BRUCE EDMON MICKLEBURGH (1921-1987)

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My father and I did not have a warm, “let’s play catch” relationship. He was not that kind of guy. But he was a one-of-a-kind individual, who lived life large, when he could, and followed the beat of his own particular drummer. I admired the good side of that, such as when he cajoled our six-member family into a small, Singer station wagon and drove us across Canada in 1961, camping and sleeping in pup tents. No one did that, then. This was before Rogers Pass, and we spent a whole day nervously driving the precarious, twisting gravel road known as the Big Bend Highway, from Golden to Revelstoke. Who could forget Boat Encampment, where the Columbia River made its “big bend” and headed south, its old-style gas pumps and rustic general store now flooded by the Mica Dam? That trip to B.C. changed my life. The province grabbed hold of my heart, and when I was ready to make my own way in the world, this was where I headed. Without my crazy — in a good way– father, the rich life I have had in beautiful British Columbia might never have happened. His own roots were here, as were my mother’s. So, thanks for that, dad.

Thanks, too, for not throwing out that cool, black leather jacket you sported in the 1940’s. One day, at the height of “the Sixties”, I discovered it in a back closet, and wore it for years. Some fathers pass down wisdom to their sons. My father passed on his black leather jacket.

He’s wearing it in that cool photo at the top of this blog. The shot was taken on what were then known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, when he was 24. And here’s the same black leather jacket worn by his callow stripling of a son, on a back road near Naramata. Not bad, eh? Happy Father’s Day, old man!

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3 thoughts on “BRUCE EDMON MICKLEBURGH (1921-1987)

  1. Loved this Rod. From a current resident of Haida Gwaii. Nancy

  2. Big Bend, Small World: They were gone by the time you visited, but my maternal grandparents, with my mother, established and operated during the second world war, the only gas station/motel/restaurant on the Big Bend.
    I don’t know if it was at “Boat Encampment” or not. They set it up so that my uncle would have a business when he returned from war, and it was operated until the early 50s by my uncle and/or his parents.
    Fun Facts: my mother pumped gas there in a floppy-hatted (Texaco?) uniform. MY father wooed her, and won her hand, there…on the Big Bend, later to be visited by the Mickleburghs….

  3. Gibbs, this is amazing! Right, a small world, indeed, once again confirming my thought that Canada really has only about 3,000 people….and if you try hard enough, you can find some connection to almost anyone you meet. And I’m sure that was the gas station/motel where your mom and grandparents worked. There was nothing else between Golden and Revelstoke, but a gravel road, trees, mountains and the river far below. Unforgettable.

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