Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 41 > Page 6 - Dan Alex MacLeod: a Working Life

Page 6 - Dan Alex MacLeod: a Working Life

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/1/1 (302 reads)

dinner. I was back half past two. He said, "What happened?" "Nothing," "Did you get what I sent for?" "Yeah, there's your slip." Just walked over and sent a tele? gram for a new truck--the best truck that was ever made. So I was on that. And a new manager had come in, for the mining part. So he warned me, "No passengers--you're not allowed to take any passengers." I used to go to Syd? ney- -there were no snowplows then--and I used to get in every night. Oh, I had all the right equipment you could talk of. Long ropes--there were drums on those wheels. Tie them to a tree or something, and pull yourself through. Chain blocks and shovels and bars--we had everything. Kept her going all winter. See, sometimes there'd be a bunch of miners going home on weekend, and they'd want to get a drive back. And I always had lots of shovels, I'd take them back. But anyway, I was coming through Loch Lo? mond one day, and I had two in the cab. And the manager met me. Next morning I was hauled into the office and put on the mat. If anything happened, (the riders) could sue the company. I never said a word, I just let him go. But the next day, he met me with two in the seat, one on each run? ning board! So when I went in--I went in to see Winger, who was boss of the construction company. He was after me all the time to go to work with him, I said, "How about a job?" "Sure," he said. "Well," I said, "I'll be with you tomorrow morning." I was called over to the office. I said, "Before you o- pen your mouth," I said, "I quit last night when I landed your truck in here." I said, "And I'll tell you why. I come in - here every night with my load." "Oh yes, good driver." I said, "You knov?, those fel? lows you saw with me, they even took their team of horses down to pull me through snow. They shovelled the snowbanks." I said, "When I've got to pass them, the job is yours," "Oh, wait, wait," he said. "There's no waiting to it," I said. "I'm not going to be coming in here and put on the mat here every day--that's it." So I turned around. "Wait a minute," he said, "we'll give you passes. Get them to sign it, and you can take anybody you want." And he gave me a yearly pass for my girlfriend! He never bothered me after that. We were in Sydney one time in an awful storm. There were 6 other trucks and a tractor in there. And one of the bosses was with me. I said, "If we can get ahead of those 6 trucks before we get to Big Pond, we'll make Stirling." Well by God, we were getting along pretty good. We got by the tractor and we got by 5 trucks. There was one ahead of us. I said, "That's it. We can't get to Stirling." By God, when we got up on top of the mountain, he was putting water in it. This truck would go 40 miles an hour in second gear. And I always loaded it light when there was a storm. So I drove her in second gear and said, "We'll make Stirling." So, we went. I knew every bank the same as I know every chair in the kitchen, and I was back and forth, back and forth. When I'd be coming to a bank I'd put her in second gear and I'd hold the wheel still. And he'd be like this (covering his face), "Jesus, Jesus, you made a post! Slow down!" I wouldn't slow down till I felt her easing up after going through the bank. And we were in here at 9 o'clock. Those trucks never got in. They had to unload in Loch Lomond and go back, (You liked doing that,) Oh yes, it was a challenge. I've come into the mine lots of times, 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning. Go- (Fumlture courtesy Bonnell-Lubetzki*8, Sydney) 539-6474 Island Crafts A Unique Shop Featuring Locally Handcrafted Items Beautifully displayed children's toys, sweaters, and accessories; fashionable hand-knit sweaters in a variety of colours and patterns; excellent weaving, quilts, unique pottery, handpainted jewelry, wood? work, Christmas display year round, and ever popular Cheticamp rug hooking. A complete souvenir line. OPEN YEAR ROUND: l'ONDAY TO SATURDAY, 9 TO 5; FRIDAY, 9 TO 9 Wholesale: full line of souvenirs 329 Charlotte St, Sydn' 564-5527
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