Transcript: People of Ontario: Bert and Joe - Lost in the Wilderness | May 07, 1990

(music plays)

Fast clips show black and white footage of men cutting down trees and stacking the trunks in the snow.

A caption reads “People of Ontario.”

Two men sit down in a garden on a sunny day.

The caption changes to “Bert Sitch. Hymers, Ontario” and then to “Joe Webb. Hymers, Ontario.”

Joe is in his late seventies, with short white hair. He’s clean-shaven and wears glasses, a beige jacket over a green plaid shirt and a black cap. Bert is in his seventies. He’s bald and clean-shaven. He wears glasses, a patterned white cardigan with details in brown. Matching brown trousers and a dark green shirt.

Joe says OH, I GOT A REAL GOOD
STORY TO TELL ABOUT BERT.
MAYBE BERT SHOULD
TELL ABOUT ME,
BUT I'LL REVERSE IT.
YEARS AGO WHEN I
FIRST STARTED TO LOG,
I WENT INTO CAMP, WE WENT
UP THE PEEDEE, PORT ARTHUR,
DULUTH RAILROAD
FROM THUNDER BAY
THAT USED TO RUN TO
NORTH LAKE OR GUNFLINT.
AND THREE OF US
WENT UP, NOT BERT,
BUT TWO OTHER
GUYS AND MYSELF.
AND THEN IT WAS
TWO-AND-A-HALF MILES
INTO A LITTLE CAMP
CALLED BISHOP'S CAMP.
AND THERE WAS
FOOD THERE.
THAT WAS KIND OF A
HALFWAY HOUSE AND THEY
WERE LOGGING ON ROSE LAKE
AND THAT WAS ONLY
ABOUT TWO OR THREE MILES
PAST THE HALFWAY HOUSE,
BISHOP'S CAMP.
SO WE'D EAT
ALL THE GRUB.
IT TOOK US ACTUALLY SEVEN
DAYS TO GET TO THE CAMP
WHEN WE SHOULD'VE
BEEN THERE IN ONE.
WELL OUR BOSS, MY BOSS,
HAD MADE AN ARRANGEMENT
WITH BERT TO
TAKE A HORSE IN
THE DAY AFTER
WE WENT TO CAMP.
SO, BERT TOOK THE HORSE,
WALKED IT UP THE PEE DEE,
WENT IN TO BISHOP'S
CAMP - NOT THE NEXT DAY,
A WEEK LATER HE WAS
SUPPOSED TO TAKE
THE HORSE IN.
BECAUSE IF IT
HAD BEEN A DAY,
HE'D OF FOUND US
STILL THERE,
BUT IT WAS
ABOUT A WEEK.
WELL, RUSS HAD TOLD -
THAT'S MY BOSS, OUR BOSS -
THAT THERE WAS GRUB THERE,
STAY OVERNIGHT AND THEN
HIT ROSE LAKE CAMP WITH
THE HORSE THE NEXT DAY.
BERT GOT THERE,
NATURALLY, HUNGRY.
NO FOOD.
SO HE DIDN'T HAVE
SUPPER THAT NIGHT,
HE DIDN'T HAVE BREAKFAST
THE NEXT MORNING
AND HE STARTED OFF
FOR ROSE LAKE CAMP.
A SHORTCUT.
NOW BERT KNEW
WHERE THE CAMP WAS.
IT WAS REASONABLY CLOSE
TO WHERE THE CAMP WAS
ON THE SHORE
AROUND ROSE LAKE.
BUT IT WAS CLOUDY, THERE
WAS NO SUN TO GO BY
AND HE KIND OF VEERED TO THE
RIGHT A LITTLE BIT TOO MUCH.
AND I REMEMBER
THE BOSS SAYING,
IN CAMP KNOWING BERT
WAS GOING TO COME
AT A CERTAIN DAY, HE SHOULD
BE HERE, IT'S GETTING DARK.
BERT WASN'T THERE.
SO THE BOSS DONNED
HIS SNOWSHOES,
I GUESS MAYBE ABOUT
A FOOT OF SNOW THEN,
AND HE STARTED
TO WALK WEST,
CUTTING IN BERT'S TRACK
AND SURE ENOUGH BERT WAS
HEADED RIGHT
FOR NORTH LAKE.
WOULD NEVER HAVE HIT
THE CAMP AT ALL
IF ART HADN'T
OF FOUND HIM.
AND THE FUNNY PART
IS ABOUT THAT,
THE WHOLE STORY IS THAT
WHEN BERT DID GET BACK
TO CAMP, AND WHEN HE'D
COME INTO THE BUNKHOUSE
TO GO TO BED, HE DIDN'T
GIVE ME A VERY GOOD LOOK.
BECAUSE I'D EATEN
ALL HIS GRUB.

As Joe speaks, Bert listens silently.

Bert giggles and says
THAT WAS A BIT OF AN
EXPERIENCE I TELL YOU.
I WOULD'VE GOTTEN THERE
IF I HADN'T HAD THE HORSE.
'CAUSE I WOULD'VE FOLLOWED
THE SHORELINE, EH?
AND THE CAMP WAS
RIGHT ON THE SHORE,
ONLY ON THE
OTHER LAKE.
I HAD THIS HORSE AND HE
HAD THIS HARNESS ON
AND GOING THROUGH BUSH AND
GOING THROUGH THE THICK CEDAR
THAT'S CLOSE
TO THE LAKESHORE,
THERE WAS ICE OUT ABOUT 12
OR 15 FEET FROM THE SHORE
ALL THE WAY AROUND; THE
REST WAS OPEN WATER.
BUT IT WOULDN'T HOLD THE
HORSE BUT IT WOULD'VE
HELD ME SO I
COULD'VE TAKEN IT.
AND THEN THE SHORELINE WAS
ROCKY FOR I DON'T KNOW HOW
MANY MILES AND THE HORSE
COULDN'T STUMBLE THROUGH THAT.
SO I HAD TO GO MAKE A
BIG CIRCLE AND GO AROUND
IN THE WOODS WITH THIS
HORSE AND THIS HARNESS
WOULD GET TANGLED UP
IN THIS CEDAR STUFF,
I THOUGHT OH
BOY, BOY, BOY.
I WAS TWO DAYS TRYING
TO GET IN THERE,
NOT JUST ONE.
TWO DAYS.
IT WAS GREAT FUN, YEAH.
I WOULDN'T WANT TO
HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN,
NOT AT THIS AGE ANYWAY.
I HAD A HANDFUL OF OATMEAL
AND A HALF A BOTTLE OF KETCHUP.
AND THE KETCHUP
HAD BEEN FROZEN.
BUT IT MADE THE OATMEAL
TASTE LIKE SOMETHING,
I'M NOT SURE WHAT
BUT SOMETHING.
BUT THERE WAS
LOTS OF SNOW,
YOU COULD EAT THAT AND
QUENCH YOUR THIRST.
THE HORSE WAS ALL RIGHT
'CAUSE HE HAD HAY.
AND THERE WAS LOTS OF
WATER FOR HIM IN THE LAKE.
THERE WAS A BALE OF HAY
THERE BUT I DON'T MIND
EATING A LITTLE BIT OF
GREEN GRASS IF I HAVE TO
BUT I'M NOT FUSSY
ABOUT DRY HAY,
THAT'S PRETTY HARD
STUFF TO DIGEST.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Editors, Jim Crewe.

Producer and director, Inge Johnson.

A production of TV Ontario.

Copyright. The Ontario Authority. 1990.

Watch: People of Ontario: Bert and Joe - Lost in the Wilderness