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> Issue 66 > Page 65 - From Visits with Alfred P. MacKay of Big Harbour Island

Page 65 - From Visits with Alfred P. MacKay of Big Harbour Island

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1 (148 reads)

oatmeal--there was a mill here. They didn't have to buy anything, as far as I can see. Not very much. (Did you ever go away for a job?) Yeah, once. I came back! Alfred laughs. I went out to Regina. I went on an old Harvest Excursion, you know.r It was kind of a failure. I think I had $80 when I came back. So it wasn't much better than it would have been here. I learned one thing when I was out. If we worked as hard here as they were working out there, we'd be better off. Because I worked from 5 o'clock in the morning till 10 at night. So I was figuring if we'd do that here, maybe we'd be better off than we were. (But did you like working those hours?) I didn't mind it. I wouldn't be tired or anything. I didn't like the country. The water was terrible. And it was dry. I nev? er saw a drop of rain the whole summer I was there. And the ground drifted like snow does here in the wintertime, when it would blow. There was no sod or anything, you know. This is the best place to live, I thought. You're only going to make a living, anyway. If you have something more than you need, it'll never be any good to you. Isn't that right? (Yes, I think that's true.... So you came back here, and you took on the farm. Is this where you worked all your life?) That's right. (You didn't look for jobs elsewhere.) Well, no. I've done a lot around here. I fished lobsters. And I had boats, and fished herring and everything that's going. We had 8 milk cows, and we had a bunch of sheep and stuff. The times were so bad, and there was nobody would buy beef or nothing. There was an Indian and he came--he was a good fellow, too. And he had no beef. He said he'd buy some beef. He said, what did I want? So I gave him the cow--I butchered her. She was a good meat cow, and just split her down the backbone. I told him, "Give me two boxes of oysters, you can take TAYLOR'S DENTURE CLINIC I DENTURES I CONSTRUCTED, RELINED & REPAIRED J. B. TAYLOR • LICENSED DENTURIST D.V.A. & Dental Plans Accepted SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR SENIORS Registered with "TAPS" (Services for Veterans) MONDAY-FRIDAY: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. (AFTER HOURS ON REQUEST) 92 Charlotte St., Sydney 564-9111 Alfred: "My father's brother.... He was here too. Alex was his name- Alexander. He trapped some muskrats, see. He left home with 7 muskrat skins. And he walked to Arichat. And he got on a vessel, and went to Boston. And after he was awhile in Boston, he bought an ox and a cart. And he (went to) Montana, selling booze. He died a millionaire. He owned a silver mine. And there was a Carmichael fellow that lived in Whycocomagh. They joined up together. And the name of the bank • they had a bank • MacKay & Carmichael. For years, that calendar came to the house • MacKay & Carmichael in Montana • for the business they were in...." half of it." That would be about $10 value of it at the time. So you couldn't make a living on raising cows, you know. I suppose it's 30 or 40 years ago. And they all had calves--that would be 8 calves. What was I going to do when the winter came? I MuUins SheU i??o;s:'Cans & Convenience | ??V, Tires & Batteries Accessories Camping/Fishing Supplies Hardware J' [%' Groceries Subs Sandwiches Burgers Wat-a-Pizza j,' j! Post Office Outlet Lottery Tickets jS !v' Summer Hours: 7 Days a Week • 7 AM to 10 PM '}$ i? ALBERT BRIDGE g :'- Louisbourg Hwy, Route 22 • 562-1070 l> BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE Senator's Place, Third Floor, 70 Main Street GLACE BAY, NS BIA 4X9 Telephone 849'544 • Fax 849'549 Glace Bay • New Waterford • Dominion • surrounding a hndoyvs! 341 Welton St.. Sydney SERVING ALL OF CAPE BRETON PRODUCTS LTD. Phone:539-4111 • No structural changes • No more painting • Clean from inside FREE ESTIMATES 65
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