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Sharing positive life experiences one piece at a time.

Dear Reader, As designers, it’s not often that we get the opportunity to engage so intimately with the people that our work is designed for. So, having the privilege of getting to know Carol and Vera over the past two months was a wonderful and enlightening experience. There is so much that these women have to offer— their wit, humour, knowledge, and sincerity have made this journey a positively memorable one! The stories that follow are a glimpse into the rich experiences that Carol and Vera have shared with us. We are grateful that they have let us into their lives and taken the time to share their unique stories with us. Sincerely,

4 | Vera


Chasing Planes


Sleepy Tea

12 Watercress 14

A Wave Goodbye


Loving Whimsy


“I do”

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An original drawing by Vera, 2018.

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Chasing Planes Growing up, Vera lived just up the street from a park that she and her friends played at. During the War, she and her friends would run after the German planes, trying to chase them away. Once, a German plane was shot down at the park near her house. So, Vera and her friends ran to the site to collect pieces of the plane. It felt like a small victory...maybe her plane chasing was making a difference!

8 | Vera

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Vera and her friends all managed to grab a small piece to keep, and ran as the police chased after them. Luckily the police seemed more concerned about the boys and Vera narrowly managed to avoid trouble. She kept the piece she had collected in her room as a reminder of her plane-chasing endeavors.

10 | Vera

Sleepy Tea Vera grew up 17 miles from London during World War II in a town called Hemel Hempstead. She, being nearly 12 years younger than her many siblings, was the only one left home with her Mother. During these times, Vera’s worrying Mother would often wake her in the night, asking Vera to make a pot of tea as she couldn’t sleep. At the time, young Vera didn’t quite grasp her Mother’s worry, and would sometimes shrug off her Mother’s requests for late night tea. Eventually, all three of Vera’s brothers returned safely from combat once the War had ended and she no longer had to be waken from her sleep to make tea in the night.

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12 | Vera

Watercress In the 19th century, watercress was grown commercially in the chalk streams and transported to London markets. It is still widely cultivated in England to this day. The small town of Alresford is considered to be the nation’s watercress capital. Many years ago, on sunny days Vera and her friends would run along the narrow paths surrounding watercress beds, sometimes falling in, and finding joy in the relief of the cool, shallow, water.

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14 | Vera

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A Wave Goodbye Vera’s older siblings were much older than her, so their relationship with her varied between poking fun at her fashion choices and sticking up for her when their strict mother wasn’t budging on a decision. In her teens, Vera decided to get a perm, and one of her older brothers would joke with her saying, “one more wave, Vera, and you’ll be overboard”.

16 | Vera

Loving Whimsy When Vera got engaged for the first time, it was against her mother’s wishes. They never got married—but just thought it was fun to be engaged.

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18 | Vera

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“I do” Vera’s first marriage was with a tall, Polish man named John. In post-war times, the German spelling of his last name Fischer was a concern for Vera, so to make it easy on Vera, John changed his surname to be spelled without the “c”. The couple stayed together for 25 years. Vera eventually went on to marry Reg. She reminisces about the days when they were dating and they would meet at the dance hall with other couples. Reg was a wonderful dancer and made Vera enjoy dancing even more than she already did.

20 | Carol


Caring for Carol


Tiny Dancer


Summers in Alberta


Beachy Keen


Elevated Envy


Gone with Graduation


Young & in Love

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Portrait of Carol, 2018.

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Caring for Carol Carol says she is the only person she knows that was the subject of a court case as a child. At the time, her parents were fighting and eventually filed for divorce. So, custody needed to be sorted out... especially since divorce wasn’t as common then as it is today. One of her uncles from her fathers side of the family was a lawyer, and he defended her father in court. Eventually, her father was awarded custody of Carol, but subsequently left Carol in the care of her grandmother. Carol joked that she “must be the opposite of the Bing Crosby hit ‘You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby’”, humorously implying that she must have been a terrible baby.

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Tiny Dancer Growing up, Carol’s parents held big family gatherings with dancing, music, and plenty of delicious food. She fondly recalls a memory of these gatherings, being only 2 years old, as her Uncle hoisted her up onto the table so she could be tall enough to dance with everyone. Later, when she was attending King George high school, she participated in dance clubs, dance classes, and school dances. Dance was an integral part of her life. Everything she did revolved around it, and she wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

26 | Carol

Summers in Alberni Carol’s aunt and uncle had a house in Alberni with 27 acres of land. Often, Carol would spend her summers there. It was a place that seemed like it had everything...They had an orchard, a grass tennis court, and much more but Carol spent the majority of her time reading on her favourite log. Almost every day she would venture off to her special spot where she would read. It seemed like she had an endless amount of books to read. Luckily, her aunt was a school teacher and had an enormous selection of books for Carol to choose from.

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28 | Carol

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Beachy Keen As a child, Carol grew up in a house that was only a block away from the beach. So, tired out from dancing all evening at their big family gatherings, she and her family would make campfires on the sand. In the moonlight, sitting on the sun-bleached logs, they enjoyed watching the water wash up on the shore as they talked. Vancouver beaches fill up quickly on bright, sunny Summer days but Carol was lucky to live so close growing up—she was able to go almost any time she wanted (granted the weather was on her side).

30 | Carol

Elevated Envy Although the home Carol grew up in was large and perfect for hosting family gatherings, she was envious of her friends that lived in apartments. Why? Well, she wasn’t envious of the smaller living space. As a matter of fact, she was envious that they got to ride up to their homes in elevators every day. Although she had ample space in her house, the one thing she didn’t have was an elevator.

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Gone with Graduation Carol’s Mother had a “Gone with the Wind” style dress, which Carol wore to her graduation. Although she was dressed much more formally than many of her classmates, the dress made her feel beautiful. Although, when going out to dance she wore shorter dresses to jitterbug in.

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Young & in Love Carol originally met her husband, Jack Young when they were both out rollerskating. She says that he caught her eye in his handsome Air Force uniform. Carol explained, “at the time, rollerskating was very popular...everyone was obsessed with it”. She fondly recalled the night that he proposed to her as she was marking essays. Eventually, the two married at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church in Vancouver on October 4th, 1946.

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Emily Carr University of Art + Design 2018

Zeitgeist Vancouver: Snippets (Full Colour Version)  

Designed in collaboration with Alyssa Martin

Zeitgeist Vancouver: Snippets (Full Colour Version)  

Designed in collaboration with Alyssa Martin