These days, getting milk delivered straight to your door seems strange, but to Harold Radke the concept is all too familiar. At 83, Radke still remembers his days as one of Ponoka’s first milkmen.
Deliveries were made with his 1954 Chevy half-ton to the local grocers and the some 300 households of Ponoka and surrounding area, including Crestomere and Morningside. He delivered every day, rain or shine, and even recalls delivering after a severe snowstorm.
“I just went out with a shovel and shovelled my way into town.” said Radke.
After 43 years, his favourite part of delivering milk was simply “getting to know everybody.” Since retiring, Radke spent more time riding horses, something he has done his whole life, and enjoys immensely.
“The only hobby I had was riding cutting horses,” said Radke.
His greatest achievement was having one of his horses, Quiver Cat, place fifth out of 58 other cutting horses at the Canadian Supreme in Red Deer.
His most prized possession is the belt buckle he wears every day, made for him by some close friends when he retired from riding in 2005, because, as Radke says, “For all the riding I did, I never did win a buckle.”
Looking back, Radke speaks fondly of his time riding horses and delivering milk for the residents of Ponoka. Though the concept of the ‘milkman’ was eradicated a few decades ago, the memories are still fresh for Radke, and they remain a testament to the earliest days of Ponoka.