Flitton Family History Chapter 6
The following is a sketchy and draft outline put together by Bob Flitton in the mid 1990s.
Charlie Flitton recalls “I sold Emily Carr a what-not for $12.50 and delivered it to her. I also delivered her an air tight heater. She had a dirty, stinking, scabby-assed monkey.” When asked why that description was used, Frank responded for Charlie “because that’s exactly it was.” Charlie agreed “Ya, it was a little bastard and she gave me shit for touching it.” The monkey sat on a pedestal in the door way with a chain around its neck, and Jack recalls it grabbing them by the hair when they walked by.
“I helped build the kiln that she used to fire her pottery. She was strange. She’d was eccentric and was reluctant to talk to you.” Jack recalls “my Dad built her kilns, hung her wall paper. I often went over to Carr’s house to help Dad. Every time I went out to get tools, I had to pass the damn monkey, it would reach out from his perch and pull my hair”. The monkey’s name was “Woo.”
History records: Emily Carr had a liking for animals having been raised on her farm after her Victoria birth in 1871. She suffered from a bout of pernicious illness in 1902 and was compelled to spend a depressing eighteen months in Suffolk. During that time she befriended birds and animals and credits that for her life, thus her extravagant fondness of pets and the reason she kept many including a monkey, cats, dogs, a parrot and a chipmunk. At some point, she traded a puppy for a two-year-old Javanese monkey. Her sisters disapprove of this new pet, but Emily was determined to keep the monkey, which she named “Woo”, because of the sound it made. Carr was seen as eccentric, but in fact, may have been a very practical person who found intolerable hypocrisy in her “polite social pattern”. She was known for her fearless tongue and was second youngest of nine children. Aside from running her boarding house, making pottery and her paintings of native heritage, she also made rugs. The National Museum of Canada in Ottawa first became aware of her work in 1927 and she died in 1945.
Mrs. Rithet drove a Detroit-Electric two-seater. It had unusual glass windscreens and steering was controlled by maneuvering a Johnson bar. On each side of the wind screen was a vase of flowers. “She drove it everywhere, it was prominent, looked like a money persons.” Frank had a Pantages Theatre program that advertises “Unequaled _____”. Advertisements in the program boasted; a 1923 McLaughlin Master Six; the Home Cooking Supply Delicatessen at Yates and Quadra offering faggots and green peas “the talk of the town”; and fresh rabbits. The show included double _____artists, a cycle novelty act and a movie “The Self-Made Wife“.
“We originally went to a one room Strawberry Vale School but that was later replaced with a new two room school.” The original building is currently a historical building on the Strawberry Vale School grounds. The Barker family lived in a large two story Holly Hedge farmhouse across from the school. Frank says school grades at that time were first, second and third primer and junior and senior fourth. High School started after that. “I finished school at Strawberry Vale School in 1921 half way through junior. My father had a second hand store at 736 Pandora by that time and I had to go work for him.
Memories of Charlie Flitton
“Mrs. Beckwith was our teacher at Strawberry Vale, while Mrs. Ozart was my teacher at Margaret Jenkins. Old lady Ozart came to Strawberry Vale one day to substitute for Mrs. Beckwith. She was standing on the veranda when I threw a basketball through a window and broke a light bulb. Mrs. Ozart made me stay after school. Another, McMichael, was hit right square on the nose with a ball thrown by Stewart. His nose bled like hell.” Charlie quit school before the end of grade 6. “I told Frank to tell the teacher I won’t be back.”
“I was was 5,000 lines behind in writing ‘I must learn to obey myself in school’. I tied 5 or 6 pencils together to write the words and wrote thousands.”
“I went to work for Hull’s herding cows and cleaning pig barns. Albert’s son Aubrey later had a big potato farm at Jacklin Road.” Jack started school when he was 7 or 8, but because of the knowledge learned assisting Agnes with her homework, he was promoted to third primer after his first year.”
“The teacher, Miss Barker, was a limey and when she taught us to sing, we learned the songs with an English accent.” Even though he missed school much of the time keeping his mother company, he was first in the class with all A’s and B’s. Jack still has his first year mid-Term and Summer Term reports cards. Miss Barker ended up in Essondale.”
“Other residents of Charlton at the time included the Arbuckles, Balls, an eccentric Old Swede across from Ball’s, Alex Nelson, Bill Court and Jackson the druggist. His store was on Pandora at Douglas and Terry’s Drugstore was across the street.” Terry’s had a second drug store at Douglas and Fort and the Hiscock’s drugstore was situated at and Yates. “Arbuckle was strange, not well liked. He and his wife were always” Bernard recalls. He was not well liked but kind to Jack and Agnes and often gave them “speckled egg” candies. Percy Fisher owned a pig ranch at Granville and _______. His house burnt down about that time. Hull’s had a pig farm immediately north of Fishers.
Flitton’s horse, Billy, died and was buried in Hulls field. It got its front leg caught up in its halter and strangled, creating a problem for Josephine as Billy was their main source of transportation. After that they traveled on the Wilkinson Interurban, a trolley that ran between Victoria and Brentwood. Raper’s 200 acre farm with large barns was further up Burnside. The creek in the field was damned and stocked with crawfish and trout. Jack loved fishing so Agnes took him fishing often at the dam. They weren’t allowed to fish at Raper’s and Jack and Charlie both got caught at different times. Burnham lived at 4129 Holland at the top of Hastings Hill. His brother Ernie lived with parents at the bottom of the hill. Bill has passed on, however his wife Alice still lives in the same home. She was 18 when she moved to Strawberry Vale in 1923. Bill bought a 1910 Hupmobile Roadster for his brother at Sooke. Charlie and Bill towed it with a Model-T. The Sutherlands lived in the 4,000 block Holland, and Eric Foster, lived further on Hastings near Red Peters at 1271 Hastings. Red had three sisters; Elsie, Clara, Gracie. Clara married a Jimmy Jackman.