Monday, August 9, 2010

True Blue , True Grit !

Some time during the mid 1920s a major fire was reported at the far end of Douglas Avenue , Saint John , New Brunswick. The firestation doors opened wide on nearby Main Street and out rolled the horse-drawn engine ….. firefighters hanging from both sides. As they rounded the corner heading out Douglas Avenue the heavy vehicle tipped over crushing two firemen underneath its weight…. the eight horses panicked and bolted forward dragging the unfortunate victims along with them. A young bystander sprang from the crowd loitering there on the corner , jumped in front of the two lead horses…. grabbing each by the halter….. and managed to stop the runaways…… thereby bringing a halt to tragic mishap. The young man’s name was Edmund McNulty , or McAnulty as they often wrote it back then…..and he was my Dad …….. and he was born 107 years ago today.

Two hours earlier he had stepped down from the train at Union Station after a two-year jaunt out West in Alberta where he had driven teams of horses , hauling huge loads of felled timber down to the sawmills from the Crow's Nest Pass in the Rockies and also working wheat-harvesting on the Canadian Prairies. The above picture was taken that very day at Union Station with his travelling buddy whose name I have forgotten. My Dad ( glasses and flowing white scarf ) told me that he and his friend had bought their suits in Moose Jaw and had spruced up and donned them about a half hour before their arrival in Saint John after a five-day train trip ...... to impress the hell out of their old cronies and especially for the girls.... so he told me !!

According to his buddies ..... were it not for the proverbial dog , my father could easily have been chosen " man's best friend". His work mates vied to pair up with him in the workplace because he always pulled his load. He was no slacker ! Later on men would line up to work under his orders when he was longshore boss because he was fair and just to all. As for his being a great husband and father...... well , whether he' d had an exhausting , rough 'n tumble day on the docks with his men or a rowdy evening at Creamer's Pool Hall "carousing" with his "bummy friends" ( my Mom's words , not mine !) , I would always fall asleep listening to the murmur of my parents voices....... down on their knees bedside in the adjacent room .......telling their beads before turning in for the night. Happy umpteenth birthday , Dad !

Happy Umpteenth Birthday , Dad !


  1. Very nice and extremely interesting. This post made me stop and figure out how old my mom would be this year. I came up with 96.
    Love the photos.

  2. Thanks for coming by , Cindy Anne... all the way from Texas !!One of my two Almas (family friend)is alert and 97 whereas the other Alma , Mom's best friend and bridesmaid , will be 102 on September 25th. Time flies and we get no younger , my friend.I remember you like old photos... and I feel so blessed to have inherited so many. Please drop by again soon.