History column brings back happy memories

Elida Peers writes about Byron and Phyllis Johnson

Re: Byron and Phyllis: a love story (Sooke History, March 11)

Elida Peers history column brought back a number of great old memories, most of them from the early 1950s.

Our family was fortunate enough to have formed a friendship with Phyllis and Byron, and we shared a number of good times with this fine Sooke couple.

My introduction to the Johnsons came about through my parents, Bill and Ragna McClimon.

For some reason, our family joined a dancing group, which included the Ralph Kirbys, the Sam Elroses, and the Tom Moneys. Perhaps a few others.

All the dances were in our family homes and the “orchestra” was definitely local.

We went to great lengths to make sure we kept our meeting dates.

I recall one winter day when it was the Johnson’s turn to be hosts. A pretty fair snowfall had made the roads hazardous, the Sooke River Road being one of them. Byron and Phyllis lived on the west side of the river and they gained vehicle access to their house by a modest bridge he built (likely unauthorized).

Ralph Kirby and I spent part of the day shovelling snow off of the two planks that served as runners for the wheels. Clearing the road up to the house completed the job. That evening, cold but bold singers and dancers found their way to the scheduled gathering.

And that was one of things that stands out in being fortunate enough to have known the Johnsons.

Thanks for bringing the Johnsons back to life and the present day, Elida. Elinor and I always read and enjoy your history articles.

David McClimon

Sooke

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