RD July-August Letters 2019

No stump left unturned
RD: As Ripley might say, “Believe It or Not.” I’m now in my 73rd orbit of the sun and I’m still at it! But, as the monkey said when he got his tail caught in the lawnmower, “It won’t be too long now!” Because, when the four stumps behind me (see photo above) are behind me (figuratively!), my stump-digging days are done! Taberduker! I will no longer be a “stump-knocker” – not to be confused with the Spotted sunfish (a.k.a. a stumpknocker). Many of your rural readers will surely remember the old song’s lines:

“I’m just a plain old country boy
And I love to do what’s right
I go to the dance on Saturday night
And I go to church on Sunday
And I’ll be looking over the old gray mule
When the sun comes up on Monday!”
Sunday - and I promised Mom ...
D.C. Butterfield
Kilburn, N.B.
I Promised Mom
by D.C. Butterfield 
There’s lots of things I know I do
That I know I really shouldn’t
Some of them, the sort of things
I promised Mom I wouldn’t ...
A lot of them are “weekend things”
That stick like ticks on Monday
For sure I’ve done my share of “stuff”
But - I don’t dig stumps ... on Sunday!

Mistaken identity (the yoke’s on us)
RD: We really enjoy your magazine. Cover to cover, every issue. As one of your avid readers, I have a small correction to make. On page 42 of the last issue of Rural Delivery (“My yoke of steer,” by C. Russell Elliott), there is a photo with a caption that reads: “The author during his early years....” The photo is actually of my father, Ralph A. Hughes, also of New Ross, N.S. The photo was taken by my mother with her Brownie camera in the mid- to late 1930s. It was in a photo collection at Ross Farm Museum about the oxen in the New Ross area. Once again, thanks for the great little magazine!

Faye Hughes
New Ross, N.S.

Second-hand typing
RD: Regarding my typewriter subscriber classifieds (for ribbons and/or a typewriter), I thank you. I received three replies, two of them a year and more later, proving people keep RD and hand it around. That may prove the worth of ads.

My ribbons dried out, but I got carbon paper instead of ribbons. So I utilize a “writer” of type that I got near Truro, from a couple. The man was 90 and in great shape.

Another reply I received from someone in Belleisle Creek in New Brunswick, and another from around the road linking Windsor to Elmsdale, around Rawdon – if you need a typewriter (haw).

Old RDs might be stored in a display such as a hanger onto a door. Arty display? I met great folks too!

Dan Hogan
Lawrencetown, N.S.

All in
RD: I found this piece by Johnny Cash. I thought the readers would enjoy it. I found this on an old tape of Johnny’s. He recites it as “Just as I Am” plays softly. Johnny Cash wrote this in 1959.

Esther Bradley
Dorchester, N.B.

RD June Letters 2019

Aligned for resurrection
RD: Talk about coincidences! Just today (Friday, April 12) I picked up a copy of Getting Rid of Alders at our Perth-Andover, N.B., library, and came across the item “Making country butter,” from 1987 by Susan Restino (pg. 72), and just this past Tuesday (April 9) I was helping a friend do a demonstration of old tools to some youngsters, probably mostly under age 11 or so, at this same library, and my friend used an old “...

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RD May Letters 2019

Bull tales

RD: This ain’t no bull – these are true stories. We lived on a farm in Cumberland Co. Every year Dad would raise a bull to sell to the butcher. This year we had a nice one – plump and fat! When the butcher came to get this one, he would not walk up the ramp to the truck. No way. Three men pulled on him, but no go. So back in the barnyard he stood and looked at the men. The butcher decided to shoot him there and drag him up onto the truck. He aimed and fired, the bull just shook his head. Another two shots, and the bull shook his head and took off at full speed into the woods. We thought he would die in the woods and we would never find him. Three days later when I was getting the cows, here he was, just munching grass among the cows. He walked home with them and into the barn, right to his own spot. Dad went and called the butcher. This time they led him onto the truck no problem. They couldn’t figure out why the bullets never bothered him at all. However, when he was butchered they found out he had a double skull, and the bullets only hit the first one. No one had ever seen this before.

Friends of mine had also raised a bull. Once they were teasing him in the barnyard and he decided to chase them. They ran in a shed, slamming the door behind them and BANG! The bull hit the shed and his horns poked through the wood, holding him fast. The farmer killed him there, sawing off the horns and leaving them stuck in the door. They could still be there.

Esther Bradley
Dorchester, N.B.

Where have all the advocates gone?
RD: Regarding the article in your 2018 Year in Review edition about “Temple Grandin’s fundamentals of humane animal handling,” (by Joan LeBlanc, page 58; originally published in Atlantic Beef and Sheep, Summer 2018). My question is why are feedlots allowed? In Alberta we often saw the poor cattle standing (outside) in their own muck, with their feet wet for way too long a time. Sawdust and woodchips for bedding is cheap, and shouldn’t be an option. Worse yet was that feedlot mentality seen in a dairy herd. Definitely unhygienic, to say the least, and so not fair! And just for the record – calves penned for veal is as cruel as chickens squashed in cages.

We now live on Vancouver Island, and the happy cows we used to see have been pushed off the land for cash crops and into feedlots/stalls. A life sentence of servitude. Makes me sad. The SPCA won’t step in. Where are all our animal advocates? Where is our common sense and our common decency? It hurts to see them that way! And yes, even vegetarians can feel some of the animals’ pain and shame when they see similarities in some of Canada’s farm workers’ conditions.

Thanks for listening and thanks for your magazine. It is awesome.

Ruth John
Port Alberni, B.C.

RD November Letters 2018

Forest policy vindication
RD: Bill Lahey’s Independent Forestry Review Report is a long-awaited vindication of what many woodlot owners, harvesters, and environmentalists have been saying for years: we need a forestry industry that leaves a significant portion of forest intact. We have been exploiting our forest – with too much clearcutting and planting of monocultures – in an unsustainable fashion.

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RD October Letters 2017

Blue in the face over blueberries
RD: There’s not enough coverage about 60 million pounds of N.S. blueberries. They say the price is low. Why can’t we buy them at the Atlantic Superstore, Sobeys, etc.? There’s lots of berries from down south. During September of last fall (2016) I spoke to the produce manager of Atlantic Superstore in Tantallon, N.S. All they had were excuses. I called Ontario – no luck. 

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RD July-August Letters 2017

Something’s fishy
RD: I tried to discover if I could buy some river herring by means of telephoning Fisheries and Aquaculture, in the phone book as 426-9010, but the girl never heard of such fish. She then referred me to “Dartmouth” where the girl said she would ask regarding Gaspereau or river herring. Never heard of the fish herself. Now I got a bill for long distance; evidently the second girl was in Cornwallis Park, N.S.
    I mention the runaround in part because you might find it interesting to do an article, possibly relating to the dearth of herring generally. Is the Gaspereau River empty of kiack? It was once renowned for a square net fishery, the wide nets supported from above, on a limb or an A-frame or tri, like an engine from a truck tree lift.

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