JOHN CALDER SAW MILL AND THRESHING MACH INE AT WORK…MASSEYHARRIS BEAMS

EPISODE   1,020  JOHN AND ELEANOR CALDER — BUILT A SAWMILL FROM PARTS 


alan skeoch
dec 8, 2023


Note: This story is about the Calder family aw mill.   Your task is to separate threshing 
from sawing….the Calders did both. 

John and Eleanor Calder were a remarkable couple, Hard to know where to start their story
because they could do things thst would intimidate people like me and possibly you,

‘What  is all that scrap iron beside the barn John?”
“I am going to build a sawmill, Alan…got all the pieces here.”

John and Eleanor were a perfect match…fitted hand and glove.
They decided to build their own house after a fire converted nearly all their
possessions into ash.  I remember John’s burnt hands after he reached through a burning 
window to rescue some silverware and pottery.

AFTER THE FIRE ‘MAKNG DO’ WITH WHAT REMAINED

“We will just have to make do with what remains’”
“What remains?”
“Lots.”
“Like the dairy herd was untouched and the barn and the sheep…and our family…no
deaths in the fire.
so we began to build our dream house.
 I rescued this sawmill from scrap iron dealers.   We have trees
…lots of them….and we have stones,,,lots of them.  Enough to build a two storey field stone house,  I have a plan,”
P{lan””
“The stones are free but lumber costs money.   I need my own saw mill to cut costs”
JOHN AND ELEANOR CALDER WITH HELP OF CHILDREN  JAMES, DOUGLAS AND 


ANNE BUILT A STONE HOUSE THAT BECAME A FEATURE STORY IN NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES  i,e  HARROWSMITH



The brand new stone house about to receive lumber from
 the saw Mill


ENTER  OUR FMILY


      when we  discovered   the Calder saw mill.  We had been collecting white pine beams from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the demolition of the Massey Harris factory in west Toronto.  The pictures below show how the beams became nice lumber.

Today the saw mill has been abandoned for two decades 

OUR LUMBER AWAITS A NEED

CIBC

alan

P.S>   Eleanor was born to Frank Townsend and Elizabeth Skeoch, dad’s sister




EPISODE 1,019 HOW TO BECOME A COVER GIRL

EPISODE  1,019    HOW TO BECOME A COVER GIRL


alan skeoch
feb 23, 2024

PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM  1982

PARKDALE  COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE  



“Mr  Skeoch would like some students to stick around the
school tomorrow afternoon around 3.30.  A book 
publisher has hired a photographer to take a picture 
of our students on the cover of a book he has written.  Here is 
your chance to be famous.”

The reaction was amusing.
 

 Parkdale students milled around the photographer who seemed to know
what he wanted.  Namely students not teachers.  Took about 40 minute then he was gone 
I never saw the results until the publication was done.

What a surprise!   A cover that wrapped around the whole book.   Most interesting
was the cover girl…the dominant feature.   students were dressed casually….blue jeans and sweaters,   One girl came to school in her best dress, an eye catcher with polka dots on a white base…new shoes, black leotards,  She was stunning.

And it was no surprise her image dominated the book cover.  I do not remember
her name unfortunately  Perhaps an ex student if PCI will recognize her.

Instructions
1) Do not look at the camera
2) Would the young lady in polka dots dots seem to be reading the book.
3) Would the rest of you be in conversation 
(It was no accident that the final cover was representative of the Canadian 
population)

Every time I see this cover I am reminded of those halcyon days when 
I taught high school,  There is no job like it.  To see adolescents become adults.

Citizen X (as I call her) seemed to be just like all the other students
until she saw her chance to be something else…a cover girl.

EPISODE 118 NONE OF MY BUSINESS — “THE SHOPPING CART AND HOMELESS MAN.”

EPISODE 118     NONE OF MY BUSINESS — “THE SHOPPING CART AND

HOMELESS MAN.”

alan skeoch
Feb. 19, 2024


Most people walked by the man and his loaded ‘borrowed’ 
shopping  Cart loaded with who knows what.  EVERY person that
passed by in 20 minuted ignored him. You too?I only saw him load
one item…a soda or beer can which he crushed flat and pitch in 
the black milk crate.   Beer can ?  Worth 10 cents. What can ten cents buy?
Soda can, worth nothing.  

IMAGINE THIS MAN IS YOU…your cart.
Answer the questions.

Be specific  if you can

What ’is in the cart?
where do you sleep tonight? (temp -7 and sinking)
What do you eat?   Where?
Do you have friends?
Where do you wash?
Where do you relieve yourself?
How did you become homeless”?
Is there any danger in Being homeless?
What do you do about  a tooth ache?

NONE OF MY BUSINESS~ RIGHT?

Fwd: EPISODE 1,017 RESCUING OUR HOUSE…A RAILING IS BETTER THAN A MOVE




Note:  Such a trivial thing,,,a hand rail,,,,maybe trivial to  you but to us
it could be a saviour.


EPISODE 1,017    RESCUING OUR HOUSE…A RAILING BETTER THAN A MOVE


alan skeoch
feb. 15, 2024
pictures by marjorie

SUDDENLY our whole way of
life was in jeopardy…all due to a knee operation 
thst was supposed to be successful.

We love our house that now sits among megahouses but once, not long ago say 200 years ago, was hidden away in a white pine forest where the indigenous
Misissauga people lived.   

When we came here in1968 there were dozens of trees and shrubs thriving as the land gently sloped down to a babbling brook (Mary Fix Creek) where wild things thrived….. Today a  coyote family has mated and await the rival of pups.  Maybe they are already here.  So wild is our 55’ x 400’  lot  thst we have fenced off a fragment to protect Woody, our dog, snd Chelsea Bun, our kitten (she is howling in her ‘heat’ this moment  so has become a cat I surmise.
  Survival of pets is doubtful without the fence.

SHANGRI-LA IS SHAKEN BY KNEE SURGERY

Lucky us!  We feel lucky to have this fragment of wilderness.  At least we did
until December 12 when I had knee surgery.  Suddenly alll we held dear was torn away.

“Alan, you must do the exercises if you expect walk again.”
“But something has gone wrong.  My knee will not straighten as it should.  I need
a walker just to move from kitchen to bathroom.  My balance is gone. I am a totem pole about to collapse.  Should I dare to do a walkabout.  A prisoner. 
Maybe time to think about moving ..downsizing as they say.

Which gets me  to our story for today.  Marjorie called in an Occupational Therapist
who made a tub  full of changes that once acted upon would make our house livable once more.  Hand rails for the shower, rubber mats for bathroom floor, Handles to hold …………..



“You will need a handrail along the stairs.  Urgently needed.  How do you get from the 
first to the second floor?”
“I crawl like a lobster grasping anything that looks rooted. “
“Have you ever fallen?”
“Yes! When I let go of the walker and reached for the stairs.  Toppled like a whirling dervish.
Sliced my hands on a tinware fox and cut my skull on a fireplace duck.  Lots of blood.”
“How did you get help??]”
“Marjorie was asleep so I had to drag myself upstairs.  Left a bloody trail for her to cleanup.  How do people living alone manage?”
“They have great difficulty,”
(What would I do if Marjorie were not there?)
 
“You need  the wall railing immediately.”
“We have lived here for over 60 years and never thought of that.”

THE CREATION OF OUR WALL RAILING
Andrew came to the rescue.   







Imagine yourself with one leg that will not share the weight with the
other leg.  People feel sorry for you…that is hard to handle…nice
but I want to walk like other people.  What an arrogant person I have
become.   Wishing I was perfect physically when there are so many
people with worse afflictions. 

alan skeoch


EPISODE 1’015 : ribbon of ice skating in Port Credit = OUR OWN YELLOW BRICK ROAD

EPISODE 1’015  :  ribbon of ice skating in Port Credit 


alan skeoch
feb. 11, 2023


Brand new ice skating track in Memorial park, Port Credit courtesy of Councillor 
Stephen Dasko and City of Mississauga. ..and many others.  Open to all. Just in time

Remember the Yellow Brick Road and Judy Garland?  Well this is  an Ice Blue Track built for you
on artificial  ice on the west bank of the Credit River.  Free.  No Tin man, Straw Man or
Friendly Lion…or Judy Garland.  Imagine that.

alan

EPISODE 1,012 PARKDALE COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE: WE TRIED TO MAKE EDUCATION A JOY FOR ALL

EPISODE 1,012     PARKDALE COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE:  WE TRIED TO MAKE

EDUCATION A JOY FOR ALL

alan skeoch
feb. 8, 2024



ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE?

One day the creative camera club at Parkdale C.I. said to me…,”We see you made the
cover of ‘Rolling Stone Magazine..” and presented me with this copy  A fake!
A terrific fake that had surprising consequences.

1) We had a staff meeting …” Let’s have a student- staff assembly in the auditorium…and let’s lighten up…have some fun,”

2) We met with the student council…..’What do you think of a staff-student rock and
roll assembly…simulate the rock stars?”

3) And so began an annual staff-student assembly designed to make our
school a good place to be,  The music was deafening only outdone by the
scream of joy from the audience.

4) See if you can separate staff from students in these pictures…with credit
to the rock  stars of those years



At some point in my career I was asked 
“What school did you like best”  Either John Ricker or Evan Cruickshank. outstanding teachers, answered that question for me.


THE BEST SCHOOL IS THE SCHOOL IN WHICH YOU TEACH.  YOU HAVE AN
OBLIGATION TO MAKE IT SO.

WHY NY STORIES WILL TAKE LONGER

WHY STORIES WILL TAKE LONGER TO WRITE
The surgery on knee did not go well, so there are many exercises that take time . Frustrating. I have a backlog of stories. Sorry.
My left leg will not straighten properly…needs a lot of work … must push a walker.
alan

EPISODE 1,011: HOW I LOST MY MARBLES… AND WAS RESCUED IN 1948 AT KENT PUBLIC SCHOOL

NOTE:   QUITE BY CHANCE i came across — “1945 to 1955 was the great decade of
marble playing”,  I remembered that well,  In truth , however, marble games date back
deep in human history to Rome and  Egypt and even the stone age perhaps.   My
time was 1947 to 1949.   I learned an important lesson.  Find it,

    
EPISODE 1,011:  HOW I LOST MY MARBLES… AND WAS RESCUED IN 1948 AT KENT PUBLIC SCHOOL
alanskeoch
feb. 5, 2024

Alan and Eric Skeoch…marble playing ages




Enter:  Karl Stahlberg

 “ Alan, we could win a lot of marbles with this cigar box.”
:How?”
“Just cut three little holes with a coping saw”
“same as the big kids have done?”
“different size holes…big, medium, and small”
“Then we will  be in the Marble business….gambling”
Hope and pray none of our customers get a marble in
the smell hole…Pay out 10 if they do i”
“Risky”

Imagine the cigar box with three holes cut in the side….holes that will fit a marble with ease and with difficulty

I was ten years old in 1948 and my best friend was Karl Stahlberg.
He was toughrer then man me …known to the police, as some said.  
How can a 10  year old be known to the police?    Nice guy to me.  I had a couple
of lunches with Karl and his mom,  No father around.  Tiny two rooms.] 

In 1948 I was only vaguely aware of World  War II.  It never occurred to
me that Karl’s surname might be German which could explain Karl’s troubles.
Hard to say,



Karl had big plans for both of us.  

“We can cash in on the marble craze. Using this cigar box and a few marbles.
why should all the big guys make all the profits?”

At recess and lunch time the big guys set up shop on the sunny south side
of Kent Ublic School in West Toronto.  Cigar boxes mostly…with holes 
marked by numbers 1, 3 and 10.  


HOW THE GREAT PLAN  WENT SOUTH

“ALAN, set the cigar box here…beside the others…while I go and
see if I can get some marbles as back up.”
“You mean we have none?” 
“Don’t worry…nobody will get a marble through the 10 slot.”

And Karl was gone,   Worse!  A hot shooter put a marble through the 10 slot
first roll..   And he wanted to be paid his 10 marble winnings right away…called me a
welcher (if he knew that word)  A small crowd gathered some of whom were very hostile.

“I’ll pay when Karl gets here.”
“”Who is Karl?”

Man and woman surrounded by children all watch six boys play marbles.

Here are some Australian marble players.  Nine year olds plaYING  ‘closest to the wall ] but there is no wall.
Picture
Here are some British boys playing the “knock it out of the circle”
using marble boulder. 

Picture

assortment of marbles with a  big boulder

PicturePicture
‘Games like this were played by us all,  remember?

Lesson ….avoid debt

alan

P.S.  My brother Eric remembers Karl’s comment
“Stop for a second. I need to light a cigarette.”  TEN year old
when did you start smoking?  When did you stop?


EPISODE 1,010 ; “IT IS EASY TO FALL, REALLY EASY — HERE IS HOW TO FALL”



Begin forwarded message:


From: ALAN SKEOCH <alan.skeoch@rogers.com>
Subject: EPISODE 1,010 ; “IT IS EASY TO FALL, REALLY EASY — HERE IS HOW TO FALL”
Date: February 1, 2024 at 10:18:50 PM EST
To: John Wardle <jwardle@rogers.com>, Marjorie Skeoch <marjorieskeoch@gmail.com>


Note:  This is corrected story..sent rough note earlier..sorry


EPISODE 1,010 ;  “IT IS EASY TO FALL, REALLY EASY — HERE IS HOW TO FALL”


alan skeoch
FEb. 1,2024




So you want to know how to fall,  Well here is an easy way to do it
Any nincompoop can learn to fall,  Here is how I did it,

1)  Complain “Cannot sleep, I’m going downstairs to watch TV”
2) Best if there is no response.  Your partner is asleep

3) Slip put of bed and carefully descend 14  stairs to the main floor
where you have a walker waiting
4) wobble with the walker to the refrigerator and eat a tub of yogurt or make 
a salami Sandwich
5) Decide to go back to bed
6) Do the wobble walk back to hte walker
9{ Park the wobble walker at right angle to the stairs
100 Release the walker.. both hands
11) Feel the rush of freedom,,,Enjoy it for a second or two
12) Twist away from the walker.   Savour the adrenaline rush for a millisecond more
13)  Ask yourself “Am I airborne?
14)  ask yourself  “Am I in full flight?  You will be,
15)  Feel your surgery leg collapse,,,shatter or wobble
16) The rest is automatic,,,you may pivot or you may plunge
17) I pivotted briefly then crashed into the fireplace where an
assortment of  devils awaited,
18) A large tinware fox managed  to slice both hands…hungry fox 
19) My head hit a stoneware duck which we thought was ornamental…sliced
a lock of hair  with scalp along for the ride
20) Still swivelling I conked myself on the bottom stair
21)So terribly weak 
22) raising to my only good knee was a challenge
23) blood 
24) “Marjorie, I am hurt down here…..help!
25)  Crawling up 14 stairs to awaken Marjor she took over …..mopping up the blood…bandaging
 
NOTE:  AT what number did this cease to be a joke?

It was no joke…easy to fall,,,dreadfull


Marjorie recorded it best below


Al’s knee is hard to bend Fell in floor at 3am cut his head and hand on fireplace area just away from railing . Bled more than usual as he has been on blood thinners . Relaxed finally after cleaning up and finding larger bandaids . Back at physio again and only one more time . Need to have a physio for house 🏡. Looking into it  . Got to flatten that knee . 

.Alan fell last night at 3am. After bandaging and cleaning up his head wound and hands and fingers and surrounding blood 🩸 all through stairs and floor , I finally got him back to sleep at 5 am till 8 am and then off to Physio at 9:30 . Anxiety is a dreadful nighttime issue . I had to reassure him that the wounds and bruises would heal and the blood was from all the blood thinnng  pills before surgery . He bled again at physio on chair and floor but got through his exercises better even though it hurt . Reward was after in the lobby for all to enjoy . A coffee and muffin and a piano and bass violin . He is back home at 1 pm. 







EPISODE 1009 MEMORY IS AMAZING – SCARFOOT INCIDENT 1944

EPISODE 1009   MEMORY IS AMAZING – SCARFOOT INCIDENT, 1944

alan skeoch
January 28. 2024 

Alan and Eric Skeoch, circa 1945

NOTE:  How can our tiny skulls  retain so much memory?  Even an event
as tiny as a shard of broken glass slicing my foot has been retained . 
the SCARFOOT incident.

 THE scar is 80 years old,  Mom, Eric and I were playing Blind Man’s Bluff

in Dufferin Park,  My eyes were covered .  I did Not see the jagged broken beer bottle…Shards waiting for my misstep.

It was November 1945 or 1946;  we  rented  a flat at 18 Sylvan Avenue, a huge Victorian house that is now part 
of Dufferin Park in West Toronto.  The war had ended or was about to end. Gangs of fatherless
teen agers rule the park.  Our house was an out post which Eric and I found fascinating for
there were always all treasures like this broken bottle gathered up by Mr Haywood, the park maitenance officer.   A nice man who we adored and who kept Eric
and me from harm.  Except that November afternoon.

I tripped on a tree root.  Blind folded  Fell hard and almost clear but the beer bottle caught the bottom of my leg.  Sheared a slab.   Normally, I would have seen it.  Weapons made by smashing a long necked beer bottle on a cement posted park bench was part of the ‘romance’ of Dufferin Park in those post World War II days. as were lead pipes, knives and safes.
The safes, mom told us not to touch for some uexplained reason.  They could make great balloons we thought but we obeyed mom’s command.   

NOTE:
Easy to make a beer bottle weapon. Inoffensive appearing… being empted but
with the flick of the wrist it became a meat grinder . Anyone could make one.
How did I know this bottle was a weapon?   I did not know.  Maybe the bottle had
simply been smashed against a park bench.,  Yes, it could have been imagination, It happened 80 
years ago and memory does play tricks.






I SCREAMED WHEN I SAW THE BLOOD,

“Hold still, Alan.”
“Deep cut!”
“We will have to get you to Western Hospital right away.”
“Hospital?   No, mom, hospitals are where people go to die!”
“Nonsense …stop twisting…wrap the wound”
“No hospital,”  (and I twisted free.)
“Alan!”

Then I began to run,  Heading to our flat at 18 Sylvan 
avenue,..up the steps, through the door, passing Mrs Southwick, our
landlady who was startled. The house was ancient with lots of
Victorian decorations that loomed out in the varnished darkness of the stairs,
which gave me nightmares normally but not tonight.  I fled into 
the bed room and dove beneath its iron  frame…turned over and
grabbed the iron frame.  No one could get me.   Mom tried.

Then dad arrived.  He was working the day shift so got home early.

“What the hell is going on here, Elsie?”
“Alan cut himself in the park…bleeding,  He’s scared’”
“We’ll see about that,” And dad turned the whole bed over,
plucked me from the iron frame like a ripe grape,,,I remember nothing  else.
Obviously I was not killed in the Western Hospital.

Mom was the care giverion our family most of the time but dad
was useful in crises.  Like a bodyguard who was always lurking in 
the shadows.


HOW MUCH OIF THIS IS TRUE?

Memory is not always reliable.  So I phoned Eric and said
‘Remember Wen sliced my leg?”
“Yes..on a beer bottle”
“The scar is still there on my instep as a reminder of the past.”

He remembered immediately as the internet does.

alan

Task:  Try to remember some incident in your life when you
were seven or eight years old.

Strange.  I remember the slash…the beer bottle… but hardly 
anything about world WarII.

Do not make beer bottle weapons.