You don't see Ol 'Dan much around the streets of Radisson these days, but ask most anyone about him and they'll say, " Oh yeah, Ol' Dan, great guy, knew him well."
They'll go on to say he was a farmer in these parts for many a year, and that he also liked to hang out at the old Radisson Hotel and most days swig a beer or two.
Ol’ Dan is a bit slower now than he used to be. His hearing is going and he doesn’t see very well any more, but he still knows what’s going on, where he’s been, and what he’s done.
Ask him when he was born and he’ll quickly reply, “November 8th, 1916.” Ask him where he was mostly raised and he’ll tell you it was on homestead number 32-40-10.
According to him, Dan Murphy was born in the old Saginaw School District, which he says is “south and east” of Radisson.
These days, Dan is a resident of a care home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but most of his life was spent in the Radisson area. He says the family moved to Radisson in 1928, and that his schooling lasted until Grade 8, when he “had to go to work.”
He was the oldest of four children, and grew up with “two sisters and one brother.”
A bachelor all his life, Ol’ Dan says he never married because he “was too poor.”
Mostly, Dan remembers farm life, but there was one big event that happened when he was about 10 years old that he says he’ll never forget.
“It was the Fielding Hotel fire, just a bit north and west of Radisson. That was in 1926, and there wasn’t much left of Fielding after that.”
Did he serve in the armed forces? “No,” he says, “I wasn’t called to war.”
Oh, and if you haven’t yet done the math, Dan will soon celebrate his 97th birthday.
(End of Part One)