Page 72 - 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
(72) Dan Angus: Tell him about how hard you had it to get Christmas. Catherine: The first year. See, the money was collected--there was a secretary to the trustees, and he went around the school section. That's how they paid the teacher. But the teachers were paid once a year. They were paid when school was over. You had to teach the whole year before you'd get paid. So I went to the secretary to the trustees before Christmas and asked him to give me some money for Christmas. He said, "It's no use." He said, "The people don't have the money. And whatever few dollars we collect, we have to pay the bank for last year's teacher." They borrowed the money in June to pay the teacher, and then they'd be pay? ing it through the whole year. "But," he said, "I have $2 of my own money, and I'll give it to you. It's all I've got." Dan Angus: That's all she got for Christ? mas, was $2. Catherine: $2. Of course, you'd get quite a bit of candy for the kids for $2 then. And I was lucky, I was board? ing with my father. I was boarding at home. Dan Angus: Now you wonder of how things are today, and how things were then. So, re? gardless, things are better now than they were then. (In the Dirty '30s--or am I wrong?--you were never going to be hungry.) Catherine: Oh no, you were never hungry in the '30s. Nobody was hungry. No. I really didn't re? alize what a Depression was. We didn't know. Because we always had lots to eat. And you didn't buy any canned food or stuff like they buy today. You had lots of milk and cheese and butter and eggs and meat and potatoes and vegetables. Everybody raised all their own. (Or they could hunt. Is that true?) Dan Angus: It's all true. And there was lots of game and there was lots of everything. Everybody had something on the farms. It was after the Second World War, that's what put the country to ruin. Money was easy to come by, and work was easy to come by in industry. And prices were low on the farms. By golly, the youth started leaving the farms. The old people couldn't keep up any longer. Farms started closing down, buildings started deteriorating. To the ex? tent that material and things to rebuild were so expensive that they just couldn't rebuild the old buildings and couldn't bring the farm back into production again. And that's why you have so many farms today that are not producing any more. You just couldn't bring a farm back into production today with less than 100 thousand dollars. No way. To renovate or rebuild a building back again would cost you 60, 75 thousand dollars. Well, this is impossible to come by unless you're employed with a good job. And if you have that, you'd be foolish to come back to the farm. And this is just what happer'eu i':. -r.t. __.:- try, you know. This thing didn't happen in the 1-ast 5 or 6 years. This took a period of time coming on, you know. And it's worse it's getting. Now, I remember when every home was inde? pendent of a job, all over the country. Marine Atlantic, Flagship of Atlantic Canada, joining people and places for business and pleasure. For rates, schedules, or ferry information call Toll-Free 1-800-565-9470, '''X. '''''.X' Marine Atlantic (jonnections
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