Page 45 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years
ISSUE : Issue 50
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1
That's what it was. And Father had to push me a little, but I was proud doing it. And my two brothers were going to the boy scouts, and John was--I was always a bit of a peddler, you know. I was shovelling it all on a Saturday afternoon.,.and Wednesday afternoon, 11 years old. Well, you picture that, going through the town. (So you had a little route.) Little route. (What do you do with this potato peels, and the offal, and everything like that?) Father had a cow. And the cow wasn't his own. That's the way, so poor as we were before the war.... Father would go in the fall of the year to a farmer or a neigh? bour and say, "You got a milk cow?" And the farmer would have a cow where the milk was going down, and he wanted to fatten up the cow. so he could sell it in the spring on the eastern market. So Father would get that cow, and it would get all these good? ies all winter. And we would get the free milk--that's all we would get out of it, maybe 4 or 5 quarts a day. Then that cow in the spring would go back to the farmer, and the farmer would make a thousand bucks on it--you know, money on it--because it would be nice and fat. We only had the milk out of it. And I would get the potato peels for it, see? Funny how simple every? thing was. But the point I was bringing out: how would you get people to do that thing here for nothing. They had to buy the pail and the cover on it, and save that stuff. But Dutch people are like that--a little bit like the Germans, I guess. They wouldn't have the nerve to throw that away, you know. (But they didn't charge you for those peelings.) No. But then during the war, things got so scarce, they, said, "Well, now, John, I have to give to such-and-so." And I would have to sneak a bottle of milk--I would have 5 or 6 bottles of milk under the cov? er. And I would go just like a thief and say (whispers), "Save the peels." But in the end of the war it was getting so bad they were eating the peels themselves. That last winter, from September '44 till April, there was not a bite left to eat, hardly... . I saw as many as 3, 4 hundred carts a day passing our house--two-wheeled carts, like ('' Need a New Windshield? Your Local Auto Glass Company If we can save your windshield, your Insurance will pay the full cost. bicycle wheels, no tires. And I've seen very often even a dead body in the cart on the way home. Coming out of Amsterdam, day. And they'd knock on every farm door, every house. Well first they started, they wanted to buy things. Trade for shoes--the money was no good. So these people would take their old linen and their blankets out of the house. And some of these farm? ers were mean, you know, they were taking advantage. And in the end would say, "Could we have please one potato?" One po? tato. They've got to get one potato here, one potato there--after 20, you would have 20 potatoes. I'm not exaggerating. And they were swollen up. Thousands died that winter. And we happened to be small farm? ers, so instead of the bulbs we grew a bit of rye. So we were making it. And there was no more--you couldn't rely on the police. In the evening the whole neighbourhood would put the animals to? gether in one barn--4 or 5 boys with pitchfork sleep behind the door. Because everybody was stealing, eh? Well, you couldn't blame them, they were starving. And the police wouldn't come out any more. Oh, it was desperate. Father had a thing hooked up.... Father had a thing rigged up with a bell and a piece of wire and a rope on his leg. And they still stole a goat from us. There was a time in Holland between '48 and '55, the Dutch government was worrying about too many people. There was no birth control, the country was growing leaps and bounds. The (had) just lost Indonesia. So they encouraged our young people to leave. And there was a lot of talk about the great country of Canada, New Zealand, Aus? tralia, South Africa, Brazil. Five, six 6 Liberty St. Rfid'd'07 Across from Ron May Pontiac 'V*T Tv''f Correction: The ad on page 81 of Issue 49 should have read: "STORA FOREST INDUSTRIES has planted more than 70 million seedlmgs...." The figure 700 million was an error. Superior Service: 24 hours a day, 7daysaweel( (juper/o'' Automatic [Delivery: every 12 or Marketing a Complete Line of Propane Burning Appliances Superior Propane Off Hwy. #305, Ultches Creek, Sydney 539-1060
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