Shirley Sova has spent her life living in and around Golden and remembers a simpler time in the area.
“I was born 13 miles south of Golden in a farm house,” Sova said.
In her youth Sova went to McMurdo Public School before attending Parson for her high school education.
Sova said she had to ride her bike six miles to go to school but sometimes she would get a ride from local people.
“The creamery truck and sometimes the government trucks would pick us girls up in winter. The creamery truck was from the creamery in Golden. They would pick up the cream from all of the farmers along the road on Tuesdays and Thursdays so they could make butter for the community,” she said.
The family moved a little closer to the school in the late 1940s. At the time there was a school bus that could carry nine students.
“Well there were 10 kids and I was the oldest so I had to walk to school anyways. It was fine because I would get one dollar a day for walking to school from the school board,” she said.
There was one incident on those walks that left a lasting impression on Sova.
Her family noticed a cougar had been in the area. Her brother made the decision that he would try and track the animal.
“The cougar had walked in my tracks as I went to school that morning. My brother Harold tracked the animal and killed it before it got to me. It was nine feet from the tip of its nose to its tail.”
She said she never liked cougars before this incident and really did not like them after.
Sova spent most of her childhood living on a farm and said she had a wonderful life.
“I grew up on a farm. We grew all of our own vegetables and meat. We had chickens and geese as well.”
She also spent time during her childhood swimming near her farm. She was hurt one time when a friend accidentally hit her in the chin with a rock while he was skipping stones.
She explained that her family was lucky because they had a model T which they drove to Golden to see a doctor.
“I was only nine-years-old. He put a clamp on me and it hurt so much that I jumped out of the chair and took off down the road with my mom chasing after me,” she said.
Before getting a car, the family would make their once a week journey to Golden by horse and buggy or sleigh in the winter.
During the winter trips her mother would do what she could to keep the children warm.
“The trips were not bad because mom would always put hot stones under the blankets by our feet,” she said. ”
Sova said it was always fun to come to Golden and she does have fond memories of those trips.
“I remember coming into the creamery with my mom so she could get her cheque. One time I saw this big vat of butter. I put my hand (which was very dirty) right across the top of the butter. The owner just laughed at me, though my mother was very upset.”
Another store she enjoyed going into was owned by Bill Wenman
“I remember going into a shop owned by Bill Wenman. It was a bicycle/shoe/harness shop. He could fix just about anything in that shop,” she said.
One other memory she has from those trips involved a women who used to make a walk to and from Golden once a month.
“I remember a little old lady who lived at nine mile. She weighed 98 pounds and would walk to Golden to get a 100 pound sack of flour. She would pack it on her back and walk home. If you offered her a ride she would politely say she was enjoying her walk.”
Sova now lives in a local trailer park that looked very different back in those early days of her life.
“The trailer park area where I now live was nothing but a hay field back in those days.”
Living outside of town people would have small events and celebrations which Sova said she now misses,
“One thing I wish they would have is a good old Christmas concerts. We (as kids) used to enjoy that. We were all involved and everyone would get a gift afterwards,” she said. “In Parson they would have a celebration on the July first weekend or on May Day in Golden. All the girls would dress up and do the may pole dance.”
As Golden has grown Sova said it has changed the way people are in the community to a point.
“There is so much hustle and bustle now. Now it is an different having outings like that because in the past everyone knew everyone and we only saw them once a week. Things were less stressful back then.”