Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 71 > Page 79 - With Ida Mauger of Cap La Ronde

Page 79 - With Ida Mauger of Cap La Ronde

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/12/1 (169 reads)

the doctors didn't have the flu (shot)-- they didn't know how to treat it. And of course, they were dying like flies. And there was eight died in the family, one after the other. And they were piled all into a box and put in the grave, buried like that, in a grave. But they couldn't afford to buy coffins or things, no, no. know. Twenty-five cents for a gallon, or 15 cents for a gallon of blueberries, or something like that. Well, every dollar counted at that time, you see. You'd go to a store and buy something that you have to pay the money for that you couldn't possi? bly get some other way, well you had a little bit of money like that, you see.... The poverty. When I drive through there (today), I say to myself. Is it possible? I used to go occasionally with my husband. Just for the fun of it, I'd go for a drive with him, you know. We'd take a little lunch. I'd sit in the car and he'd go into the different houses and do his business, with his meat and all. And I'd sit in the car. And oh, I'd enjoy the day so much.... And you know, they had such large fami? lies: 17 and 18 children. Is it any wonder they were poor? They had nothing. (Do you have any idea what caused the pov? erty? Were their farms not good, or did they not have farms?) Well, you see, now, this was years ago, when I was young. I know I couldn't tell you from away back-- but like when I was growing up, all that I know about them--I never lived there. What I know is what I saw, what was going on when my husband used to go selling. And he'd sell vegetables--he'd give them vege? tables. He'd give them turnips and pota? toes. Alphonse Sampson, the neighbour we have here, too--he was very good to the poor people, too, like that. I don't know. I can't tell you, really, how they got to be like that, from years back. But as far as from when I know.... They used to pick berries. There were loads of berries on the barrens there in Petit-de-Grat and Little Anse in there-- foxberries and blueberries. And some of them used to make a little money because they'd pick barrels of them, barrels of them. They were loaded down with them. And they'd go out, a family with all their children, and pick berries. And they'd pick enough berries and sell them, you SUPERIOR FENCING LTD.' Commercial 4 Residential ' Industrial INSTALLATIONS and REPAIRS ' Chain Link Fencing Wooden Fencing Custom Decks Retaining Walls FULLY GUARANTEED Locally Owned & Operated 539-2027 ? AFFORDABLE QUALITY WORKMANSHIP (But if they were willing to get berries and things like that--am I clear that they were willing to work?) Oh, they weren't lazy. Oh, no, they would go--the young ones would run around and, "Give me a lit? tle day's work. I'll put seed for you. I'll work for 25 cents for the day." They'd almost beg you on their knees to take them and give them a little money. They were not lazy. And the fish was so cheap, you know. My fa? ther used to fish a lot of cod. And he used to dry them. They had great big places that they used to put them on, spread them all out. And he would be going out for something or other and he'd say, "Now, girls, if you think there's a big shower coming up"--if we were in, you'd run. "Run up to the fish place and pack them up, and I'll show you how to pack them." Tail and head, tail and head, tail and head--and make little piles of them. And like that they wouldn't spoil. And then, when it got clear, we'd go and spread them out again, you know. If we were Economic Renewal Agency There's no place in the world quite like Cape Breton Island. A rich blend of culture and heritage, and the warmth of the people have made Cape Breton home in the hearts of visitors worldwide. In fact, more than one million visitors come here each year to experience what is so readily available: beauty, safety, and a sense of celebration and community. Cape Breton Island, and indeed Nova Scotia, with its Maritime hospitaUty, clean environment and natural beauty offer a quality of life that few places on earth can match. As it heads into its 25th year of publication. Cape Breton's Magazine is not only a source of pride for Cape Bretoners in Nova Scotia, but a means to remind those who come back home, or who visit for the first time, why the world needs more Cape Breton. Congratulations, and keep on spreading the good news about Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia. luui suiceiej .J /t-''**-.'.' Richard W.Mann Minister 79
Cape Breton's Magazine
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