Page 31 - With Billy MacGillivray in Boston
ISSUE : Issue 53
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1
Billy: When the boom was on, they were flocking away from Nova Scotia and going to Ontario and New York, and coming here. There was an awful lot of building, an aw? ful lot of house work, going on there then. Houses everywhere--a lot of single, two-family houses, along with those three- decker houses. Three-decker work was hard work. You'd have to hand the timbers up hand over hand. There'd be a fellow on the bottom floor pass them to a fellow on the second floor, and he would hand-over-hand them up to the top floor and up to the roof. That was hard work. They were all two-hundred pounders, young fellows that could stand that hand-over-hand with the timbers. A strong fellow meant more than a skilled mechanic, because three-decker work, it is kind of what you call bull work. Carpenter work is not an easy job. You're working in the sun and they're pushing you. They want sweat and blood of you. The Amer? ican people, they didn't go for those jobs so much. They were too tough for them. And another job, lineworkers, they were all downeasters. A lot of them went into telephone work. That's climbing, and in the sun, and a lot of them got killed. It was fairly dangerous then, and nobody would take it. Then the third job was on the ice trucks. You had to put a hundred-pound pack of ice on your back and probably walk up three floors with it. Nobody would take that. So the three jobs downeasters took up were carpentry, icemen, and line work. Take carpentry work, for instance. When the boom was on here, from 1920 to '29, if you had any knowledge at all, they'd hire you. Some of them were eager to learn and they caught on to the trade. Some of them were very successful. Some of them became builders. A lot of them were very green, you know, coming out of the country and they didn't know a newspaper or a radio. There was one bunch of fellows from my home, they went up to New York and got jobs on line work. electric lights and that. And when they were getting hired on there, they had to have a physical, a doctor's examination. Those company doctore treat you just as if you're cattle. "Come on in here and take this off and go over there." It's not like going to a private doctor. Anyways, in this doctor's place there were about 15 of them standing up there and -the doctor was asking them questions, and he told the first fellow in line, "See that bottle on the shelf there?" he said. "Take that and urinate in it." So the fellow looked back and forth, back and forth. "Did you hear what I said? See that bottle? I want you to urinate in it." And he said to the doc? tor, "Well, what? From here?" So some of those fellows made out pretty good. That fellow, I don't think he's liv? ing now. I think he died suddenly in New OWNED BY ATLANTIC SHOPPING CENTRES LTD. A&W; 539-7222 Olympic Shoe Repair 564-8112 Agnew Surpass 562-3129 Orange Julius 539-0134 Bank of Nova Scotia.... 539-6760 Radio Shack 539-4617 Bill's Pet Centre 539-2243 Reitman's 562-3177 Bi-Way 539-8860 Sam The Record Man Candy and Things 562-6292 Shoppers Drug Mart 562-1144 Carlton Cards 564-6531 Sobey's 562-1762 Cole's Book Store 539-6053 Sony Store 562-8811 Fun Villa Arcade 539-2215 Super Touch Fashions.. .539-4454 Gals and Guys Suzy Shier 539-5538 Hairworks 539-1811 St. Cinnamon Bake Shop. 539-4900 Heather Bowling Centre. 562-2695 Take-A-Break 539-1908 Homemade Memories... 539-1794 Toys & Wheels 564-6256 Home Brew Centre 562-3035 Tim Horton's 539-4287 Lynn's Gifts 539-7273 Uncle Chow's 564-6487 Lord Fin 562-6745 Vanelli's Mrs 539-7882 Mark's Work Wearhouse. 539-0441 Zack's Frozen Yogurt 539-3550 Metropolitan 562-1134 Zeller's 539-5600 Munroe's Barber Shop Zip Photo 539-1539 HOURS OF OPERATION: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. -10:00 p.m. MALL OFFICE • PRINCE ST., SYDNEY, N. S. B1P 5K6 • 539-6912 HEAD OFFICE ?? 115KINGST.,STELLART0N, N.S.B0K1S0 ' 755-4440 Cape Breton Health Unit Asks You to "Stay a Winner-Don't Smoke!" For information about harmful effects on yourself, your friends, and your baby, contact your local Health Unit office: BADDECK CHETICAMP GLACE BAY INVERNESS MARGAREE 295-2159 224-2410 849-4566 258-21 OOext. 134 248-2198 NEW WATERFORD PORT HAWKESBURY PORT HOOD ST PETERS SYDNEY 862-2204 625-1693 787-3302 535-2026 563-2400 Nova Scotia Department of Health ARICHAT 295-2944 NEIL'S HARBOUR 336-2295 SYDNEY MINES 736-6245 • Dental Health Services • Public Health Inspection 'Prenatal Classes -Health Education • Nutrition information
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