Doug grew up living in section houses along the railway line, and he says that he enjoyed living in pretty much all of them. His brothers and sisters would take correspondence for their schooling since they weren't near any schools . . . .
"We swam a lot in the summer time, we were always at the beach [in the late '40s] . . . . We worked a lot, you know, when we were kids . . . When mom did washing, you had to carry water like crazy, pump water, make sure you have the coal pails full, the wood piled up in the box. You'd have to chop wood, and we chopped wood for other people too, like the Koskis. We chopped I don't know how many cords of wood for Mrs. Koski. And that's the time she gave us a bowl of porridge. Porridge, Christ, I
eat that seven days a week already, and she's giving me another . . . .
"My mother was tough, she was French and Irish and just as hard as you could be.
You didn't mess around with her, I'll tell you. A good person, a solid person. She could [w]ring out those old thick wood blankets by hand. She baked bread, she did everything by hand. She had a hand on her like most of the guys that worked in the bush. She was strong. She had nine brothers . . . ."
In 1956 Doug lost his stepfather, and then in 1957 he lost his real father. In 1958, his mother was killed by a taxi in Geraldton . . . . [Living in Thunder Bay, he bought a summer property in Jellicoe.]
"I liked it in Jellicoe. We had a good time in Jellicoe. That's one of the nicer parts of my life that I remember."