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> Issue 50 > Page 43 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years

Page 43 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (250 reads)

patently. And in an evening, now you take 10 and 12 in a family, darning the socks. And when Sunday came, you know, proud and clean--everything had to be scrubbed. Well, it was overdone, I tell you. Because the walk to the road was scrubbed, right? The whole yard would be raked on Saturday. The knobs on the doors were all brassed. Every week the windows would be washed from the outside, all the windows in the house. Every week. Your shoes were always shined once a week, of course. The wooden shoes were scrubbed. We had a little bit like the Jewish people, a lot of food was cooked on Saturday, so a minimum of work on Sunday. The pudding would be cooked, and the meat would be cooked ahead sometimes. I was born in 1930, and of course we went through that--the Depression was a little later when it was here, but I remember as a child. I was only 6 or 7 years, and you say, "What do you remember, 6, 7 years?" Six, 7 years old till about 12 years old. I'm talking about the times when there was no work, product was not salable, vessels were piled up in big piles, bulbs couldn't be sold, because the whole Western world was collapsing, as far as economics. How you going to sell flowers to somebody who's out of work? There was no income, say from October till May. We used to grow about an acre of strawberries and some rhubarb. So there was 6 months, no income. I've seen my father go into the winter with (what would be) in those days $50. And that would be all. And then he would have another couple of hundred bucks for his seed, for his planting. After a couple of years of this, of poor markets, there was not very much left to get through the winter. So the government of those days--which I don't know too much details about--they had some kind of a re? lief thing. (This is) before the war. And it was, for people who were self-employed, a tremendous thing to take. Hurt their pride. I can still see it. For instance, they would have a scheme where you paid 25C,... and (the govern? ment) would give you a 40<; stamp. And the 40C stamp would be put on a card. And (when) there was like $10 worth, you go with this card to the store--my mother'd buy 3 pair of shoes for us. (And) once a week, I remember--my father and mother were too proud to go--they sent me after school. We would call it "the butter room." A merchant of the town would be sitting there, and you showed how many children were in the family, and for each child you were allowed a package of marga? rine. Margarine was already taking so much over in Holland. And you were getting it for lie, instead of the market price, 20. One per family. Also we were getting a gilder a week. Now, wages in those days were 7 or 8 gilders for a working man. So a gilder a week wasn't very much. There were a whole lot of things involved. For instance, if there was an animal killed, some sick animal or an animal who was in trouble--it would be killed at the local abattoir, and all the people who were on this list would be called in, and they would get a cut of it. As a matter of fact, it wasn't sick meat, but it was what we call a...killing out of necessity. It THE' FLEET Briands Cabs Ltd. Operators of Cape Breton Tours [ Discover the Beauty of Cape Breton J Limousine Service gZCtA CtOff Airport Service Taxi Fieet OD4~D'UU Parcel Picltups 24 KINGS ROAD, SYDNEY Best Western Clapmore Jnn and Conference Centre ANTIGONISH, N. S. (902)863-1050 Indoor Pool / Sauna / Hot Tub / Licensed Dining Room & Lounge Keppoch Mtn. 15 Min. * Weekend Ski Packages Available
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