The arrival of spring

By Sandra L. Brown

April 13, 2017 12:00 AM

A freshly scented breeze brings with it promises of spring’s long-awaited arrival as songbirds melodically greet a sunshiny day. 
Flying overhead, geese noisily announce their return, anticipating the warmer weather to come.
The arrival of spring in April 1938 began abruptly with a raging blizzard which swept over the Prairies lasting for several days. 
Drifts from five to 10-feet deep were piled up high against the store fronts, leaving Lloydminster streets with a sub-polar appearance. 
There was a lot of shoveling to be done and teams of horses helped to clear the streets.
Well-known for his beautiful displays of home-grown flowers, the president of the local Horticultural Society lost his entire greenhouse to a rampant fire.
Estimated at a loss of $100,000, its cause was not determined.
The operator at the central telephone office had extreme difficulty in sounding the alarm as the siren was clogged with snow from the blizzard. 
Mr. Brown announced his determination to rebuild.
Apparently the blizzard did not affect—or perhaps it did—one of Mr. A. Jenkins’ White Leghorns.
Reportedly, an egg which measured 9.5 by 7.5-in. and weighing more than four ounces was laid. 
It contained three yolks.
The catchy newspaper headline was, “Can you beat it?”
With winter making its temporary reappearance, the covered ice rink was reopened after being closed for three weeks. 
This made skating in April somewhat of a Lloydminster record.
The Miller Hardware store was given permission to extend the closing date of their paint sale because of the blizzard. 
Despite the postponement of organizational meetings and social events, folks stayed optimistic. 
Meetings for the tennis and baseball clubs were rescheduled.
Golfers anticipated setting up a new golf course at the Exhibition Grounds. 
Folks were encouraged to look their best for the many community celebrations.
New spring frocks, smart suits and hats were advertised.
Bakeries encouraged early orders of their freshly baked hot cross buns. 
Stores advertised Easter goodies ranging from chocolate eggs, toy novelties, boxes of Moir’s fresh chocolates and a complete line of greeting cards. 
With promises of “service with a smile,” special prices and home delivery; grocery stores advertised all the perfect ingredients for making a special Easter meal.
By today’s standards, these prices sound so inexpensive; a 20-lb sack of rolled oats for 97 cents, two dozen eggs for 25 cents, two heads of lettuce for 23 cents, a seven pound sack of salt for 17 cents, five pounds of fresh brown sugar for 35 cents and two pounds of Red Rose coffee for 59 cents. 
Also advertised at two packages for 23 cents was the new Kelloggs All Wheat cereal for “both kiddies and grown-ups.”
This was during the days when cereal came with a toy, in this case an airplane model.
For the Easter holidays, the Canadian Pacific railway offered reduced fares between all stations. Travellers could enjoy a round-trip for the price of a one way fare and an additional 25 cents. 
Churches invited worshipers to attend early for song services and communion as seating was limited.
Sponsored by the energetic Kinsmen Club, the social event of the season was held on Easter Monday, April 18th at the Alberta Hall. 
The fashion parade started at 9:30 p.m. with dancing until 2:30 am. 
The Edmonton Red Jackets, a talented group of musicians renowned for their sound effects and vocalists, performed to a crowd of holiday dancers in the festively decorated hall.
The dance program included moonlight waltzes, spotlight and balloon dances. 
Decorative hats and noisemakers added to the fun filled merriment.
In anticipation of spring planting, a variety of garden seeds including the popular Pike and McKenzie brands were available for purchase or by mail order. 
The Western Producer offered 15 packages of garden seeds free with a new or renewed subscription to the well-liked publication. 
Personally, as April arrives I’m weary of experiencing first-hand what it feels like to live in a snow globe with its sparkling crystals.
We all crave the warmth and promise of spring.
But, let’s face it, prairie folks are hardy and we’ve been well conditioned to never put our snow shovels away until at least June.

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