Page 41 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years
ISSUE : Issue 50
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1
coming from a self-employed family would usually be assured that the father would give him a start, either a piece of land or a whatever. (Part of what he had.) Yeah. As a matter of fact, there was an attitude. The children felt they had a right to an inheritance. It's part of the whole culture. (It's all part of how you were raised. What I want to know, first of all--was there any sense of rebellion in you, that you did not want to do that work, that you did not want to be there turning that field over or planting the bulbs?) Well, not in the sense. I think it's the same type of rebellion as any young person growing up, it's just a natural thing. If that wasn't there, I think you would have an unhealthy society. No, the work itself, looked to us dignified work, through par? ents, and going and talking to society-- what everybody did. As a matter of fact, we'd look down on somebody who was em? ployed. Not "down"--the word is not right --but I mean, we felt better. (You were working like a dog, others with jobs had a guaranteed income at the end of each week --and you felt you were a little better I class.) Right on. Right on. We didn't have II class distinctions in those days, anyway, in Holland. We felt we were the middle class, really. You understand arbeider? Arbeider is Dutch for somebody who takes work from somebody else. (And that was not high.) Not in our family. No. I mean, as a last resort. We never call a farmer, a farmer. We have a boer. We have a cow boer. mostly dairy, and we have a land boer. A land boer is the guy and woman who produces grains and sugar beets--it's large scale. And then we call the tuinders. the guy who grows hor? ticultural crops. And the bloemist. the guy who grows flowers and bulbs. I enjoy physical work. It gives me more satisfaction than making a thousand dol? lars in the stock market, for instance. You have a day's work done and every? thing's in place, and it looks clean, and whatever you're planning to do. You have this good feeling, because all your life Year 'Round Christmas Shop Le Brignolet k 4' FINE GIFTS j Maritime and Canadian Handcrafts and Souvenirs Folk Art and Country Gifts Quality Brass and Imported Gifts Kitchen and Bath Shop 15 PRINCE STREET SYDNEY BIP 5J4 539-7338 you have been working. But when you*re working like I was talking about, that spitten--we used, our main meal would be at 12 o'clock, or in the evening when we were away. And I would have two large plateful of potatoes, and lots of vegeta? bles. And a big scoop of porkfat, and no meat--meat once a week. We'd eat meat on Sunday. But the vegetables and the pota? toes and the lard--that was all energy, I guess. I don't know why our meals were so simple. See, we had no animals. Later on. During the war we were keeping pigs and a cow--oh, we always had goats. We had as many as 6 goats. I was brought up on goat's milk. The bulb business was always a business where there was more luck at it, you know --it had nothing to do with food. You see, the price would go up--my grandfather was a rich person out of the bulb business. My father was a generation in between. He was not ambitious; he was satisfied in his own way, little way. My grandfather would have land holdings and he had stores and he had property, he had employees. And he used to go every Monday morning, I remember as a kid, all dressed up in black and tie, and he'd go in the bus or the train and he'd go to Haarlem. And they would have--they still have--what we call the market-- there's a stock market, there's a grain market, and also there's a bulb market. You could sell your crop a year ahead or TRAVEL AGENCY 288 Welton St., Sydney, N. S. 562-3100 Based In Sydney Serving Ail of Cape Breton Lifetime Cape Breton resident Gord Reynolds and his Staff look forward to helping you with all your business and vacation travel needs. We are a member of a nationwide chain of full-service travel agencies. And ogr services are free! Contact us first to plan group travel-such as genealogical tours, sport and school travel? er any individual need. OUR WINTER HOURS ARE: Mon. to Sat. 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. * Fri. evening till 9 P.M. OR BY APPOINTMENT serving travellers since 1955
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