Proof-I could ride. The girls are from the Richmond area-tin the saddle, left to right-Unknown, Elizabeth Wallace, myself, Rodger Wallace (not related), The couple holding the horses remind me of the Costellos, but can’t be. 1957 or so.
Started out to be about the Hackberry-do with what you will. Include some photos of hackberry trees and one other below- (read- The Oldest Living Things in Carleton Place — Hackberry Trees 101)
Although I grew up playing/working in the mill area and spent many hours fishing at the pikehole ( readd-Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After), I had not heard of a Hackberry tree previous to you mentioning it some years ago. I was intrigued to the point of visiting the area, to satisfy my curiosity, wondering why I had not been previously aware of them.
In my youth, I had spent many hours with my dad, working in the bush (on one end of a crosscut saw-not very good at it; going by the remarks that dad made/shouted at me) and knew the names of most of the trees that grew in the area (all but forgotten now). Particularly a small Ironwood tree that I had decided to chop down. I knew that there had to be a reason for the name and after a prolonged effort, which proved fruitless decided, to go chop a cedar, as I knew that it would bend to my axe.
This tribulation was duly noted by the owner of the farm (Bill Saunderson) since the following summer, he hired me to cut the trees along his fence lines. This appeared to be right up my alley and I looked forward to the undertaking; whereupon, Bill provided me with an axe and a couple of saws (in spite of my previous achievements with a saw). What he neglected to tell me, was that the fence line was really a rock line, populated with stunted trees, of course, some of which were the dreaded ironwood. Of course, loaded with experience, without trepidation, I set upon the upstarts, ending the day with a very satisfactory swath-at least to me.
Bill came to examine the results of my efforts and while I was proclaiming my success, he was eyeing me strangely; scowling as he stared at the axe in my hand, grabbing it, examining the pointy end-well, it should have been pointy. “You ruined a perfectly good axe”, was his wail. I explained (or tried to) that the trees were almost as hard as the rocks and you couldn’t be sure if the trees were at fault or the axe bouncing off the trees into the rocks was the problem. To be sure, this ended my career as a woodsman.
Bill wasn’t sick of me yet and allowed me to work around the farm. He might have been a little bit sick of me as he sent me out to pick weeds from a field of mustard or was it to pick mustard from a field of grain. Anyway, I sucked at that (bending over in all that heat wasn’t to my liking) and looked for opportunities to while away the afternoon and get to the next chore which was more to my liking-also, I had a plan.
The cows spent most of the day in a pasture that included a wooded area. My job was to collect and herd them back to the barn for milking. It was a long walk-Bill had a horse. Almost every cowboy movie included the round up the cows. It must be easy-at least the horse was-throw on a bridle-find something suitable to allow climbing onto the horse’s back-think it was the horse trough (potentially dangerous). The ride to the pasture was quite calming and I had no trouble locating the herd-that was later. I began the roundup but the cows weren’t co-operating, in fact they didn’t seem to be aware of the concept.
Anytime I brought the horse in to play to set them off for home, they would disperse willy nilly and we (the horse and I, the cows) ended up going in circles until I, at the end of my tether, jumped off the horse and tied him to a branch. At which point the cows joined up and headed for the barn, with me following on foot. I had to return later for the horse! Thus ended my farm/cowboy career.
Hackberry Tree on the right is on Rosamund to the right of the bridge– Larry Clark