway I did not have any expectation that my appointment would end in a year. - Pat
On Dec. 15, 1974 the beam from the cyclotron was extracted at full energy, 500 MeV. - Pat
32 of 81
stop in Ottawa, Toronto, and London. Craig was presenting a paper at a pulp and paper
meeting. Incidentally he got an award (medal) for one he presented last year.
Incidentally Craig’s arthritic knees miraculously recovered last March, discounting our
MD’s diagnosis of arthritis. We don’t know whether to blame thiamine or Vitamin E; not
that it matters. We are still curling, bridging, and dancing. Craig was even playing tennis.
We haven’t done as much with the house as we did last year when the kitchen was
renovated. However we finally have a rec room in the basement, after being underway for
a year and a half.
The grandparents are all fine and the Waldens Sr. are south for the winter. We hope that
1975 will be an exceptionally good year for you and yours. With very Best Wishes, from
the Wadens 50 .
The Christmas this year was quite memorable. Christine and I, my brothers, plus Laurie and Cathryn
spent Christmas eve together in the rec room entertaining ourselves. One game we played was run around
table tennis. You hit the ball, put down the paddle and run to the opposite side of the table. The next person
behind you picks up the paddle to receive the return ball. If you boob, you are out. The Last person
remaining in wins. Christmas day at my parents went smoothly with various people visiting throughout the
day. I particularly remember the visit by Ian, Jackie, and their family.
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Christmas – 1975
Now that there is some possibility that this will be delivered I had better get busy a write
it. I hope that it will reach you all in time to have a Merry Christmas. 1975 hasn’t been
one of our good years. Olive’s father died in October after a lengthy illness. We really
didn’t realize how ill both her parents were until we returned from Hawaii 51 in early
March and found Olive’s sister here. Both her Mother and Father have been in and out of
the hospital a good deal of the intervening time. We have been greatly grieved at Lorne’s
passing although the release from the pain he was enduring these many months was a
blessing. Olive’s mother is recovering well since she has a heart pacer installed and is in
Saskatoon for Christmas. Olive has been terribly, terribly busy 52 , looking after two
households and for at least part of the time, two invalids. Consequently we don’t have a
great deal of news to report. We made the annual trek to Hawaii in February and enjoyed
it just as much as ever, even if there was a little more rain and a little more wind than in
previous years.
Philip has been away from us since September. He graduated in June, went overseas for
two months and is in residence at the University of Toronto graduate school. He won a
1967 Science Scholarship, with an annual stipend of $7,000, tenable for 3 years and
renewable for a fourth. He is currently in a Master’s program in electronic engineering
and is not certain whether he will go through a Ph.D. program. He has a girl friend,
Cathy, who lives just up the street. She is at Western Washington College and we see her
occasionally, even though Philip is away. He will be home for Christmas next Monday.
Bob worked until July, took a holiday and enrolled at Simon Fraser in Education. He
found the travelling excessive and then found that he was only being credited with 1½
years for his time at Langara. He withdrew and will go to UBC next year, where he can
get full credit for his junior college and graduate in two years. Right now he is making up
boxes for Crown Zellerbach. As usual, Bob played football again for the junior Blue
Bombers. His team got knocked out of the play-offs in the first round. However the year
wasn’t a loss: Bob won the club trophy for Most Valuable Lineman, at the windup
banquet and dance. The football club had their annual rookie party in our rec room: but
that’s another story. Laurie is still a regular frequenter of our domicile and seems to be
making progress against her Hodgkin’s disease53 . What a shock that was.
Nana and Bumpa usually stayed with my brothers when my parents went out of town, However this year
it was quite apparent that this chore was beyond them. Hence this year, Christine and I stayed with my
brothers while Mom and Dad were in Hawaii. It was during this time that Cathryn and Philip really started
to be serious about one another. - Pat
Dad also helped matters by breaking his foot. He did not get a lot of sympathy from Mom.
This was discovered while Mom and Dad were in Hawaii. Laurie had a persistent cough and Bob finally
made her go to the doctor. I did not know what Hodgkin’s disease was until I told Philip. He replied, “Isn’t
that fatal”? I then thought I had better find out and investigated the disease. It had been fatal, but now
modern medicine had means to arrest the disease indefinitely. I thought this would be the case with Laurie,
but sadly this did not work out. Laurie died in 1979. Bob and Laurie broke up soon after her disease was
diagnosed. – Pat. Laurie died of leukemia, not Hodgkin’s disease. It was found after the Hodgkin’s was
diagnosed. – Dad.
34 of 81
Trevor graduated from Prince of Wales last year. My, how the years roll by. He is
currently enrolled at junior college and working very hard. Jobs were very hard to find
this summer, so he insulated and finished our garage and then went on an extended
holiday 54 all over the southwest U.S., with Christine and Pat.
Pat is still at TRIUMF, but funds are exceptionally tight, with prospects of a
professorship rather bleak. He may return to the States while his visa is still good. We
hope not, or at least that they will be close. He was talking today about Corvallis
(Oregon), which isn’t too bad. Grandma and Grandpa Walden are south in California
again, for Christmas 55 . They are both well as are we all. We hope you have a very Merry
Christmas and may 1976 be good to you and yours.
With best regards,
The Waldens.
This was another memorable trip and this one was highlighted by the Grand Canyon. We got as far as El
Paso Texas, the first and only time I have been in Texas. The trip deserves a complete story in its own
right. - Pat
They had been doing this since 1968 when Patsy and Art moved back to the States to Long Beach. We
spent Christmases with them while we were in Pasadena. We also drove down to visit them in LA in early
1973. We left Friday evening and arrived at Midnight, and drove back on Sunday. We went out to a Movie
with them and Patsy and Art on Saturday. It was the “Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” starring Paul
Newman. - Pat
35 of 81
Christmas – 1976
We are a little late this year, but hope that this letter arrives before Christmas. I guess our
big news this year is our new daughter. When Philip came home from Toronto last year
he announced that teaching and/or research was not for him and he did not intend to
return to graduate school. If that was his choice I am not sure that we disagreed, but we
surely hated to see that four-year scholarship go down the drain. He located a good job
shortly thereafter with a local engineering firm, where he is busy designing computer
systems. Last July he and Cathryn announced that they were getting married. Although
the wedding wasn’t unexpected, the date 56 was, and it was a quiet wedding from our
stand-point. After two moves (with father helping) they are presently living in White
Rock, from where Philip commutes to work and Cathryn to graduate school at Western
Washington University at Bellingham.
The year seemed full of moves. We moved Olive’s Mother back to Saskatoon early in
July. However she was back once since and we also managed to get back to Saskatoon
once. She seems to enjoy renewing all her acquaintanceships in Saskatoon.
After a lot of soul searching Pat and Christine bought the house on West 21st, so that they
are only a few blocks away. They were very glad to get out of their tiny suite57 . Pat has
now got a permanent appointment at TRIUMF and is hoping to get a permanent
appointment on the UBC staff. Christine’s mother has had a rough year, having a brain
tumour (benign) removed, followed by breast surgery shortly thereafter. Fortunately she
seems to have made a satisfactory recovery.
Bob worked until mid-summer and then enrolled at BCIT, where he is taking a course in
operations management. He seems to have made the transition to a new area of activity
satisfactorily, but I guess the proof will be more evident when he gets his Christmas
marks back. He decided that he didn’t have time to play football (with father serving a
term as President of the football club) and he even gave up rugby midway through the
season. He is still active as ever; he has done nothing but run and lift weights since the
Christmas recess started.
Trevor spent the last term at Vancouver City College and is talking about taking forestry
at university. If so, he will probably work until the fall term, since there are relatively few
The date was a surprise. They scheduled it right on top of a sailing trip bought and paid for that we were
to share with another couple and a friend. Subsequently we missed the wedding. - Pat
We actually moved out of our apartment following Marie’s brain tumor operation in February. We
moved in with Marie in order to keep an eye on her. I do not know where we stored our furniture. Shortly
after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a breast removed. We took a series of minivacations as we could not be gone for long. One was the aforementioned sailing trip, one was to Botanical
beach on the BC day weekend, and the last to Jasper and Banff during the Labour Day break. I also went to
Pittsburg and Quebec for Physics conferences. We finally moved to 2761 W. 21st in September. Marie
delayed our move a few weeks and would have preferred that we never moved into our house. She made all
sorts of excuses, but we finally had to insist. Soon after we had moved in we put in our names to adopt a
baby- Pat
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useful courses he can take. He spent the summer working in the Provincial Government
Environmental Laboratory and I think he hopes to go back there
Although we don’t have much to show for it, it has been a hectic year for Olive and
Craig. We did have a very pleasant holiday in Hawaii. I guess we are more or less in love
with the place. Anyway we are planning to go back for three weeks in March. We already
have our plane tickets and hotel reservations. We have played some bridge; Olive still
belongs to her bridge club. Craig manages to curl occasionally, even won some money in
a bonspiel last spring.
The Waldens Sr. are in good health and presently are enroute to California for Christmas.
We are all well and hope you are the same. We wish you all the best of everything for
With best regards,
The Waldens
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Christmas – 1977
Well, that time of year has rolled around again. We hope it finds you all well and that
1977 has been a good year for you. This past year has been a very eventful year for the
Waldens. The prime event of the year had to be the arrival of a wee bundle, on July 29th,
who eventually was called James Lawrence 58 . Another boy, but not “Aw shucks”. Pat
and Christine are the proud parents and even at 4½ months, we are all looking forward to
his first Christmas. He is certainly an active wee boy and of course he is very special.
However Christmas 59 will be quiet. Philip went back to university to take a MBA. He left
his job here in August and moved down to Los Angles where he is attending UCLA.
Cathryn managed to get accredited for teaching in California, although jobs are few and
far between. She expects to be substituting in Beverly Hills after Christmas. They are
both well, but we miss them.
Trevor is taking Agriculture at UBC. He worked part time last semester at Vancouver
City College and went back to his old job at the Provincial Environmental Laboratory for
the present time. He is expecting to go south for Christmas, so there will be a gathering of
the Waldens in the Los Angles area. My sister and her family are there and my Mother
and Father are going to motor down there this Saturday. They are both well and expect to
stay in Laguna Beach again, until March.
Bob is in his second year of Operations Management at B.C. Institute of Technology. He
will finish this year and has virtually decided that you can never make any money
working for someone else. As a prelude to starting up his own business, he is talking
about a degree in economics. Anyway, it is interesting. He had also talked about going
south for Christmas, but informed us today that he will be staying home.
Life has changed for Christine and Pat. Christine has suffered from a bad back since
about May, but it now seems to be slowly recovering. Pat is working as hard as ever, but
life will never be the same. But they love it (or should I say him 60 ).
Jamie was named after Bumpa who died in 1975. Bumpa’s name was Jonathan James Lawrence
Hamilton. We took the two middle names. This was the suggestion of Jamie’s Nana, my Mother. Jamie
came to us at the beginning of August, only 9 days old. We were told that we would have to wait at least
two years and we may not be able to adopt because we would be considered too old. However Jamie’s
biological mother wanted some stable people who had been married for years and who were well educated.
She tossed out all the people who were ahead of us, until she came to us. We only waited 4 months after we
had completed the adoption course and had been investigated as to our suitability as parents. - Pat
It was not a quiet Christmas for us. Christine’s mother Marie was dreadfully ill. She could not come to
my parents for Christmas dinner. Finally we decided she had to come and live with us in the downstairs
bedroom. I was at TRIUMF when Christine moved her. She could not walk. She had to get our neighbour
Dr. Daly to get her into the house. She stayed with us for a week. She went into the hospital for tests, but
had to go by ambulance as she could not get out of bed. She wanted to come back by ambulance, but I
convinced her that if she had to go back and forth by ambulance she had better stay in the hospital to find
out what is wrong with her. She never came back. It was discovered she had bone cancer throughout her
body. - Pat
Dad here is referring to Jamie. We had quite a time of it. Jamie developed pyloric stenosis, a restriction
of the pyloric valve between the stomach and the intestine which results in projectile vomiting. We
38 of 81
Bob had a particularly nasty operation on his bad ankle, last April. We all had our fingers
crossed for him. He was on crutches for almost two months and missed a month’s work
this summer. He finished out the summer working at his old job at Crown Zellerbach.
Bob’s mid-term break last March came when we were in Hawaii, so we had him with us
for ten days. We enjoyed it very much and we think he did also.
We were in Waikiki three beautiful weeks and enjoyed it as much as ever. We are
expecting to go back, for four weeks this time, January 23rd. The rest of the year also has
seemed eventful. We went to Calgary in July, presumably to see the Stampede, but I
don’t think we ever recovered from something called a gin breakfast 61 . Anyway,
whatever it was, it was fun. We were down east twice, that is, Olive and Craig. Once was
in January to Montreal and a pulp and paper convention. The one day we spent in Ottawa
wasn’t that much warmer. This fall in Toronto, Ottawa and Moncton was more hospitable
weather-wise and also in other ways. Moncton reminded us of Saskatoon in the thirties,
the dirty thirties. Well, Merry Christmas to you all and I hope that 1978 will be a
wonderful and Happy New Year.
With best regards,
The Waldens
diagnosed it from books borrowed from the library. The doctors, however were calling it the flu. We had to
insist on seeing a Pediatrician. We got Hardiment, the same Pediatrician who dealt with Trevor’s Rh and
Bob’s asthma. He diagnosed it immediately as pyloric stenosis and Jamie had the operation to open the
valve on the very same day. He was 3 weeks old. He looked back to us when he went into the operation
like he knew who we were, and displayed smiles and happiness on being brought back home after the
operation. He was definitely ours. - Pat
They were invited to a gin breakfast by Mickey O’Brian. I believe he was the host. A gin breakfast is just
what it seems to be. Everybody sits down together and has breakfast with gin or some other alcoholic
beverage substituted for the orange juice. This is a great tradition of the Stampede. I cannot imagine waking
up in order to get sloshed by breakfast. – Pat. Actually the gin was mixed with the orange juice. – Dad.
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Christmas – 1978
We hope that you all have had a pleasant 1978 and that you will have a Merry Christmas.
We expect to have our family altogether for the holiday season. Philip and Cathryn are
arriving on December 22nd and will be here until January 1st. Christmas will be
particularly interesting since we will have a young grandson who will be very much in
the thick of things.
1978 has been a rather uneventful year for the Waldens. We are now only three in this big
house and are rattling around a bit. Bob graduated from B.C.I.T. in June and went to
work at TRIUMF almost immediately. Yes, this is the same establishment at which Pat
spends a large part of his time and is just down the street from B.C. Research. Bob moved
into a house with two other boys on the first of September. However he is coming back
home temporarily at the end of January. He was going to come home at the end of the
year, but was talked into staying for the last month that they have the house. Of course,
we see a lot of him.
Trevor is still going to U.B.C., and is in third year Agriculture. He was on a field trip this
fall and had a first hand inspection of some farms. I don’t know if he was impressed or
not. He spent the summer working at the Provincial Environmental Lab again. He had an
offer from the Provincial Department of Agriculture, but it came too late. Trevor was 21
years old this August, which reminded us that time is passing.
Pat is still at TRIUMF, or I should say U.B.C. He was on loan to TRIUMF to build
something, but it moved so slow that he went back to U.B.C. 62 on September 1st. He still
does experimental work at TRIUMF however. Christine has had a hectic 63 year. Her
I became a full time employee of TRIUMF June 1976. As a BAE (Board Appointed Employee) I was not
only expected to do research, but also contribute to building TRIUMF’s experimental facilities. I was given
the task of building the high energy M11 pion channel. I hired Dave Ottewell and 3 engineering physics
students and was assigned a draftsperson (designer engineer). We made great strides in 1976/77. However
in 1977/78 our progress was impeded by Karl Erdmann (the associate director) and Dick Johnson who
hijacked our resources and channeled them to M13 because of their own personal experimental interests.
They did not approach the TRIUMF Users Group for authority to change experimental priorities. They
even tried to get me to build M13 for them. I refused unless I got a clear directive from the TRIUMF users.
The directive was for M11, which was the wrong directive according to Erdmann and Johnson. I eventually
quit M11 for lack of administrative support and went back to full time collaborative research with my UBC
colleagues doing experiments, which was my real TRIUMF job description. I was never on loan from
We both had a hectic year. Christine was up at the hospital every day for several hours. This meant I
spent evenings taking care of Jamie solo and usually during the day as well. It was a good thing my job
allowed me to work when and where I could. As an added complication Molnar, the condominium
developer, was building next door to Marie’s house and trespassing big time. He even constructed a
construction site barrier fence and physically attached it to Marie’s house barring access to her back yard
from her front yard. I sued Molnar for fees on use of Marie’s property. However before the trial date we
sold Marie’s house to Longpre, another developer. We cancelled the hearing before the judge in exchange
for my legal expenses and a bottle of Crown Royal. In retrospect, we should never have sold the house. We
should have brought up our family at Marie’s. However at the time the house was an added complication
we did not need. Marie agreed to sell it as if and when she came out of the hospital, she was to live with us.
We would use her funds to find a larger house. -Pat
40 of 81
mother’s cancer has gone into remission 64 , but she is still in hospital. They have moved
her into extended care at U.B.C. Of course Jamie is the light of our life. He is 17 months
old on Christmas day and as A.A. Milne put it, he is “almost new”. It is certainly
interesting watching him discover life. We certainly enjoy being grandparents.
Philip and Cathryn are still in Los Angles and we sort of feel that they will probably stay
there. Philip will be through his M.B.A. in June and Cathryn her course on handicapped
children. They are both doing very well and we are proud of them. Philip won a
marketing prize from I.E.E.E. (electronic engineers) in competition with students from 60
western U.S. universities. I gather there is more substituting for Cathryn this year. We
drove down to see them this fall. It was our first long motor trip for some years and
unexpectedly really enjoyed the travel. Roads were so excellent and the trip went so well.
We certainly enjoyed Los Angles again after 7 years. We went to Disneyland again and
enjoyed as much if not more than ever.
We spent a month in Hawaii in February and enjoyed it as much as ever. We had a lovely
apartment, which was much more comfortable than the hotels, although we never
complained. The weather was simply tremendous. We are going back in February and
Bob will spend two weeks with us. We had visitors from Hawaii and Guam this year:
Lily Honda, her sister Jean and their mother. We enjoyed showing them Vancouver. In
June it is pretty nice. Merry Christmas once more again and we hope that 1979 will be
wonderful and Happy New Year for you and yours. With best regards,
The Waldens
Marie was in the VGH until August. In August she was transferred to the UBC extended care hospital.
While at VGH she was in terrible pain and agony. I remember fighting with the nurses to give her sufficient
pain killers which they were very slow in doing because of the stupid instructions of her doctor. She finally
went on Brompton’s mixture taken orally, a mixture of morphine, cocaine, and alcohol. This put her in
another world. After a few months, on her own, she refused to take the mixture. Miraculously she came out
of it pain free. The doctors said the cancer was not in remission because tests showed a continual
deterioration of her bone structure. However at least she was not in pain.-Pat
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Christmas – 1979
We are sure late this year, but hope that the post office cooperates and that this missive of
good cheer arrives in time for Christmas.
Actually we have some reason for being late. Craig had a sudden business trip back to
Saskatoon and Olive decided to come along. We just got back last night, with the
realization of how near Christmas it is. It was a rushed trip and our apologies to those
many friends whom we did not have a chance to contact.
The Waldens had an eventful year, some aspects of which we hope don’t return too soon.
However our one and only grandson is our pride and as A.A. Milne put it, at two, is
“almost new”. We certainly enjoy him very much. As a matter of fact we had the
opportunity to look after him for 18 days this past summer while Pat and Christine took a
trip to Europe 65 . Thank goodness it was only 18 days. I don’t know how we stood it,
although we wouldn’t have missed it for worlds. I guess we had forgotten how much
energy is required to keep up with an active two year old. This will really be his first
Christmas, and I don’t know who is looking forward to it with more anticipation.
Another large event during the year was Grandpa and Grandma Walden’s diamond
wedding anniversary. Olive put on a large reception for all their friends and we read
letters and telegrams from the Queen, the Governor-General, Joe, Pierre and a lot more. It
went over very well. Unfortunately Grandpa Walden suffered a slight stroke two days
later. However he appears to be recovering very well, although his speech is still slightly
Pat is still at TRIUMF, but is considering taking an assistant professorship 66 at U.B.C.
next year. In any event he is likely to take a four month leave of absence in
I attended a European conference in particle physics in Geneva with its venue at the UN facilities there. It
was a huge conference. My interaction with my old SLAC group, especially with Leith and Davier was
strained; hence I decided to hell with the particle physicists and their overblown egos and never did particle
physics research again. We flew into Amsterdam and took a train to Paris. After Paris we went to Geneva
and Zurich. At Geneva we took a day trip to the Matterhorn instead of taking a tour of CERN. In Zurich we
visited Lucerne, Bern, and Brugg. In Brugg I got to SIN and met Christian Weddingen. He was so
impressed with me that he invited me to spend 4½ months in Switzerland collaborating with him. We
returned to Amsterdam via Basel and a train through the Rhine valley. This was the only time we have been
in Germany. When were arrived home, Jamie greeted us with a “There’s Daddy!” and a “There’s
Mommy!” He jumped on Christine and wouldn’t let us out of his sight. He was very happy to go home with
us. Everything had to be exactly as it was before. We never went away and left him again. - Pat
I did not stand a chance. John Warren and Erich Vogt railroaded through numerous appointments in the
Nuclear Physics group while TRIUMF was being built. John Warren was now retired and Erich was now
vice-president of UBC. With those two gone Garth Jones got nowhere in hiring new nuclear physics faculty
to exploit the TRIUMF research facility. The only one to make faculty was Jesse Brewer and that was
mainly because he was doing solid state physics with muons. Except for this solid state research the UBC
physics department literally went out of its way to limit its connection with TRIUMF. In a sense Garth was
too gracious to the competing UBC Physics Dept. groups. He bought the argument that when a Nuclear
Physicist retired, the person should be replaced with the best candidate in any field. When a solid state
physicist died, he was replaced with another solid state physicist before Garth got wind of it. - Pat
42 of 81
Switzerland 67 , starting in May. Olive seems determined that we will take our first trip
overseas in1980.
Bob is also working at TRIUMF, in the planning department. He is put out when his
carefully made plans aren’t implemented, but he consoles himself with running and bodybuilding. And then there is Inge. Inge is a lovely strawberry blonde and a real pleasure to
have around. Bob’s other constant companion is Olive’s nephew, Larry Hamilton, who
has move to Vancouver from Saskatoon.
Trevor is in his last year of animal science and we are not sure whether he will elect to go
on to another degree or not. We are very proud of him. He has worked very hard. He
spent the summer on a farm, looking after some 1600 pigs. When asked what he did, the
response was that he used a shovel a lot. Olive asked him to bring home his working
clothes in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Trevor washed them. It takes all kinds.
Olive and Craig had their annual pilgrimage to Hawaii and are looking forward to three
weeks in February. We have a different apartment, the one we have had for the last two
years being sold. We also took a trip to San Diego this summer. Craig had another
business trip. We had a new car, so we drove down and took Olive’s mother with us. It
went very well. No gas shortages and the weather was nice. Alma had never been south
of Seattle before. We saw Philip and Cathryn enroute. Philip is working for HewlettPackard, just outside San Jose.
We were very sorry Christine lost her mother earlier this year68 . She 69 had been so
dreadfully ill, but was holding her own for so long. We are Christine’s family now, and
prize her dearly. I must say goodbye. Merry Christmas to you all and we hope you have a
truly wonderful New Year. With best regards,
The Waldens
See a previous foot note this year (#63). - Pat
She died on March 24, 1979. She was born in Warsaw on October 16, 1910, so was only 68 at the date of
her death. The whole ordeal was a terrific strain on Christine and me, with Christine spending hours and
hours at the hospital. She was gone so much that Jamie started making strange with Christine near the end.
Christine and her mother had a terrific argument on March 23rd, and her mother suffered a seizure later
after she had left. Those were her last words with her mother and have been a burden on her conscience
ever since. I told Christine that the seizure could have happened anytime. The brittle bones of her mother’s
neck snapped and had nothing to do with the argument. We were told she was in a wheelchair and happily
socializing when the seizure happened. However such objective reasoning does not allay the conscience.
The healing process in our family began right away. In April we took a trip to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary,
and Jamie toddled along after his mother. It was an enjoyable day. - Pat
We did not know it then, but her cousin Jesse Cherry told us in 1983 that Christine’s mother was Jewish.
Marie had always maintained that her mother was Catholic and therefore she was Catholic. She was deathly
afraid of being identified as Jewish. Marie survived the Warsaw Ghetto, escaped, married Christine’s father
who was Catholic, gave birth to Christine, and then survived the Warsaw uprising in which Christine’s
father was killed. Until the “liberation” of Warsaw by the Soviets on January 17, 1945 Christine and her
mother would have been sent to the death camps if found. - Pat
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Christmas – 1980
Well, we made it through another year. With the way that time flies by and with all that
there is to do, that is quite an accomplishment. Anyway we enjoyed 1980 and are looking
forward to the next 200 years. We are anticipating a big Christmas. Excepting Philip and
Cathryn, everybody will be here. We are expecting the O’Briens from Calgary, and
Craig’s sister and family will be here for Christmas dinner. The house will be full 70 .
I guess our big news is that Bob and Inge will be getting married in July. They have
already bought a house and are putting in a suite in the basement, which they will occupy,
while renting the upstairs. Bob is still running. I am sure that is the expression. Inge
would like to know if he ever stopped. Although not running competitively, he completed
three marathons this year, which is quite a feat in itself. Inge runs too, but her interest is
less all pervading, than is Bob’s. Bob is still at TRIUMF, although we are not sure for
how long.
Pat is also still at TRIUMF. However Pat, Chris and Jamie were away for four months
this summer, while Pat put in a partial sabbatical at a Swiss high energy research
establishment 71 . I didn’t think Olive would survive. She said, “They have taken my baby
away”. We made all sorts of plans. Olive half decided to go overseas with Inge. Then it
looked as if I would have a business trip over to Sweden. Then when it fell through Pat
announced that they would be returning early 72 . After we had sort of renounced any
attempt to go over, the Pat had to stay the full term. Anyway Jamie knew Nanna, when he
returned. So Olive was happy.
The residents of the house, Mom, Dad, Bob, and Trevor were there plus Christine, Jamie and myself.
Grandma and Granddad came with Patsy, Art and their children, Kathleen, Craig and Barbara. Mickey and
Jean O’Brien were staying with my parents. Inge was there and so was Larry. I count 18 in all. It was a big
Christmas. Christine said she would help Mom, but missed the morning because she had too much wine on
Christmas Eve. – Pat. Mickey and Jean stayed at a motel on Kingsway although they were present for
Christmas dinner as well as a number of other occasions. – Dad.
It was not a high energy research establishment. It was a sister meson factory (medium energy physics)
like TRIUMF. It was called S.I.N. (Swiss Nuclear Institute). It is now called P.S.I. (Paul Scherrer Institut).
The nearest big town is Brügg. We lived in Brügg. I worked with Christian Weddingen and his group. My
efforts were much appreciated more so than TRIUMF ever acknowledged my efforts at TRIUMF. Ed
Boshitz pleaded with me to stay a full year and work on the SUZY spectrometer. I should have taken him
up on the offer. - Pat
I am not sure where Dad got this idea. We did suffer cultural shock for the first month and probably
wished we did not come, but at no time did we ever contemplate coming home early. Things settled down a
lot after we discovered the Swiss travel on ½ fare cards. With these cards, the Swiss can go everywhere for
½ price. This not only includes trains, and post-autobuses, but also the steamships and funiculars up the
mountains. This opened our lives to adventure without breaking our bank. We were off almost every
weekend to some place in Switzerland after that. Our adventures are contained in two scrap books I made
up after the trip. We stopped off at New York on the way back to visit Christine’s relatives. We stayed with
Bob and Rosalind Epstein. We met Jesse and Mildred Cherry and Libby and Hans Schapire. Jesse
organized our stay. Rosalind and Jesse are siblings, offspring of Marie’s aunt, Molly. Libby is the daughter
of Jennie and Max. Jennie was also an aunt of Marie. Max and Jennie made it possible for Christine and
Marie to emigrate from Poland. – Pat. My comment was based on a dispute you were having with the Swiss
re travel costs. As we understood it there was some possibility that this may have required you to come
home in the first part of August. By the time this was clarified it was too late for us to make travel
arrangements. – Dad.
44 of 81
Trevor graduated from UBC this spring, so for the first time in many, many years we do
not have anybody in school or in university. We are really proud of Trevor. He is
working at Colony Farm, in Coquitlam. He is rather fortunate, since it is one of the few
locations where he can ply his trade as an agriculturalist and still live at home. He has a
fair distance to commute, but it is against the flow of traffic, so it isn’t too bad. However
he is planning on buying a small car.
Jamie is growing like a weed. All the adults are going to experience again the joys of
Christmas to a three year old – second hand that is. We find him very interesting. Pat and
Christine are just initiating the process of having the house at 2761 West 21 rebuilt. It
will give them a lot more room, and will be pretty nice; at least the architect’s drawings
look pretty nice. Christine is very busy, keeping up with a three year old, as well as all of
her dancing and exercises. She is a real daughter.
Olive and Craig seem to have quite a full year. Maybe it’s just old age creeping up. We
took a driving holiday this fall. We drove across southern B.C. and Alberta very leisurely,
and wound up in Saskatoon. Then we drove back, via Calgary, Edmonton, Jasper, and
down the Yellowhead highway to Kamloops. We didn’t spot very long anywhere, but we
did enjoy the drive and saw a lot of country we never saw before. Of course we had our
annual trip to Waikiki, and we don’t really agree with those people who knock Hawaii.
The weather is pretty wonderful, particularly in February.
Grandma and Grandpa Walden 73 are fine, and planning to spend two months at Laguna
Beach starting in January. Grandpa still has a slight speech problem, but generally their
health is good. 1980 has been a good year for us, although we never seem to have enough
time for everything. We hope this finds you all well and that you have a very pleasant
1981. We will miss Philip and Cathryn this Christmas. With best regards, the Waldens.
This was, I believe, the last fall Grandma and Grandpa spent in the house on Granville Ave. in
Richmond. The Thanksgiving that year at Grandma’s was particularly memorable. The Ridgers and Inge
were there. Grandma made a beautiful table centerpiece. I took a picture of it. - Pat
45 of 81
Christmas – 1981
Well, 1981 has been quite a year. If we had it to do over again I am not sure whether we
would or not 74 . Hectic is the word for it. We gained a daughter-in-law and rediscovered
Calgary. Bob landed a job with a large construction firm in Calgary and took off in midApril. His wedding was set for July but he and Inge decided that was fine when they were
both in Vancouver, but not so good when they were separated. Anyway the wedding was
advanced to May and had to be curtailed 75 somewhat as a result, but we enjoyed it
tremendously. Of course, the fond grand-parents think that Jamie came close to stealing
the show as the ring bearer 76 . Anyway, we have been back and forth a lot since. We have
been to Calgary twice and we have met them separately at Kamloops, Saskatoon, and
Edmonton. We haven’t done as much traveling in a long time. We are getting old, I
guess. Bob is doing well as a planner and Inge has a position as a legal secretary. We are
expecting them both home for Christmas.
Pat and Christine have had a real horror story this year. They elected to have their house
rebuilt rather than repurchase on the Vancouver housing market. Anyway they selected
an architect and contractor and moved out of their house in April into an apartment for
three months 77 . Then they had a month in France 78 and the house was supposed to ready
when they returned. Of course it wasn’t, so they were with us a little better than three
months. Then more or less in self-defence they moved back into their home with sleeping
bags and slept on the floor until about two weeks ago. In the meantime, everything that
could go wrong, did. Finally they advised their contractor that they considered the
contract null and void, and hired another contractor 79 . This one is slowly putting things
right, while they sit back and pay off mechanics’ liens. Fortunately they seem to have
enough holdback to cover the same, but what a mess. And the quality of workmanship.
Their contractor must have dredged the Vancouver construction industry to find his
workmen. However, I guess they will survive, particularly Jamie. He is the apple of his
grandparents’ eye and growing like a weed. Need I say more. In between times Pat still
works at TRIUMF.
Little did Dad know that events were just beginning to roll. 1982 and 1983 would be just as eventful and
perhaps even more so. - Pat
Bob and Inge couldn’t find a hall for the reception, and they ended up using the basement of the Frank’s
(Inge’s parents) home. - Pat
Jamie thought he was the ring bear as in teddy bear. - Pat
This was Dianne Pinch’s apartment on Pendrell St. near Jarvis. There were female hookers on Jarvis and
male hookers on Broughton. Dianne was a graduate student living with her husband. They were off on
some interesting field trip over the summer. Christine, Jamie, and I had a fun time living there. - Pat
This was the 9-ICOHEPANS conference in Versailles. We spent a week in Versailles, a week in Paris,
and ½ week each in Rheims and Amsterdam. We enjoyed the time very much especially the week in Paris.
- Pat
Actually our contractor informed us that his company went into bankruptcy and ceased to exist. Taking
care of the liens was troublesome as the workers charged what they thought they could get, not what they
were owed. One slapped charges for work done on another of the contractor’s houses. There was no chance
he could collect there, so he tried us. I waited until the worker moved to Montreal. Then after a year of
inaction on the lien, had it removed. - Pat
46 of 81
We got down to Livermore (Bay Area) to see Philip and Cathryn in June. We are
expecting to go down again over New Year’s. We drove both ways in June and were
joined on the way home by some very long-term friends (Jackie & Ian Allen) and came
along the coastal scenic route over a week’s period of time. We enjoyed it very much.
Cathryn has given up teaching, or so we gather. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy it, but she
was a traveling teacher looking after problem children and she said it wasn’t worth the
abuse she took. Philip is still with Hewlett-Packard and enjoys it. They have a nice home
in Livermore although the commuting takes up a large part of his day.
Trevor is back in school. As a youngster I don’t think he really indulged his love for
animals. So he took a degree in animal science and spent 18 months raising pigs – the
dirty end of raising pigs. And decided that that was enough of that. He is back at BCIT 80
taking a course in food production and hopes to get into something cleaner. Fortunately
he is getting credit for the first year of a two year course on the basis of his degree in
animal science. Nonetheless he still burns the midnight oil, on occasion.
Craig quit his job with BC Research after 28 years 81 . Even still, after these few months
he is tempted to say thank goodness. He is Director of the Western Laboratory of
Forintek Canada Corporation. Forintek is a non-profit research organization owned and
operated by the forest products industry. There are two laboratories, one of which is on
the UBC campus. So I just had to reprogram the car. It’s not a bad job, but what a year to
get into the forest products industry.
We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary last Friday and we both feel fortunate to
have our health and continue to be so much in love with one another. Enough of that
sentiment. The Waldens Sr. are fine. They gave up the residue of the mink ranch this year
and moved into an apartment. They are slowly becoming acclimated. Olive’s Mother is in
good health and is visiting from Saskatoon at the moment. We hope that this finds you all
well and that you have a very pleasant 1982.
The Waldens
P.S. We will be in Hawaii in February, at the Waikiki Shore Apts.
This is just an expression. Trevor was back at school but not back at BCIT. He got his animal science
degree from UBC. – Pat. Trevor graduated with a BSA in 1980, worked at Colony Farm for 18 months and
then went to BCIT for a year where he completed a two year course on feeding animals (with his credits
from UBC). – Dad.
The BC Research board of directors wanted a new direction for the organization, so they asked the old
director, Paul Trussell, to resign. They considered that my father would carry over too much of the Trussell
legacy, so they did not consider him for the new director. The new direction was to obtain more contracts
from the BC government, so the new director was to have intimate knowledge of the BC scene. Hence they
hired someone from the Livermore lab in California. After this new director proved incompatible with the
BC government, he resigned. The board then appointed one of my father’s former assistants, Terry
Howard, as director. His ideas drove BC Research into bankruptcy, and BC Research ceased to exist. Thus
the board took a successful organization and junked it. This did not all happen in 1981, but over a period of
11 years. My father predicted in 81 that they would last about 10 years. – Pat. Actually Paul Trussell
resigned without being asked to do so. Your comments re me and the new Director are speculation which I
have never heard before. – Dad.
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Christmas – 1982
Well another year is just about over. It has been an eventful year in the Walden family,
but promises not to hold a candle to 1983. Our big news is the expected increase in
family numbers. Within the next two months we are anticipating three little Waldens.
Inge (Bob’s wife) is expecting very shortly and we are looking for either a Christmas or
New Year’s baby. Cathryn (Philip’s wife) is next up; about the middle of January, while
Christine is holding out until early February. I guess we have gotten over the shock 82 , but
there have been some very feverish preparations around here the last few months. There
have been more baby clothes and accoutrements than I have seen in more than twenty
odd years.
Notwithstanding all this 1982 has been a very busy year. We started off by going down to
San Francisco to spend a week with Philip and Cathryn right after Christmas. We were
driving and got caught in the cold weather on our return. It wasn’t much fun going over
the Siskyou summit, although we had lots of company coming back from the Rose Bowl.
Then we drove over 600 miles the next day on icy roads and in -15° weather. Don’t tell
me about all your troubles. It was no fun. Anyway the next month was a bit of a change
as we made our annual pilgrimage to Hawaii. It was as beautiful as ever and we are
looking forward to returning in just under two months time. We flew into Calgary and
back at Easter, to see Bob and Inge’s new house. Inge’s parents showed up also, so we
had quite a ball. Back in Vancouver we did some remodelling, with Inge’s father putting
in a dormer and picture window in the master bedroom. Now we lie in bed and have a
bird’s eye view of Greater Vancouver (or almost). I tore out the downstairs bathroom at
the same time, so we had quite a mess on our hands for awhile. Olive went back to
Saskatoon, but her timing wasn’t very good. With the hassle over building permits we
didn’t really get started until she returned. After sleeping on the living room floor for a
month we were glad to get back into our bedroom.
Trevor finished his course at the BC Institute of Technology and spent the summer on the
“Rat Patrol” – for the Health District of North Vancouver, that is.
We really could not complain about seeing Bob and Inge this year. They were here in
May, when Inge found out she was pregnant, and again at Thanksgiving. We were back
there in August and the four of us drove onto Saskatoon. Olive was back in Saskatoon
about a month ago, and we just came back from Calgary after spending last weekend
there. It seems to me that we there another weekend earlier in the year, because I can
remember helping to install a washer and a dryer. They have done a lot with their house
in a very short time.
Mom had just gotten off the phone to Thelma Dean-Freeman announcing that Cathryn was expecting.
This was only about a week after Mom informed Thelma that Inge was expecting. We then marched in and
Jamie informed his Nana that he was going to have a little brother or sister. Mom corrected him and said
that he was going to have little cousins. Jamie said no he was going to have a little brother or sister, and it
was inside his mommy right now. Mom looked at Christine, and Christine nodded yes. Mom let out a cry
and almost fainted. She recovered quickly and phoned Thelma again with the news. She added, “Around
here, it’s catching”. - Pat
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While Bob and Inge were buying a house, Philip and Cathryn were selling theirs. When
Cathryn quit working, it didn’t make sense to commute 40 miles, in order to be half-way
between their respective jobs, so they are back in Cupertino just minutes a few minutes
from his work. He just got a promotion, so we are very proud of him.
Pat, Christine, and course Jamie are here in Vancouver. Pat is still at TRIUMF and they
did survive their housing problems 83 of last year. The house is totally rebuilt and does
look very, very nice. Jamie is five and the apple of our eye. We think he is a wonderful
little boy, but of course we are his grandparents. Grandpa and Grandma Walden are still
in their Richmond apartment. It has been a difficult year for Grandpa. Olive’s mother
remains in Saskatoon. She was here during the summer and we hope she will be with us
just after Christmas. Happy New Year and the best of everything in 1983.
The problems almost led to a separation. However when Christine discovered herself pregnant we forgot
about the problems and tackled the business at hand. It seems that everybody went to Saskatoon this year.
In order to cool off our differences I took Jamie to Saskatoon in July while Christine stayed home to handle
morning sickness. Jamie and I stayed over at Bob and Inge’s on the way. It was a memorable trip driving
the flat prairie where we could see for miles. It brought back memories of my childhood. On the return, I
asked Christine to fly out and meet us in Calgary. She almost did but didn’t for reasons I don’t remember. I
regret that the reunion in Calgary did not happen, as it would have been a memorable occasion to spend
with Bob and Inge. - Pat
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Christmas – 1983
Well, here we are, late again. 1983 has been a year of great joy and considerable sorrow.
Ashlyn Rose-Marie was the first to arrive, on January 14th and is now a beautiful little
girl of 11 months: the proud parents are Bob and Inge. Robert Glendon was next on
January 29th and the parents were Philip and Cathryn (also proud). The last was Erek
Josef on February 5 to Patrick and Christine: a little early but to very pleased parents. We
take great joy in that they are all healthy, happy, thriving little children. Our year has
been very full with all three of them. We lost Grandpa Walden on March 29th, after a
month’s serious illness. Olive’s Mother passed away on December 3rd in Saskatoon. She
had been ill since a bowl cancer operation in June. We just returned from Saskatoon two
days ago. I will try to build how our year’s activities revolved around the above events.
We didn’t see any of the new arrivals before we took off for Hawaii in February. In fact,
Erek arrived 84 about five hours before plane time. Waikiki was wonderful as usual. The
weather was wonderful and we were located on the beach again. It is difficult to say
more, other than we expect to be back there in 7-8 weeks. We came to see Erek and
Grandpa Walden, who was very ill. During March we managed to get to Calgary to visit
Ashlyn and her parents and two weeks later to Cupertino to see Robert, Philip, and
Cathryn. When Grandpa died two weeks later, all of a sudden we had them all together,
including the three babies who were barely two months old. Despite the occasion we did
enjoy having them all here at the same time. Inside two weeks we were back in Calgary,
just before Bob’s firm moved him to Saskatoon on a term posting. He expects to go to
some place called Cluff Lake after Christmas for three months. Inge and Ashlyn will
return to Vancouver and Bob will commute every two weeks. They were all back here in
May when Bob was on holidays.
We were back in Cupertino two weeks later. Philip and Cathryn had moved away from
Livermore, so that Philip didn’t have to spend two hours a day commuting. Philip,
Cathryn, and Robert motored up to Vancouver in late June, camping enroute. That is,
they camped for two days in the rain with a baby and that was enough of that. We
enjoyed their stay for two weeks and when they left for a business appointment in Seattle
we didn’t realise we all had the flu. Golly, we were ill. We don’t know how they
managed to get home, but Olive and I were sick as dogs. We were flat on out backs for
about two weeks and it was close to two months before we felt normal.
I forgot to mention that we were back in Saskatoon in June, where Olive put her Mother
in the hospital and nearly got flooded out in a torrential downpour. I came in from the
east later in the evening and the city looked like a lake. We were back in Saskatoon in
Erek arrived at about 4 o’clock in the morning by caesarian section. He was in a breach position. Dr.
Clokie tried to turn him the day before and that brought on labour. We had just asked Trevor that evening if
he wouldn’t mind looking after Jamie if and when Christine delivered. Two hours later we phoned him up
regarding his promise. “Sure I will come”, he said. “Could you come now”. “You mean now?” “Yes”, I
said. Erek was early and 4 lbs. 5 oz. at birth. He went directly into an incubator. However, he was healthy
and hungry. “This little guy really knows what to do”, Christine said regarding her first breast feeding
session. - Pat
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September and Olive was back in November. Bob, Inge and Ashlyn were also back in
Vancouver in September, completing Bob’s holidays. We were back in Cupertino in
October to see Philip and Cathryn’s new house and to see Robert, of course. We are
expecting all the family back here for Christmas, so it will quite a time with three just
under one year old.
This is not to say that we didn’t spend some time in Vancouver. We enjoyed watching
Erek develop from a wee premature infant into a happy laughing little boy 85 . And of
course Jamie started school this year and is just a picture in his school uniform 86 .
Grandma Walden is well, although her sight is poor. She has been south twice this year
and back to Saskatoon once 87 . Trevor is working at a temporary job, at the moment. The
job market has been pretty tough since he got out of BCIT. He has moved into his own
apartment, although I wouldn’t say he has moved out. Happy New Year to you all in
The Waldens.
There was a problem here. We thought Erek was autistic. He did not interact with it us. He did not smile
until May, 3 months old, and did not laugh until July, 5 months old. He was content to stare and just take in
the world. He did, however, know that Christine supplied milk and grew voraciously. He did not show an
interest in playing with anything until Christmas when he latched onto a flutter ball during a visit to
Toyland. The flutter ball became his Christmas present. Christine was so pleased that she started to cry. Pat
Jamie started the grade one bilingual program at York House. He was in French Immersion kindergarten
at Trafalgar school. That was rough. Tyrone Huff was in his class and he could be described as a young
psychopath. We were glad to get Jamie away from him. However this meant separation from the friends he
had made, Edward MacIllwayne, Ross Chandler, John Khnana, and Sarah Bostrum although he maintained
contact all through the elementary school years. - Pat
She visited Bob, Inge, and Ashlyn who were living in Saskatoon at that time. – Pat. And also the Thues.
– Dad.
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The family, Christmas 1983. From left to right Bob, Inge, Ashlyn, Cathryn, Robert,
Mom, Philip, Trevor, Jamie, Dad, Erek, Pat, and Christine. Erek has been caught in
the act of absconding with Dad’s glasses case. Picture was taken by Clive DeanneFreeman.
52 of 81
Christmas – 1984
Well, at least we are not late this year. However this has been a year in two parts. At least
for Craig and Olive. Craig had a heart attack on July 21, and our existence has changed
substantially since that time. The first part of the year was fairly normal. We made our
annual pilgrimage to Waikiki in February and enjoyed it as much as ever. Possibly even
more; we were deluged with friends and enjoyed the company of Olive’s sister, Audrey
and her husband, Arnold, for two weeks.
When we got back, we discovered that Bob was moved to Cluff Lake in Northern
Saskatchewan, and Inge and the wee granddaughter would be in Vancouver for some
months, with Inge’s parents. Bob flew in every third weekend, a rather enjoyable
arrangement until he was moved to Fort MacMurray (north of Edmonton) in May. They
are still there surviving the cold, but not enjoying it as much as summer. Bob is on loan to
Suncor, one of the oil companies.
We managed a week off in May and headed down to the Bay area to see Philip, Cathryn,
and wee Robert. We drove down and back, and really enjoyed the trip. We were back in
July when Craig had a business trip to the University of California campus at Berkeley.
However that time we flew down and back and rented a car to get around in. We were
back only a week when we flew down and back to Disneyland with Jamie, for three days.
We had been wanting to do this for some time, and it sort of looked that his parents had
their hands full with Erek 88 , and that no major holidays were planned for the summer.
We arrived back on July 20th, and the next afternoon Craig was the one-day sensation of
the neighbourhood; attracting two ambulances and one fire truck to get him to
Emergency. Actually he had had some warning, with the family doctor looking into these
pains in his chest. The arthritis was confusing, but a heart problem was diagnosed about
three weeks before the attack. However it was not considered serious. He had an
appointment with the cardiologist on July 25, which of course he never made. Craig has
recovered quite well, but is still on sick leave although he does go into work a few
mornings a week. It looks very much that when his sick leave expires, that he will either
become self-employed, retire early, or more likely a little bit of both. It was a pretty
rough time for Olive for a while, in the big house more or less by herself. She still has
problems trying to cook on a no-salt diet for Craig, but I think she does very well.
Everything had settled down well enough for her to go back to Saskatoon and Eston this
month, where she visited her family and attended her aunt’s 50th wedding anniversary
(Fred and Fern Nurse, for those of you who know them). Which more or less brings us up
to date. Like I said, the second half of the year has not been nearly as newsworthy as the
first. However the rest of the family have been very busy.
Trevor has been working at Forintek almost continuously, since a year ago, October.
However it is not permanent and he is presently planning to go back to University and
Erek finally learned to walk that summer in June, almost 17 months old. He never crawled, but shufflebummed his way around until he stood up. - Pat
53 of 81
either take a Commerce degree or an MBA. The BC economy is still very flat and the
opportunities for Agriculture grads are virtually non-existent. He has been living in his
own apartment, but the house was sold, so he is back home temporarily. He is hoping to
get into residence when he goes to Simon Fraser.
Pat and Christine are sure busy with their two boys. Jamie is in Grade 2 at York House.
However school doesn’t seem to have the appeal 89 for him this year that it did in Grade 1.
Erek is a real live wire: he pitches everything 90 that he can get his hands on. I swear that
he will become a big league all-star when he grows up. Actually he doesn’t throw things
nearly as much as he did. But he sure likes “Yum-yums” 91 , as he calls them. We are very
fortunate to be able to see so much of him at this particular stage, when his personality is
Olive stopped at Fort MacMurray on her way home from Saskatoon, so she has seen
them all since May, whereas I have not. I understand that Ashlyn is a very beautiful little
girl, with her long blond curls. We are expecting Inge and Ashlyn here next week. Inge’s
father is very ill, with terminal cancer 92 . Actually everybody will be here at Christmas.
Bob is flying in on December 21st and Philip, Cathryn, and Robert are driving up on the
16th. We thought for a while that they were moving to Colorado. They were looking at
the place, for two separate weeks, but then decided not to go. Maybe that big snowstorm
had something to do with it. We are looking forward to seeing them all together. Happy
New Year to All of You.
The Waldens.
Actually he ran into trouble in grade one. Jamie never did anything he did not like to do and reading he
did not like to do. Subsequently he decided not to learn how to read. Consequently, I believe, he became
stigmatized as the class dummy. He confessed this to us in the spring and we embarked on a reading
program. I guess removing the stigma was enough incentive and his reading improved remarkably through
his own effort. What we did with him would not account for the change. - Pat
When the Christmas tree went up, Erek pitched his stuffed animals at the tree. The tree would have never
made it to Christmas. Subsequently we had to erect the Christmas tree on the second floor office balcony
where it could be viewed from the living room. - Pat
I am not sure what this is, but I suspect Dad means “Doo-Dee” which is what Erek called his soother. He
pitched it a lot. He even pitched it at Jamie, who he called “Dee-Dah”, in order to get his attention. This
was the year of “Oh wah de anna”, which means “Oh what a beautiful Christmas tree”. This expression
came from a children’s book. At Christmas Erek took Robert up to Nana’s bedroom to look out the dormer
made by Mr. Frank. The city below gleamed with lights. “Oh wah dee anna”, said Erek. “Wow”, replied
Robert. – Pat. As I recollect “Yums Yums” were candy. Possibly not authorized? – Dad.
Mr. Frank (Joseph) died on Christmas Eve. We learned this when Bob, Inge, and Ashlyn came over to
open presents on Christmas morning. Inge did not come in, but stood outside on the porch crying. We
brought her in and comforted her as much as we could. Maybe the children opening the presents put a
different aspect on things. Mr. Frank’s funeral service and reception were held on the week following
Christmas. - Pat
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Christmas – 1985
Well 1985 has been a different kind of a year. Fortunately we are all in good health and
appreciating it more, as we grow a year older. In retrospect, the year doesn’t seem that
eventful although we have been busy. Craig never formally went back to work after his
heart attack. He retired from Forintek last January with a big send-off, including this
typewriter 93 . The idea was that Craig would do a little consulting, as the opportunity
offered. The only problem is that the opportunity seems to appear a little too frequently.
Although we have been busy, we have been able to do many things that we would not
have been able to do under other circumstances.
Much to our regret Craig didn’t get clearance from his cardiologist to travel last spring,
until it was too late to go to Hawaii. So we missed for the first time in thirteen years.
Even now our plans are somewhat indefinite, but I suspect we will be over there
sometime after Christmas. We did get down to San Jose for nearly a month in March. We
were very fortunate, because the weather was just delightful and of course we did enjoy
seeing Robert, Philip, and Cathryn. Robert is a very happy friendly little boy, and we
certainly enjoy him. They were up in Vancouver for three weeks in July, so we don’t feel
that we are total strangers. They will be up again at Christmas, as will Bob, Inge, Ashlyn
and David (from Calgary). Philip is still with Hewlett-Packard, although I gather that the
growth of the electronics industry is not as hectic as it was.
Yes, David is a new for a new person and makes us grandparents five times over. He
arrived on October 9th, but that is another story. Actually we made the long trek to Fort
McMurray in June. We didn’t dare go any earlier 94 . It seemed like a long trek into the
northern Artic, but I guess it really wasn’t. We were with Bob, Inge, and Ashlyn for
about two weeks. Ashlyn is a real live wire: talks a blue streak although sometimes you
need an interpreter. She calls Craig, “Guppa”, while Erek has struggled with the
“Grandpa-daddy” that Jamie enunciated so clearly. Olive is firmly ensconced as
“Nanna”, in all the grandchildren’s vocabularies. We had intended to go on to Saskatoon
from Fort McMurray, but didn’t have time. However we did manage to see Olive’s Aunt
Myrtle in Kimberley on our way back and really enjoyed our visit.
We were just about to depart for Saskatoon in September when we got a call from Bob.
Inge’s doctor said that she was due any day and Inge’s mother was laid up with a gall
bladder attack 95 and couldn’t come as arranged. Could we come? So two days later we
were there. I guess that I should explain that Bob was offered a job in Calgary in August
and didn’t waste any time saying good-bye to Fort McMurray. He said that it is a good
place to go if one needs to eat. Anyway we wound up in Calgary and we waited and we
waited and we waited. Poor Inge: David finally arrived about three weeks late: a very
plump healthy little boy and according to his grandparents a very good looking baby.
He used the typewriter up to and including Christmas 1989. Then it failed and was replaced. – Pat. I
bought the Brother word processor subsequently. – Dad.
Presumably because the roads are not snow free until that time. - Pat
This may have been an early sign of the cancer of the pancreas that took her life less than a year later. –
Pat. It was cancer of the liver. – Dad.
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Although we didn’t get to Saskatoon again, we did enjoy our visit and we did get to know
Ashlyn very well. We will be very pleased to see her and her family at Christmas.
Actually Calgary wasn’t that pleasant. The weather wasn’t a bit cooperative. I think that
it snowed three times while we were there and we had an early foretaste of the winter that
is gripping Vancouver at the moment.
Of course, Pat, Chris, and the two boys are still in Vancouver and Pat is still with
TRIUMF. The two boys are growing up fast. Jamie is in Grade 3 at York House and
seems to be the busiest eight-year old we have ever known. He is a lovely boy, as Olive
puts it. Erek doesn’t look at all like a premature infant. He is a tall blond boy with an
intense preoccupation with letters and numbers. He is practically reading, now 96 .
Grandma Walden is well, although her sight isn’t too good. She is just back from
spending three weeks with Craig’s sister in the Los Angles area. Trevor is going to Simon
Fraser, taking a few classes while working part-time. He is working very hard, but
keeping well. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and that 1986 will be good to you
and yours.
The Waldens
Actually he was reading! He was practically reading the previous Christmas before he was two! We
bought him and his cousins each a play desk for Christmas 1984. It had a chalk board magnetic desk top on
which you could place magnetic letters. Erek was putting the letters together to spell words. He could read
his name that year too. He knew exactly which presents were for him. Since he starting walking in June
’84, he made great strides in talking and reading. - Pat
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Christmas – 1986
Well 1986 has been a different kind of a year. There have been some real priceless
moments and others we could have done without. Just like many other years, I guess. We
passed the magic milestone and are now wards of the Federal Government: at least in
part, financially. Craig has deliberately cut down on the consulting he was doing, so we
are more or less retired and starting to take advantage of it.
The last half of the year has been dominated by the stroke which Grandma Walden
suffered in late May 97 . She is paralysed on the right side and unable to communicate. We
expect that she can get into an extended care facility sometime right after Christmas. In
the meantime we have stayed closer to Vancouver than we might otherwise have done.
We didn’t get to Hawaii this year; much to our disappointment. Craig was on call for jury
duty through March and actually had to serve in a bank robbery trial. The legal
procedures left a bad taste in his mouth. By the time he had cleaned up his consulting
work, which he had to put aside, it was too late to go to Hawaii. However arrangements
are all in place for us to have three weeks there in January-February, after Christmas. We
will enjoy getting back after a two year lapse.
We spent a couple of weeks in Cupertino early in May. The weather was pleasant and we
enjoyed the motel pool, and visited Philip, Cathryn, and Robert. We have just returned
from there after a second trip, getting home three days ago. Philip is on a temporary
assignment north of Detroit. We had American Thanksgiving with them and then put
them all on a plane for Detroit. They expect to be there for 2-6 months. We also saw them
for a couple of weeks this summer, when they came up to take in Expo. They are all well
and Robert is a darling tow-headed four-year old. For those who missed Expo, we
thought it was terrific. We got good value out of our season pass 98 and were very sorry
when it closed.
Grandma had bought a pass to see Expo 86. She had trouble getting around, and I could not see her
visiting Expo 86 on her own. I asked her how she was going to get value from her pass and she said she
didn’t know. A week later she had the stroke. Very sadly, the question was answered. - Pat
Our family got very poor value out of our season pass. Expo was not designed for people with kids. After
May, the crowds got so huge that there were line ups for every venue. Try standing in line ups with kids.
You can also not stay too long in an environment like that with children. Thus our visits to Expo 86 were of
short duration. On one trip we arrived at lunch time, ate at Phat Phil’s , which was so busy that by the time
we got out, it was time to go home. We did not see the display on Ramses II; we never rode the monorail;
we never saw the spirit bear show; we never saw most of the stuff. We did not realize that we had to see
everything in May when the crowds were smaller, or we were never going to see anything at all.
A short word here on Public extravaganzas sponsored and paid for from the public purse. They are very
poor value for the money. The Expo 86 lands, after the fair, were to be developed by the government for
the public good and for the public treasury. All the buildings, furnishings etc. on the Expo grounds were
auctioned off a bargain prices after the public paid full value for them. The buildings that were kept, except
for the science museum, now lie derelict. BC place stadium is just used for the BC lions 9 times a year and
is only half full at that. The rest of the year they use it for trade shows for which you don’t really need a
covered stadium.
57 of 81
After Seeing Philip and family off to Detroit, we went on down to San Diego for a couple
of days, just to get an idea of their winter weather. Craig was impressed, but olive less so.
I think we got to Calgary four times this year. It was our intent to go on to Saskatoon, but
twice had to turn around and come back. Once, Craig has these severe chest pains, which
ultimately turned out to be indigestion resulting from his arthritis medicine. The second
time Craig had this viral oesophageal infection and literally couldn’t eat for two weeks.
The third time we flew to Calgary, rented a car, and actually got to Eston and Saskatoon
for a few days. Too short a time, however. We also went to Calgary for David’s first
birthday. He reminds us so much of Bob at that age. Bob and family are all reasonably
well; barring a few colds at the present time. Ashlyn is a beautiful four-year old who calls
Craig her best friend. Bob is still hanging onto his job, although his firm (who do
engineering studies for the oil industry) is obviously not having the best of times. I guess
everybody in the oil industry is hurting. Bob, Inge, and family were here this spring,
However it was not a happy time, as Inge’s mother passed away 99 . She lost both parents
over a period of 17 months.
Patrick, Christine and family are well. Patrick is still at TRIUMF. Jamie is in Grade IV,
and it is hard to believe he is so grown up. He is so busy that I don’t know if we see as
much of him as some of the grandchildren in Calgary and Cupertino. Erek is our other
four-year-old. You wouldn’t recognise him as a premature infant. He is a very good
looking boy (all our grandchildren are good looking) and smart as a whip. That’s
Grandpa talking. Anyway I think reading at four years 100 old is pretty good. Trevor is still
going to Simon Fraser. This term he is sharing an apartment a little closer to the
university and we see him on weekends. He is well, but I think he is anxious to stop
going to university. Anyway he is doing well. Well this is the time to wish you a very
Merry Christmas 101 and wish you all the best for 1987.
The Waldens.
Instead of developing the lands, as promised in the many TV ad spots paid for from our taxes, the
government under Bill Van der Zalm tried to give the lands away to his friend Peter Toigo. He was
thwarted in this by Minister Grace McCarthy who gave the lands away to a Chinese billionaire. The
billionaire and his firm are now reaping full value from the Expo 86 lands. The public was left holding the
bag. Now we have the Winter Olympics in 2010, and it is the same story all over again. We did not need
Expo 86 and neither do we need the Olympics in 2010. - Pat
It was in May. Our presence at Mrs. Frank’s funeral was terminated early when Erek threw up all over
my suit. I regretted having to leave. Grandma was at Mrs. Frank’s funeral. Grandma had her stroke about a
week later. She went into the hospital for observation on some other matter and had a stroke while she was
there. - Pat
He was reading better than he was last year. - Pat
Christmas was lonely this year. After three years of all the cousins and their families being present for
Christmas, nobody came and Grandma was in the hospital. In normal circumstances, we usually visited
Grandma at her apartment and one year she stayed with us for Christmas. This year, to entertain the boys
we went to a different MacDonald’s almost every night, including New Years Eve, and let them play in the
MacDonald’s play area. We met a family at the one on Hastings and Cassier. They had 4 children under 6. I
asked how they did it. The mother replied that she did not know and regretted there was not enough of her
to go around. - Pat
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Christmas – 1987
Well, that season is just about on us again. We have just returned from a month in Hawaii
and it is a little hard to get up to steam. However, I got the parcels away to-day and Olive
got the tree up; so we are making progress. Actually 1987 has been a pretty good year for
the Waldens. However Olive and I are a year older and we have another year’s aches and
pains. However we cannot complain and Craig appears to have made a complete recovery
from his heart attack of three years ago. The year started out with three weeks in Hawaii
in January-February, and we intend to go back next January. In April and May we took a
jaunt through the Prairies. We stopped off in Calgary for a few days to see Bob and
family, then went on to Saskatoon for a flying visit. On the way back, we picked up
Olive’s aunt in Eston and then went on to Edmonton to attend a family wedding (Terry
Lynch, a cousin of Olive’s). After returning Olive’s aunt Fern to Eston, we stayed
another few days in Calgary on our way home. In late May we drove down to Cupertino,
in the San Jose area, to visit Philip and family. Bob and family were in Vancouver for a
visit in June, and Philip and his family were here in early August. We were back in
Calgary over the Labour Day weekend and again over Thanksgiving, for wee David’s
third birthday. So we have seen a fair bit of our absent family, this year. Otherwise, we
have just enjoyed Vancouver and puttered around the house and yard. Craig is still doing
a bit of consulting, but is trying to taper it off. There are simply too many other things to
do; which now have a higher priority.
Pat and his family are well, and the two boys are growing like weeds. Jamie is into
hockey and Grandpa was privileged to be able to buy his hockey outfit 102 . Suffice it to
say that hockey outfits cost more then when Grandpa was a boy. Do you remember the
magazines for shin pads? Erek is in a special school 103 and has just been promoted from
nursery school to kindergarten. He reads pretty well for a four-year old. Pat and Christine
are fine, but very busy.
Philip is still with Hewlett-Packard in the Silicon Valley, and seems very busy. They got
back from Detroit at the end of March. Cathryn maintained that she liked seeing a real
winter for the first time, but that enough was enough. Apparently Robert enjoyed the
snow and really thrived on the outdoor life. He, also, is in a special school, but is laid up
TRIUMF salaries were really poor in the mid 80’s. First because we were defined as Provincial
employees, we were subject to the Provincial wage restraint. Then after that we were subject to Federal
wage restraint because we were also defined as Federal employees. Then our tax deduction for two children
was removed under the Mulroney-Wilson tax reform. We simply could not afford hockey equipment for
Jamie. The tax reform increased taxes on single-income families of four by $3000. The same tax reform
increased the tax a single person had to pay living on the identical salary by only $1000. I was so outraged,
I have never voted for the Conservatives or their decedents since, and I never will. - Pat
It wasn’t a special school, it was a private school. If you had the money, you were in! We put Erek in
because they emphasized reading. Erek went into the pre-reading group, but when asked if he could write
“Cat”, wrote “The cat sat on the mat”. They were learning “at” words. He was then sent up to the class
where the children could read. A word regarding the school fees, since I was bitching above about
TRIUMF salaries, and we were also paying to send Jamie to York House. My salary was not paying for the
fees. The income to pay for the fees was generated entirely by Christine’s inheritance from her mother. It
used all of that income. My salary couldn’t afford them. - Pat
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right now with pneumonia. We understand that he is recovering. We will miss Philip and
family at Christmas time.
Bob and family just moved to Regina on the first of November. Bob was posted there for
eight months and they were thinking of selling their house and getting into something
larger. They put it up for sale, and just after they decided that Inge and the children
should stay in Calgary, they sold the house. So they are all in Regina, right now. Ashlyn
is a very pretty four-year old and really loves her Nanna and Guppa. Of course, Nanna
and Guppa think that’s great. David can’t manage “Grandpa”, whom for some reason he
calls, “Bugga”. We will also miss them at Christmas 104 .
Trevor has been sharing an apartment with his cousin 105 , while attending Simon Fraser.
He finishes his Bachelor of Commerce this term, so at the moment is in the middle of job
interviews, final exams, you name it. He will be glad to be finished, but hopes he will
have a job by the New Year. We see a good deal of him. He is home most weekends and
we fell like he is still with us. We are hoping he will not have to move out of Vancouver,
but we shall see.
Grandma Walden is now in a nursing home, and her status really hasn’t changed. She is
paralyzed on the one side and literally can’t speak or communicate 106 . Otherwise she
seems healthy and just had a cataract removed from her right eye. We see her very
frequently and she can come out of the hospital periodically. We wish all our friends the
very best during 1988.
The Waldens
I remember it was another lonely Christmas like 1986. - Pat
This was Barbara Ridgers who was the daughter of my Dad’s sister, Patsy. - Pat
Dad is over simplifying here to conserve space to one side of a sheet of paper. Grandma tried to
communicate but every time she spoke it came out as, “everybody one two”. We were never able to figure
that one out. She could not write, and her attempts at painting came out as a meaningless jumble of colours.
I believe she was very frustrated as she indicated by body language many times that she understood what
we were saying. She got so frustrated at one time, she said, “stupid”, and my Dad and his sister, Patsy, were
overjoyed. - Pat
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Christmas – 1988
We have just returned from a month in Hawaii, so we are plunged right into the middle of
our Christmas preparations. Philip, Cathryn, and Robert are arriving on the 17th, so
everybody will be home for Christmas except Bob and family. We will miss them, but
the Christmas season should be very enjoyable 107 .
Back to our activities for 1988. We were in Regina for a few days in January, visiting
Bob and family and attending Ashlyn’s fifth birthday party. Regina was cold, but not as
cold as it had been a couple of weeks earlier.
For those of you who may not have heard, Grandma passed away very suddenly early in
February 108 . We were in Hawaii 109 with Olive’s sister and husband. Grandma was in
good health when we left, so it was quite a shock. She has just turned 89. She developed
a gastrointestinal flu and was gone in two days 110 .
I had three major jobs all going simultaneously during the first part of the yea, and found
myself working weekends and evenings. So, when they were completed in June, I said
enough of that and have not accepted any work since.
However we did get down to Cupertino in late April for a week to see Philip and family.
It was very pleasant and weather cooperated. I am almost getting to feel at home on the
road trip to San Jose (I don’t need to be shown, anymore).
In June, we made a flying trip to the prairies, to see Bob, Olive’s relatives in Saskatoon,
Eston, etc., and we made stops in Lethbridge and Calgary. The trip was a bit of a disaster,
because we were both crippled. I tore a cartilage in right knee and then the day before we
left Olive tore the calf muscles in her right leg. So our apologies to those you whom we
were able to see. We had intended to go to Edmonton but cancelled out.
It was enjoyable. It was the best Christmas since 1985 and the presence of Philip, Cathryn, and Robert
made it so. This Christmas was in sharp contrast to the lonely Christmases of 1986 and 87. - Pat
I had a very strange experience at the moment of my Grandmother’s death. I was having a soak bath in
very hot water and was lying in somewhat of a stupor. For some reason I was thinking of my Grandmother
very strongly and it seemed as if she had a presence in the room. My reverie was broken by a phone call.
Before Christine answered it, I knew it was news of my Grandmother’s death. A second later Christine
called up, “Pat, come to the phone, your Grandmother has just died”! - Pat
I was the only one immediately available when Grandma died, and hence I made all the initial funeral
arrangements. I do not know how I did it. It seemed as it were all preprogrammed inside me. I even asked
that Tennyson’s Passing the Bar be printed in the program of service. I have no idea where that thought
came from. Perhaps the poem was printed at Granddad’s funeral 5 years previously, but I had no
recollection that it had been when I requested it. Patsy phoned up my Dad after he and Mom had returned
from Hawaii and requested Passing the Bar be printed in the program. “Don’t worry”, Dad said, “Pat has
already taken care of that”. - Pat
Grandma was always the teacher, and I believe she played a significant role in the intellectual
development of my brothers and me. I know she played a significant role with respect to me. When I lay a
sick with hepatitis in 1954, she bought me the Golden Book of History which forever tweaked my interest
in History. For Christmas 1957 she gave me Astronomy made Simple which began my passion for
Astronomy and subsequently Physics. She got me interested in Classical music. She took me to the Operas
Aïda and Norma. She was always a pleasant conversationalist. I have missed her. - Pat
61 of 81
I meant to mention that Philip is still with Hewlett-Packard, but is working in Palo Alto,
rather than Cupertino. He commutes 20 miles, although they are considering selling and
moving to Palo Alto. Robert is one out our five-year old triplets and is a very interesting
and well-behaved little boy. He has lost none of his tremendous baby personality.
Bob has moved back to Calgary and bought a new (for them) house. The construction
business is thriving, so he feels he has more security than he has had for some years. By
virtue of a birthday before the end of January Ashlyn is in Grade One. She is the
youngest and tallest in her class and is doing very well. David is a typical three. His latest
escapade is to emulate his Grandmother and call everybody a “little bugger”. However he
is ours and we love him.
Our big event of the year was the family trip to Disneyland. We flew Bob and family to
Vancouver from Calgary. Then we and they and Pat and his family (ten of us) flew into
Long Beach. Philip and Family drove down to Anaheim and we all spent five days at the
Sheraton Anaheim. Disneyland was the prime target, of course, but we did a little extra
sightseeing 111 . Then the cousins became re-acquainted around the motel pool. Grandpa
picked up the entire tab, which is why he had three jobs simultaneously, earlier in the
year. When we returned home we assembled a video tape and a photograph album of the
holiday, for each family. It was very enjoyable.
We were back to Calgary in September, ostensibly to rebuild Bob’s sundeck. However I
had a cold, Bob had pneumonia and the weather was lousy. So the construction job was
postponed until spring. We were down in Cupertino again for a few days in October and
left for Hawaii at the end of October. We are all well, barring the aches and pains that go
with our years, but that is to be expected.
Pat, Christine and the two boys are fine. Jamie is playing hockey 112 again this year. He
must change schools next year because the academic program for boys at York House
only goes to Grade VI. Erek is in Grade I in a private school 113 . He has been enthused
with letters and numbers since he could walk. He is doing exceptionally well.
Trevor graduated in Commerce last winter. After trying a couple of jobs he is now a
management trainee at Woolco. He shares an apartment in Burnaby with his cousin, so
we usually see him every weekend. He expects to get transferred after Christmas.
Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year,
The Waldens
I took the family to see Caltech and our old haunts. Everybody else went to see the Queen Mary and the
Spruce Goose. Jamie and Erek thought they got a raw deal on this one, especially Jamie. What with a
disgruntled family, I did not get much out of going to Caltech. I think we would have been all much
happier if we went to the Queen Mary and the Spruce Goose like everyone else. - Pat
Jamie played in a hockey tournament at the Arbutus Club during Christmas. We took Philip, Cathryn,
and Robert to the games to cheer Jamie on. We all had a good time. - Pat
This was the same school as Erek went to last year, Little Oak Academy. It only had pre-school,
kindergarten, and grade one. The kindergarten, Little Acorn Academy, was for readers which is where Erek
was last year. The School owner, Julie Young, was developing a prep school for St. Georges which started
with grade 2. - Pat
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Christmas – 1989
Our Christmas will be quiet this year with only Olive, Craig, and Trevor at home. Patrick
and family will spend Christmas with Philip and Cathryn in Cupertino 114 . Bob is tied
down in Calgary and the O’Briens who are traditional Christmas visitors, have decided to
stay home. My sister and some of her family may join us, but that is undecided at the
1989 has been a quiet year by our standards. Actually, we were in Calgary three times.
We flew in, in January, coinciding with Ashlyn’s sixth birthday. It was a real kid’s party.
We drove back in April and spent a week enroute to Saskatoon, where we attended
Wendy Hamilton’s wedding (Olive’s niece). While in Calgary, Craig helped Bob rebuild
the sundeck, an endeavour postponed from the previous fall. We also drove down to
Portland for a few day’s shopping this fall. Our only trip to Hawaii was in February,
which happened to coincide with that of Olive’s aunt Fern and her cousins from
Edmonton. We enjoyed the company and I guess the weather, even though it was much
poorer than usual. We are going back in the coming February, along with Audrey and
Arnold (Olive’s sister and her husband).
Patrick and family are all well, but seem to be extremely busy. Hockey appears to loom
very large in Jamie’s life, but he does go to school at Trafalgar 115 where his dad went
many years ago. Erek is in Queen Elizabeth School 116 . He is exceptionally bright, even if
it is Grandpa talking. Patrick is still at TRIUMF and gets busier every year.
The big news out of Cupertino this year was the earthquake 117 , whose epicentre was only
15 miles away. Nobody was hurt and the house was undamaged, but we were rather
anxious those first few days, until the phone lines cleared. When the earthquake struck,
Robert dived under a table 118 and wouldn’t budge. When Cathryn dragged him out (on
the way to the street), he was hit by a falling cup and was he mad! He is in Grade 1 and
his first report card was very promising.
Bob and Inge are still in Calgary and seem to have a very pleasant life style, barring the
cold weather. Their big news was the arrival of Thomas Craig Walden on November 20th.
We visited Philip, Cathryn , and Robert during the summer in what was one of the most enjoyable
family vacations we ever had. We camped on the way down and back, stopping at places like Crater Lake.
Philip and Cathryn paid us a return trip later that summer and we enjoyed that as well. Erek and Robert got
along very well, and Jamie got to know some kids in Philip and Cathryn’s neighbourhood. Christmas there
seemed like a good idea and a way to avoid the lonely Christmases of previous years. We forgot one thing.
Mom and Dad’s Christmas was lonely. - Pat
Jamie met up with friends he had maintained contact since his Kindergarten year there. However the
teachers there were terrible. Thus Jamie had a difficult time there just as his father did many years ago. Pat
Grade One in French Immersion. We could have put him into Grade Two; however we decided to keep
him with his own age group. Learning French was to be his challenge for this year as he was reading
English from Grade One last year. - Pat
The earthquake occurred just after Philip and Cathryn returned from their Vancouver visit. They gave us
an earthquake tour at Christmas. - Pat
At school Robert was instructed to hide under a table during an earthquake. - Pat
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Inge had a very difficult pregnancy, so we are delighted that mother and son are doing
well. We are flying in next week for our first glimpse of the newest Walden. Ashlyn is a
very pretty little girl and Olive’s favourite preoccupation is buying clothes for the
daughter she never had. She is in Grade 2 and despite being the youngest in the class, is
doing very well. David is a reincarnation of Bob, both is looks and behaviour. We really
treasure him.
Trevor is a department manager with Woolco’s in Burnaby. He did not get move out of
the Vancouver area last spring, as he expected, so we are very fortunate to have him
nearby for at least the rest of the year. He has an apartment in Burnaby and he generally
comes home for a day or two each week. Occasionally we will meet him after work and
go out to eat. It is a very pleasant arrangement. We will miss him very much, if he is
transferred next spring.
My sister, Patsy, is now living in Victoria. She and Art moved up from California last
spring. Art died 119 unexpectedly last August, the day before his youngest daughter’s 120
wedding. The wedding went as planned, but the choice was very difficult. The funeral
was in Vancouver, with the reception at our home. Olive served supper to 45-50 people.
We see my sister periodically. She has one daughter 121 here, the oldest 122 in Victoria and
her son 123 is in Prince George.
We hope you have had a pleasant 1989 124 and that the next decade will be very good to
you. Somehow the sound of 1990 makes us realize that we are not as young as we used to
The Waldens
As you grow older, the people you grew up with, and who seemed like they would be around always,
leave you and the world seems poorer for it. - Pat
This was Barbara who roomed with Trevor as reported in previous Christmas letters. - Pat
This is Barbara again - Pat
This is Kathleen who was the flower girl at our wedding. - Pat
This is Craig. He was married to Debye at this time. They had two children, Travis, Debye’s son from a
previous marriage and Brittany, a daughter of their own. - Pat
It was an interesting year which went out with a bang. The U.S. invaded Panama and the Soviet Union
ceased to exist. If Christine’s mother Marie survived to this date, she would have been 79, she would have
been amazed. – Pat
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Christmas – 1990
We will be in Vancouver for Christmas. Trevor will be here, as will Patrick and his
family. We are not expecting any out-of-town visitors. Philip and Bob and their families
will be home in Cupertino and Calgary, respectively.
We have spent most of the year at home in Vancouver. We seem to lack the energy, or
desire, to travel very much. Nonetheless we did go to Calgary three times this year, by
car, once driving through a snowstorm at -10° C – an experience we are anxious not to
repeat. We are flying in to Calgary for a week on Thursday, for a pre-Christmas visit. We
are trying to get all our Christmas arrangements completed before we go.
Bob and family were here for a week at Easter and another two weeks in the summer.
The old house was rejuvenated by the joy and laughter of children. We just came back
from Cupertino 2½ -- we hadn’t seen Robert for too long. We are in Waikiki for three
weeks last February with Audrey and Arnold (Olive’s sister and her husband from
Saskatoon). We have no plans for next year but may go on the spur of the moment, if
something turns up.
Patrick and family are all well, but seem to get busier every year. Jamie is in junior high,
plays hockey and has a paper route. He is at Kitsilano where his Dad and Mother went.
Erek is in a French immersion course in Grade II. The whole family will be bilingual,
soon 125 . Patrick is extremely busy at TRIUMF 126 .
Philip, Cathryn, and Robert are all well. Robert is in Grade II, doing well and is tall for
his age. We watched him play soccer during our recent visit. Philip is still at HewlettPackard, about 25 minutes away by freeway. They talk about moving back to Canada, but
not too seriously, at present.
Bob and Inge have had a very hectic year. The youngest boy (Thomas) was diagnosed as
having a “Strider condition”. For the uninitiated, this is a partial blockage of the bronchi.
His breathing is stentorious; he had to be carried upright all the time he was awake and
medical attention is required every time he has a cold. However as children grow, the size
of their bronchial openings grow. At just over a year, the improvement in Thomas is
noticeable. David is five years old and has just started kindergarten. He is a real going
concern and often unpredictable. At eight (in January) Ashlyn is a beautiful young lady.
She does very well ar school, albeit her latest report card suggested she spends too much
time socializing. Bob is still in the oil/gas construction business and very busy.
We inveigled Trevor into coming with us to Waikiki for a week last February. We
enjoyed showing him around. He lives in his own apartment in Burnaby and comes home
Except for Pat, he remained unilingual in English. - Pat
I was in the middle of building the Second Arm Spectrometer, SASP, at TRIUMF. It was a 110 ton
magnetic spectrometer used to look at mainly pions from nuclear reactions. Given the miserable trickle of
funds given to build it, the project took too long and for my own career I would have been better off never
having starting it. - Pat
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overnight every week or two. He is now with Canadian Tire and inasmuch as local
franchises are also locally owned, he will not be transferred outside Greater Vancouver.
We are reasonably well, a few more aches and pains, but we can’t complain. We hope
you and yours are all well and we wish you the very best for 1991.
The Waldens
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Christmas – 1991
We will be spending Christmas in Vancouver with Trevor and with Patrick’s family
(Christine, Jamie, and Erek). Philip, Cathryn and Robert will be in Cuppertino. Bob, Inge,
Ashlyn, David, and Thomas will be in Calgary. We just returned from Cupertino a month
ago, and we expect to fly to Calgary in a few days.
We have spent most of the year in Vancouver. We did get to Hawaii for two weeks last
February. We arranged to be there at the same time as friends (Halwa) from Edmonton.
We enjoyed their company and the weather was excellent. We have no plans for next
February. However, with the recession, accommodations are readily available and we
may pick up and go at the last moment.
We went to Calgary in Mid-March to attend Jean O’Brien’s 80th birthday party. For
various reasons we didn’t get back until September, when Olive’s sister and brother-inlaw (Audrey and Arnold and Don and Gwen) met us for a few days. Bob and family were
here for two weeks in August. While they were here, we all went to Victoria to attend my
niece’s (Kathleen) wedding 127 . Philip and family were here a couple of weeks later, but
could only stay 3-4 days. Other company we expected, didn’t materialize. We had
expected Olive’s brother (Don and Gwen). We had hoped that her Aunt Fern could spend
a couple of weeks with us, but that didn’t materialize either. However we did have David
for two weeks 128 when his parents were in Germany. He flew here and back by himself (5
years old). It was quite an experience for him and for us.
Pat and family are fine 129 . Jamie is 14 years and an avid hockey player. A lot of family
activities seem to revolve around hockey, although Erek seems to prefer our company on
hockey nights. Philip and family are also well. Philip is worked very hard with the
computer industry feeling the effects of the recession. Robert is in grade 3, plays soccer,
while Philip referees. Bob and family may have to go to Ottawa for 9 months next year.
Thomas (age 2) has largely outgrown his Strider condition. David started school this year
and also plays hockey and soccer. Ashlyn is in Grade 4 and is doing very well. She is also
a budding artist. We are very proud of all our grand children.
Trevor is still in Vancouver, or rather Burnaby. He purchased his own apartment this year
and works for a bicycle importer and distributor. We see him frequently. He, Patrick and
Christine hosted a 50th wedding anniversary party for us, a week ago Saturday (actual
date is December 4). We had some trepidations, but it went off very well. Fifty years go
Kathleen made Jamie and Trevor part of the wedding party. He and Trevor were measured for rented
tuxedos. Trevor drove Jamie over to Vancouver Is. the night before we left. Erek not to be outdone got his
wedding clothes too. He was quite proud. - Pat
Christine and I took Davis in tow a number of times. David was quite independent. On a trip to Van
Dusen Gardens he started off a grassy field by himself and almost got run down by an antique car. Some
car freak on the garden board thought the garden was a perfect spot for an antique car show. I complained
by letter but did not receive a reply. - Pat
This was the year our family took our brand new Van and drove across the continent to Quebec camping
part of the time. We visited Calgary and Saskatoon and stopped at the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and
Yellowstone on the way back. - Pat
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by very quickly. We feel fortunate to have each other and still be reasonably healthy.
Actually we have had a few more aches and pains this year, than normally. Olive had a
reaction to medicine she was taking and my left knee has finally worn out. We were both
out of commission for about three months, but fortunately at different times. Presently we
are reasonably back to normal and count our blessings as we prepare for 1992. We hope
you all have a Happy New Year.
The Waldens
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Christmas – 1992
We are flying to Calgary on the 10th to spend a few days with Bob and family, then will
return on the 15th to spend Christmas with Trevor and with Patrick and his family.
Actually our year of news goes back to our last pre-Christmas visit to Calgary when Inge
gave us a second 50th wedding anniversary party. Besides our Calgary friends, all of
Olive’s family drove from in from Saskatchewan. It was a lovely party. We were
exhausted. Since then, life has been in the slow lane. Olive has had severe recurring
headaches, often for weeks at a time. Consequently we have been reluctant to make any
firm commitments. However X-rays show just a bad neck and treatment has provided
some relief; but we still have our fingers crossed. Since our traveling has been limited,
we have been fortunate that many of our friends and relatives have come to see us. These
included Olive’s sister Audrey and husband Arnold; their daughter Jeanie and family
with new granddaughter Ereka; Olive’s cousin Donna Lynch and husband Norm together
with aunt Fern; and of course, Bob and Inge and family over the Easter recess. What
travel we did, we did by car. We have learned to make the one-day trip to Calgary the
easy way – in three days over the U.S. freeways. Actually we made it to Calgary three
times, including once to Kimberly when Olive‘s Aunt Myrtle passed away. On one of
these visits I helped Bob complete his garage. Last February we drove down to Palm
Desert to spend a few delightful days with the Holmes from Calgary. On the way back
we saw Philip and family for a few days. They are all well. Last month we hazarded a trip
to L.A. where we met Bob and Inge and family. The primary purpose was to take the
family to Disneyland. We went along at our own speed and we had fun too. Bob is facing
a possible three-year stint in the Netherlands and if it materializes, of course the whole
family will go. Inge is very busy, usually babysits 3-5 children each week day, besides
her own. Ashlyn, at 10, is a tall beautiful blonde, artistic by nature, is in Grade 5, loves
school and does well. David is a typical 7-year old, very active, played on a league
championship hockey team last year, hates school and does exceptionally well. Thomas is
very solemn three, part child-part baby and still delightful. His Strider condition has
We were very concerned about Patrick last New Year’s. He had heart arrhythmia 130 that
could not be controlled. He was in intensive care while they stopped and restarted his
heart. Pretty scary stuff. He is supposed to be taking life easier but we are not sure that he
is. Christine and the boys are well. Jamie is in grade 10, a typical teenager who plays
hockey at the most ungodly hours. Erek 131 is in Grade 4 French immersion and has
exceptionally sweet affectionate disposition. Both boys do well at school.
We took the boys to the movie “Hook” starring Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams. That evening
Christine and I polished off two bottles of wine after putting the boys to bed. I woke up with the
arrhythmia. The wine was a Xmas gift from Sunrise Engineering, a TRIUMF contractor. - Pat
Earlier this year, in grade 3, Erek was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, an affliction that triggers
complex bodily ticks. He had it before this, but it really came out under emotional stress at Queen Elizabeth
Annex. The class had a long-term substitute teacher, M. Gagnon, who physically abused the children. I
finally had him removed by organizing a parent’s revolt and threatening to call in the police. - Pat
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Trevor still works for a bicycle importer and lives in his own apartment in Burnaby. We
see him at least every week or so. Most of his friends still live near here. We go over
there frequently to eat out, together. He had his apartment looking very attractive. We
hope you had a very pleasant 1992 and trust that 1993 will be good to you and yours.
Happy New Year.
The Waldens
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Christmas – 1993
The year has slipped by, so here we go again with our annual letter. It has been a mixed
year. A lot has happened, but we haven’t done much. We sold the old family residence,
so we will have a new address when you write to us next Christmas. Unfortunately we
don’t have any idea where it will be. We don’t have to move until April 30 of next year,
so we have time to find something new. We would like a town house or condominium in
our neighbourhood, but the selection is rather limited. Alternately we could move out
near Trevor in Burnaby, or the White Rock area appears to have a good selection and we
like the location. However we haven’t done much looking, because Olive has not been
well for about two months. She had what was diagnosed as a viral bowel infection, and it
has been difficult to shake. She has been to a specialist and has had innumerable tests.
We are assured that nothing serious is wrong, but it is probably due to nerves. She has
lost 15 lbs., which she says is a good thing but she didn’t want to lose it, this way.
Hopefully current treatment will resolve the situation. In the meantime 1993 has been a
quiet year. We spent a very enjoyable three weeks last February in Waikiki with Olive’s
sister Audrey and her husband Arnold. We are going over again next February for a
month. We can’t wait. Otherwise we didn’t travel too much. We were in Calgary last
Easter. We lost a very good friend, Jean O’Brien, and were there for her Funeral. In July
we were back to attend the wedding of Inge’s sister. She has lived with Bob and Inge
ever since she got out of high school, so she seems like a member of our family. We went
on to Saskatchewan and saw Olive’s Aunt Fern in Eston and went on to see her family in
Saskatoon for a few days.
Patrick, Christine, Jamie, and Erek still live down the hill. Pat is still at TRIUMF and the
KAON Factory is no nearer reality. Jamie is 16 and the proud possessor of a driver’s
license. Is that good? Erek is still in French Immersion, at school. Both boys are doing
Philip, Cathryn, and Robert sold their house this summer and are in an apartment in
Cupertino while they look for a house nearer Philip’s Hewlett-Packard location in Palo
Alto. They are all well.
Bob is working in the field, in Chetwynd, BC. He flies in, works ten days, flies back to
Calgary for four days, then back to Chetwynd, etc. It is hard on the family, particularly
David and Thomas. Ashlyn and David are doing well in school and Thomas is in
Kindergarten. Inge is still babysitting oodles of kids. They are all well.
Trevor is still with Norco (bicycles) in Burnaby. We see him frequently. He like to come
over to see his friends who still live in this area. Occasionally he stays overnight, or
spends the evening with us. He has his apartment looking nice. He is keeping well.
We hope you are well and have a Happy New Year. The Waldens
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Christmas – 1994
We hope you had a very good 1994 and also that you will have a very Merry Christmas.
We are trying to be early with our Christmas mailing this year since not all of you will
know where we have located after leaving 4008 Quesnel. Thereby hangs a tale. After
Christmas, 1993, we decided that we were not going to leave this neighbourhood unless
there was no choice. Hunting for a new place became simplified right away, because the
choice was so limited. Actually we didn’t finalize the purchase of this place until we were
in Hawaii in February – waiting to see if we could take out cat 132 . This condo is a little
smaller than we wanted, although as things turned out it has probably been a good thing.
We are in a mature adult community (at least one resident in each strata lot must be over
45 years old and no permanent resident can be under 19). We are on the ground floor
with our own separate entrance and large patio, so it is much like a town house. Mayfair
House has a hospitality suite for guests and residents, a large party room, hot tub,
exercise room, etc. There are a lot of people our own age in the establishment, all very
congenial and with a very active social program. Altogether we are very pleased with our
move. The down side is that a month before we were to move, Craig had a second
moderately severe coronary, accompanied with arrhythmia, and things have never really
been the same since 133 . We had to have a great deal of help which ranged from adequate
to terrible. Special attention is reserved for the butcher who put up our shelves 134 , which
subsequently dumped three large jars of prune juice on our laundry room floor,
necessitating that the shelves all be ripped out and replaced. We are now reasonably well
settled, although less than pleased with our own efforts and that of some professionals at
interior decorating. However, that’s life. Craig had a recurrence of his heart arrhythmia
this fall and his cardiologist is still trying to restore his heart rhythm. Under the
circumstances we haven’t done too much. We did have a good month in February in
Waikiki. Our friends, the Halwas, were there which made it nice. However we have done
little since. We had hoped to get to Calgary, but health problems kept interfering. Craig
can’t get health insurance outside of Canada, which means we won’t get to Hawaii this
winter. Even now, it looks like travel to Calgary may be out. We have been fortunate to
have a few visitors. Olive’s sister and husband were here for eight days in July. The
Halwas were here for a day and Olive’s aunt Fern, with her daughter Donna and son-in132
Tinker, the cat, did not like the move. When the furniture was moved out of the house, she ran away.
She eventually returned, but when she saw that there was no furniture in the house she bolted again. Finally
my parents threw a towel on her and packed her up before she could bolt on another attempt to come back
into the house. They transported her to the new condo where she was kept inside until she acclimatized
herself to her new surroundings. - Pat
The heart attack occurred on the heels of a garage sale to clear out all the possessions my parents were
not taking with them to their new accommodations. My father insisted on it as it seemed the best way to get
the best price for their old possessions. The whole family was involved, Christine and I, Trevor, Jamie, and
Erek. We brought up items for sale too. It was too much. Dad came down with the coronary and everyone
else came down with the flu, except Trevor. Mom was vomiting. Trevor carried on the second day of the
garage sale by himself like a trooper, and spent Easter with Mom as she was alone in the house. He
described it as the worse Easter ever. - Pat
He put the shelves in upside down. Thus instead of an upturned lip to keep the shelf contents on the
shelf and preventing them from falling off, the lip was turned down adding no functional advantage except
a decorative flourish. It appears to be a common mistake as I discovered the same shelves installed upside
down at Blockbusters. - Pat
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law Norm were here for a couple of days. The Hondas from Honolulu were here for six
days before going on an Alaska cruise. Bob and family were here for two days and are
going to try and make it back next Easter. Altogether we haven’t done too badly.
Hopefully things will stabilize in 1995 and we can get around a little better.
Patrick and family are still in Vancouver. He is not sure what the future of TRIUMF 135
will be now that the Federal government has definitely killed the KAON project. He feels
very strongly that unless Canada stops all high-energy research the cost of funding such
research outside Canada will be greater than if the government had funded KAON 136 .
Trust politicians to use a little common sense. Pat has had some further heart arrhythmia
problems and some indication of coronary difficulties. He is currently waiting on an
angiogram to determine what further treatment may be required. Erek seems to be dealing
with his Tourette’s syndrome 137 satisfactorily. He is in Grade VI and doing very well.
Jamie graduates from high school (my goodness, how the time flies) this year. He is not
sure what his plans are, other than that music will be a very important aspect thereof.
Christine is well.
Philip is still with Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley. They purchased a house in Los
Gatos this summer so that he will be a little nearer work (Palo Alto). Robert is also in
Grade VI, and Catheryn is still substituting aperiodically. Pat and family managed to get
down to see them for a few days this summer 138 .
Bob is back in Calgary after a field assignment in Chetwynd, B.C., which lasted almost a
year. He is certainly glad to be home, rather than four days every two weeks. The family
managed to get up to Chetwynd for two 10-days stints during the summer holidays.
However I am not sure that Chetwynd would have been their local of choice. Ashlyn is in
high school (Grade VII) and made the Honour Roll this first report card. David is in
Grade IV and doing well at school. He is very athletically inclined and has collected a
variety of karate belts of different colours, the exact meaning of which I am unaware.
Thomas, our baby, has just turned five and is in kindergarten or its equivalent (now that
Alberta has slashed its so-called non-essential programs). We understand that they have
cut off his lovely curls, so I guess we have lost our baby. Inge is still babysitting masses
of kids, but we understand that they are a little more manageable now that most of them
are in school. Bob and family are trying to sell the family home. They would like to move
There was a serious plan afoot to close TRIUMF down. - Pat
The argument was that for free access of Canadian scientists at foreign facilities, such as CERN, there
would have to be an in-kind access to a Canadian facility, like KAON, for foreign scientists. However it did
not turn out that way. Canadian scientists were allowed access to foreign facilities in exchange for
TRIUMF built hardware contributions to the foreign facilities. It did not cost more than KAON.
It had become apparent that Erek’s problem was not Tourettes but a related syndrome called OCD,
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. - Pat
We stayed at a local motel and visited Cathryn, Philip, and Robert every evening. We spent the time
walking Chester the dog around their neighbourhood. I believe we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium
with Philip, Cathryn, and Robert for the first time during this trip. Cathryn also had us stop at a fantastic
Mexican food restaurant in Capitola on the way back. The visit was very enjoyable. It lasted only a week
because that is all the time I could spare away from the DASS/SASP facility at TRIUMF - Pat
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a little closer to Ashlyn’s high school. Understandably, since Calgary’s winters are very
cold. However the Calgary real estate market is about the same temperature.
Trevor is still working at Norco (importing bicycles). He is usually here every weekend
for a few hours. One of the reasons we chose to locate in this neighbourhood is that so
many of his friends live in the environs. Trevor has been particularly helpful over the
difficult times we have had this year. During our move he dedicated about six weekends
to giving us a hand. I am not sure what we would have done without him.
We are looking forward to a better year year in 1995 and hope that the New Year will
also be good to you and yours. The Waldens.
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Christmas – 1995
We have already received about six Christmas cards, so that season must be upon us, and
it is time to write our annual Christmas letter.
We are continuing to enjoy our condominium at Mayfair house. Our favourite pastime is
our long daily walks, usually along the beach., with its ocean view and the North Shore
mountains in the background and downtown Vancouver looming on the eastern horizon.
We feel we have finally made the transition from the big house 139 on Quesnel and Craig
is serving a term on the Strata Council that is responsible for running Mayfair House.
Strictly volunteer (no pay), of course.
We were fortunate in that Mayfair House has a guest suite which is usually available
when we have out-of-town visitors. Olive’s sister, Audrey and husband Arnold were here
for about ten days in February. Fittingly we had our only snowfall of the winter while
they were here. We had intended to go to Hawaii together, but Craig was ineligible for
travel health insurance at that time. Instead we are booked to spend the first three week of
February there, in the coming new year. Bob, Inge, and family were here over Easter. The
weather was good and with the guest suite we had lots of room. We enjoyed the three
grandchildren. In August we had Joe and Virginia Robertson140 from Lexington, KY with
us for a few days. We have kept in touch since we were neighbours at the University of
Minnesota, back in the late 40’s. It was a real treat to have them with us and to show
them as much of Vancouver as time permitted. We also had Philip, Cathryn, and Robert
here for a few days in August. They were on vacation in southern Oregon and on
impulse, ran up here for a few days. We were surprised, and so pleased. It seemed ages
since we had seen Robert.
We managed to do a little traveling, once again, this year. We didn’t get to Hawaii but we
did get to Calgary three times, driving on each occasion in March, June, and
September 141 . In June we went on to Saskatoon and saw Olive’s family and attended the
85th anniversary of Craig’s collegiate. We knew very few persons attending. I guess time
has passed us by. We stopped into Eston on the way to see Olive’s aunt Fern. Earlier in
the year we went down to Portland for a few days to see a former neighbour (Gib
Since the big house was sold I have not looked at it. It was sold to a veterinarian named Anderson who
had big plans for the place. His plans ran afoul of the neighbours who blocked them. Ticked off, he flipped
the house and the new owner tore the house down and built a new one much like the one he tore down. The
old house was perfectly good. What a waste. I intend never to go to see the site of the old house. - Pat
See pages 46-47 of Dad’s memoirs. Joe had prostate cancer at this time and this trip was a sort of
farewell excursion. After the trip, Joe sent dad the complete works of Shelby Foote’s “The Civil War” in
three volumes about 1000 pages each. Dad and I both read them. Dad was going to give them to Bob but
decided to keep them. Bob read the set from another source. Joe gave dad the set, I think, to reform my
father’s opinion of Grant and Lincoln. It was not successful. - Pat
I recall that it was earlier than September. We visited Bob and Inge this year. We had promised Jamie
that since he was now 18 he did not have to come with us on vacations. This was nixed when we found that
Mom and Dad would be in Calgary too. Jamie could not stay by himself alone in Vancouver. We
compromised. Jamie would come with us to Calgary and return with Nana and Grandpa-daddy. Christine,
Erek, and I went onto Saskatoon and spent a weekend with Maria and her children at Shell Lake. - Pat
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Wood) 142 , who is a long time friend. We just returned from Las Vegas where we met
Olive’s sister, brother, their respective spouses, as well as Don’s sister-in-law and
husband. We enjoyed the company, but I guess we are not cut out to be gamblers.
We will enjoy our planned three weeks in Hawaii in February, although our weather has
been mild up until the last couple of days. Audrey and Arnold are joining us from
Saskatoon and will probably get a better weather break than we will. We are looking
forward to it.
Pat is still at TRIUMF. TRIUMF has been given a five-year term by the Federal
Government, giving them some continuity after the KAON project folded 143 . Pat’s
arrhythmia is under control and he has been told it might disappear if he would lose some
weight 144 . Also his angiogram did not reveal any serious coronary problems, so we are
very pleased. Christine is teaching a night school class this term. I know what it is 145 , but
have difficulty describing it in a few words. Jamie graduated from high school in June
with all the foofaraw that accompanies high school graduations. He is currently attending
the School of Music at Capilano College, working part-time and playing in at least one
band. Busy, busy, busy. Erek is still in French immersion and winding up his final year at
public school. They are all fine, and Erek is handling his Tourette’s syndrome 146 with a
minimum of problems. The answer seems to be to educate his friends and classmates
regarding the situation, so they know what to expect.
Philip is still working at Hewlett-Packard. Their new home is in Los Altos, not Los
Gatos, as reported last year. Cathryn is still substitute teaching and Robert is attending a
new school. They are all well. Robert will be in high school next year. Also, he played
flag football this fall.
In January, Bob and Inge bought a new (to them) house in the Lake Bonaventure area of
Calgary. Access to sports entertainment facilities is somewhat better than in the Parkland
district. As a result Thomas is playing hockey this winter. David played soccer and flag
football this fall. Bob was the coach. Ashlyn is in second year at junior high. She is
playing volleyball and is become a real pianist. Ashlyn and David are doing well at
school and the jury is still out on Thomas. After all, he is only in grade one. Bob’s
business is thriving, giving stability to what is frequently a roller coaster ride. Inge is still
babysitting and I promise not to reveal which birthday she will be celebrating on the 18th.
They are all well.
Trevor is still working at Norco. However, Norco is moving its premises out to Port
Coquitlam in January; about 15 minutes further away. Trevor was so close to work, it
See page 13 and Dad’s memoirs page 56. - Pat
Actually TRIUMF almost folded this year and everyone would have been laid off. As it was TRIUMF
did fire some individuals, induced others into early retirement, and bought out others. I considered it, but it
was a lousy package for a 51 year old. - Pat
I was told that weight loss would not help the arrhythmia. However it was still healthy to lose weight.
Christine was teaching “Awareness through Movement” from the Feldenkrais Guild of America. It is a
body movement education program. Christine started the training for this in 1994 and finished in 1997.
It is actually OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. - Pat
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seems a shame. He has conjectured that possibly he should look for a new condominium.
Also, he is considering going on an African safari next year for his holidays. He has
always been exceptionally interested in animals. He holds an annual pass to the
Vancouver Game Farm (Zoo, to the uneducated). He still gets over here most weekends
to see us and his other friends still resident in this area.
We expect to have a quiet Christmas, with Trevor, Pat, Christine, Jamie, and Erek. Philip
and family contemplated coming north for Christmas, but have decided that they can’t
make it. We hope you have a very pleasant Holiday Season and that you and yours enjoy
a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 1996.
Olive and Craig Walden
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Christmas – 1996
That season is upon us and this letter is the first of our Christmas preparations. We are off
to Calgary on the 4th to help set up the Christmas tree and will stay for five days before
coming back to Lotus Land. We are also due to go south on the 30th and will spend New
Year’s there. Erek will accompany us 147 . He and Robert are great friends.
We spent our usual stint in Waikiki last February. We have had better weather. For
Hawaii, it was cold. Also yours truly had a bad cold, which I didn’t get rid of until spring.
However Olive’s sister and brother-in-law 148 were there and we enjoyed their company.
We are talking about going back next February but as yet have no firm plans. I suppose
we should do something soon, if we intend to go. Waikiki was full last February for the
first time since 1989.
Our traveling was limited this year. We went to Calgary in late August, driving that
distance for the first time in over a year. We started out for Los Altos in September, spent
a few days with Gib Wood in Portland, then chickened out, parked the car and flew the
rest of the way. We did pretty well in the visitors’ department. Philip and Robert were
here in July for eight days and Cathryn, who was in town with a girl friend, joined them
for the last two days. Bob and family were here in August for five days. We enjoyed the
company and managed very well, although Mayfair House Social Suite was only
available for one of these visits. Olive’s Aunt Fern, formerly resident in Eston, Sask.,
moved to Penticton where her daughter lives and we did get up there twice during the
year; once by ourselves and once on our way to Calgary. We met Olive’s brother and
sister and their spouses in Penticton, briefly, on our way to Calgary in August.
Other than that I am not sure of what else is new. Of course, we have the aches and pains
that go with being 75 years old and our energy level seems to decline with every passing
year, but we can’t complain too much. We still enjoy living in Mayfair House and the
company of a bunch of old soaks (sorry, old folks) just like us. I have been Chair of the
Strata Council which runs the place for the Owners, this year. It has been a bit of a pain
in the you know where, but my term of office will expire next month. Actually from a
management point of view it hasn’t been that difficult, although one guy threatened to
take a poke at me because I wouldn’t do something he wanted me to do. However, no
harm done. We continue our daily walks, usually down Jericho Beach, and count the
number of freighters tied up in English Bay., waiting for the longshoremen’s union to get
around to servicing them. Every now and then we stop and realize how pretty it is, with
the Vancouver skyline and the ocean and mountains in the background. We had a very
hot summer, for Vancouver, for about six weeks and our little air conditioner wasn’t up
to snuff. We will probably have to do something about it before next summer. We were
grieved during the year to hear that Joe Robertson 149 had passed away. We enjoyed his
On the morning of Dec 29th we woke up to 30cm of snow. Roads were impassable and all flights from
SEATAC were cancelled. Three days later on the 1st the roads were reopened and Mom, Dad, and Erek
traveled to SEATAC and caught a flight to San Francisco. They came back on the 5th. - Pat
Audrey and Arnold
See page 74
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and his wife Virginia’s visit, last year, when we renewed our friendship which started
back when we both attended the University of Minnesota.
The family is doing well. Pat is still working at TRIUMF, although its future is still
uncertain 150 after its current mandate expires. Christine is still teaching Feldenkreis 151 (I
think I have the name right, this year) is taking further classes and keeping involved in
the exercise scene. Jamie is attending Vancouver Community College, taking music of
course, playing gigs when he gets a chance and washing dishes at the restaurant when he
doesn’t. Erek is in high school this year, attending Kitsilano, where both his mother and
father went. He is still taking French and over the last 2-3 years seems to have developed
a flair for dramatics. Pat has had no further arrhythmia problems 152 and Erek’s Tourette
Syndrome is well under control 153 .
Bob changed his job this year in midsummer. About two weeks later his former firm was
put on the auction block by the American firm that owned it, so he was quite pleased at
his perception. Apparently the petroleum construction business is thriving. Inge is still
babysitting and the whole family seems to be tied up in hockey. Both David and Thomas
are playing. Thomas is in his beginner year and last fall when I was there and had just
finished watching a practice session where most of the kids could barely stand up,
Thomas asked me, “Guppa, did you see that slow guy on our team”. Ashlyn is a teenager
and is in her final year of junior high. She is becoming very grown up, plays the piano
beautifully and is almost financially independent (or so she thinks), as a result of her
babysitting efforts.
Philip is still at Hewlett-Packard and is doing extremely well. He works very hard.
Cathryn is still substitute teaching and Robert is in his final year of grade school. Getting
into the right high school seems to be much more of a problem down there than it is in
Canada. Anyway Robert is doing very well. We saw their new house this year and it is
very nice and roomy and in a lovely section of Los Altos. Unfortunately they had a rat
infestation problem this year which chased them out of the house for four days this fall
while the pest control firm cleaned up on the rats.
Trevor has had quite a year. In June he realized a lifelong dream and took two safari trips
to Africa. One was a 17-day saferi through south Kenya and back-to-back was a 10-day
trip through northern Tanzania. Hew saw many things most of us wont get closer to, than
on TV. Also, he brought back some beautiful pictures. He and I bought a new Minolta
between us, just before he left. Trevor must have got the bug, because he just returned
from a 17-day safari through Northern Australia. I think he enjoyed Africa: he is already
talking about going back. Against this background, importing bicycles is a bit dull. Of
course, watching the B.C. Lions have one of their less successful seasons wasn’t
I do not know what Dad means here. It was uncertain last year, but instead was given a 5 year mandate.
See the 1995 letter page 75.
My heart went into arrhythmia again this year and I had to be zapped to get it back into normal sinus
rhythm. I don’t know what dad means by it is under control.
Erek’s real problem is OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. He does not exhibit complex tics anymore.
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everything it might have been either. Trevor still lives in Burnaby and he generally gets
over every weekend.
We will be home for Christmas, although no-one is coming from out of town. We are
having turkey at Pat and Christine’s this year. Although getting the Christmas dinner has
become a bit onerous, Olive has compromised by helping cook the turkey at 2761. We
hope you have a very pleasant Holiday Season and that you and yours have a Merry
Christmas and that 1997 will hold only the best for you.
Olive and Craig Walden
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Christmas – 1997
It seems like our Christmas letter is a little early this year, especially when it seems
doubtful as to whether some of you will get it by December 25th. As you may know, we
are in the middle of a postal strike which shows no sign of being settled in the immediate
future. We are hoping to go across the border next week and do some mailing from there.
However our Canadian correspondents may have to wait until 1998 for theirs.
1997 has been
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