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Hello Dolly | Part One

Story

I had a Chinese father and an Indian mother. They had a brood of fourteen and I was the eleventh in line. My family was very tumultuous, and very important next to god and the priest and the teacher stood my father. He was funny but he was very strict. My life had total freedom, my mother said God looks after kids and drunks so she never worried about us. We had the whole freedom of the hills, the rivers and the valley’s and I don’t think she knew where we were from morning to night. We never went around with bottles of water, everywhere we went there were hoses we could stick in our mouth and we played games all day long. We played prisoners base, run my sheep run and we played post office. The government man used to come around and teach us games.

We had to work, we had a huge garden where the park is today in Lillooet. My mother did all her canning and all her fruit and fish and my dad had a cafe in the rooming house. In those days everything was moved by packhorse because there was a small ferry in PGE, had a little train running up Shalalth and all the packers stayed in our rooming house. Next door to us was the delivery stable, a place where you could take your dead and my mom and the women in town would come and line the coffins and wash the bodies and dress them up. My mother also delivered all the babies in town. We had a room in the house where anybody that was sick, mom put them to bed and nursed them.

My papa was a herbalist, a Chinese herbalist and I could remember we had a hobo come to the house and he asked for some jobs to do to get some food. My father showed him an axe and the box of wood and when he was cutting wood he cut his thumb off. I can remember the blood squirting all over and my mom ran in to the kitchen and got a can of Chinese tea and my dad held it out and stuck his hand in there and it congealed on his finger and that was the end of the bleeding. I was so fascinated with both of them, what they could do. They were like a fairy tale to me, because mom just nursed everyone in town and papa looked after anyone needing salve or medicine made out of pitch, bushes or tree’s and whatever herbs he had from Chinese or deer horns or bear feet. That’s bear feet not our feet!

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