Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 66 > Page 61 - Donald Ross - A Poet in Baddeck

Page 61 - Donald Ross - A Poet in Baddeck

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1 (144 reads)

the first thing I thought of. And even to? day, when'I see a fellow playing a gui? tar.... I used to play the fiddle too, and the accordion. That was at quarter to 11. And it was in November 24th. And there was 4 or 5 inches of soft snow on the ground. I had to get in a car, drive to Baddeck. And Dr. Mac? Millan was in Baddeck then, and another fellow. Dr. Gillis. And they were both out. And I had to wait for, I suppose, 3/4 of an hour. (You drove yourself in alone?) No, no. The other fellows drove me in. I waited there, I imagine, 3/4 of an hour before a doctor came in. And the place where I was at that day, there was a nurse there--Belle MacLeod. So, herself and Dr. MacMillan. I got me to the hospital about 4 o'clock or quarter after 4--City Hospi? tal (in Sydney). I got out of the car and I walked in and I walked up the steps. It was painful. So, they operated. I stayed with my uncle that winter over at the Pier. Before two weeks was out, I wrote a letter to Aunt Mary with my left hand. I could tie my shoelaces. It's wonderful what you can do when you have to. (When you went to the hospital, did you know you were going to lose that hand?) Oh, yes, I knew, the minute I saw it. (Within a few weeks....) Oh, yes, I could tie my shoelaces and write a letter. Today--well, my hand is starting to get shaky. But when I used to write, somebody said, "My gosh, you write good with your left hand." I said, "You should have seen me writing with my right!" It was worse! I was far better with the left hand. Elvis Presley! No. He hasn't been sighted here • but you never know who you might see! [ NORTH SYDNEY IVE>'VI_JiL- Open MONDAY thru SATURDAY 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM But I went to the woods that next winter, and I cut a winter's firewood with a big double-bitted axe--with one hand. (You wouldn't even use--what do you call that?) That's a hook. I got that later. But the first 3 or 4 years, I didn't have any? thing. Then I went to Boston, and I got an artificial hand and a hook. Oh, it wasn't much good. But it never stopped me. I could use a hand scythe, and a rake. I still use a shovel and a rake. (Using mostly the left hand.) Yes, I used to have the hook, you know, on it. (But before you got the hook, you went to the woods. And with an axe....) Yeah, a double-bitter. I cut the winter's firewood. And before I left down at South Haven, I-- the last winter, when the small saw came out--you know, the Webb saw (a bucksaw). Oh, Lord, I was a week before I could get, you know--before I could get that, to hold it steady. I went down below our place on the 21st of November. And on the 21st or 22nd of December a scaler came around, and he sort of scaled it. He gave me credit for 25 cords. I had cut that. (Using a....) A bucksaw. And the last year I used it, in the wintertime I cut between 60 and 70 cords. And then I got a powersaw. And the last two winters that I was at it, I cut over 80 cords the last two winters, with the powersaw. Jessie (.Donald's wife) used to go to the woods with me, with the old crosscut. I remember one winter we cut 2100 logs. I cut out to the foot of our mountain. Well, you know, when today, when I stop to think of it. Well, at that time I had the old crosscut. Walter (their son) was about 5 years old. We had the post office. And of course, people used to come there up till 10 o'clock. But I used to go out in the morning. I'd leave the horse. She'd come out, with Walter on the toboggan. And we'd have dinner. And we used to make a fire. I used to kind of grin now when I think of Walter, if the smoke would whirl around and get in his eyes, how wild he'd get! But she'd saw the trees off the stump with me. About probably 30 or 40 or 50. She'd go home at 2 o'clock. And I used to clean that up and saw them and yard them. But there'd be still some for the next morn-
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download