Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 16 > Page 47 - Mail and Snow and Roads and Mud

Page 47 - Mail and Snow and Roads and Mud

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/6/1 (244 reads)

boards would be in the mud. And that car when I bought her was in lovely condition --beautiful little car • and when I sold it after the month in the mud • 31 days I sold it • I got 5 dollars for it* The fenders were in pieces, flapping on it like canvas and the running boards were all smashed off of it and the car except for the engine was wore out. The engine went in a boat and the man used it for years afterwards. Of course I changed the oil probably every second night. It was working so hard. I went out that road 50 years ago. And that road was lovely in the summertime* When I started in 1928 the road was very crooked • but for months all summer there was only one little bump in the gravel road the whole way. There was nothing you had to stop for* Maintainers on the road--a flat, steel blade; a scraper on edge • they'd drag over the road so far then turn back on the opposite side* Usually a string of gravel down the centre of the road. And the roads were crowned more than today; rain drained off and they kept the ditches clean. There was no problem--except for dust* And the dust was desperate. (And which was worse, snow, mud or dust?) None of them* The worst was the ice on the road. This hap? pened only once--and I ivas all alone in the bus at the time • the road was that icy I was scared of it* Terrible, terrible bad --worst I ever saWn And this particular time I took to the ice on the lake and I went from St. Peter's to MacNab's Cove on the ice. And the Indians were on shore waving at me • and I thought they were just waving in a greeting and I waved back and kept'going. Next time I was talking with one of them, he told me: "Eddie Gordon, you're crazy. You took that bus where an Indian wouldn't walk." Archie Carmichael, Baddeck: I was born at River Bennett, June, 1905. I took the mail from the train at Little Bras d'Or to In? gonish Ferry. I started in 1940* I took it by truck* In the wintertime I didn't go all the way. You see, there was no Seal Island bridge on the Bras d'Or • there vms just a ferryboat and when the.Bras d'Or got frozen up I couldn't cross there. In? stead, there were three outlays of horses and sleighs, going north. Alex and Sandy Bain • two brothers--in bad weather they often went together • came from New Camp? bellton across the ice to meet me at the ferry at Big Bras d'Or. Sometimes the drift ice would come in the bay there • clampers • and it would freeze there. And they'd cut a track • cut a road through the claimpers • make it quite smooth. And then bush it. (How would they cut a road through that ice?) .Veil, it's surprising how they'd take the top off those big clampers, with just the axe* riiey'd put the mail on the sleigh and go back across the ice and then down to Eng? lishtown over the old road over Kelly's Mountain. Then another team from Indian Brook • Dan Smith--came up to Englishtoivn and vvent doivn to Wreck Cove* And then Dan MacKinnon was coming from Ingonish Ferry every day he could come over Smokey • amd there were some days, stormy wea? ther, he couldn't come • and he'd take the mail down to North Bay. So in the winter? time I took it from the train to the fer? ry at Big Bras d'or. Nothing would stop the train. Then once the ice broke up and the ferry was working I went all the way through. /Jould take the truck across the CAPE BRETONiS OWN PURNXTDBE SHOWROOMJS Tables Chairs RcKdiners Sofas l'reos Televisions Ranges Refrigerators Washers Carpets Sydney OleceBay New Waterford Port Hastings Schwartz Cabins & Tourist Home at Little River on the Cabot Trail 929-2880 Banana Farm The Moxham Room Din. in th? warm congenial atmo- sphere of our well-appointed dining room. Fine food, attentive service and a comprehensive wine list You'll enjoy dining with ut. Call on us soon. Holiday Inn of Sydney, Nova Scotia 480 King*s Road Telephone (902) 539-6750 Cape Bret oil's lviagazine/4 7
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