Flood of 60

Dave Madill : Dave has been entertaining us with his poetry since 2001.
Posted By Dave Madill : Dave has been entertaining us with his poetry since 2001. On 2021-07-13 15:15:46

It was a Friday, and I had just come
home from school when I got a phone
call from my buddy Fred. He wanted
Dad and me to come down to his place
to take a look at what the flood had
washed up in his backyard. Fred lived
about 20 miles from us and was right
on the bank of the Nottawasaga River,
so Dad and I piled in the pickup and
went down. Now right where Fred’s
place was, the river made a U-turn
and then made it another a couple of
hundred yards downstream and then
headed off north again, so we were
prepared for almost anything. When
we arrived, Fred took us down to the
river and there in the bay was a jumble
of logs. These were not your standard
logs. They were almost all 40-foot long
peeled pine that were at least eighteen
inches thru the butt end, and from what
we could see, there were a lot of them.
(We estimated at least 100). Last year,
Fred and I dropped a huge Elm across
the river as a footbridge, and because
of the high water, these logs were all

Since the flood had washed it down,
it was ours by the right of salvage, so
Dad, Fred, and I figured that we could
come up with some fine timber to take
to the mill with a bit of work. Dad
knew where he could borrow a good
boat and motor, and we had the Case
Backhoe, which could reach down
over the 4-foot bank and haul them up
behind Fred’s house.

Dad and I headed home, where I
grabbed the backhoe and loaded the
bucket up with cables, ropes, a chain
saw, my chest waders and some twocycle gas while he headed off to
borrow Melvin’s 15-foot boat with a
ten horse motor. I headed off with the
backhoe and made the 20 miles in a couple of hours.

When I arrived
at Fred’s, I found
that Dad had
dropped the boat
off and headed
home while Fred
had called John
and Lawrence to
be down at his place the following
morning. By 8 am when Dad showed
up, we were already working and had a
few logs onshore. Dad checked around
and then told us that this operation
was all ours and to have at it while he
checked with a lawyer about salvage.

We worked our butts off all day and
had over 40 logs up on shore before
we shut down at dark, had supper, and
crashed. The next day we put in a 14
hour day, but now we were getting
logs further upstream and working
them out of the trees, so things went
a bit slower. We all decided to take a
couple of days off school and keep
working, and Monday and Tuesday,
we again put in 14 hour days. By
Tuesday night, we had cleared all the
logs from the Highway Bridge down
and had gone downstream to the end
of Fred’s place. We now had 105 logs
piled up onshore. We decided this was
the end, and John and Lawrence went
home while Fred and I went to school
the next day from his place.

I just walked in the door at home
Wednesday evening when Fred called
and said I had better come down to his
place as we had a problem, so I hopped
in the pickup and headed down. When
I arrived, there was this big shot there
trying to tell Fred that the logs were
his and he would have a truck come
and take them away to a building site up at Wasaga Beach, but he would pay
Fred $1.00 a log for hauling them out
of the river. That’s when I stepped in
and informed him that the logs were
ours by right of salvage, and if he
wanted them, he would have to pay
us $4000.00, and we would deliver
them to Wasaga but would have to
be paid cash in advance, or we would
haul them to the sawmill who would
be more than willing to pay us. I also
advised him that we had checked with
a Lawyer, and under maritime law,
the logs were our property. I informed
him that our Lawyer would handle
any further negotiations and that the
logs would be hauled to the mill in 15
days as we had to pay our workers and
equipment rentals.

It took about a week, but finally,
our Lawyer called and said he had
a certified cheque for the sum of
$4000.00 and would I haul the logs
to the address in Wasaga. It took me
eight days to haul all 105 logs to the
beach, but it was well worth it. Fred,
John, Lawrence and I ended up taking
$600.00, and we paid Eldon $100.00
for the use of his boat, which left
Dad with $1500 for the use of all the
equipment, and he paid $200.00 to our
Lawyer for making a couple of phone
calls and reading his Law books.
Sometimes makes me wonder why I
am a truck driver when I could have
gone to school and became a Lawyer

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