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Page 20 - Johnny Murphy, North East Margaree

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1 (360 reads)

V Hilda chords It took what little I had to marry Hilda and buy this place. We had lk children. One child • I gave the doctor two* barrels of carrots and a ton of hay to pay him. Imag? ine. I never had any trouble making a liv? ing as far as eats, such as it was. It was these doctor bills and taxes • that was the two headaches. There were six of mine oper? ated on for appendix. For a living, I did everything. Played for dances, lumbered, farmed. One summer I got up at half past 3 in the morning and I milked 6 cows, loaded a load of manure and went into the Normaway and spread it before 7-o'clock and got two dollars and a half for the load of manure. Then I hooked into the walking plow and I plowed 18 days there • 10 hours a day. I got $5 • 85 for the 10 hours. One summer I got 50 cords of pit props for the old country, England. Six feet long. Draw shaved. And at the side of the road we got 6 dollars a cord. And they couldn't be over 6 inches at the top nor couldn't be under 3 inches. Now can you imagine? I got 53,000 feet of boards for the Forum in Sydney • and put o- ver the rail onto a boat at Nyanza I got $lk a thousand. I paid $75 for that strip of lumber. I cut it and hauled it, put it over the mountain into a pile • 2100 logs. Sawed it. Loaded it on a truck, hauled it to Nyanza and put it on a boat for $1' a thousand. Of course, for food we used to buy differ? ent then than we do now. For winter, get in 10 to 12 barrels of flour, get 10 or 12 gallons of kerosene for the light • and one year I got 1300 pounds of sugar. And as far as cheaper, I know for 100 pounds of sugar I hauled logs two days with a team of horses to pay for it • around $7 a hundred? weight. 1300 pounds of sugar sounds like a lot • but when you go feeding k5 meals in a day. And tomorrow the same thing. You can figure there was lk of us. Three l4s is nearly k5 • and there'd be extra meals even if nobody came • children have to eat before they go to bed. You figure Hilda was get- Johnny fiddles; Hilda with the autoharp. Johnny plays ukeline ting at least k5 meals a day. A 200-poimd barrel of flour • she cooked that in a month. She was slaving. And can you imagine carry? ing the water for to wash for those chil? dren? Christ, makes a lump in my throat when I think of what she had to do. And the money that they're throwing around now. People are spoiled today. It's outrageous when you think back • no lights, no hot wa? ter, carried water and heat it on the stove • that's hellish. She worked like a slave. She'd do the laundry and ironing at night • you imagine washing for all those kids just on a scrub board. I don't know how she did it. Hilda and I would play together. When the kids were small Mrs. Connors would come down and she'd look after the kids for us, poor old thing • and stay till 2 o'clock in the morning. We'd play for-showers and wed- dings • and I'll tell you. I never want to We offer Septic Tank Pumping Service Ken-Mac Plumbing &Heating; Phone 929-2214 and if no answer 929-2326 Englishtown STRINGED INSTRUMENT REPAIRS 'okn f'0rhin6 JLutniar 92D SOUTH BLAND STREET HALIFAX, N.S. VIOLINS, GUITARS TEL. t9D23 422-7120
Cape Breton's Magazine
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