Clara Waldman: Making a Living in Trail and Rossland
Date:Wednesday, February 3, 2010
ID:Digital audio recording #: 20.10-06
AZ: So you came to Trail and then went to Rossland later.
CW: Rossland, well after, I took my business course and I was to go to Vancouver. I was the only Jewish girl my age in Trail and my parents were a little bit concerned, you know, here I am eighteen years old and I’m dating non-Jewish boys [laughs] so I was to go to Vancouver to stay with relatives because I had taken my business course and just before that Chuck came, my husband, came to Trail. I worked in a confectionery store after school and on Saturdays and he came to give regards from Saskatchewan to my boss, and I met him there and but, we would date, because it was a small community we would often be invited to the same parties and everything. So I still was booked to go to Vancouver and stay with family but he wrote me letters every single day, I got thirty some odd letters for the month and my aunt said, “You know we live here but you’re the only one that gets the mail.” And I was to go to be a dental assistant but my auntie said, “You know if somebody cares enough to write you every day, you’ve got to go back and make sure that this is the life you really want.” So I went back and I stayed there, we became engaged and married in Trail, that was the first Jewish wedding there, and then my husband came as a graduate to work at Cominco. There were a few other boys who came at the same time, and he was employed as a research chemist until he graduated.
Once you apply yourself to something he found out that that was the way he really didn’t want to go so he went into business with my dad and it was a family business, we all worked together in Rossland and we moved into a hardware store, left the grocery business and went into the hardware business. And they, my dad and my husband worked together for another fifteen years in Rossland and my parents wanted to retire, and so Chuck had his education but everybody said he should be a teacher because he’s just a born teacher. So he went back for one year to take his teacher’s training and he came back and he taught in Castlegar and then he signed up for Victoria and Vancouver, and Victoria came first. He had been coming here to mark papers and the kids had been coming here, oh I had three children, two girls and a boy, and they were in school bands and everything so they knew what Victoria was like and they said, “Oh Mom you’ll love it there, you’ve got to go and see it.” So we moved here, we came in ’67 so we’ve been here forty two or three years now, and he passed away two years ago.