Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.3

Dublin Core


Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.3


food preservation
animal husbandry







Oral History Item Type Metadata


Lesiv, Mariya


Hawirko, Paul

OHMS Object Text

5.4 Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.3 2004-091-1708 27:28 U2 Local Cultures water food preservation animal husbandry schools firearms Hawirko, Paul Lesiv, Mariya mp3 2004-091-1708.mp3 0 Other audio English 0 Water, food preservation The farm they settled on in Reno had a small stream running through it. However, the stream was primarily run off in the early spring and the stream would become just a trickle in the summer. As more and more people settled in the area, there was less and less habitat for the stream as the trees were cut down and the streams disappeared and dried out. Paul's family had to improvise with water. Other than digging wells, which they found didn't provide enough water, they built a water tank out of planks in the winter time. Tar was used to seal it. They used to hitch up horses and travel to a small lake and they would fill up the tank with pails. They would bring the tank back and poured it out into a small well. This was how they hauled water in for the animals. They would also melt snow or ice in empty oil barrels that were placed over a fire. They had to throw a lot of snow into the barrel to get any appreciable amount of water. Paul's father also built an ice house using sawdust to insulate the sides. They would go out to the lake and saw through the ice before hauling up the blocks of ice and hauling them home. The ice would be kept through summer as a means of keeping food cool and as drinking water as it melted. The well they had was drinkable, but it smelled and tasted bad. They had a dugout underneath the house. In there, they had a bin for potatoes, beets, turnips, and other things like that. Paul's mother used to make cottage cheese which she made in the fall. It was made in a large container such as a barrel and the cheese would be stored in the dugout where it would freeze. Paul and his father would take a 5 gallon cream can, fill it with sour milk, and they would put a few big chunks of ice in it and that was what they used to drink as they worked all day. 53.55014, -113.46871 12 Interview location: Edmonton, Alberta 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta 528 Raising farm animals, raising a bear, firearms Paul's family had horses, cows, pigs, chickens, sometimes turkeys (but coyotes and foxes would attack them). Turkeys were apparently stupid and would not run when approached by a coyote. Paul's father and uncle went out to pick blueberries and they would always bring a gun into uninhabited areas. Once, they were attacked by a mother bear with two cubs and were forced to shoot the bear. They captured the two orphaned cubs and so Paul's family raised a bear cub for a time. They kept it on a chain in the yard. One day, a mounted police officer came up to the property after being informed that Paul's family was keeping a wild animal. The officer made Paul's family release the bear. Because the bear would have been a problem for humans (it was not prepared to live in the wild, Paul's father killed the bear). Paul's uncle released his bear and that bear hung around and followed Paul and his sister home one day. Paul's father then shot the bear. Paul was taught to safely handle a gun at a very young age. Maintaining a gun back then was a matter of survival. Paul's father set a bear trap for a bear that was threatening farm animals and put some meat on it. He caught the bear and killed it. They skinned the bear and did not waste the meat as it was fed to the pigs. The domestic animals were raised for home consumption as well as for money. The horses were used for labour. Paul would sometimes ride his horse to school. Paul and his sister would ride a cutter (a two person sleigh) to school and back. In the summer, they mostly walked to school until Paul got his bike. 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta 1021 School, traveling to Reno, breaking his arm Paul and his sister used a cutter (two person sleigh) to get to school. In the summer, Paul and his sister would mostly walk to school until Paul got his bicycle. Because the roads did not open up to Reno directly, they had to take a 7 mile roundabout route to the village school. At the time, there was a grain elevator, a general store, and a section house for the railroad foreman. Those were the only buildings in the village. At first, there was only a one room school with a single teacher that taught grades 1 through 12. Then, after they got the two room school, there were two teachers: one taught grades 1 to 6 and the other taught grades 7 to 12. Paul tells a story about a dog visiting Paul and his father when they were riding a horse. The dog spooked the horse which threw Paul and his father ; Paul broke his arm in several places around the elbow. Paul remembers going on a train with his mother to Peace River to the hospital. They put a plastic or rubberized material over Paul's face to administer ether as a way of putting Paul under. Paul's arm did not set properly, so the doctor had to re-break Paul's arm, though it again did not settle properly. They decided to remove Paul's tonsils as well, but the ether triggered something in Paul's heart and he could not go back to school for two years. Paul did manage to catch up to the other kids. 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta No transcript. audio 1



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