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Harold Brunner

On October 10th, 1914, my father was born in the hamlet of Rye in Lount Township in the District of Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. He was the second child and first son of Herman Albin Brunner and Clara Marie Fahrig. The house he grew up in was made of a two story log house, with attached one story building consisting of a dining room and very large kitchen. The house was built on the north side of Jericho Road, just east of the Nippissing Trail Road.

Below is a picture of the farm house where my father grew up.


My father had to walk several miles down the Nippissing Trail Road to go to school. One fine spring day, he and a friend of his went for a swim before school in a local pond. The other child went home to get some dry clothes, but my father did not and had to sit all day in some wet clothing. My father came down with polio shortly after this, so it was felt that he go the polio virus from the swim in the pond.


arrow This is a picture of my father as a small child, about 3. He is in front of his father and has his hand on his cheek.

My father recovered from polio, but not completely. It affected his legs, in particular. The Brunnerís are a stubborn family and both my father and his parents were determined my father would walk again. When he was well enough, my father would get around the house on his rear end by using his arms to pull himself around. After a lot of hard work, he was able to walk again, but he was always unsteady on his feet and had no thigh muscles.

arrow This is a picture of my father as a child. He is standing on the running board of a car in front of his father.

My father had 4 sisters, Esther (the oldest child), Bernice, Mary and Grace. He also had two younger brothers, Edward and Roy. Farm life was hard. In the summer, the farming was done, and then in the winter, they lumbered. When my father was in his early 20ís, he help put in Highway 11 between South River and North Bay. He was part of the crew that blasted the rocks. They would drill a hole in the rock level, put in dynamite and blow up the rocks. My fatherís crew gave him a good head start to get away before the rocks were blown up.


arrow This is a picture of my father (in the center) with his brothers Ed and Roy at a lumber camp.

It is through my Aunt Bea, that my father met my mother, Phylliss Manning. My mother was out of work for a period and when to the Rye farm with my Aunt Bea for visit.

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