The boys
called him Goldie

....There are people and there are giant chunks of iron and hydraulics called ma- chines in the forest around us. With apologies to the Great Yellow Traktor Co et al, I prefer the people. And there are and have been so many different types of people who play their role in the various phases of our forests. All are not   choppers  of wood,  but all should

have their credits posted on the big notice board in the sky.
....This is the story of my friend “Goldie” – Ted Goldbloom. He was a salesman to loggers when I knew him. I guess he knew thousands of loggers. I never heard a logger say a bad word about Goldie. He was some fellow.
....In the days when the coastal logging camps were scattered along B.C.’s rugged coastlines – with no connecting roads or easy access – the traveling salesmen would find their way into the camps and sell their wares. They were known as “the travelers.” Some catered to the cookhouses or commissary needs and some to the personal needs of the logger. The logger was Goldie’s man, and like a true salesperson, each sale was an important event.
....Ted was my favorite “traveler.” Not just because he was a friend, but because he was expert at his work. He was born to sell. It really didn’t matter what he sold – as long as he could give his pitch and sell.
....He passed away a while ago and he left a most precious document behind for his family. It is a short account of his life. It tells of his love for his family and of the people he met along life’s journey. It would make a delightful little book. I have been given permission to quote from this personal journal, and I thought Ted’s writings might be appreciated by those who knew him.
....He begins by telling of his father, Samuel Goldbloom, born in a small vil- lage in Latvia. In the early 1880’s at the age of 16 he came to Canada and settled in Winnipeg.

good salesman’s son who had the bug like his father. He learned his trade in jewelry stores in Vancouver and in working for the South Bend Watch Co. in South Bend, Indiana. He went on the road in Iowa and Manitoba. He worked for Square Deal Miller in Detroit and in 1917 he joined the United States Army

in Des Moines at Camp Dodge.
....Ted never got overseas to what he calls “the big one.” But instead, after being mustered out, he headed for Van-couver with $150 in his pocket. His next 10 years were spent at times with his father on the road selling whatever he could sell. He was appointed trave-ling watch inspector for the Canadian National Railway at no salary, but he could ride anywhere from station to sta-tion across Canada and stop off and sell his wares at mining and lumber camps.
....Ted writes: “As a salesman, my father was in a class by himself. He was the type of salesman that all salesmen would aspire to.
....“He had a severe angina attack and I put him in a private room in the hos-pital with special nurses around the clock. I had a phone put in his room. He became quite critical and one evening as I was leaving the hospital the doctor told me “Mr. Goldbloom, your father is critically ill and may not survive the night.”
....“I stayed close by the phone and with great trepidation answered the phone early in the morning. The voice at the other end said weakly, “Tevy, (that’s my real name), when you come to the hospital, bring a nurse’s watch – I just sold one to the nurse!”
....Ted opened up a small office in Vancouver at the Dominion Bank Buil-ding on Hastings Street in 1933 and this would be his headquarters, his store and his visitors’ parlor for near the next 50 years. He hired Betty Hicks, daughter of Herb Hicks, who operated
by: Bill Moore
....Ted writes: “I never cease to wonder with great respect and admiration for those early European immigrants who arrived in the country, not knowing one word of our language. Most without skills except their own talents and ambitions and a desire to work and pioneer in a young developing country.
....“My father was penniless but was able to borrow a few dollars and filled a suitcase with household goods like pins and needles and thread – thimbles and a number of odds and ends which would appeal to housewives. He took his goods from door to door and soon added cheap watches, gold rings, gold chains and the odd little diamond.”
....“He became acquainted with a few lumbermen who had camps in the Lake of the Woods district in Ontario. They took a liking to “Sammy” and invited him to come to their camps and sell his goods. Soon he had a good-sized territory among the camps. Not bad for a young kid!”
....Ted was born in 1895 in Winnipeg and, as a good salesman will do, his father moved the family many times to greener pastures. He writes of a life as a boy in Montreal and Worchester. He recalls in his story the street lights of Worchester being lit by gas, and the attendant lighting them up with a step ladder and a wick. Horse and buggy were still the chief mode of trans-portation in the town in 1907.
....Space does not permit me to write of Ted’s youth – but it was typical of a
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a large well-known loggers’ employ-ment agency. Through Betty’s father he came to know the owners of logging camps in the Queen Charlotte Islands and elsewhere. He made his first boat trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands logging camps in 1940.
....“It was a long boat trip to the Charlottes and the boat stoppped at all the fishing vand logging camps. It would take me a month to cover them. The Finnish and Swedish loggers were great customers and I got along werll with threm. They were extremely honest and I had no hesitation about giving them credit with just a handshake.
....“They would stay out in camp for six to eight months at a time and never touch a drop of liquor, but on the day that they would leave for Vancouver they would get drunk and stay that way until they got back to camp. It was heartbreaking at times to see the terrible results they suffered from their additction to liquor.
....“I had one customer whom I shall never forget. His name was Arne Ramsbottom. He was a tall handsome man and, when sober, a soft spoken polite gentleman. When he was drinking he was loud, boistrous and bother-some. He never left for camp without owing me $1,500 because I had loaned him quite a bit of money besides paying his hotel bills and his bootlegger. When he got back into camp he worked just long enough to pay me his account in full – and then he committed suicide.”
....Ted decided to take on the Warren K Cook line of clothing and was sent a shipment of cloth samples, order books and a tape measure.
....“I sold the first suit to a faller in Chamis Bay. The pants fit him per-fectly. I don’t know whether I should mention the coat – but the replacement was perfect and he was happy. That was the only misfit I ever had.
....“So I did get a reputation for selling high quality merchanidise. It was the same with jewelry and watches as with clothing. I handled only the top quality lines. So, added to jewelry and watches, I now had a top clothing line as well as radios, weashers and dryers, refrigerators and luggage. It was 1941 and things were looking up.
....“The mode of transportation on the west coast of Vancouver Island was by steamship from Port Alberni to Chamis Bay. The ship would be full of loggers, miners and fishermen. The Gibson bro-thers, Gordon, Jack, Clarke and Carson would be passengers on the ship  as  they  had  logging   camps  at
Tahsis and Chamis Bay. They were fine men and they welcomed me to their camps. Bill Becker was their superin-tendent, a man of great character and ability.”
....Ted writes of the Gibson brothers selling out to the East Asiatic Co and only retaining their logging camp of Jeune Landing near Port Alice. Jack McKercher became superintendent at the Tahsis Co’s new camp at Gold River and he writes of Jack:
....“I always used to get ulcer pains in the pit of my stomach every time I had to make myself known to a new super and that’s how I felt when I met Jack McKercher. Gold River was one camp I didn’t want to lose. It was in a remote area of the West Coast and inaccessible except by boat or seaplane. There were about 200 loggers there and a large number were regular customers of mine.
Jack put me at ease right away and surprised me by saying that he thought I
“I had loaned him quite a bit of money besides paying his hotel bills and his bootlegger. When he got back to camp he worked just long enough to pay me his account in full – and then he committed suicide.”
was doing the company a service by selling on credit, which kept the men in camp and reduced the labor turnover. Jack and his wife Betty became great friends of mine.”
....I met Ted about 35 years ago. He was always welcome at our camp and the loggers always looked forward to lis-tening to his great sales pitch and getting stocked up on a new suit or a watch. It is true, I believe. Of those days that a good many loggers would go bare backed in the city if it hadn’t been for Ted and his trusty tape measure and clothing samples.
....Jim Fishback worked for me as a high rigger – and a good one. He loved to sport flashy rings. Once a year Goldie would bring a new diamond ring to camp for Jim and take his old one back in trade. When Jim died, he had a $2,000 diamond ring on his pinkie.
....Ted would visit the logging camp of Doc Gildersleeve in Rivers Inlet and he relates: “One time I recall there being 11 grizzly bears within 500 feet of the cookhouse.”
....Then this story:
....“Easter Sunday of March, 1951 was

my very last trip to a logging camp. I was at the Gibson camp at Chamis Bay. I had radioed for a float plane to pick me up and take me to Zeballos, a half hour flight away. It was pouring rain and there was a strong wind. I sat up front with the pilot with two ladies and a child behind me. We tried to persuade the pilot to wait a while as the visibility was becoming poor. He headed down the wrong channel think-ing it was to Zeballos and we were lost. The pilot decided to land, but due to the heavy downpour, the water was so agitated it was impossible to judge the depth. He saw a faint outline of an island and decided to land the plane. We hit the water and crashed. We had come down in six inches of water and the plane somersaulted and came to rest upside down. Miraculously there was only one minor casualty. I hit my head and the scar is a slight reminder of a very lucky experience.
....“The radio was out of order and we managed to wade ashore, about a quarter of a mile. We found a deserted shack with an old rusty stove and got a fire going and cooked some barnacles. The next day at noon a plane found us and took the other three passengers. I tried to sell the pilot a watch, but he was too busy worrying about getting fired. He was. A fisherman picked us up before the plane got back and I sold him a 21 jewel Hamilton Railroad watch.”
....Ted spent five days in the Zeballos hospital recuperating.
....“Of course there were many more small camps that were real fun to call on. They were located in remote areas. Camps like Sullivan Bay, Hudson Bay, Charles Creek, Wakeman Sound and Viv Williams’ camp near Bella Coola.”
....“There were friends and loggers like Bob Bell, Herman Steenhoff, Oscar Neime, George Green, John Hemming-son, Jack Christiansen, Slim Beall, bob Payne and Frank Hole and many more. And I am indebted to them all.”
....The boys in camp liked Goldie. No, he wasn’t a chopper of trees. But he knew many of the men who were, and he held their respect while he serviced their needs.
....I’ve known many in my life, in this forest around us, and Tevy Goldbloom was one of the finest I have ever encountered.

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore

30    ·     BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN                 JUNE 1985