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> Issue 57 > Page 93 - Gordie MacDougall, Boxer: My Life

Page 93 - Gordie MacDougall, Boxer: My Life

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/6/1 (143 reads)

Then I got straightened away. And then an? other time I went on the skids after I'd fought in Minneapolis. Minnesota, and I went back there. And I went on a drunk, and I couldn't get off it, one time. Off a ship. I'm the only guy that ever missed a ship in Minneapolis, where there's no wa? ter!... 'Cause I got off a ship in Duluth. Minnesota, flew down to Minneapolis, Min? nesota, to visit some friends that I hadn't seen for 13 years. I used to box up there. So I got down, then I got into the sauce and parties. And I forgot--and I missed my ship and everything else. So I was down there for 2 1/2 months. So I was on skid row down there, and I was sleeping in mis? sion houses, 50C a night--250 flops, and oh, geez. On a street corner 5 o'clock in the morning, trying to get a job. Enough work for--like, you know, a furniture guy came along and he wanted to move furni? ture. You know what I mean? They went and they'd hire you for the day. And then at the end of the day they'd give you 10 or 15 dollars. Well, that was good. So you paid 3 days ahead in rent to the mission house, and then you got the rest in wine. (I don't understand about the 78 records. What do you mean by 78 records?) Oh, we used to melt them down. See, we used to go to garbage--see, garbage day--around the city. This is years ago, when the old 78 records were on the go. So there's people had broken records. So they'd throw them out in the garbage. So we used to pick them all up. There's alcohol in records. So we used to go, and we'd take a pot, and we'd go down by the railroad tracks. And we'd boil the records--78 records--we'd boil them down. And we'd strain them through cheesecloth into a pot. And we'd drink it out of a pot.... But jesus. it gave you a hell of a bang after you drank so many of those records. And then you went like loony tunes down the street. (Was it because you were an alcoholic or was it because of your life?) No. My life-- I got discouraged. I was having a bad down time, you know, in life. And everything. And so. I got in with kind of a bad crowd. And then I drifted into the skid row crowd. See, I'd known them.... When I was a young fighter, I used to see all the skid row guys by the old coal haulers' depot on George Street. So I used to go by--"Hi, Gord"--all these skid row bums. "How you doing, Gord? Geez, that was a great fight you had," you know--like, that's the night before.... And I was too young then to go in the liquor store. So I used to give them $6--and they could buy wine for 80C a bottle then. So I'd give them 6 bucks and they'd go in and, gee, they'd come out with about 7 bottles of wine. And then they'd go down back of the Sydney Rink-- the old Sydney Forum--down by the railroad tracks, there used to be a coal trestle there. And J. W. Stephens had shacks down there, construction shacks. Well, that's where they used to drink it. So then after--oh. maybe 8 or 9 years lat? er- -you know. I had some hard times, and I just happened to drift into that life. (Is it fair to ask you what hard times are?) Well, discouragements and--in a boxing game, and I was having discouragement on a job. It was a number of different things. You know, I just thought--everybody thinks the world is tumbling down on you, you know what I mean. And I said, "Aw, jesus." And you think out of the mouth of a bot? tle, it solves everything. You know what I mean. And the more you drank, the more carefree you got. And you forgot all your troubles, see. So of course you drank more to forget all your troubles. So then, when there was nothing around for us to drink, well, we drank anything. We were walking up Charlotte Street one day. And this guy--it was his turn to go in the Metropolitan (store) to steal some shoe polish. (Shoe polish?) Oh, yeah, we Louisbourg! From the Old Town to the New Cruises in Louisbouig Harbour Tours leave ''View the Fortress with a Different Perspective!" ''j, SEA-QUATIC VENTURES SCUBA CENTRE certmed Divers: Guided Tours 10 AM-12:30 PM-3 PM 7 DAYS A WEEK AQUA BUS Harbour Tours • Wreck Diving Tours 564-5662 • LOUISBOURG ofisth-century (Located on Havenside Road. Watch for our sign!) Man-of-War Wrecks I Sydney & ' Louisburg ??iHjDICAI' leiSESSIBLE Railway Museum 5 & L Railway ran coal & passengers from 1895 to 1968. tn s iuL? a Visit OUT display of railroad & marine items, watercolours, 6 depictions of life in Louisbourg. OPEN illllHiiiiifniiiqj'i''f;' Stevens' General Store (Founded in 1914) SPECIALIZING IN FISH Fresh from the Atlantic to Your Pan! COMPLETE UNE OF GROCERIES We welcome tourists & can supply all yowc needs: ??[odak Film • ICE - block & cubes • Camping Supplies FAX Service • COMPLETE LINE OF BAEATS We are open all days & well into tire nigfit! COME IN & BROWSE Phone 733-2060 LOUISBOURG
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