We had travelled on Highway 99 from Vancouver and stopped in the small town of Lillooet on the Fraser River for the night (about halfway between Whistler and Kamloops, and a world apart from flash Whistler). On the way to Dina’s Place for dinner, I spotted a mural and proceeded to take a picture. “Do you know who this is”, a voice rang out from a bench in front. And so it came that we got to know about “Ma Murray“, a local identity who co-founded (with her husband) the “Bridge River Lillooet News” in 1934. A feisty woman by all accounts, brought to life by the story-telling talents of Dan. He would probably have held all of us spell-bound for the rest of the evening, had we not been hungry (it was about 8:30 in the evening, love those long evenings!).
Next day we visited his “House of Jade Mineral Museum” just a couple of steps from this bench. We heard lots more about the past of the place, which is “Mile O” of the original Cariboo Wagon Road to the lure of gold (around 1860). And about Jade – New Zealand greenstone was well known to him, you have to know your competition! His little shop is full of gemstones and crystals – from nearby and from afar – and a story for each.
(I did not say anything about Alfie: when Dan holds the floor, it’s hard to get a word in …)