Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 38 > Page 63 - Bill Forbrigger and Coastal Schooners

Page 63 - Bill Forbrigger and Coastal Schooners

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1 (184 reads)

north. There'd be'a nor'wester, we couldn't get out, we'd have nothing to do for a couple of days. No work at all when you were sailing. All you had to do was steer it. Cook a bite to eat. The work was when you got in and unloading lumber, or unloaded brick or potatoes, or anything of your cargo--that was the work. We didn't shovel any coal--only in the Madeleine Is? lands. We raced lots of times to get to dock in Charlottetown first. There'd be a bunch, probably 20 vessels making for Charlotte? town. Well, some of the fellows would an? chor on the flats. I was one of the fel? lows that'd go right in the docks and stick her in the mud--to get ahead, un? loaded first. Get in there the middle of the night, dark as the devil, and tide there. I used to do a lot of that--sneak into the wharf. Sometimes stick her in the mud way up, low tide; high tide, she'd flood. To get ahead, eh? I'd be foxy. (Family: Dad, what about when your brother had the toothache?) Oh, no. They'll all laugh at me, why should I tell that? (Which brother?) Raymond. Oh, I hate to tell that. It's the truth, but none of them will believe it. Well, I suppose I'll have to tell you. My father and I, and my brother, the old? est fellow, were beating up the Lake, down by where the new bridge is there now, Seal Island. Well, above that--Man-o'-war Point--between that and Big Harbour.,.. See, she's laughing at me already. So he took the toothache. Oh good God, he was go? ing right crazy with the- toothache--ready to jump overboard. So my father took a nail and he pointed it, and told him to pick his gums with it till it bled. And go ashore and drive it in a tree that he thought would never be cut down. So I rowed him ashore--he was screaming. And he drove it in a tree. And on the way back, he was laughing. Toothache left him just like that. And the tooth all went to pieces and fell out. They won't believe that. My father also gave him a little prayer to say--but I never heard what the prayer was. I didn't hear. I tried the same thing at Point Tupper, with a nail and a great big old tree we had there--I knew it would nev? er be cut down. At that time, anyway. So I picked my tooth, and picked it, got it full of blood, and I drove it in the tree. But I think it made it worse! (You didn't know the prayer.) Didn't know the prayer, no. TB was bad those days. TB and whooping cough. I had 3 brothers died with TB. They didn't have the smallpox in Port Malcolm, but there was an Island schooner here loaded with potatoes, bound for Halifax. And they took the smallpox aboard of her. There was an old doctor here, old Dr. Mac? Donald- -Dr. Pat, they called him. They took those fellows, 6 of them, to a small cabin out the old Sydney Road, and my fa? ther went out there and looked after them. One died--but he saved the other 5. I re? member when he came home, before he came in the house, he walked right in the base? ment from outside, the back of the house. He went in there and he took all his clothes off and took them out in the field and he burned them. There were no bathtubs in those days. He got a great big tub of water and he washed himself all over and greased himself with something before he ever came in the house. He had the small? pox, fishing out on the Grand Banks. So he was all right. He saved the 5 of them, and one fellow died. Oh God, the flu in 1917 was Canada-wide. Terrible. Oh, it was bad at home. There was nobody but my youngest sister, Gladys-- everybody was knocked out. One couldn't get off of it to help the other--all in bed. She was the only one. She trained for a nurse in Sydney, after. She was only a CtiOW VAN f 00 Enjoy sumptuous Oriental and Canadian Cuisine in a relaxed and elegant dining atmosphere Daily Luncheon Specials Banquet Facilities Available Take Out Orders Welcome Fully Licensed OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK Gift Certificates Available 460 Grand Lake Rd., Sydney 562-0088 or 539-2825 • tf3)
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