Page 72 - A Visit with Steve Whitty, Ingonish Beach
ISSUE : Issue 36
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/6/1
The next morning my uncle and I went down and saw that boat coming around Middle Head, and you'd swear she was one of those great big slabs of drift ice--she looked that white. But the storm was pretty well over then. That was about the worst exper? ience that ever I had on the water. Still, you always looked out for that, for the winter, your fall fish--which they don't do at all today. They sit home and draw unemployment. And they've got better boats now than we had then, to fish. We used to fish up until the 18th and the 17th of January. We fished till the drift ice stopped us--all the young people. But my dear, there's an awful difference. I'm not running down the younger people at all. The younger are just as good today as when I was young. People are all bellyaching a- bout them. First thing, they say they're no good to work. Well, the reason why is, they weren't learned to work, same way as rearing a child. Not blowing or bragging a- bout it, I was reared, and all my brothers beside me, were brought up the toughest kind of a way. We had to get out and saw with whipsaws, learn to chop wood, split wood. Plant potatoes, hill potatoes, and all of that. Put out manure. You can't get young fellows today to go in the barn and hitch a horse for you. Not their fault. They weren't taught. That's as far as I can see into it. They don't get a chance. Why, they don't stop going to school until they're about 19. I stopped when I was 12, going on 13. My father said, "Now you've got as much educa? tion as I have--now you're ready to come on the oars and row." I could row at that time great. I thought it was wonderful to get clear of school. But I can see today it wasn't wonderful at all. If I had my life to live over, I'd like to have a lit? tle more schooling, but I'd like to live on a farm. When I was married in 19-and-22, my first wife--from above the post office on the right side going up, there was a house on the right side--it's still there yet. Tim John Donovan owned it. And the next house to him was Frank Doucette's home. Then Jim Doucette owned a home. And the next home to that was where Bill Donovan's was. And today you can count 70 in that distance. A lot more people today, but as far as my part, there's not a quarter of the company. There was none of that television stuff, there were no radios--and all your company was people coming to the house and playing cards and telling stories and singing songs--and if they didn't do that, get the hell out. That was the way it was. And you had a lot of fun. Had more fun then in one night than I have now in two years. Allan Ruffman is carrying out a study a- bout the Halifax Explosion to which some of our readers might be able to make a con? tribution. During our visit with Steve Whitty, he mentions hearing the Halifax Ex? plosion and seeing its effects on the sur? face of the water. Mr. Ruffman has been hearing of other effects of the explosion great distances from Halifax--teacups rat? tling, lights swaying, and so forth--and ??i'i ay'ig. he wants to contact other people who exper? ienced similar things in 1917. He has prepared a simple questionnaire. He will send it to you if you write to him: Allan Ruffman, Vice-President, Geomarine Associates Ltd., P. 0. Box 41, Station "M," Halifax, N. S. B3J 2L4. Or phone: (902)422- 6482. Contact him right away!
Cape Breton's Magazine