A daily delivery of unusual dirt

The Indian Burn

4 responses

  1. kirsten

    love those feet

    Monday, Mar 7th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    • yeah especially the left one right? not his left, our left. I lol’d when i drew it. thanks bro.

      Monday, Mar 7th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

  2. Diamond


    Monday, Mar 7th, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    • , “Say, I was just going to take this Cessna up for a test. We’ve had some trouble with the laidnng gear. Why don’t you come up with me and we can have a visit!” I looked at him in horror and he laughed when he realized what I was envisioning. He added, “I’m pretty sure I have fixed it. There should be no trouble!” What a treat that was for me! My first and last time in the cockpit of a plane. Johnny even let me “drive” it as we soared over the city.It was Trayton’s and my good fortune when Lorrie and Alex moved to Toronto. That meant that Uncle Johnny and Aunt Lorraine would come to see their daughter and family. It also meant that we could look forward to those yearly visits, too. One time we made a trip with Johnny to the cottage. It was so much fun to sit cozily in front of the fire, with Trayton prodding Johnny with questions about John’s ambition as a kid, his experiences during the war and the setting up of the Prairie Flying Service in Regina. We sat for hours enjoying Johnny recount those years with such gusto and humour. On our return to Toronto, we stopped in Trenton at the air base to show Johnny where a plaque had been placed in memory of his brother Martin. We also wanted to show Johnny the Halifax, a bomber which had been brought up from the bottom of a lake in Norway and was being reconstructed in the RCAF Museum in Trenton. It was Johnny who pointed out to us that the Halifax a bomber, was a newer version of the Avro Lancaster (a plane he himself had flown). There was one difference, however. The Halifax was 9 inches longer than the Lancaster, a 9 inch space created so a tailgunner could keep his parachute near him for quick use, instead of storing it in the body of the plane. Trust Johnny to regale us with that little tidbit!We have all enjoyed Johnny’s storytelling. Here is one story he told me that always brings a smile to my face.The time is the dirty 30’s, the time of the depression. Johnny was about 10 or 11 years of age and it was his job to keep the water trough full of water for their horses, using a manual pump. He was not particularly happy that horses from neighbouring farms were frequenting this water hole. (During these hard times horses were allowed to roam freely, so they could scavenge for something to eat and drink.) The more horses that came to drink meant the more often Johnny had to fill the trough. He took a lingering look at the horses’ tails and, being the entrepreneurial type, he figured he might make a buck. Horsehair brought a good price $1.50 to $2.00 a bag. He proceeded to manicure the tails of visiting horses, carefully avoiding cutting into the fleshy part of their tails. Over a period of time he collected six to seven bags of horsehair which he cleverly hid in the barn. One day when he went to recount his bags and gloat over his future wealth, he could not find them. They were gone! He learned that the bags had been discovered and taken every last bag to town to be sold and the proceeds of this sale had gone into the pot to help Anne and Mabel buy supplies they needed for normal school. This was not his plan! Word of what happened soon got around the countryside. Mr. MacMillan, who was a bachelor in town, commented to Johnny the next time he saw him, “Yeh, John, it sure was a tough winter – all the horses got short tails!” (Once John accepted the reality of his bungled plan, he has joked how he contributed to the girls’ education.)How wonderful it is to be able to call Uncle Johnny uncle, and to have shared such happy times together. I wouldn’t change this for the whole world. These memories are truly my treasures.Sending you all our love across the miles.Bette and Trayton

      Sunday, Mar 17th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s