My Grandparents’ Stories

Grandma, also known as Linda.

My grandma was born in 1952 in Winnipeg Canada.

When grandma was 2 years old her family moved to St Boniface. They moved from a tiny one-bedroom apartment to their first home, and her sister Leslie was born a year later. They were both born in a Catholic hospital, where nuns cared for her mother. When they were little, they loved taking the train to see her grandparents who lived in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. She said that the station was so big, and beautiful in the winter, and she loved seeing all the pretty things, and that’s why she always looked forward to visiting her grandparents in the winter.

Once she turned 3 years old they moved to the big city of Edmonton, and in grade 1 she went to the Capilano Public School. She liked going to that school because there was a big hill and two ice skating rinks right beside it, and she had lots of fun skating and playing in the snow. She loved living in the city and going out to the street with the neighbour’s kids to play flashlight tag, she always had such a great time, but there was one rule: when the street lights turned on that you have to go inside!

Throughout her life, her parents taught her about nature, and they often drove into the country to have picnics at people’s farms. For vacation, they went to the Rocky Mountains and other places, and they usually brought some of their pets with them. They had many pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish. She loved these trips, and that is what sparked her interest in nature.

When she was about 7 or 8 years old, her brother David and her sister Lorna were born. In her teens she got a pair of cross-country skis, and she loved skiing by the Saskatchewan river.

Grandma’s first job was at Betties Fruit Basket, where she worked in the corner of the shop selling fruits and vegetables. She told me how it would get very busy! She also loved babysitting.

When Grandma was in Grade 12, her family moved back to Winnipeg for her father’s work. She was a cheerleader for her school, and on her breaks, she took calls in an office. After high school, she went to the Red River Community College, and her father got her a little blue car called a Datsun. During that time, she met a man named Ken Leichman. He came up to her when she was sitting alone during lunch and talked with her. Ken Leichman was a criminal in jail but was able to go to college during the day with a day pass. They had lunch together for a few weeks and chatted. He told her lots of interesting stories about himself and how he wanted to build a lodge. Grandma said that he was very gentlemanly and kind, but also a little of a smooth talker.

She still did lots of skiing and skating and would go to parks. She also loved playing Powder Puff football, and field hockey and was always pretty active. She was very involved in the church and would sometimes teach Sunday school.

In her late teens, she visited the Edmonton jail where her church preached and she played piano. One of her memories there was that all of the inmates would come up to her afterwards and tell her their story about how they were all innocent. The jail was very high security, and there were huge bar gates that when they closed were very loud and freaky.

Grandma met my grandpa in 1973 in church, where my grandpa was singing in the choir. Grandpa attended the university of Guelph, and grandma got a job working in the Alumni Office at the U of Guelph where they planned events for the alumni (alumni are graduates of the school).  One year later they got married, and in 1974 grandma and grandpa started farming at his family’s farm, and when his father died it was just grandma and grandpa taking care of the farm.

My research story!

When writing a draft of this essay I decided to look up who Ken Leichman was. I thought he would not come up and that he was probably a small criminal. BUT!… he was actually Canada’s biggest gold thief! I found all sorts of pages about him and even a documentary.

Here is a link about him if you are interested –

Ken Leichman


Grandpa Tom

My grandpa was born in 1951 on Mother’s day, and they announced it at church. He lived north of Springfield Ontario on a dairy farm. He went to a one-room school with about 30 people. In his family, there were 7 kids; 3 boys and 4 girls.

At age 5 he joined the lion club band and played the E flat horn at his school. His family all took piano lessons and sang in the choir.

Grandpa went to East Elgin high school.

He met grandma in 1973 and got married a year later.

Grandpa started calling square dancing in 1981, and he would dance with grandma sometimes. He called at four different clubs and when he was done he came home and milked the cows.

My grandma and grandpa are awesome! And as you can see they are very different when telling their life stories to me. Grandma’s are neat and lovely and in order, and grandpa’s are short and funny!

Grandpa’s Stories

Grandpa told me that he remembered that his father would always send the kids outside after meals, because he wanted to take a nap.

One winter grandpa made a skating rink by pouring water out of the bed of their family truck onto the field.

Their family never had a tv until one day his sister pushed him out of a wagon and grandpa broke his arm. So a man by the name of Lou Tomkins came and took grandpa to the hospital to get a cast. After that, they got a tv and they watched shows. He liked the Ed Sullivan show and Bonanza.

When he was young, his mom was doing the wash and he was mad about something, so he said he was going to run away. So he walked through the ditches, and when cars drove by he ducked down so they would not see him. When his father came home from work his mother told him that grandpa had run away, so his father and some friends went out looking for him in their car. They drove by grandpa lots of times, but he just kept ducking. But one time as they were driving by grandpa ducked, and a bee that was in the back of his knee stung him. He jumped up and yelled and they heard and they found him.

In grandpa’s second year of University, he had been dating a girl for 2 years and he wanted to break it off. So he got a pipe that he had received at Christmas and went over to her house and smoked a whole lot of tobacco so she would find him repulsive. He got so sick that he went in his car to go home, but seeing that he was in a pretty bad state his girlfriend called out for him to come inside, and so he spent the night at her house.

Their stories were so fun to listen to, and I had such a great time getting to know all about their life and their funny moments!


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