Page 69 - With Dan Angus Beaton, Blackstone: Farm Life, Dredging on the Great Lakes, and Tales
ISSUE : Issue 47
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1
know why I was the only one--as a boy grow? ing up--why I was the only one chosen to be walking on everybody's back. There were an awful lot of people coming to the house for me to walk on their back--you understand? But I didn't know why--why me, all the time. But after I grew up, I found out. (How small were you when you were doing this?) Oh, just as small as I could remem? ber- -maybe before that, as far as I know. From first memory I remember. I was about 5 years old when I first remember doing it--5 up. Until I was even 20 years old, still walking on people's backs. (Would they lie down on the floor?) Oh, yes, lie down on the floor or lie down on a cot, and I'd walk on their back. (Was there a special way you walked?) No, just walk on their back, you know, walk quiet on their back--that was supposed to cure their back. Barefooted. (Did you put your full weight on them?) Full weight. Up till I was 20 years old. I haven't done it since. (Would you start at their head and walk down, or--?) Start at the bottom and walk-- walk back and forth several times. It didn't matter, as long as you walked on their back. Keep walking for a period of time. (Back and forth.) That's right. (Like a kind of massage.) Yes, just a kind of massage. (And were you any good at it?) I don't know that, I don't know. (What was the report?) Well, the report was that it was helping their backs. Whether it was or not, I cannot tell you. it, anyway. But I'd do a lot of 'a'S Our menu items are more than a meal," they're a delicious experience. Choose from our ?? mouthwatering house specialties, zesty Italian dishes . and other favorites including steak and seafood items.' Our portions, variety and prices are sure to please. @ [[Bruccl Place 1 Bl XXX WELTON PLAZA, 288 WELTON STREET, SYDNEY, 562-5400X >C X (Then you stopped when you were about 20.) Well, I went away. I left home when I was just going on 19 years of age. (And when you were away, people weren't asking for this?) Well, they didn't know about it; no? body knew. (You didn't offer it.) No. No, no, no. (Did you like doing it?) Oh, it didn't bother me. It didn't bother me. But after I came home I was a full grown man-- 26, 27 years old. Everybody had forgotten about it. And the older folks had died, and everybody had forgotten about it. (It might be still in you!) I don't know, I don't know. I suppose you could still do it! I remember when I first started to work here, 10 cents an hour was the wages paid. I worked on the highway. I'd work an3rwhere. Well, if you worked for the farmers, you got 50 cents a day and no hours--you worked from early morning, maybe 6 o'clock in the morning, to 9 o'clock at night. When I first worked on the highway I got no pay at all--it was statute labour. You worked so many days each year for nothing. Statute labour meant that according to the valua? tion on your farm, you had to pay so much tax. And in place of paying tax--that's how roads were maintained, with statute labour. And each farmer in the area that the road was going through, had to work so many days to maintain the road. Whatever sluices-- they'd call them sluices--were on the road, you had to put the lumber there for noth? ing. Understand now? I came to work for two years for nothing on the road. My father was railroad foreman on this railroad going through here. And I was younger. He had to work 3 days on the road for his share, to pay for his taxes. So the overseer on the road made me, as a younger man of about 13 or 14 years of age--he made me work 6 days in my father's place, to make up the difference. And I had to do EASTERN HEAT PUMPS LIMITED 102 REEVES STREET, SYDNEY 564-4141 Air Source - Water Source Residential and Commercial Heat -Pumps and Air Conditioning Systems • DESIGN - ENGINEERING - INSTALLATION - SERVICE - FEATURING CARRIER HIGH-EFFICIENCY HEATING AND COOLING EQUIPMENT ! Canada Parks Canada Pares ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK No Admission Charge Winter Schedule: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Beautiful, Intellfgent and Peaceful BADDECK, N. S. 75 km. west of Sydney on Route 105 3 MAJOR EXHIBIT AREAS: Bell the Man Bell the Experimenter Hydrofoil Hall GUIDE SERVICE AVAILABLE CanadS
Cape Breton's Magazine