Friday, August 7, 2015

The Lansdowne Letters: Human Refuse 5 Revisited ~ Heading Out

I didn't dare mention how long I'd be traveling,
first to Alaska and then to Nova Scotia;
but the end of my trips are in sight!

Here is a repost of my Human Refuse 5 post,
first published on 4/15/13:

Hi Darling: 
wrote my father to my mother
on Thursday, September 8, 1960.

Well, the convention is all over,
and tomorrow morning 
I set off for Nakina at 6:15 a.m.

I catch the Algoma Central Railroad train
from Sault Ste. Marie to Oba
and then catch the CNR to Nakina.

Stops Along ACR:Source:  Wikipedia

The distance from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst is about 344 miles (553 km) by road.
Oba is about 90 mi (145 km) SSW of Hearst.
Nakina is about 190 mi (306 km) NW of Oba.
(Maps are hard to come by!)

        Nakina to the left.
        Ontario Highway 584
        between Geraldton
        and Nakina above.

    Canadian National Railroad Station, Nakina

I will probably be one or two days in Nakina
before a plane can be chartered
to take me in to Lansdowne House.

A charter plane will be necessary
because I will have missed 
the regular weekly mail run
which flies every Friday.

Bush Plane with Pontoons for Landing on Water

You will only be hearing from me
once a week after I get in there 
because of the weekly mail run on Friday.

However, each weekly letter will be quite long
because I plan to write some every night or so.

I would like you to mail letters regularly, Darling.
If you only sent one a week, 
and it didn't happen to to catch the mail run,
I would be heartbroken.

Mom and Dad
Before Kiddos!

As for me, there's no chance
that I would miss the mail run.
From what I can gather, 
the arrival and departure of the weekly mail run 
is the zenith of excitement at Lansdowne House,
and all events are referred to as
before mail plane
or after mail plane.

Tell the bank manager that I will be paid 
on a 10 month basis and will be sending
more than $300 monthly down to N.S.
I have to send it all, or nothing,
so my whole salary will be sent to Digby,
and I will write a cheque 
once a month to cover my expenses.

A World Away from Northern Ontario
 O'Neil Fisheries Ltd., Digby

However, Darling, you carry on as planned
with your $200 per month.
We will just let the rest accumulate
to live on in July and August.

Tell the bank manager that I have arranged 
to have all my cheques sent to Digby.
However, tell him that it will be 
God only knows when he will receive
formal notice to that effect
because all such notifications have to originate 
with the Treasury Board at Ottawa,
and you know how long anything takes
to get through Ottawa.

Canadian Money

Now there's a big woops!
Thanks for the LOL comment to set me straight,
Let's try a real iconic Canadian coin,
even if it wasn't around in 1960:

You've Got to Love Loonies!
Should Have Gone to Wikimedia Commons
in the First Place!

After the convention was over,
I wandered down to the river
and watched the Great Lake water traffic
going through the Sault Ste. Marie locks
which were built to navigate
the Ste. Marie rapids
between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. 

Soo Locks and International Bridge
Source:  Wikimedia Commons

Sault Ste. Marie

There is a rise of about 28 feet between
Lake Huron and Lake Superior.  
There are (I think) 
five steps in the locks,
and when I was there,
there was a boat in every step up the river side
and two lakers and an ocean going freighter 
tied up and waiting their turns.
There were also three boats coming through the locks
in the downstream side.
It is all very fascinating.

A Boat Pulls into the Poe Lock

When we come up next year,
I believe we will fly to Sault Ste. Marie
and spend a couple of days sightseeing.
There are little boats that take you on a tour
of the locks and the rapids.
I believe that the children and you would enjoy it.
I was too busy to take the trip myself.

Talking about next year,
Mr. Foss told me that the material 
for the new teacher's residence 
is going to be hauled in this winter,
and that it will be built and ready
for occupancy next year;
so I will be able to have you all up with me.

Unfortunately, I don't think they build
residences with three bedrooms,
so we might have to double up some way,
but it will be better than being separated.

The rent for a furnished residence 
is somewhere between $40 or $60 per month.
That's even better than PMQs.
(Permanent Married Quarters ~ military)

Alfred Hitchcock's movie "Psycho"
is playing in the theatre right next to the hotel,
and I am going to see it tonight.
They say it is terrific,
if you can stand the suspense.
Wish you were here with me.

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho Trailer

You can start writing to me, Darling.
My mailing address is
Lansdowne House
via Nakina, Ontario.

Well, I must sign off now and get this mailed
and get off to see "Psycho."
Bye now, Darling,

Somehow things never go according to plans!

To be continued...

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


  1. Going to see Psycho in the theater - how wild.
    Things are slow going through Ottawa? I wonder if that's still true?

    1. Hi, Alex! My apologies for not getting around to all my blogging friends posts. I'm caught up in a MacBeath whirlwind! It's that time when different family members start heading for the airport, and we're trying to squeeze in as much as possible. Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Lovely to read as usual and nice photos. Greetings!

    1. Thanks, Blogoratti! Greetings to you. I'll be visiting your blog as soon as I can. Lots of family events happening. It's great fin, but I do miss seeing everyone's post. Have a great weekend!

  3. haha I was going to say you mixed up the money, loonies and toonies are just more fun haha Wish rent was like that for apartments around here these days

    1. Hey Pat! Loonies and goonies are definitely more fun! My third graders used to think they were hilarious when we were learning about money. Have a good one!

  4. Hi Louise,

    I love the loonies and toonies! They are easy to save aside for a treat now and then, such as a $10 meal at a restaurant or something like that. I love your photos and it sounds like you are busy and enjoying your time. I am very happy about this. Love and hugs to you. :)

    1. Love and hugs to you, Linda! I am having the best time, but it's Go, Go, Go! I'm always surprised when I count my Canadian coins and discover how much I have! Have a good weekend!

  5. Lovely letter. I can imagine how troubling it must have been to have been away from his wife for a year... In Alastair MacLeod's "Island" I remember many of the stories were about people from Nova Scotia who had to be separated from love ones due to work. I have been to the locks there many times--it is amazing to see the freighters of today (over a 1000 feet long and 105 feet wide) slip into a lock that's only 110 wide!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Sage! Sorry I just found it ~ I was traveling home to Colorado. I would love to see the locks. As luck would have it, we never got to see them as my father had hoped. Have a good one!


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