Page 32 - With Hilda Mleczko, Glace Bay
ISSUE : Issue 54
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1
sticks in my mind. And he said to me--I started to cry. And he wasn't an articulate man--he was never like me--outspoken. He'd never show his feelings. He was a very pri? vate person, very private. And he came over to me--I remember it as if it was now--put his two hands each side of my face, and he made me look at him. And he said, "Hilda, I know he's hurt. But he's going to be all right." And the tears came to his eyes, and he walked out the door. Now, that's noth? ing- -just a little memory like that. But it stuck in my memory, it stuck in my mind--a little thing like that. You remember them long after a person's dead. And of course, Henry had been hurt in the leg. You know, he was on crutches for--it was crushed in the pit--13 weeks on crutch? es. But he was all right. But that's just one little thing about my father-in-law that I remember so well. He showed me where the best cranberries were and the best mushrooms, and went blue? berry picking with him. He was a great man. A miner, too, of course. When I was getting married to Henry, we had 6 months waiting period--unless you hap? pened to be very pregnant, and then of course, they wanted you to get married. Of course, I wasn't.... We had 6 months wait. And in that 6 months time, I can honestly say that it was probably the worst time of my life for decisions. Here I was, weighing my dilemma--love for the man, and love for my country. You know, even today--it's a very painful thing to go through. And to this day I'm still more or less split down the middle. I have two loyalties. I still love England. And I love this country. It's a beautiful, magnificent country. But I had this feeling, well, if I get married to Henry, I'll have to leave the country I love. And the very thought of it was tear? ing the heart out of me. I was very Eng? lish, very English. I thought there was no place on earth like England. So, we talked about it. And Henry even said, "Well," he said, "if I had my way, I'd like to have a chicken farm." He'd love to raise chickens and sell eggs.... But he said, "I know I won't be able to. So," he said, "I'll be in the pit, 'cause Dad knows he can get me a job." So I knew I was mar? rying a coal miner. I knew. And I would never--I would never try--when he told me--like, see, he's a Maritimer. I'd never seen the sea in my life, and he couldn't get over that. That I'd never seen the sea! He couldn't get over it. And he tried to explain to me what the sea was like. But he said to me. "Well," he said, "I've got a piece of land all picked out, where I'd like to take you. And," he said, "I'll promise you two things"--and he kept his promise--"while I've got these two hands, you'll never go hungry. And I'll build you a house where you'll see the sea from every window." Can't get a man better than that. He kept his promise. Hilda MIeczko's two books, Book of Memories and Picking up the Pieces, are available in a single volume at Black Diamond Pharmacy, Webster's Jewellers, and the Savoy Theatre-all in Glace Bay. They can be ordered directly from Hilda by writing to 29 Drew Street, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia B1A1A6 (phone 849- 5079). The price is $20.00, pfus $2.00 postage. "YOUR GLASS SPECIALISTS" SERVING ALL OF THE ISLAND COMMERCIAL - RESIDENTIAL • Storefronts • Automatic Entrances • Commercial Windows EMERGENCY SERVICE AVAILABLE • Tliermo Insulated Units • Aluminum Entrances • Glass Replacement • Caulking Repairs • Custom Glass • Replacement Stained Glass • Door Hardware • Weatherstripping BLACKIE MacPHERSON • LAWRENCE MULLER
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