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Page 50 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (166 reads)

you're not going there." "Well," I said, "that's where 1 want to go." He said, "If you want to go there, and no other place, you're not going." He said, "What's your next choice?" I should have said Ontario, the Niagara Peninsula or something, if I had known that! But I got it in my head, Cape Breton, now. I was taken with the point of view of be? ing a farmer, eh? "Well," I said, "if I can't go to that coast, the other coast must be okay, too." So he said, "Well, No? va Scotia. That's all right." So I got the papers to go to Nova Scotia. Halifax, Pier 21. But the boat didn't go, and they got some planes going. And there's one of them--propellers--and there were only 5 people in the plane, that could hold 60. I never knew why. Flew to Montreal. She was empty. I think she was picking up a load. I had it good, because all the other emigrants, mostly all of them, went by this stupid military boat. Some of them had some bad boats. But I must have been privileged. And I was just inoculated with smallpox, 6 days before. And I got so terrible sick on , In rY:' Local $200 Million Company • Managed and Controlled by Nova Scotians • Leaders in No-Fee Registered Savings Plans • Owned by Credit Unions • Service • Flexible Mortgages • Debenture Investment Certificates League Savings & Mortgage 235 Charlotte St., Sydney, N.S. 81P6H7 Phone:539-8222 The best kept secret in Nova Scotia the train (from Montreal), I don't remem? ber very much. I remember getting in Saint John, on a ferry to Digby. And I was lay? ing on board, and I can barely remember. And some American couple took an interest in me. And instead of going on the train, they drove me through the Annapolis Valley. So I landed at Pier 21 (Halifax). And right away I went in bed for 3 days, and I don't remember that part. But anyway, af? ter, I recuperated. So here we got the notice to get on that train, eh, that stupid train coming from Halifax. Left around 2 o'clock. In those days, the Canso (Causeway) was not ready yet. (You're all men.) All men--5 men in this group. This little group was going to Cape Breton. They all had some kind of a destination, except me. So this man, this son-of-a-bitch--he picked us up in his car at Sydney at 8 o'clock in the morning. He never asked if we had breakfast--we had no breakfast. And he talked a mile a minute, and his Eng? lish- -I had some English, but.... Of course, we had difficulty anyway with this Cape Breton English. And besides, not hav? ing enough of it, you were translating, eh? Your first year or so, you're trans? lating all the time, till you think in the language. Anyway, a hot day, the 5th of June. He drove around Cape Breton. He went up to Grand Mira--Lauchie Gillis, the butcher-- he dropped one off. And then he had to go around the other way. Grand Mira, and drop one off. Finally, it was 4 o'clock. And I was pret? ty squamish. And he talked, wherever he stopped, he talked and talked--never thought much of us. As far as I know, it was business. So finally he ended up where the hothouses were in North Sydney--they were very busy. And one thing I never had use for was work in a hothouse, I'll tell you. But, being an immigrant, I should have said nothing. You know, you should be thankful being ~ IXI'B'U'TES Of LOI' ~ '..mM.L John D. Steele's Sons, Liiviited ROUGH STOCK, SAWED AND POLISHED SLABS, FINISHED 32 William Street MONUMENTS 794-2713 (atter hours: 794-2002 & 794-3171 NORTH SYDNEY, N. S.
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