Tuesday 29 August 2023

A Mail Order Bride

    Living in a small very isolated village means there are not many people around.  Usually in these rural settings, there are more men than women, so I guess it wasn’t that unusual for desperate men to seek out wife by going public in some far-reaching publications in hopes of finding a mate.  (These were times  before the internet.)  All that being true, it was a surprise to me, back in the 1970’s to hear that a friend of mine actual got his wife that way.

    Like most of my friends at the time, Mike grew up in the States, then made his way to the Robson Valley as part of the  “Back to the Land” migration of counter-culture young people.  He bought a quarter section (160 acres, 65 Ha.) of raw forested land, without any road access into the place (he had to hike or snowshoe in), but he managed to build himself a log house and eventually made a road in his home.  He was a member of the local Blackwater Co-op, a group of like-minded people who ordered bulk food and shared their labor to help each other out.  

    Industrious Mike accomplished a lot on his land, but he was lonely and wanted a wife.  

    One day the Co-op had arranged to do a work day “root picking” a newly cleared field for a local farmer, who paid the group for the work.  The Co-op members were all there, working away picking up and piling roots in the morning, when suddenly Mike said he had to leave and go to town, and then he left.  The other members of the Co-op were a bit miffed at his sudden departure, thinking he was just trying to get out of the job.  

    A couple of hours later, Mike returned with a woman who introduced as Linda.  Mike had put a “Want Ad” in some large publication, explaining his situation and seeking a woman who might want to share his life.  I don’t remember where Linda was from, somewhere in the States, but she was adventurous and willing to gamble on Mike and living in the “Wilds” of British Columbia.  Linda was an attractive, very likable person, hard working, and she quickly fit right in with everyone.

    Mike and Linda married and had a daughter.  Once when my parents came up for a visit, we took them down to Mike and Linda’s cabin.  My mother was really impressed with the way they lived (without power) and what a nice home and life, they had created in the wilderness.  

    After about 10 years, Mike and Linda did split up and go separate ways, but that is not uncommon.  

    I always admired Linda for drastically changing the life she was living, to pursue something different with someone she didn’t know in a faraway valley in BC.

 Take a look at my paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

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