Segment Synopsis: Nick Ochotta's family farmed at Boyle. They have had various anglicizations of the pronunciation of his last name. Nick was born in Redwater, AB in 1926. Nick grew up at Boyle. His family moved there when he was two years old. Boyle was a thriving community. At the end of the 30s he was going to school, in 1942 he moved to Edmonton to go to school to finish his grade 12 diploma. Finished in 1944 and then joined the army. After the war, he did not want to go back to school. He had long fingers and everyone told him he could either be a pianist, a surgeon, or an artist. He didn't want to go to school to be a surgeon, but he should have because the army would have paid for a lot of it. His dad did forced service with the Tzarist army. After he finished, he came to Canada to check it out and then went back and did this a couple of times. The final time he brought his wife in about 1907 or 1908 or 1909 and stayed in Canada. His family moved to the Boyle area in 1928. His oldest sister got married and moved to the Boyle area, so then his family bought a homestead in Boyle because the land was better. His father was born in today's Cherkavska oblast. His mother was born in the same village, her maiden name is Sawchuk. His ex-wife was born Shandro, AB. She is a Shandro. He has lived in Edmonton most of the time.
Subjects: immigration; migration and settlement
Segment Synopsis: He finished his grade 12 diploma. He could have gone to University but he didn't want to. He thinks it was a mistake. At the age of 8, he would watch his brother take photos with his box camera and he was intrigued. He took the camera to Edmonton when he came to go to high school. he also took it to the war with him. He bought other cameras as well. He was very interested in photography and after the war he joined the Edmonton camera club. He exhibited his photography internationally. He has about 3 or 400 international exhibits. He became an associate with the photographic society of America. He continued with photography. He sold wholesale groceries and then he worked for the Dominion Government in the lab of plant pathology. He did the photography and learned the lab work as he went. He did photography on the weekends. He ran the Macbain photography laboratory in 1953. And then he bought it and started another company.
Subjects: high school degrees; photography
Segment Synopsis: He lived at home with his folks growing up on the farm. His older brother had to quit school to help on the farm. He had one brother and 3 sisters. His ancestry/nationality is Ukrainian. When he came to Edmonton he started going to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Irene Shandro (his ex-wife) and he were both Orthodox Ukrainians.
Subjects: Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Segment Synopsis: In the 1930s, he ate mostly his homegrown wheat that was ground and boiled and then eaten as porridge with milk and honey for breakfast. Lunch would be sandwiches or eggs, bacon, macaroni. They had their own eggs, beef and pork on their farm. People thrived on what they produced. They had a garden in the summer. Their farm had lots of stones they needed to pick. Their land produced fair wheat, barley, and oats, but it wasn't the greatest. His father switched to bee keeping after a while. They shipped close to 50 tonnes of honey a year. There was a lot of clover in the area which is good for honey. The problem was with black bears who could destroy everything if they wandered in. They had some beehives stolen. They had a special meal at Christmas. "The whole world stops for kutia". Explains the kutia making process. Their meal was always lenten. They had fish and 12 dishes. Varennyky/pyrohy never had cheddar cheese, he's not sure where this came from. They bought very little from the store. They bought peanut butter and jam. Coal oil for lamps was bought at the store. They bought nabob coffee and bulk tea, baking powder and baking soda, lard.
Subjects: apiaries; bees (insects); farms; foodways; honey
Map Coordinates: 54.587417, -112.803361
Segment Synopsis: He wore jeans. Jeans were the farmer's clothes. Most of the time they were overalls. Anything but jeans was wool or cotton pants, ordered from Eaton's or Simpson's. Most clothing shopping was done via the catalogue. Would come by parcel post. It was always a thrill to open the parcel. It would take probably two weeks to get it. He was 17 when he got his first suit. He was best man for his friend's wedding. He didn't see a 20$ bill or a flushed toilet until he was 17. They got their water from the well. He loved to wear moccasins. If you had a stocking and a moccasin you were all set. It wasn't good when the snow started to melt. Then you needed rubber boots. None of his friends wore moccasins. They wore leather shoes in the summer. His mother taught him to never sit on the ground. He would never sit on the ground.
Subjects: clothing; footwear; jeans; mail-order catalogs
Segment Synopsis: As a child, he had to bring the cows home. From age 7 or 8, there were quarter sections of land that were crown land, so all the neighbours would bring their cows home. Every herd had a bell that sounded different from the neighbours. He had to bring the cows home from milking. he forgot once about the cows, but he only forgot once.
Subjects: farm chores
Map Coordinates: 54.587417, -112.803361