[Regina, Sask.]
Sunday morning [17 Sept. 1950]
or just after noon hour Daylight
Saving Time

Dearest Cayke:

We arrived in Regina about ten a.m. today. At Calgary all the Whitney family met me at the station yesterday morning – Ralph, Ernestine, Ann, Oran and the two little boys (one with spectacles, the other without). We drove around the city, visited the zoo, saw all specimens of the saurians, including Tyrannosaurus rex about the size of three elephants, some done in plaster or cement, others under glass in their petrified skeletons. Rex had a tail bigger than his body – thirty feet long and many feet thick. I wondered how he navigated in his era. All animals were there, leopards, mountain lions, and African lions, grizzlies and polars, gazelles, wild boars in real life. Then we drove along the Bow River where so many of the dinosaurs were dug up from a depth of 1500 feet. They were with us all day (I mean the Whitneys not the dinosaurs). For dinner all of us went to the Palliser Hotel for a good meal – eight hungry monsters including the little monsterlings whose appetite was a good illustration to me of how the great saurians became extinct because of the failure of the food supply on their part of the globe. I was glad to see them all. Ernestine is lovely and Ann is the pick of them all. The youngsters are very bright.

I got a lot of information from Ralph about fossils and mountain structure, supplementing what I got from the Provincial geologist – Dalmage, the husband of Thora – Vi's friend. There is a lot to learn yet and today I learned something about drilling into hard rock from Karl. His father worked on the Rockies and knew a great deal about sandslides etc.

We had lunch – the five of us – at a restaurant. A Mr Buchanan drove Karl & Rita down to Regina. We spent two or three hours together. One amusing incident happened. The clergyman – a Methodist – was to drive us but since the train was late and he knew he couldn't get back to his morning Sunday service, we had Buchanan as a substitute. I learned that the minister's name was Walker and he told Buchanan that he was a class-mate of mine in 1911. I tried to recollect and the man came back to my memory and here is what I said to Buchanan (and the others in the car): 'Yes, I remember him – a most fastidious probationer, so fastidious that a speck of dust on his clothes would send him into convulsions. He stood out above all of us rough fellows by his immaculate grooming and we hesitated to touch him for fear of contaminating him.' I was rattling on like that while the smile on Buchanan's face developed into a grin and then into a lusty laugh which made him slow down his motor-car. Then to stop me from committing myself too far he remarked – 'You know, or perhaps you don't, that Walker is my son-in-law. He married my daughter 4 years ago.' I tried to get out of it as best I could by saying he was greatly respected by his class-mates for his cleanliness and his artistic tastes etc. etc. and Buchanan let me out by remarking, 'My son-in-law is still exactly as you describe him. He goes into the pulpit with all of his ministerial apparel absolutely perfect – collar exactly suiting his shirt and his throat and his broadcloth coat looking as if it came out of a bandbox.' For five minutes I was silent going over in my mind what I had said. Well, so far so good.

Then all of them went back to Francis and I am here in Regina for the day. I telephoned 'Pop' Knight Weaver and shall run up at 5 p.m. to see them. When I get back to Toronto I shall go to bed for a week to make up for 9 nights on a train.

Lovingly Father.

Whitney family
The family of Viola's brother Ralph Whitney and his second wife Ernestine from Red Deer, Alberta. Viola rejoined Pratt in Calgary to travel with him by night train to Regina.