For 81 years Kaye Soles (maiden name, Kaye Henderson), has called Golden and Parson home.
A second generation Canadian, Soles was born in Golden in 1931 to a big family with six siblings.
“Golden was pretty small back then. The old house that we lived in had only two bedrooms, and there were seven kids and our parents. It was crowded but we managed. I think everyone at that time was like that, nobody had a lot of money.,” said Soles, recalling what it was like to share a room with her mother and two sisters, while the boys had the other. “I can’t even remember the street it was on. It never meant anything back then.”
Soles’ grandparents, her father’s parents, came to Canada from Scotland, settled in Calgary for a while, and then moved to Golden and started a family.
“Grandpa was a master carpenter in Scotland. He built the old courthouse that was here, and the old curling rink, several of the very old buildings,” said Soles.
She grew up with a very close family, many members of which still live in Golden.
“I have one sister in Creston. She doesn’t know what she’s missing not being here,” she said.
But when she was in her teens, her family started to change, as that is when she met her future husband.
“I went to a birthday party out in Harrogate, I met him there. I was 13 I think, or 14, and he was 16. I really thought he was handsome. And then a few days later he came visiting.”
Family was always very important to Soles, and after she was married at 19, she was determined to have a big one.
“I had two children before I had Polio. Then I had two more after that. And then the doctor said no more. So we adopted two, because I wasn’t ready to quit.”
“I tell them all, they’re no better than the other ones,” she said.
“The adoption process wasn’t as difficult as it is now. They do interview you quite heavily. I was afraid that with my disability they wouldn’t let me have one. Then I got a call one day, and they said, ‘There’s a baby waiting for you in Vancouver, when can you go?’ And my husband happened to be at home at the time, and he said tomorrow.
“So we went down and picked her up. Best baby I had actually, she never cried once all the way home from Vancouver. A couple weeks later we went for the next one, and she never quit crying for the next 10 years.”
Soles spent most of her life raising her family, a task that never left her bored, although she also kept the books for her husband’s company, Soles Brothers Sawmills.
Now she has six children, 10 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren to keep her occupied.
Soles loved living in Golden, but after she married they moved out to Parson.
She was homesick at first, but soon learned to love it.
The only problem, initially, is that it was so far away from town.
“I didn’t drive back then. Well I did, but not legally… when we got married, he told me, ‘When you get a drivers license I’m not going to freight you around. When you want to go to town, you drive yourself.’ So that’s what we did. We had an old ’35 Chev,” said Soles.
“After I had Polio I couldn’t drive it anymore because it was standard. And he went to Calgary one work day, and got home late that night. I was in bed. And the next morning when I got up there was this beautiful car sitting in our yard. I said, ‘Who’s car is that?’ He said, ‘Oh I forgot, it’s yours.’ That was my first, and I had several after that. He always bought Cadillacs.”
Life has changed quite a bit for Soles since then.
She is now living in Mountain View Assisted Living.
“When this place opened, my kids had me in here in a moment. They’re wonderful. It’s a good place to be. I’ve been here since the day it opened,” she said.
“I came in with a bad attitude. But they’re really great here. And then, one of the residents here, I hadn’t seen since I got married. It’s been fun to talk with her, and we do puzzles together.”
Soles says she is very fortunate to be in such a wonderful facility, and have so much family around.
“I have a pretty special family.”