John Auld, East Coulee, AB

I got a nice garden and lawn. I pretty well had a garden all my life. See, those are all fruit trees out there. I like to tinker around with stuff like that. Well, it's something to do, especially since I'm retired and there isn't a helluva lot else to do.

I was born in Taylorton, Saskatchewan, in 1911. My dad ran a store in Taylorton and did a little rum-running across the border.

I started coal mining at the M&S mine in Bienfait, Saskatchewan. I worked about 40-odd years, all of it underground. I was a contract miner at one time and from there I went on a loading machine. After that, I ended up an underground mechanic. I was jack-of-all-trades: fire boss, mechanic, joy-loader operator. Plus I spent five years in the army.

When we moved to East Coulee from Bienfait, we couldn't even get a place to live. It was full of shacks. I think there was somewhere around 400 men here. It was a damn good place – by God! There were six stores and about four beer parlours.

I may have outlived my distance, right now. When you get over 70, you're on borrowed time.