Lasqueti Stories

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Lasqueti Pictures


Ian Cole. Captain Ian Cole was a man of incredible talents. As ferry captain he knew everything there was to know about the sea and seamanship, no small feat when facing off against the treacherous nineteen kilometres of rough water between False Bay and French Creek on Vancouver Island . At the monthly gatherings and local parties Cole loved to dress in a fancy tux, or women's clothes and wig, and grab one of the young hippie ladies for a turn around the dance floor. Ian always made it a point to hire the most needy (and attractive) for odd jobs and ferry maintenance. In 1965 he purchased the newly established ferry, the Captain Vancouver. He had always enjoyed a few drinks but suddenly after his wife left him his capacity and appetite for booze exploded. He could down a 750-millilitre bottle of vodka in minutes. His favorite saying when facing adversity was "God hates a coward." In a storm , the Captain Vancouver, a small round bottomed tub with a vicious roll, was guaranteed to bring up your breakfast. There was no law against the captain being drunk on duty. He sold the business to Sandy Gillespie, who hired Ian as a backup pilot but fired him because of his drinking. I remember one time Sandy had to hire him to make an emergency run. I went to the dock for some reason and saw him being half carried onto the boat by two people, so drunk he couldn't walk by himself. He seems to have made the runs OK. Sandy hired a deep water captain who had lost his ticket because of bouts with malaria. When he checked the boat out he noted that the compass was dry and the radar shaft was frozen and he got as white as a sheet. Parts of this are extracted from the excellent 'Accidental Eden ' book written by Darlene Olesko and Doug Hamilton published by Caitlin Press, 2014.
Millicheap Road. The road to the Sandy Beach trail. Presumably named for the Millicheap family, who were partners in the Lasqueti Fishing Company at Scotty Bay in the north end of the Island . They built and fished steel seine boats for fishing the north coast and gulf of Alaska. I have a very special connection with this road because I have walked it so many times. It has the peculiar characteristic of getting steeper as you approach the top. Discouraging if you are in a hurry. One time as I turned onto the road I had a feeling that the trees said, "Where have you been?" Really weird and it never happened again. No, I was not on drugs.
Sandy Cove. High tide In the winter.
Kitchen.From the front. The vertical half-logs at the bottom of the wall were towed across the bay at high tide by our tiny yellow 'Banana Boat." The shed roof was plastic over rotted 1/4 " plywood kept from blowing away by flat rocks.
Kitchen. From the back with Bret and Maia peeking out the door. This wall was made with shakes from a driftwood cedar shake bolt. Pole frame from dead fir, with drift wood 2x something boards for the floor and driftwood hatch covers for shelves, counter and food storage bench lined with aluminum printing plates to keep mice out.
Kitchen. Inside
Sleeping House. After finishing the kitchen the only thing left of our $40.00 investment and scavenged materials was some plastic. I built the house with dead poles from the yard.
Sleeping House. After finishing the cabin I cleared the shrubs out and evened the dirt a bit.  Covered the dirt floor plastic and then with a carpet and chinked the walls with moss. In many ways a dirt floor is superior to raised floor especially in windy locations. There is no draft coming from beneath and it feels solid, like your are actually attached to the earth rather than defending yourself against it. I made a stove from half of a 25 gallon barrel stuck in a sand filled box and roof and chimney jack by some sky-hook arrangement that I don't understand to this day.  
Trail. This is the spot on the trail where Papa Joe fell off while visiting. We were in the States at the time. This is not too tricky in the daytime but in the dark it can be treacherous. Bret and Maia used this trail to get to the school and often ran at full speed. Glad I didn't know it at the time.
Boat House. This was used as the model for the 'funky shed' in Prolog: Gulf 1976 to open the book. It is right below Boho Ron's shack
Boho Ron's shack. This dwelling, was a crash pad of sorts. A number of people lived in it over the years including Hawk, Mad John and Bruce. It is prototype of the cabin described in the story Prolog: Gulf 1976 And Lasqueti Christmas on Lasqueti Stories page.
Sandy Beach. At rising tide.
Cecil and Nancy Varney. They were from upper state New York . Good friends and definitely our savior the first winter on Lasqueti. Their son Dick was a special friend.
Bob and Mara. Standing next to the kitchen.
Fed Up.Picture taken at the Fed Up warehouse. Person on the left is unknown to me. Next is Arnie, Judy Harper standing on the box, Bonnie Smith, me and Melinda Auerbach. I don't know the person on the right. Fed Up appears in the chapter Fed Up.
Goldendale. Picture of the pickers shacks at the farm at Maryhill Washington Where I picked fruit after the ill-starred tree planting venture. This is chronicled in the chapter Goldendale.
Bob and Marty. Marty visiting from Portland and playing music at the swimming lake.
Arnie and Jodi. In front of the community center in the snow. the corner of Main road and Lennie road was named Arnie's corner because he owned the house and lot there. After Jodi bought the place it became Jodi's Corner, as it is called today.
Rocking Horse. This is where my music career, such as it is, started. Picture was taken recently and the place has been upgraded but a very nice venue indeed. More about it in the chapter Rocking Horse and Rodeo.
Bob and Justine. Here we are leaning on an ancient artifact of unknown origin. Actually this was the barn at Ron's place on Sandy Beach. The half-log front was used on the kitchen across the bay. Had to float it across the bay at high tide.
Edith's house.Justine and I lived here for 4 years. It appears in Insect Repeller and The move. The property was owned by Doug and Chris. They allowed us to stay in the place and try to keep it from collapsing. We did pretty well but later dwellers allowed it to decay.
Lennie Road . This was taken right in front of Edith's house. You can just see where it meets Main Road at the top of the picture.
Feral Sheep. Sheep doing a yard maintenance at Edith's place. The sheep were a source of much needed food in the early days. There were also horses and cattle on the island. They decimated the wild flower population. I don't think they are harvested much any more. I don't know their Current status.
Shrooms. Oyster mushrooms growing out of dead alder. They are tasty and plentiful and dry easily. They are talked about in the chapter Food.
Lasqueti Laundromat. This was Jodi's contraption. She pumped water into a large barrel on the roof of her house. Believe it or not this was an improvement over the way most of us did the laundry. For hot water for showers she left a garden hose full of water lying in the sun.
Lasqueti hot tub. Not everything in the cities is unavailable in the country.
Stove. This is the wonderful stove we used in Edith's place. People used to modern conveniences would find it difficult to understand the love affair between humans and a good functioning wood cook stove.They are the soul of the house.
Flying Phil Sighting. Phil St. Luke striding along the street was a fixture in Parksville. He always had a smile and greeting for everyone on the street. He was named the first 'Mr. Parksville' to everyone's delight. He is mentioned in Cheech and Chong story.