Ben Oostdam's

page 35

1957 - 1960

On the 15:00 plane from St. Pierre to Sydney, N.S., I talked with 3 of the Coughlan sisters who were on their way back to New Brunswick. They referred to me as the "Bohemian beard geologist" and Elsie gave me the tel. number of Rosemarie who I was to call when passing through Moncton.
From Sydney, I first hitched a ride with an insurance agent in a VW, who offered me rum and a cigar....I spent the night in the rain in an empty house just beyond the causeway. Starting early on Aug.11, I had a few rides with veterans and was also picked up by a patrol car with US police, who offered me breakfast.
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Talked with a young hitchhiker who was on his way to Alberta and got picked up by the very next car - which had two girls in it and an Alberta licence plate! Also a long ride on the back of an old truck, after which a furniture agent took me to Sackville. Another truck took me through Moncton, so I did not call Rosemarie.
Some teenagers took me to Shediac, then a fast truck-ride along the coast with a guy studying civil engineering by mail. He dropped me at a gaspump in Chalan (?) where I waited a long time till the attendant pointed out the Butternut truck - which squeezed me in. ("Ladies, the squeeze is off.. Butternut, the new bread which you don't need to squeeze to prove it's fresh!") [echoes of Charmin toiletpaper? see 1978] Around 24:00 I got to Bathurst and called my teammates, who quickly came and picked me up. Happy to be "HOME" again...
Next Thursday, Aug.13, on my birthday party, I broke up with Susan, and the next week, I went into the bush again with Nick, who was sorry to have missed the many adventures he could have shared had it not been for the Lambretta accident. We roamed past and through romantic beaverponds with hanging weeds and six foot high dams, saw some moose and alderbush, enjoyed some cool dips and the chance to get out of our evil smelling fieldclothes. The nights were getting cold, and we went to bed early on fieldbeds. Read a lot, ate peanuts, talked with occasional friends such as the gatekeeper, Orvan, the man of California Lake , fellows from NJ Zinc and McIntyre Porcupine Mines, Doucet & Roy brothers (picketlines). Paul Hawkes called some of the "pigs" of Ian Campbell : Lou, Ann Farlot, Isabel; stories of the glory-epoch of Bathurst, 1956/7: McAllister-bar-office-3 darts-feet on desk, boy 20 min behind in core logging, gov. loans cores but comp asks for records, one party making claim a few seconds before other, tricks with soilsampling
I wrote a long letter to Kathy Corcoran which I mailed the same evening when I was called by a Vince V. Valentine, engineer, who had received an invitation from the "girls of St. Pierre". Taking Paul and George along, we drove to Tracadie and "paired off": George with Rosemarie, Paul with Irene, and I with Elsie. We had a wonderful evening, but ran out of gas on the way back early in the morning. Nevertheless, we got to the office in time to go back into the bush with Nick for another week, after which I made a beeline to Tracadie and met the entire Coughlan family. Again, a lovely weekend, followed by our last week in the bush and a "farewell to arms" and return to McGill for my last year.

BLO fecit 20020817
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