They arrived in Jasper in the 1950s when waitresses wore starched uniforms, army surplus equipment was part of Parks Canada's fleet and the parkway to Banff didn't exist.
Today, Rose-Marie and Fred Wall continue to exude a deep love for each other, their family and friends, and the mountains they have called home for over six decades.
Fred was the first to move here.
On Nov. 9, 1956 he pulled into town from a farm at Hay Lakes, Alta.
"That's when I started working for Parks Canada," he said. "I was a mechanic and then a fleet supervisor. We repaired, built, trucks, cars, dozers, the whole bit."
Army surplus equipment included a dump truck with no doors and covered jeeps, which were handy for driving on narrow, backcountry roads.
Rose-Marie (née Bacon) arrived in Jasper on December 8, 1957 from St. Boniface, Man., transferring from a job at a CN Railway restaurant in Winnipeg - known as a beanery - to the same position in Jasper.
"The same day I came, I went to work," she said. "I got off the train, looked at the place - the clear blue sky, white snow everywhere, hardly any people anywhere - it was pristine.
“Coming from the prairies, it was awe-inspiring."
Rose-Marie said staff members were called beanery queens.
"That's my claim to fame," she chuckled.
Staff - about 36 - lived in rooms in the CN building. Rooms were shared by up to eight people. Anyone who worked the night shift, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., - that included Rose-Marie - got to sleep in the preferred two-person room.
"Would you believe there was only one bathroom?" Rose-Marie asked. "There were no curling irons in those days. You did your stuff and got out.
“We had a white smock with green pinstripes (with an CN Railway insignia) and they had to be washed, starched and ironed everyday, and our shoes had to be polished."
Fred lived in a camp across the railway tracks and after work he and his buddies would go to the beanery for coffee.
"One night I was working and in came Fred and his friend," Rose-Marie said. "And I remember so vividly saying to Virginia, 'You see that guy that just came in? I'll probably marry him and stay here for the rest of my life.' We had a good chuckle about that."
Fred felt sparks too.
"I saw this waitress who caught my eye, so I started going there every day," Fred said.
The very first time he came in, Rose-Marie made an extra special milkshake for Fred - he got an extra scoop of ice cream and two dashes of vanilla flavouring instead of one that evening - and every other evening he was there.
She and Fred started dating about a week after they met and the rest, as they say, is history.
They got married on December 27, 1958 and will celebrate 62 years of togetherness this year. They've had disagreements over the years, they said, but never a fight.
"We started our married life with $20 in our pockets," Rose-Marie said. "We thought we were rich."
At first, they lived in one room in a basement for $35 a month, then a $75 a month basement suite, then an apartment and a CN house, before building the house they live in now in 1970.
"Here we are 62 years later, still struggling with accommodation in Jasper," Rose-Marie said.
The Walls raised their children, Perry, Gilbert and Shanon.
Their home was a gathering place for many.
"Everybody came to our house for a dinner, to play cards," Rose-Marie said. "We made Christmas dinner for 35 years in a row. The last dinner we made, there were 27 people."
Junior hockey was a huge part of their lives.
Fred was a coach, a referee, drove teams to games and repaired equipment.
Rose-Marie washed hockey jerseys and socks and hosted work bees at their house, where the clothing was repaired. She served as president of the figure skating club for 12 years.
Fred retired from Parks Canada in 1991.
Since 2004, he has competed in the Birkie, a 56-kilometre skiing competition held in Edmonton, placing first, second or third each time.
"The last race - I was 84 - was in 2017. I got first," Fred said.
He's also a cross-country skier and hopes to give a try this winter.
Fred has summited a few mountains, including the Athabasca, when he was 60. Rose-Marie hiked the Maligne Skyline, a 60-kilometre trail, over three days. That was a month before she had surgery, when she was 54, to replace a mitral valve. She has a pacemaker too.
The Walls have rented rooms to boarders over time, and about 25 years ago they started a bed and breakfast operation. They took this year off, due to the COVID pandemic.
Comparing life in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s with today, Fred, 86, and Rosemarie, 84, said back then, there was something to do that had nothing to do with technology.
Now, "it's too easy to look it up on the computer, rather than to experience it," Rose-Marie said. They conferred the COVID pandemic has made people think twice about what's important in their lives, and what they can do without.
"We're all going to be reset," Rose-Marie said.
These days, Rose-Marie said she and Fred are fortunate because they are still able to look after each other, cook their meals and “putter in the yard”.
Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh