Boots Kadow and her Coffeemobile

Boots Kadow and her Coffeemobile, 1963
Logs loading onto the Kinko Maru on Terminal 2, 1964
Log ship docked at Terminal 2, 1961

September 18th 1962 – The NY Journal of Commerce mentions Archer Daniels Midland Company grain elevator facility at the Port of Vancouver . . . and during the same year, Beulah “Boots” Kadow began operating the Coffeemobile truck on the Vancouver waterfront.

From 1962 to 1981, Beulah “Boots” Kadow had a near bird’s eye view of the operations at the port. She traveled to the port’s grain elevator and Terminal 2 daily with coffee, soft drinks, sandwiches, and pastries for longshoremen during their breaks. She recalled, “When I started, they were loading a lot of logs out of the water, lifting them with a crane onto ships. The men with their cork shoes had to work down on the logs, putting slings on them so they could be lifted.”

Ship crews traveling to the port from all over the world frequently utilized the Coffeemobile. “I couldn’t understand most of what they were saying,” Kadow said. “They’d hold out their money, and I’d take the right amount.” For many years, Boots kept her collection of foreign coins from those early days, mostly from the Far East.

Boots and her husband Roy, who worked for 43 years as a longshoreman at the port, had six children, two eventually following their parents to the port. LeRoy worked as a crane operator and Steve as a foreman at the grain elevator.

Boots Kadow was among the first women who worked on the Port of Vancouver waterfront, and her legacy will live for centuries to come.

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