Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 34 > Page 46 - With Frank E. Jackson at 99

Page 46 - With Frank E. Jackson at 99

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/8/1 (339 reads)

North Sydney. And the cable operators weren't allowed to tell, but they knew all the war news that was going on before it got to the United States, because they took it off and sent it on again, here. Casualty lists. The Western Union was get? ting bigger and bigger all the time, em? ploying more and more men, until by the end of the war they had about 300. They were about the best-paid men in town. And that's what the soldiers were defending. I remember the day of the false armistice news, a day or two before the real armis? tice. The word came the war was over. And I think just practicali' everybody in town went downtown. And all these American air? men grabbed every pot and dishpan and eve? rything else they could find. And they marched down the middle of the street mak? ing as much noise as they possibly could. And just about everybody was carrying a flag and waving it. And that night they had a big bonfire out on the ballast ground. A celebration. But it wasn't till the next day or two before the armistice was really signed. So it was an anti-cli? max after that. I guess they'd spent all their energy. (Mr. Jackson, how long were you with Cus? toms?) Frank: Thirty-three years. I left because my eyes couldn't take it. The glare of electric light and the strain. Latterly, I'd be at my office half an hour or so, when the headache would go up, I'd feel it around my shoulders, even. The eye doctor and my own doctor said, "Get out." Doctor said, "If you don't"--this was in the fall--"we're going to carry you out next spring." I got clear of the headaches from then on. But I was never clear of an ache in my eyeballs. Always had that. And now my eyesight is failing. No wonder., When I was collector there were 7 men in the Customs. I was trying to get more. I wasn't gone long before they had 3 more in it. Wouldn't listen to me, but they saw the need after I went. And then it wasn't too long before Newfoundland came into Con? federation. Didn't need them then. They were sucking their thumbs, nothing to do. Now, there's not the shipping, there's not the importing. It's only a small job now. They're down to one man. (How long have you been retired?) Forty- one years. I was never idle. I never sat around twirling my thumbs. I was always ac? tive at something. I still garden. I'll have a garden in Margaree this year. I fished until I was too weak to swing the rod. I used to do a lot of salmon fishing in Margaree. I used to go to Margaree trout- fishing, first, but I graduated to salmon- fishing. So, I had a good salmon rod made by a man in Margaree--Merrill Hart--made out of native maple wood, 11 feet long. With that I used to fish a fairly large hook and fly. And I had better success, I thought, than fellows fishing with lighter rods and smaller flies. I didn't have a good reel. But Mr. Salter here in North Sydney, who used to fish a lot in Newfound? land- -he was dead then--I went to see if his widow had any of his gear left, that I might get a reel. "Oh," she said, "I'm a- fraid that there's not much left. But wait a minute. I'll see." So she went up in the attic. She came back. She had a large Eng? lish reel, a big heavy brass reel. It had been up there so long there was verdigris on it. "Well," I said, "how much do you want for it?" A friend had bought a reel something like that, shortly before that, and paid $15 for it. She said, "How about $2.50?" Well, it struck me such a good bar? gain, I dropped my head. And she thought that I thought it was too much, I guess. "Oh," she said, "give me $2,00," So I gave her the $2.00, and I went to Mar? garee. And a friend drove me downriver, the famous Long Pool that was there then. And a man named MacDonald, he was a good fisherman--along his propertyo So, as I got out there--he was out at the river. Serving Industrial Cape Breton and North Victoria Gerald Brennan, Mgr. Real Estate & Insurance "If you're thinking of selling your home, give us a call." R.Hickey&Co.; P;0. Box 96, 'North Sydney B2A 3M1 Residence: 794-4564 "And remember: No sale, no charge." 794-3119 All Rooms Overlook Sydney Harbour Vista Motel King's Road, Sydney, N. S. RESERVATION NUMBER: 539-6550 Zenith Number: 07940, Anywhere in N. S. (46) Phone (902) 794-7251 Cable BRENNANS Telex 019-35149 Night & Holiday 736-8479 794-3178 Brennans Travel Agency '*4niS' 158 QUEEN STREET, NORTH SYDNEY STEAMSHIP -- AIRLINE -- RAIL AND HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS
Cape Breton's Magazine
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