My First Day at School

This picture was taken by my father on my first day of school. I look very unhappy and I was. I really did not want to go. And my parents put all my school supplies in that satchel. I was sure nobody else had one like it and I did not want to be seen with it. I was very aware, too, that I was the only kid my age who wore glasses. My parents would not let me leave them at home.

The background is interesting. My father was the railway station agent and telegrapher. We lived in the railway station shown here. Behind me you can see the semaphore and the octagonal building which was the water tower where steam engines loaded up with water. On the tracks some section men are standing by a motorized vehicle that transported them along the rails. We called these motor cars but some people called them jiggers. In the distance, on a siding at the right, you can see some boxcars parked near a white facility that was used for loading live cattle on and off boxcars. Just out of sight beyond the horizon was the trestle where the railway crossed the Qu'Appelle River. This rail line was abandoned many years ago, and the rails sold for their steel content.