I will never forget my summer job at the Almonte Flour Mill. I believe it was the summer of 78. I had the coolest summer job, was playing football in school, had the whole world by the ass, and now a summer job at the flour Mill. I had it made, and on top of that, I was going to make $5.67 an hour. Life was great. Showed up for work on the Monday morning, LOL wearing a tank top. Met most of the lads and they all seemed pretty decent. They were all laughing and joking with me. Not sure if it was because it was me, or what I was in for.
I knew John Hickey, but not well. He always seemed like a decent guy, whenever I saw him. Didn’t know much about him. He said to me” You ready for this?”. I said sure am, actually I was ready for anything. He said we have to load 2 boxcars this morning. I said ok and off we went. He and I got into the boxcar, and we got started. We alternated bags. All the bags were 140 pound burlap bags. We were going to fill the boxcar before break at 10. After the first few bags, it was quite warm, and it was very physical. You went to your end of the boxcar and put the bag down. Carrying these on your shoulder, LOL, no place for a young lad wearing a tank top. It wasn’t long before it had taken most of the skin off my shoulder.
I was struggling with these bags after awhile. I watched John to get some tips and he was having near as much trouble as I was. These were 10 across and 11 high. I watched John and he would take them off his shoulder and bang them off his leg and presto, LOL 11 high. I said to him I don’t think I can do that. He laughed and told me I would have to build steps. I handled 375 bags. Then break. Had a soft drink 15 minute break and we finished the second on by lunch time.
750 bags in a boxcar –375 each. This was the morning. LOL I was toast and still had the afternoon to go. There were plenty of wheat cars to do. There were lots of deliveries to do. There were always people pulling in to pick up bags of bran. It was a crazy busy place the whole summer. Not much more detail than that about the job, but being a young lad, who is simply just interested in meeting people and fairly social LOL, I wanted to give you as many names as I can of the fellows I worked with:
Ken MacDonald worked there. John Hickey, Carmen Dennie, Franny Klaus, Robby Chilton was the other summer guy who was there the summer I was there, Jimmy Sadler, Earl Barr, Rick Gladman, Donnie Desrosiers, Ray Ladouceur, Donnie Ladouceur, Bill Harris, Jimmy Fode, Keith Camelon, Stan Hall, Mike Solojew, Tom More, George Dennie, Johnny Bolton, Fred Somerton, Shirley Drynan. When I was there, Thurstons used to deliver flour to the mill. Peter Stevens and Ken Forrest were the usual drivers. Anyway, I think I have everyone. These were some of the greatest friendships I ever formed over the years. These are all great guys and fantastic people that I am still very honoured to be able to call them my friends.
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships SunScreamin’ Mamas (USA) and The Sherbrooke Record