Archive for October, 2007

Air planes and Mining towns

October 30, 2007

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Mining towns are generally located in the middle of “nowhere”. If you really want to know exactly where “nowhere” is located, just follow a map to mining towns or read my blog: Mining Towns In Canada by littlepatti

Central Patricia, Northern Ontario. Snow Lake, Northern Manitoba. Chibougamau, Northern Quebec. In the early days roads could not be built fast enough and were weather sensitive, to say the least. Snow and mud ruined the gravel roads frequently and freeze-up, break-up on the lakes dictated the flow of goods and services to people who were brave enough to work and live in those remote communities. The military referred to those areas as “isolation”. As children of the mining town pioneers, we were well fed and cared for, so we were oblivious to our precarious living conditions. Our greatest hardship may have been that we didn’t know the luxury of fresh milk and rarely had lettuce. We drank tinned Carnation- (ugh) and canned peas & corn were the most popular vegetables. We are living proof that kids don’t need lettuce, lettuce is not real food. Everyday living took lots of planning, not to mention special occasions like Christmas and Easter. The Sears catalogue was priceless. We would be carefully measured, our foot prints drawn on paper and then we would hold our breath waiting for that big box to arrive a couple of times a year, containing new shoes, winter boots and school clothes along with our gifts. Keep in mind, in those days no one had a credit card so even saving money regularly to make an order for necessities was an achievement!

The towns, the mines, the people depended on air planes. In the early days, some of the planes were rudimentary to say the least.

Here are some photos of aircraft that flew into those mining towns in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s.

I don’t know who the pretty lady is pictured with one of the planes. I suggest the photo is circa 1940(?) I guess her dress & shoes would be “sports clothes” of that era.

I would appreciate any comments on these aircraft. I found these photos among Elmer & Mary’s old photos. The cargo planes flew from Sioux Lookout and Pickle Crow to Central Pat, and a friend commented that the oldest plane looks like something that was flown by Gaby Hayes. That’s funny if you are old enough…

Here’s a Snow Lake site, you will enjoy.

http://members.gillamnet.com/mjaxon@gillamnet.com/website float-plane-2.jpgfloat-plane-3.jpg

The day Jimmy Scott died

October 20, 2007

1945, Central Patricia Gold Mines, Ontario.

I remember the day Jimmy Scott died…

We ran along a narrow, snowy path towards the river. I clutched the hem of Mother’s coat as I had been taught to do. We stopped and Mother talked to people along the way. Somehow, I knew better than to interrupt. There was confusion, Mother was crying. Suddenly I was grabbed by my Dad and hugged in his huge arms. He was wearing his mining hat with the light that I loved. He was crying too. I was almost three years old.

That scene was interpreted a few years later: My favorite playmate, Jimmy Scott had fallen in the River.

When Mom got the phone call that there had been an accident, she bolted out the door and ran to the neighbours house to find me in the backyard playing as I should have been. Whenever there was a fiasco, she looked for her little Patti to be front and center. That day and many to follow, she was grateful that I had not followed Jimmy to the river’s edge to be swept away.

Mine rescuers, including my Dad were called to the scene. Jimmy’s red scarf floated on the icy water and they pulled his lifeless body to safety, but it was too late despite their every effort.

It was just a few days before Christmas. Family friends had to go to the home of the devastated parents to remove the Christmas toys that had been lovingly built, ordered from a catalogue, and hidden away for their only son.

I remember Jimmy Scott. He and I would hide under a bed and peek out at the ladies playing Bridge in the living room.

I remembered Jimmy Scott later on, when I learned Bible stories and about Jesus and Heaven. That was when I knew exactly where Jimmy Scott was.

Show up or Shut up

October 11, 2007

Expressions are interesting…or not.

This one just struck me. “Show up”.

  • Show up your neighbours.
  • Show up for work.
  • Show up at a party.
  • Show up uninvited.
  • Show up dressed to kill.
  • Show up on TV.
  • Show up to face charges.
  • Show up for practice.
  • Show up in full force.
  • Show up a flaw.
  • Show up in contrast.
  • Show up on a blood test.
  • Show up in the strangest places.
  • Show up on time.
  • Show up empty.
  • Show up alone.

I could think of more but I didn’t want to show off, so some of your favorites may be a no show. Let me know or… Show up or shut up.