Page 5 - With Katie Margaret Gillis, Mabou Coal Mines
ISSUE : Issue 38
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1
taxi $5, where it's $50 today. Earl Hawley, God love him, he took us over for $5, waited until we paid our head tax and got our papers to go, $8 head tax each. We had to borrow the money. And I don't think we borrowed more than--what?--$50. It was cheap. We had that little money we had made in Mabou. And everybody was vaccinated. Anybody that wasn't vaccinated had to pay $5 more and stay for the night. And I hadn't been vac? cinated. Luckily, I got a cut when I was small, from a dog. I had a slash here. The girls were saying, "Oh, just push your sleeves up, and don't say anything." Well, see, I'd be very poor off, if I didn't get on with them to New York. I was lost. I was a greenhorn. One of the older girls said to me, "Just leave your hand out." Everybody's hand was out. He said, "Okay." And here, the dog passed! They had a joke on this. We went by train. September. About 17 of us went. It was the time of the year it was muddy roads, no cars on this road. And everybody had a wagon with whatever little bit of clothes he had. My mum--very, very sad goodbye. But for us, it wasn't, be? cause we were all nerved up and excited, and we were amongst--some we worked in the factory with, and school chums--it was just like that. (So you went to New York. And what did you do for work?) Housework. Housework. My sis? ter was a helper in housework, and she learned it, and then she got to be a good cook. Then I cooked for a doctor there for 9 years, and my sister was the waitress. And I used to go up nursing with the doc? tor in the evening. When his nurse was gone at 5 o'clock, I'd put my white uni? form on. I'd give them the lamp, the sun- ray lamp. He taught me how to do those things. And patients that had cancer, or big cuts--I had to boil the instruments, and maybe hold their hand, and give him a hand with the bathing. And I'd get a lit? tle money. Which I was not cut down, when the bad time came, in the Dirty Thirties. Oh, a lot of the girls that were on jobs for 20 years and so on were cut down. In? stead of that, I was getting a little more. il'l' ,':'t*) Another thing, when times were hard up there, you were like a bunch of sheep when you'd go to the employment office. You had to walk the row, when the ladies came in to see you. I remember that. You had to walk on the floor, around in the employ? ment office, see how you looked and what was your shape and how neat were you and how do you walk. When they didn't need so much help, they could get their pick. Oh, it was tough. I didn't have to, but a lot did. Girls from Margaree told me so. I only got two places in my life that treated me very mean, before I came to the doctor. Oh, it wasn't easy in a place when you went away. You had to really have a backbone, and have somebody like Angus Bea? ton, God love him. As we called him, "Dad? dy." He was the man. Once I told him, "I have a great job, Angus, coming up. A wo? man asked me the other day, a young woman, and she said, 'You just make a beautiful size 8 or 9. You'd better come in and do some modelling. And you'll see the money you'll make evenings.'" Oh, Angus wouldn't hear of it. He said, "No, no way!" He said. ij| • Professional Workmanship • Proven Products • Performance Guarantee Protect Your Investment Call SYDNEY VINYL SIDING • a dynamic local company serving the people of Cape Breton for 11 years. Sydney Vinyl Siding where "Quality Comes First" Sydney vii'l siding ' Sales Limited 95 Johnstone St. 562-0421 Your Comolete Home Renovation Contractor St. Peters Drug Store Ltd. Don Stone, Phi. C, Proprietor Open 6 Days a Week Mon. to Fri. open until 8 p.m. Sat. until 5 p.m. 535-2203 St. Peters, N.S. Stubberfe Convenience Stores Florence 109 & 172 Main St., Sydney Mines Pierce St., North Sydney Bras d'Or The Challenger Restaurant Mon-Thur 9 a, Sydney Mines m. to 9 p.m., Fri 9 a.m. to 3 a.m, to 3 a.m.. Sun 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat 10 a.m. Comfortable Dining, and Take Out Food (736-2033) (5)
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