Page 105 - With John J. and Sadie Theriault
ISSUE : Issue 50
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1
Sadie: Everybody was as happy as could be. John: There was no money--no money--nobody had any money. Sadie; And then you'd all leave, about 6 o'clock in the evening, and go out squid- ding. Maybe you know what squid is. Had to get (bait), to go fishing in the morning. They'd go out on what they call "the middle ground." And they'd go out there squidding- -they'd stay there till the sun would go down. When the sun went down, then you'd see all the boats coming ashore. And then, when my father used to codfish, and we'd have to take the fish and carry them on handbarrows up to a flake--had a big flake built. And we'd have to spread those fish out on the flake, and dry them --turn them over 3 or 4 times a day--dry them.... In the fall, he had enough fish dried, he'd take them to Sydney and get our winter's supplies. That's how he got his winter supply for the house. He'd take these dried fish to Sydney and sell them. Boatload. (He'd jig for squid at night.) All the men--the middle ground would be black with boats--out squidding for--to get fish in the morning--set their trawls in the morn? ing. (Who would...bait the trawls? Would your sisters or you have anything to do with that?) No. We didn't do anything about that, no. John: No, no. Women never worked around fish then. All men. Sadie; No. The only thing in fish we worked at is carry them up for the stages, on the hand- barrows, and put them on the flake. And we had to tend them. While they were gone, we had to tend them. (You'd do this right through the fall, I guess.) Right to till they're dry enough to put away. Maybe they would be on the flake maybe a week--maybe longer if the weather was bad. Because we'd have to cover them with tarpaulins-- stack them up and cover them over if it was raining. And maybe they'd be a week and a half on the flake before they'd be ready to pack away.... (When you say you did it--is that consid? ered heavy work?) Oh, my dear man. I ima? gine, it was heavy work. We didn't mind it. (Washing fish out of a barrel.) We didn't mind it. We had to do it. Regard? less if we minded or not, we had to do it. 'Cause he had no help. Not us alone--all the women. At that time, all the women helped the men, just the same as the men. They helped mend the nets--we used to mend the nets. Nets'd go out and get torn--herring nets, or salmon nets. Bring them ashore, we'd go down to the stage with them, mend the nets. He'd show us, how to do it. (But you weren't allowed to do the actual fishing.) Oh, no, no. No women ever did that. Then when we got all that down about 7 o'clock, we'd have to--we'd get up around 4, and get all we could done before we'd go to the factory. Then we'd work in the factory till 5 in the evening. (Now, wait a minute. What did you do from 4 until you BREAKWATER BCXKS is proud to announce a new book of lives from Cape Breton's MAGAZINE Cape Breton Lives Is a selection of 24 chapters from the first 50 issues of GAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE. Over 300 pages. Large type. Including 121 photographs. And with an Introduction by Ronald Caplan. Canada's Atlantic Folklore-Folklife Series Distributed in Cape Breton (or by mail) by Cape Breton's MAGAZINE Wreck Cove, Cape Breton Nova Scotia BOC IHO $19.95 in quality paperback (add $1.50 postage in Canada; $4.00 outside Canada)
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