Page 9 - With Ralph MacDonald
ISSUE : Issue 36
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/6/1
andra Street there. Not farmers. There were farmers, too. But everybody around kept cows. There were cows kept right down here on Crescent Street, you know. Down at the north end of George Street. Some fel? low would have 3 or 4 cows. There were a lot of cows kept in the city at that time. And outside the city, just out a mile or two, a lot of people kept cows. The farmers, one time, were the best-off people, because money was scarce. Nobody had any money. Time of the Second World War--before the war, and after the war-- well, that's when everybody started to leave the farms. They went in the army, and they went to the cities and got work. The farmers just sold off all their stock. And the farms gradually went to nothing. I bought up, I don't know how many farms, bought the last hoof off of them, you know. Then they'd ask me, "Do you know anybody'd want to buy a farm?" No", no, I didn't know anybody. You could have bought the farm for a couple of thousand dollars. Every? body left the farms, all the farms closed up. You know, yourself, even down where you are. Wreck Cove, there's nothing now. Down North River, there used to be good farms down through there. I used to buy a lot of stuff down there. And Inverness County, yes. Around Mabou. I had some of the best cups of tea anybody ever had, and I drank the worst that anybody ever had. A lot of both. And wherever you'd get in the nighttime, they'd say, "Well now, may as well put up for the night," So I'd stay for the night. There was no paying. Every? thing was free. I had more free meals than any man in Canada. They seemed to like to put you up for the night. And talk, kind of talking, see. And suffered with the cold, too. You got to, those old houses. There was no heat in them. There was a kitchen stove. And that had to be put out when everybody went to bed. And God almighty--you'd see the oil? cloth on the floor would just be waving with the drafts coming through. It's dif? ferent today. You go to a farmhouse today, they're better off than the city. They've got everything. But then, there was noth? ing. They'd put you up in a house. Every? body, they all had a spare room, eh? Well, maybe that bed wasn't slept in for two or three months. And everything is damp, and this and that. It'd be cold, freezing, and you get into that. But you wouldn't be in there long before it'd start to warm up, and you'd go to sleep, and then in the morning--you'd hate to get up. Because you'd have to go outside to get warm. No matter how cold it was outside, it was colder inside • JOHNNY CONTINUES ON PAGE 12 With Ralph MacDonald: Our parents, my father, put a lot of responsibil? ity onto us • we were just kids doing it • and some? how or another we coped with it. I don't know any more than that. Now I know today, God almighty, you get some young fellow 20 years old, he wouldn't be able to go out there and deliver the lambs, or he'd forget where he was going and he wouldn't bother with them. But the parents kind of left a lot to us. I remember one time he sent me up to lona, to buy a carload of lambs. I wasn't too old. Gave me the money, and I don't know yet how he did it. But I went up there, stayed overnight, and bought the lambs. Of course, all the farmers helped. They helped weigh them, and I figured out how much they were to be getting. Paid them, and then came back. You know, things like that our parents would put onto us. Something the same as going up to Loch Lo? mond with the Model T. And staying overnight. And then the next morning, butchered the lambs myself at Loch Lomond. We did that, too, as well as herd? ing them down. And herding them down. I'd like to remember a lit? tle bit more about it. But you know, I was a kid. And it wasn't really registering. But I remember my father left Loch Lomond. And we both met at An? gus Anthony's store, right at Big Pond. He had a big field there, and we put them in the field. Then my father went home.*And he left • I guess there were about A of us; we were all kids • to drive them in the next day. There wasn't much traf? fic on the road. And the road was gravel. The lambs would keep right in the two ruts of the gra- RALPH CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE Best Western Cape Bretoner Motel 560 King's Road Sydney (902)539-8101 51 Modern Units * Licensed Dining r.,''(9)
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