IT WAS during the calf roundup on an Alberta ranch near Willow Creek that the wife of a rancher was seen tooling the family car through a herd of about 1,000 steers and calves. Obviously in a hurry the woman was taking a short cut to town through the range land. The rancher who had been contemplating the fine price the fat herd of cattle would bring recognized the car and loped over to greet his wife.
“Hi, Mary!” he shouted. “What’s the hurry?” “Don’t bother me,” she cried, waving the family ration hooks at him. “This is the last day for the No. Id meat coupons and I’m trying to get to town before the stores close!”
• • •
This could have been the saddest story of the week but thanks to the municipal council of Burnaby, B.C., it had a happy ending. It concerns W. hi. Valleau who bought a lot in Burnaby, a municipality adjoining Vancouver. On the lot Mr. Valleau built a house. He was just getting ready to move into his new home when he discovered the lot he owned was next to the one on which lu* had built. Happily, the council owned both properties and to help Mr. Valleau out of an embarrassing situation they authorized a trade.
• • •
It happened during the evening rush hour on a Halifax streetcar. A stranger asked the motorman to tell him when they reached Henry Street but as more and more passengers crowded into the car, the stranger was pushed farther and farther back from the front and the motorman. When the required stop was finally reached, the motorman had to shout at the top of his voice to make himself heard down the length of the car.
“HENRY!” he bellowed.
And the car rocked with laughter when a youthful voice promptly shouted back “Coming, mother!
• • •
Were we a landlord with a small central apartment to rent in Ottawa we think this little “classified
appearing in an Ottawa paper would find a sympa I hetie corner in our heart:
“HAVE you ever lived with your motherin-law for six months? Permanent Army officer and wife seek rescue in form of small eenI ral apt.”
• • •
If what we have been led to believe is true, hurdygurdy men are about as easy to find as the pork in pork and beans. It was with no little vigor, therefore, I hat we cornered Miche de Cicco, a Toronto hurdygurdy man the other day to find out how he had survived the grind. When we found him, Miche was standing on a street corner looking sad and playing gay music. He is a small man with a wiry mustache, turning grey and no wonder for Miche is 68 and a grandfather. He admits he is the last hurdy-gurdy froubadour in 'Toronto and one of the few left in the Dominion. He parries all questions with a shrug and keeps cranking away at his music machine. It took
us five minutes to realize that Miche talks much better if you drop a quarter into his palm.
Miche is a stickler for facts. He has never forgiven a reporter who once said he made “lots of money.” Nor another who said he had eight children. Miche will have you know that he does not make “lots of money”—and he has nine children. Even in the boom days of the hurdy-gurdy, which was about 15 years ago as Miche sees it, a fellow was lucky to make six or seven dollars a day. Now he does well to make three or four. Sometimes, even, he thinks he’ll get another job.
Miche came to Canada in 1898 and has lived in Toronto ever since. He likes Toronto even if the city did lay him off his street-cleaning job back in the early depression days. That’s when he started peddling street music and he’s been doing it over a regular beat ever since. He doesn’t work on Mondays —or on holidays either. He usually quits about three o’clock each afternoon. His hurdy-gurdy weighs 500 pounds and plays 10 selections hut Miche can t tell you the name of any of them, only the numbers. One thing he does know is that customers will have to be content with the music he has, for no more is available. He gets angry when he tells you his hurdy-gurdy costs him twice as much in Canada as in the U. S. Sales tax and duty.aren’t on speaking terms with Miche de Cicco.
Miche has never used a monkey as a working partner. If Miche has developed any philosophy during his many years of tramping streets it is only —“It takes a lot of nickels to make a dollar.”
• • •
Keeping pace with international events has evidently caused Dr. H. L. Stewart, well-known radio news analyst, to neglect what’s going on at home in Halifax. Recently, invited to address a service club luncheon at a Halifax hotel, he turned up at a building lately converted from a hotel into a barracks for the RCMP. When informed of his error by the Mounties Dr. Stewart boarded a streetcar and headed for another hotel. There, he was directed by the desk clerk to a banquet room where a luncheon was being held. He had seated himself at a table before discovering he was dining with the wrong service club. Apologizing, he walked out, boarded another tram which was detoured from its normal route. At this point Dr. Stewart gave up and decided to walk it, arriving at his proper destination just as the last course was being served. Dr. Stewart is a Professor of Philosophy at Dalhousie University—and we like to imagine that, tucked away somewhere in his textbooks, he has a philosophy covering such occasions.
• • •
He was a green recruit fresh from the East and prairie life was new to him.
Before joining the RCMP his only association with horses had been of the milkwagon variety and he was sure that the horses of the Force had a much higher intellect. One morning during stable parade at Regina, the sergeant had occasion to Lell one of the horses to move hack in its stall. The horse ignored the sergeant’s soft-spoken request. Hie young recruit, eager to make an impression on his superiors, strode over to the offending equine and in a loud, frightening voice commanded:
“You heard what (he sergeant said! (let hack in there!”
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