My 28 years with Doc Part Five

Doc went to work at the Regina Tire Mart in 1966 and worked there for a year. He liked working there but found the work physically hard. Changing tires, even with the latest power tools was too much for him.

In 1968 he started working at SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) in the Mail Room of the Head Office on 11th Avenue, Regina. It was not the job he applied for that is for sure.

SGI Mail Room staff on a special retirement occasion

SGI is a Crown Corporation of the Saskatchewan Government and registration, license and insurance is all encompassed under one corporation. You buy a car and everything is done through SGI. SGI has agents throughout the province to attend to your needs and also has salvage operations as well.

Doc applied for the Management position of one of the newly constructed Salvage sites located in Yorkton. He would have been an excellent candidate for such a position. He had an astonishing capability of site memory. Even if a piece of equipment was smashed, he actually could tell what it would look like restored.

Back then NOBODY was prepared to hire a guy for management that walked funny.

Anyway in time he made the SGI Mail Room the most efficient mail room to be found. Hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of mail went through the mail room on a daily bases. The staff of around 12 worked hard but also had a lot of fun.

Doc worked there till he passed away in 1987.

Doc loved cars.

Learning to drive at a young age

Just after we were married Doc found a Model A that needed some TLC. We had it running smoothly and I loved to race (?) other people  at the green lights. Hahahahaha.

On the way home with the new Dodge

One of the cars that we loved so much we bought a second one after we put many miles on the first!  It was a 1965 Dodge Polara 440 V8. I went to visit my sister Georgie in Hamilton, ON and we took the bus to the Chrysler Assembly Plant in Windsor, ON.  There we picked up the brand-spanking-new car. How fun was that?  A lot of fun. Doc arrived by plane and we drove the car back home to Regina.

There are cars that were bought and cars that were sold. Some within a week like that beautiful navy Buick Riviera. We bought it on Saturday and Doc, my niece Karen, and I went out to Fort Qu’Appelle to see Don Grant and Cliff Darke and show them the car. We came back and found the car got only seven miles to the gallon. We sold it the next week.

And how about the TR6 that we bought for $350.00 and immediately drove it south on Highway 6 and the motor ceased before we got to Rowatt (about 6 miles from home).

Two cars were bought (1975 Honda’s) from SGI Salvage: one with the front damaged and one with the back. Tu (who was originally from North Korea) owned a car body shop in Regina and in no time he and Doc put the two parts together to make one car. 

Austin Mini

The canary-yellow Mini

Then came the arrival of the first Mini. We went to Melville to pick up this Mini and I had to ride in it as we towed it behind our car. It had the sliding side windows so there was not much air coming into the car and it was a hot, hot day. It was over 100 F and it took quite a long time to get the car to Regina. Bright yellow no less.

This was the first Mini in Regina and it attracted quite a bit of attention. Three teenagers who worked at McDonalds at the south end of Albert Street were the first to follow Doc home to check out this awesome CAR. Glen, Wally and Allen could hardly wait to find Mini’s of their own. Soon all three bought these cars  and after work and on the weekends out driveway was filled with Mini’s and the boys were learning from Doc all about their cars.

Not only did we have Mini’s but also we bought a brand new Ford Thunderbird in Melville one day when we were coming back from the farm. Doc had wanted this classy car from the time he first saw one but we soon found out the kids couldn’t see anything riding in the back seat…the front seat backs were so HIGH!

The Corvair Greenbrier

Oh, yes the Corvair Greenbrier. There were very few Greenbriers produced and we had one. And the small yellow school bus we bought from John Weisshaar that we called “Big Green”.

We bought a Ford station wagon in 1977.  It had a bench seat.  Not much comfort there. Doc went to SGI Moose Jaw Salvage where he found a wrecked new Ford car and bought the two front seats.. The seats were totally awesome.  These electric seats went up, down, ahead, back, tilt etc. On June 28, 1977, we took the kids to California to Disneyland and Sea World in that wagon and after we got back, we sold it!

The 1978 Pontiac station wagon we bought had all the bells and whistles. We were planning to go to Billings, MT for the weekend and Doc called me mid morning at work. he said “ Mo, we need to go look at a station wagon over lunch hour.” I called the bank to write up a loan for me for about the price of the station wagon. By 1:00 p.m. we had new license plates and all the paper work done. At 4:30 p.m. we picked up Dorothy Witherspoon to come with us and we piled the kids into the wagon and were off!

In June 1981 Doc saw an accident report of a Tripe E Motorhome that happened in Calgary. The insurance adjuster’s report to SGI indicated that there was damage to the frame of the motor home. Doc and I went to Calgary to inspect it ourselves. We were staying with the Way family in southwest Calgary and we drove from their home to the Deerfoot Trail. We no more than got on the Deerfoot Trail when the 1978 Pontiac station wagon quit running. A young man in a half-ton truck stopped and asked if he could give us a ride. We told him where we were going and he said he would drive us there and back to our car. He was from Newfoundland and said he was happy to be of help. The compound where the motorhome was located was way out in northeast Calgary. The guy at the front desk said, “I don’t know why you would be interested in it as the frame is bent.” It had rained the night before and it was a slippery trek for Doc to get to the far end of the lot where the motorhome was parked. We had our tape measure with us and we crawled under the motorhome and measured the frame. It was not damaged and was square. We bought it and arranged to have it hauled to Regina.

It was Saturday morning and the young guy from Newfoundland took us to a repair shop and it took quite awhile to determine the problem with the station wagon. There is a small clip in the distributor that was broken and they soldered it right then and we were mobile again.

When we got back to Regina, we called the Triple E factory in Winkler, Manitoba and ordered the parts we knew we needed to get the motor home up and running. In about a week, we went to Winkler with a trailer to haul the parts back to Regina. We needed a new windshield and some full-length panels for the side of the motor home. Someone had messed with the wiring and this was a reoccurring  problem not easily fixed. We took the motor home to Madge Lake and back before we had the headlights working. That would be daylight driving!

We spent a lot of time in the motor home in the driveway. One of the reasons was that it was a hot summer, the motor home had air conditioning, and we did not have any in the house.

My 28 years with Doc Part Six is next…

One Comment, RSS

  1. Mauree O’Shea

    These comments were made to BK when she shared the posts.

    BK please let your mom know that I find her stories amazing! Her memory of dates and names is unbelievable!! I wish that I had this sort of family archive. I remember being at my great grandmothers funeral and hearing the stories and being shocked at all that she had done. I had no idea! This is an amazing legacy to pass on. Way to go Moe!
    Christine Egarhos

    I am reading these with great interest. The side of the neighbors one never knows…
    Don Burns

    I love your Moms writing Bridgy, what an incredible legacy for her family.
    Sam Isted

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