Page 11 - From Visits with Alfred P. MacKay of Big Harbour Island
ISSUE : Issue 66
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1
you're limbing a tree (a tree that's down), they'd go up the tree--he'd be smashing the limbs off--and he'd change hands like that. And he'd be just walking ahead--that's how fast he'd be taking them off. And then the ones underneath, when they're trimming up the two sides and the top, they'd give it a kick with their foot, it would fall over. Because it was resting on the ones underneath of it. You'd get them then. There were some of them--you had to limb towards the top of the tree. Because you were to cut it all clean. If you take it against the limb--you took a big sliver of wood off the stick. Took a piece of the wood, and the pit timber would look queer. There were scars on it, you know. (So they didn't want you to do that.) The fellows took pride in their lumbering. The axe? man, you know. If it would look good, one fellow would sort of eye what the other fellow done, and then he'd judge him if he was fairly good at wood, see. I remember when I started, a kid, I could only work (right- handed) . And my father was limbing. And there was a place I couldn't go through. And he did it. And I said, "You can work either side of you!" "Oh, yes," he said, "I was born with two hands!" So that vexed me a little bit--so I started practising. After awhile I could do it. But you could tell a greenhorn in the woods right away. He'd be working against the grain, you know. You learned everything, just through experience.... But it was like everything else. There'd be some fellows lazy, you know, and there were some of us that wouldn't be any good in f' the woods--a complete failure.... I can remember when I was a kid here, my father, he carried the mail. There was a post office up here--at the Maclntyres. And he was to carry the mail. And he took the mail bag from there to a MacDonald fellow that was over in Malagawatch, over the other side of the harbour. Twice a week. Fifty cents a trip. And every three months, he'd get $5. And the rest--the other months in between--he got $4, for carrying the mail. And the one that had the post office got $100 (for the whole year). She was lucky; she didn't have to move. (Did the mail go all year round?) Oh, yeah. Good weather and bad. And he rowed across the harbour. I was into that when I was 15; I could take the mail some days for my father. The problem, when we got on the other side: you'd hear cowbells. You'd have to watch out. Because there were always cross bulls. That was the worst. He'd see a lit? tle fellow going, a bag on his back--he'd chase you every time. Bulls loose, you know. There were a lot on the road there. When you'd hear the cowbell, you'd sneak along the road and get in the woods. And watch out. And keep an eye on him, sneak around him in the woods, you know. Not at? tract him. I was terrified of bulls; I didn't like them. NOI'SGOriA Village Fair Discover our unique community way of life with "Village Fair", a celebration of our culture, cuisine, his? tory and heritage. Hundreds of festivals are planned in cities, towns and villages across the province. So drop in and learn about our seafaring past. Sample Acadian delica? cies and listen to the legends of the Mi'kmaqs. Dance the highland fling and enter a scallop-shucking contest. There's something new for everyone at the Village Fair. Plan your getaway today. Call for your FREE Value-Vacation Catalogue, filled with all-inclusive pack? ages starting at just $69 that will put you in the heart of the Village Fair action. 1-800-565-0000 operator #120 Tourism Nova Scotia Honourable Ross Bragg, Minister [ova Scotia Economic Renewal Agency
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