There is no fooling summer has gone.
Some places have had snow already. When I was growing up on the prairie as a kid winters were tough but they were not all bad and we made the best of it. There was no snow plowing on the roads so out came the teams of horses and the sleigh bells.
It was not that we got so much snow it was the wind that made the snow drifts and that’s what blocked the roads.
On Sunday last the Grassy Plains Gospel Church choir came to the Tweedsmuir House for a hymn sing and also some visiting. Singing all the old gospel hymns that we all know so well. They always leave a good feeling behind when they leave. Thank you for coming, we love you.
I am going back now over 60 years when we first landed at the landing, Francois Lake. It was a good move and a great place to spend a lifetime, which we have. At this time of the year morning fog was very usual. At that time we had a very small ferry making four trips a day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. captain McKinnon was the skipper and Hunter Corner was the engineer, they were a good pair and did a good job.
It was not easy landing on the northside as there was no radar at that time and some times the fog would be very and almost impossible to find the northside dock. The captain would hold the ferry out about a quarter mile and blow the horn and anyone on the dock would answer with a car or truck horn.
This worked well as long as a vehicle was on the dock. The fog was heavy this morning as it was October. The captain missed his northside dock and he put the ferry in front of the red farm house. The ferry was stuck and good.
So the only way to go was get Jack Nicholson’s tug boat. Jack and his crew were horse logging a mile north of his sawmill at Nicholson’s bay (no longer there). So the ferry captain, McKinnon, got John Keefe and I to find Jack and bring his tug down. We told Jack the news and was he mad. There was bad blood between McKinnon and Jack over a boom of logs that got away in the ferry channel and it was bad, unknown to me.
Jack came down, got his tug fired up and pulled the ferry back into the lake. Before Jack left he told me to tell McKinnon that this was the last time he would help him out, he did not care if the ferry sunk or caught fire or whatever, this was the last time he would do him a favour.
I was a good friend of Jack Nicholson’s and Cap. McKinnon and I really did not deserve to get into their bitter feud. I did relay Jack’s message to McKinnon as Jack had asked me to. I was in the taxi business at that time and Jack was a very good customer of mine for many years. Through those years we got to know each other very well. Jack was a real pioneer in the logging and railway tie business. Jack had some wonderful stories to tell.
Not too long after we came into the Lakes District the railway tie business started to boom. Regular ties and switch ties. This was a shot in the arm for lots of the little sawmills that were trying to get by and make ends meet.
Along the shores of Francois Lake every little bay would have a boom of ties waiting for Jack Nicholson’s tug to pick them up and tow them to Fraser Lake where they would be loaded by rail and shipped out. Jack was very honest with these little tie mills and gave them good measure as well as cash advances to keep them going.
The railway tie business really put Burns Lake east and west on the map and big time. Burns Lake had special siding on the tracks for loading ties. Thousands were loaded through that siding and shipped out by rail. It was big business and really gave Burns Lake a big boost. Loading ties into a box car was a killer of a job and you sure would earn your money.
Bad news on mill
As I picked up my paper today the front page was a shocker to read. Houston Forest Products to close, 225 employees will be effected. How about the truckers and those that will be getting hurt. I understand this is not a spur of the moment thing as it’s been coming for some time.
We must all try and think positive with a little quote from my dad “Things can not get bad that they can not get worse.” That’s what he said when the Great Depression hit us in Saskatchewan. We just had to make the best of it and we did.
Another thing hit and that’s in big letters, vandalism last week. A nasty word and we all ask this question why? There must be some sick minds out there. Destroying some ones property is the product of a sick mind. The damage you do effects us all and you too. Go home and think on that, it’s good advice and very true.
Trick or treat
Halloween has come and gone and as per usual it went over very well.
The Tweedsmuir House did an excellent job for not only the younger class but the older too. The dining room was decorated also the tables.
The staff were dressed for the occasion. There was a table with treats for the children to help themselves. It was amazing how many tricks and treaters came along. This also gave the residents a chance to enjoy the different outfits the kids had on and there were some beauties, really set out Halloween.
Another big thanks to the staff, you were great.
This weekend we have our time change and this always upsets me as it takes me about a week to figure things out. Either I am early or late, just depends. A word of advice from an old guy that’s lived it all, live a good and honest life then when you get older and think back you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Always remember God loves you a great deal and of course so do I.
P.S. Any remarks I might make in my column are mine alone and not the newspaper or my family.