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Most of the artworks in my exhibit are based on Alda Dale Randall’s daily entries. However, Dale often wrote of her hunger for literature, and at one point in her diary, she begins to write fiction alongside her diary entries.

October 3, 1920          Oh for something to read! There’s nothing here but the Doctor book & the back pages of this diary – I don’t know which is worst!

October 8, 1920          He (Guy) read my “Bunny Snow Shoe” story & thinks I could make an interesting book from the contents of this diary…I guess I’ll begin & work up a few stories anyhow to see how it goes but just now I must wash dishes & finish washing stockings.

Some of Dale’s short stories were published in magazines including the Family Herald and the New Yorker. Many of her stories and poems can be found in her second diary.

March 12, 1938           Sent to Family Herald 2125 word story “Moose Mud Spruce & Muskeg” with picture of moose & children

March 29, 1938           Sent article “Wisdom in N. Land Gardens: How I Keep up my Morale” to Country Guide & N.W. Farmer

September 20, [1938] Sent the bear & moose stories to the Family Herald – The Little Night Visitors to United Church Pub. Co.

Marlena Wyman - Wld exquisite things

“Wild exquisite things” by Marlena Wyman. 16″X12″. Monotype, oil stick and oil pastel on encaustic and paper. 2015 (vintage photo in this artwork is an unidentified found photo)

From her accounts, Dale’s marriage to Guy was a happy one and they shared in the work of the homestead. Dale often took care of the homestead alone with their young children when Guy left to hunt and fish for food or to supplement their income by fur trapping or working in town. At these times, Dale wrote of missing him, and his return was always a reason for celebration.

A story in the local history book “Trails We Blazed Together” relates that Guy died of congestive heart failure on October 24, 1939 at the age of 52. Dale continued to farm with some of the children until 1941 when she purchased a lot and had a house built in High Prairie where she resided until her death February 13, 1977 at the age of 89 years.

Dale was an active community builder and took part in many of the town’s organizations. Her love of books inspired her to help establish the local public library and museum.

PG 191

First page of Alda Dale Randall’s short story: page 191 [1921] (Provincial Archives of Alberta, Accession #PR1994.0202

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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