Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 59 - Stephen Patrick Sampson - My Life

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/8/1 (157 reads)

We finished pogy fishing in September 1915 and went back home for the winter. But we got lonesome for city life and in 1916 went back to Halifax. We went to the employment office and got jobs with a superintendent who was hiring men to work on trawler boats in Collingwood, Ontario. The boats were built for war purposes. He signed up eighty of us and paid our fares and meals on the train. When we got up there we were taken to a boarding house. All this service was taken out of our pay cheque. On pay day I was having a wonderful time. I went up to the roller rink. A fellow asked me if I could roller skate, I said. "No, only ice skate." He said, "Now is the time to learn. Do you see all the girls sitting in the balco? ny? All you have to do is pay for the skates, they rent them here." I went up and picked a pretty blonde, took her down and had the skates fitted on her shoes, then paid the fellow twenty-five cents. I got him to fasten a pair of skates on my shoes also. We started skating. Some of the good skaters were cutting in and out in front of us. Coming out around the turn I hooked my skate in hers and we both fell on the floor. I felt sorry for her because her skirt went flying over her head. I know she must have been terribly embar? rassed because she was a good skater. All the other skaters laughed at us. I said we better go back in; she said, "No, don't, this is not the first spill I've had until I learned to skate." I walked her home that night and I told her I would like to learn how to roller skate. She said, "I The L'Ardoise Drift This story will be short but it is something that happened in my time. We had a terrible windstorm off the coast of Cape Breton. There was a large ship loaded with bales of leaf tobacco. This ship was driven ashore by the heavy wind and the crew put bales of tobacco with ropes attached to them over the side of the ship to keep the ship from getting damaged. When the bales got broken up, the leaves of tobacco would drift ashore, so we named it the L'Ardoise Drift. The French people there picked up the tobacco and put it on flakes to dry. My father and I brought home two brin bags full. It was good to smoke. Some people said that Wm. Morrison didn't sell much tobacco that winter but sold a lot of caskets. will help you." So I kept going to the rink with her and she became my girl? friend. Her mother was a widow and a very nice person. She would say to me, "Take care of my daughter, Viola, she is very fond of you." She talked about marriage to me and I think I would have but my step? brother James messed it up on me. He had a fellow with him who stayed home every night. They both bought pencils and scribblers and tried to write. Neither one of them had any learning. They got lone? some for home, left their jobs and went back to Halifax. James got someone to write a letter to my mother. He told her that I was go? ing further out west. Mother sent letters trying to get me back home. Then she sent a telegram to me say? ing my father fell off the roof of the house and she couldn't get anyone to cut the hay. Please come home. I went to the boss of the shipyard and told him. He said, "Go and help them out but be sure to come back. It's hard for us to get men while the war is on." So when I ar? rived home. Father was all right. Mother said she lied because I was her baby and she was afraid I wouldn't come back home. I stayed long enough to finish the haymak? ing, and went back to Halifax in July 1916. I got a job on a boat carrying fresh water to the ships in Minas Basin, In the year 1900, my future wife's parents moved from East Jeddore, Nova Scotia, to If you don't like the weather...wait a minute. Our weather ciianges so fast tiiat hazardous road conditions have become a fact of life. Be aware of these conditions at all times and prepare yourself to drive carefully. Caution is the critical factor Transportation and Communications Honourable Ken Streatch Minister
Cape Breton's Magazine
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