Long-Term Affect Decisions
A few of years ago Rita and I traveled to Edson to attend my Uncle John’s funeral. The funeral was being held at the Legion because they were expecting a large turnout. Almost everyone in Edson knew Uncle John. He owned and operated Switzer’s Drugs on main street Edson for over 50 years. This store was started by his father and had recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary. Their second store, located in Hinton, was started by two of Uncle John’s brothers and continues in their families. The Edson store continues under the management of my cousin Harold, the third generation pharmacist to run the store.
Uncle John came from a large family (14 children). One of his brothers, Bill – a fighter pilot in World War Two – became a Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly. After his death, the William A Switzer Alberta provincial park was named after him.
We arrived at the Legion Hall early to find people lined up outside the doors. As seating progressed, they ran out of chairs and a fare number of people had to stand along the walls. Although they were not introduced, I learned later that both the Mayor and MLA were in attendance.
Absent mindedly, I thought; “I wonder how many millions of seemingly ordinary decisions needed to be made in order to bring us all to this place at this time? Then I thought; “Why am I here?”
It wasn’t all that hard to come up with an answer.
In the 1930s the Great Depression took its toll. Among millions of others, my Grandfather Powers, was struggling to earn enough income meet the needs of his family. He was working on the CNR out of Edmonton at the time and was paid by the miles he worked. He determined that he could get more ‘miles’ if he moved his family to Edson.
The Powers family lived on their farm just East of Edson, Hazel –their oldest Daughter – became a high school student where she met John and the rest is the Switzer story.
Margret – the 2nd of the Powers children – also grew up on the farm. After graduating from high school she went on to work as a receptionist for an Edson electrical contractor. She met Bob Alford, an electrician who following the 2nd World War – had found work with that same electrical contractor. They married and the rest is the Alford story.
The decision my Grandfather made back in the 1930s was the root decision that brought us to be a part of my Uncle’s funeral – almost 80 years later.
The decisions we make today will have long term effects over multiple generations.