For every human there is a rush down that bumpy hillside time line. Personally, Rod says he knows of no one who has escaped a unfortunate diversions, bumps and crashes along the way. Harold and Eunice were born into the Edwardian Era, which ended in 1910. By then, Nova Scotia roads were rutted with the tracks left by those newfangled automobiles. Those were simpler , less urban, paternalistic times, complete with class distinctions. It was a period in which the Christian religion was still the dominant entertainment and socially cohesive force. While a lot of individuals got bounced off that hay wagon during the the late twentieth century ride into plenty of nothing, the Toreys remained convinced of the promise of an heavenly afterlife.
"Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others." - Ambrose Bierce. Harold and Eunice loved their grandchildren but were put off by the fact that Anne and Rod had opinions which they insisted on expressing. Harold once faced down Rod saying, "Why can't you be more agreeable like me?" In retrospect, a good question! Maybe Clint Eastwood is correct: "When you're young, you're very reckless. Then you get conservative. Then you get reckless again." Again, however, he has guess that, "The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice."Harold was prejudiced when it came to minority political, religious and social groups.
Arising from staidly middle-class backgrounds R&A understood the "mine, all mine" attitude of earlier generations, but had indeed been taught not approve at university. Rod's dad married a Grand Manan islander from a fishing community where there was a measure of unstructured socialism. That kept his father, Stewart, from gaining paternalistic control over her following the model of his own father, Wesley. In the ten year period when Rod taught and in the remunerative jobs that followed, he earned more in wages annually than his father-in-law. However, Harold had less overhead since he had no mortgage on housing. In addition, he owned another inherited property downtown and Nova Scotia Light & Power who wanted to place a building there, and that was the source of several thousand dollars, which turned him into a bean-counter.
There are those who insist that the "Good Old Days" are misplaced nostalgia or happening now. Current events make that last idea suspect. In a popular novel written in 2006, Dean Koontz noted that, "Not long ago in the history of the world, routine daily violence - excluding the ravages of nations at war - had been largely personal in nature. Grudges, slights of honor, adultery, disputes over money triggered the murderous impulse.
When Rod was a kid, silent films were still screened at The Queen Theatre in St. Stephen, with Mr. Casey providing organ music to set the mood. A dystopian future was predicted by many of the flicks seen in the 1940s, and as we now known, the worst of these possibilities were realized.
"In the modern world, in the postmodern, and most of all the post-post modern, much violence had become impersonal. Terrorists, street gangs, lone sociopaths, sociopaths in groups and pledged to a utopian vision killed people they did not know, against whom they had no realistic complaint, making a statement, intimidation, or just for the thrill of it." - Koontz.
Back then, New Glasgow was a blue-colour industrial town, and only a privileged few enjoyed the "ocean playground" and the vacations described in tourism booklets. Male bathing gear was woven of wool and modest by today's standards. Baring the chest in public was not yet commonplace.
The WW II years had been good to working men and women since New Glasgow was a production centre for military goods. In the post-war decade it was seen that the economy and wages in Atlantic Canada had stagnated. The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) was founded by businessmen in 1954 to “discover the forces which should make for economic growth and stability” in the region and offer “recommendations concerning methods calculated to ensure its economic future.” That is an ongoing process!
Industrial Estates Limited (IEL) was a proactive Crown corporation established by the Stanfield Conservative Government of Nova Scotia in 1957. The first president of IEL, Frank Sobey, creator of the Sobey box store empire, and a Pictou County boy. He was paid an honorary salary of $1 per year and appointed Robert Manuge as the first CEO and travelling salesman. .IEL began with a $23 million start-up investment from the government and received a mandate to build industrial parks and lease space to companies, though through an aggressive pursuit of outside investment. IEL quickly began building and financing plants for companies that were willing to move to the province. By 1968, 60 firms had benefited from the program, producing 10,000 new jobs and $40 million in provincial revenue.
Prime examples of outside companies attracted to the province by subsidization were. Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB of Sweden, which built a large integrated pulp and finished paper mill in Point Tupper; Michelin of France, which built three tire manufacturing plants in Granton (Pictou County), Bridgewater and Waterville.
Volvo Personvagnar AB of Sweden, which built the only Volvo car assembly plant in North America in Dartmouth/Halifax; Scott Paper Company of the United States, which built a kraft pulp mill in Abercrombie and
Clairtone a Canadian consumer electronics company. Note that three were in Frank Sobey land. A lesser boost went to Wear Well Garments, and Italian firm which came to Stellarton. A majority of these businesses are defunct or much reduced in personnel.
Scott Paper was a constant issue separating Anne and Harold Torey. When it opened in 1966, Rod & Anne both warned of the pungent odours experienced in his hometown downstream fro Georgia Pacific's. It might well have been "The sweet smell of success" from his point of view but to R&A it seemed a sulphurous odour from the depths of Hell. The Pictou mill wasn't just a taxpayer-subsidized employer to 230 mill workers, but a source of toxic liquid as well as air-borne waste.
The Toreys were all lowland Scots. R&A knew that he tackled his account books, but did not know that he was a wine-maker until they went in to settle the estate of his wife in 1984. At home from the office, a secondary hobby consisted of compiling weather stats at noon on his lunch break. This habit might have commenced in October, 1963 which he noted as the warmest month since temperature readings were made in Nova Scotia. On November 23, he made note of the assassination of President Kennedy. From then forward he used a Government Of Canada No 201 record book to note conditions at noon and midnight. Side notes dealt with exceptionally low or high temperatures, rain and snowfall. On March 28 of the following year he noted that R&A & family were visitors.
It was 64º F, so he "Put barrel up at Point." This collected water for washing dishes and quick personal wash up jobs. Home base was only 15 minutes away, so through baths took place there. Drinking water was carted in from town when needed in a large glass carboy. On June 30 E&H made a trek to the Mackay homestead at Tracy. They left July 5. They visited again from September 18 until the end of that month. They were back again from November 7-14. Harold's mother, Annabella (who lived with them) died December 20 and he and Eunice came again to Tracy for Christmas. From then forward, they made much more use of the cottage.
The Mackay family made more extended visits to Black Point from that year. On August 12 she is recorded as arriving there and leaving August 31. These dates suggest that Rod was probably enrolled at UNB Summer school. H&E stayed at Tracy from September 17 until October 3. They were back again in November and Rod think he was involved in helping renovate that old house. In 1966, Eunice's brother and his wife Gerry died. Perhaps frightened by this, Harold stopped sm0king July 18. but was sick and indisposed for a month. That year the Mackay's visited in early October. They were in Milltown, November 8 to 13th and again over Christmas. Entries for other years followed a similar pattern so will cruise pages for the unusual. In 1968 Rod left Maritime Biological for employment with Fisheries in Halifax. Parked with the grandparents the children started school in New Glasgow, November 13. By Fall1971, the Mackays were finally settled at 22 Court Street, Sussex, New Brunswick.
Like the land, people gradually weather away and Harold's final entry was made July 6,1973. He died two years later. Final notations concern the death Eunice's' brother James and other close friends.
Rod put together this cottage guest book for Mrs. Torey, who recorded comings and goings from 1972 until August 1982. She stopped making entries then and died two years later. Rod, Anne and family were there from their home in Dartmouth July 17. By September 12, the Mackays were in residence at 22 Court Street, Sussex where they remained for the next 25 years.They visited Black Point September 12-18 but being self-employed had much less free time. Mrs. Torey did continue summering at the cottage and entertained many guests and sometimes the older children for short visits.
Anne took her dad's weather journal back to Sussex and recorded data for the place from 1990 until 1993. She died 2 years after the last entry.Her notes are the only record of that period when she was fighting breast and lymphatic cancer and are much more revealing when it comes to our attempts to make a living in the fine and applied arts. Rod took over her unintentional diary after she died 3:30 am, May 19, "one day short of first leaves." On October 10, 199, Allison noted that she and her dad were at the cottage and a third auction of contents of his place was scheduled for the following Monday. It sold privately for $50,000 and was vacated November.
Rod and Ruth married May 22, 1998. After that Allison and Cathy entered notes concerning the use of the cottage. There final entry was made May 27, 1999, after a visit by Cathryn, her husband David, and Allison. Rod was at the cottage three times after that, once with his daughters and Ruth, twice with Ruth in the colder shoulder season. The last time was more than a decade ago. Having spent a night with an errant whippoorwill we thought it unlikely that we would return. Follow the tides of time to 2017...
R&R had excellent rental accommodations and landlords until, 2015, when they left First South because of a sewage problem that took a half year to correct. Just before Suddenly forced to vacate they took on a VRBO place, which meant temporary housing until the tourist season started in Mahone Bay in June 2017. It was poor diggs, high humidity, mould and a lot of other problems. We vacated at the end of May for this commercial/residential building on Main Street. Second floor, main entry from a deck at the back. Uninhabited and unfurnished since the beginning of winter 2015 we contracted to rent it but the supposed owner defaulted on his mortgage and ownership reverted to the previous owner, who took possession in February 2017.
On a fixed income, R&R had rented at a price they could afford agreeing to clear snow, mow grass and act as caretakers. Suddenly, in April, the current owner demanded that they negotiate a new lease. When they said they could not, they were legally evicted following a Residential Tenancies Hearing. The end date was set for June 30, less than a month distant at the time. Days passed without any residential rental units coming available. During this time the cottage at Black Point was thought of a possible haven.
It was also learned that their former two and-a-half rental unit in a condo at The Meadows was going to market.They were not in a position to buy being seniors, one retired and one working part time to supplement small government pensions. An arrangement was made within the family and the three owners of the cottage kindly allowed us to use it. Purchase of the condominium could not close instantly.
Ruth shopped for the most secure, climate-controlled self-storage unit in the area and settled on one on the outskirts of Chester. To save on costs, R&R packed and moved all of the paintings and smaller items in their Toyota. Packing began about May 13, but items were moved to the back deck and transported starting May 28. Three trips to- and-fro over this day and the next, or so we thought.
Everything was moved to the kitchen and living room area. Furniture and heavy items were segregated and left to the professional movers. All of this created a terrible mess and made lunches a nightmare. The bed was left assemble in the bedroom but all other items cleared out. The moving date had been set for June 30 starting in the morning, but checking the weather it was seen that rain was predicted for the 29th and 30th. Later that day, Michael the Mover was contacted and R&R were told they could managed the move on Saturday rather than Sunday. They had an earlier move in the morning so the time was set for afternoon.
View from he bank machine window at Mahone Bay, since this was Ruth's pay day and money was need for gas and incidentals as well as food along the way and at Black Point. This was our first move of possessions at 9 am in the morning after a flurry of last-minute packing.
The movers started work at 12:30 pm, and were in a position to unload just as showers commenced. Fortunately there is a bit of a canopy at the loading dock.
Everything was packed in our unit at Access Self-Storage a couple of hours later, when we returned with another load of our own and Ruth paid the bill. We then went back to Mahone Bay to make a quick clean up and stop for coffee and fast food. Then off again. It did spit rain but it never became a downpour.
So it seemed but note those cumulus clouds over Halifax County.
There was a bit of heavy rain and lightning near the city.
Past Truro, the rain finally stopped.
At right the Crombie Mall, which still has A Sobeys store but has lost all of the retail tenants seen when we were last in town.
This is the second entry to the Sobeys complex.
A grab shot of Mike's Convenience at Little Harbour.
Weather and traffic conditions made this a slightly longer trip than usual.
At sunset it was humid and overnight it did rain as promised.
The rains came and so did the mosquitoes, which probably made their entry when we were unloading after dark.
Since R&R waged war with them between 1 and 5 am, they slept in since they were dead tired to begin with. We knocked about clean up the rest of that day. Ordinarily Ruth would pull in an amount of cash from her work to allow an overnight excursion. Anticipating this we had booked an inexpensive room in nearby Tatamagouche, since it appeared that not much celebration was intended for Canada Day in New Glasgow, Stellarton of Pictou, and a lot of shops were closed down.
Again, showers and rain were forecast, but R&R had decided to put off that mosquito problem for one more day.
By the time we were ready to travel it was raining!
This is the dining car at one of Tatamagouche's premier attractions, The Train Station Inn That land and railway car accommodations were restored in the 1980's with furnishings reflecting its railway past. "The station itself and its spacious cabooses & boxcars offer a unique boutique hotel, dining & shopping experience."
"The Dining Car is a first class experience. The car was built in 1928 and was used by CNR. It found its new home in 2001, & since then has been refurbished into a dining car. It is open daily for lunch & dinner, mid May through mid October." The restaurant was full but a server offered to seat us in the booth section where the cooks and waiters usually dined.
In its day, this car had served emigrant family's traveling to the Prairie Provinces. Later it was placed on the Cape Breton run.
The seafood and salad menu was the best. Even with a beer each the cost was modest, and we will go there again. We finished dining at 1 pm.
Here is why the green seemed so fresh and good.
One dish even included a pair of these edible blooms.
"The Cabooses started arriving in 1994 and date from 1911 to 1978. Each of the seven cabooses have been renovated into deluxe accommodations reflecting the age of the railway car."
Queen size beds, fireplaces, air-conditioning, TV, WiFi, railway memorabilia and private baths are just some of the amenities in the cabooses."
The restaurant menu is posted on that red and black board.
Jimmie Le Fresne, Stationmaster, says that, "... in 1972 the building I played in while watching the trains come and go and where Mr. Penny taught me how to use the telegraph, was scheduled to be torn down. I couldn’t bear the thought of that happening." A youngster, he approached the Village Commission for support but they were unsympathetic. "So, while the rest of the kids in my grade 12 class were all buying cars, I bought a train station…to this day the adventure continues and I’m still “playing trains” in my backyard."
The Train Station has been restored with three bedrooms, private baths, a parlor, sitting rooms, balcony & kitchenette all in the original Stationmaster's residence on the second floor.On the first floor a railway museum, café & gift shop are in the men's and ladies' waiting rooms as well as the telegraph room.
The closest building, located off the road to the station is Bil Al's family Restaurant & Lounge. Decent pub grub. Open from at least 11:30am until 8 pm.
The old school building which used to host the annual August Craft Show where Eunice and Harold sold their wares. It is on Main Street at the north end of town.
Main Street in the opposite direction.
That silo identifies the local microbrewery.
R&R are not into organized "activities."
They parked and wen walking. Ruth is carrying a bag of drug store necessities.
This is their dollar store.
While Ruth shopped Rod had a look at Patterson Drive, thinking that Miss Patterson Guest House might still stand. Seems it does not.
Signage suggests that this road leads to a public park on the waterfront.
What pray tell is this?
Advertising for a music festival at a later date.
Milk, a $10 summer dress and sheets and pillowcases for the bed.
It's sample day at the brewery,and the indoor and outdoor tables and seats are booming with business. R&R pass on having pre-purchased a Propeller six-pack.
Ladies' fashion shop.
Everything is open except government buildings.
Ruth walked on past her car. R&R still tired!
Check in time has been set by Ruth at 4 pm.
More driving and a look at Patterson Park from the car.
Hey kids, here is where we sometimes stayed when the weather deteriorated between home and New Glasgow. The restaurant is no longer open.
Places like this have put it out of business.
This Taco joint has also led to new tastes in food.
Back at the Train Station we find this little gasoline powered engine and car loaded with vacationers, tourists and visitors.
We check in at Dolans, on the other side of Main. It is currently low-priced as the grounds and exterior are less than first rate. That night we sleep early, soundly and long in a very nice room and awaken to a very unusual but excellent breakfast. Total cost of everything except ordinary essentials, under $200.