Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 50 > Page 51 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years

Page 51 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (162 reads)

here, and all that. But you could picture now--I had an empty stomach, and I was kind of half-dazed. So he got me in that hothouse, and he must have said, "Here is this young man to work for you." He must have applied. But it wasn't quite offi? cial. And I said something, "My gosh, now, do I have to work in a hothouse?" Th6 fel? low says, "No, we don't need him." We go back into the car--and it was 5 o'clock. He said, "What am I going to do with you now? Oh," he said, "Frank Lovett, down the creek." I never heard of Frank Lovett. Beautiful people, any-way. Dairy farmer with 12 cows. So I got with the Lovetts, and, "Oh, yeah, sure. We can use that man." Beautiful peo? ple, I'm telling you. One thing I say about Cape Breton people, they're way ahead of Dutch people as far as nice, and related, and less envious, and less keep? ing up with the Joneses. You know your? self. They're salt of the earth people here, most of them. I got in this family, and with a family of 10. The oldest boy was 16. I was 21. But I looked very young, eh--I had a baby face. They took me in the house. "Well," she said, "that's unexpected," she must have said, you know, as far as I could under? stand. "Well, all right." I slept with the young fellow that night, in the same bed. Now, that has to be a lot of trust in a person. I thought afterwards. Of course, I didn't think much of it, because we'd be doing the same thing at home. So I got up early in the morning, you know, like I used to. But Frank was an ea? sygoing farmer--? o'clock, half-past 7, he showed up. And I never milked a cow. He had a small milking machine, 12, 13 cows. And he showed me how to strip. But you don't just learn that right quick, anyway. So, I had felt kind of useless, actually. He milked the cows. (Went) back, and beau? tiful big breakfast. My gosh, I never saw the like of it in Holland--toast, bacon and eggs, lots of milk--I felt like a king. And it was just getting beautiful, eh. Cape Breton--you know, June, around June the 12th--the leaves, and the brook going in the back. Oh, I thought it was a little paradise there, in a way. But I was always kind of business-like, and economic. I sized it up right quick. I said, "Geez, these people can make"--they already had an old car, they had a deep freeze, she had a washing machine. I said. "How is it possible?" You know, we would have to do three times as much in Holland to have at least half what they had. You know, the competitive nature in Holland. And farming wasn't all that bad then, you know, when I came in '51, '52. Anyway, Frank said, "Let's get the field ready, for some oats." No oats planted yet, 10th of June! So we go, over this brook--you know how it is--and through this path--4-acre field. Rocks that big! It was kind of a side of a hill. Now, you know, I'd be rushing to get that field in, of course, the way I am. But anyway, 11 o'clock, half past 11, "Oh, we'd better go for lunch." After lunch, one of the little girls... showed me where the cows were, way up on top of that hill, you know. Which was a nice walk, took all the cows in the spruce, getting them back home, milked them. But I was still. I was calculating all the time. I said, "Gee whiz, this is no coun? try for me to stay in. This is farming like 50 years ago in Holland," you know. In one way they were prosperous, as far Marine Atlantic, Flagships of Atlantic Canada, joining people and places for business and pleasure. For rates, schedules, or ferry information callToll-Free (N.S., N.B., P.E.I.) 1-800'565'470. (3reat ' Marine Atlantic Marine Atlantique Connections DRUG STORES MAYFLOWER MALL - Grand Lake Road - 539-5080 CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA - Sydney River - 564-8151 15 % DISCOUNT TO SENIORS LAST THURSDAY EACH MONTH Free Delivery in the Sydney Area Wooico Drugs operated by Manson Drugs Ltd.
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