Transcript: People of Ontario: Bert and Joe - Living in the Country | Apr 10, 1990

(music plays)

A clip shows a long road getting lost in a forest. Next, 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.

Bert says
WE WERE LIVING
IN GOD'S COUNTRY.
EVERYTHING WAS FREE.
AND WE COULD GO SWIMMING
IN OUR BIRTHDAY SUITS --
WHENEVER WE WANTED.
WE COULD GO DOWN TO
THE CREEKS AND RIVERS
AND CATCH A FISH WHENEVER
WE FELT LIKE IT.
WHEN WE WERE OLD ENOUGH,
WHEN OUR FATHER TAUGHT US
TO USE A RIFLE, WE COULD
TAKE A .22 AND GO OUT
AND GET A PARTRIDGE
OR A RABBIT.
IT WAS... IT WAS
JUST BEAUTIFUL.
YOU COULD SLEIGH RIDE OR
TOBOGGAN RIDE IN THE WINTERTIME,
SKATE ON THE PONDS
AND THE RIVER
WHEN THE ICE GOT
THICK ENOUGH.
OH, IT WAS
WONDERFUL, YEAH.
SCHOOLING WAS A BIT TOUGH.
YOU HAD... YOU HAD TO WIPE THE
SNOW OFF YOUR HEAD SOMETIMES
TO GET TO THE SCHOOLHOUSE
IN THE DAYTIME, MORNING.
AND THE SCHOOLHOUSE
I ATTENDED, WELL YOU COULD
STUDY THE STARS AT NIGHT
WITHOUT GOING OUTSIDE.
YOU'D JUST LOOK THROUGH
THE CRACKS IN THE WALL.
AND IT WAS COLD,
I'M TELLING YOU.
INK BOTTLES WOULD BE
BURST EVERY MORNING.
AND YOUR FEET NEVER
GOT WARM BECAUSE THE
CATS AND DOGS RUN THROUGH
UNDERNEATH... UNDER POSTS
UNDERNEATH THE BUILDING
UNDER THE FLOOR.
SO IT WAS COLD.
BUT WE HAD FUN.

Joe says
I WAS NEVER A TOWN
GUY OR A CITY GUY.
I WAS BORN IN THE COUNTRY.
AND LOVED... ALWAYS
HAD A GREEN THUMB.
LOVED FARMING.
PARTS OF FARMING.
I LOVED THE SOIL.
I WASN'T SO KEEN OF
LOOKING AFTER ANIMALS.
I HAD TOO MANY COWS TO MILK,
I GUESS, WHEN I WAS YOUNG.
BUT I LIKE WORKING THE
LAND AND GROWING THINGS.
JUST TO WATCH IT GROW,
WHETHER YOU EAT IT
OR GIVE IT AWAY,
AND I STILL DO.

Bert says
BY THE TIME THAT I GOT
BIG ENOUGH TO KNOW
A WEED FROM A VEGETABLE
MY DAD WAS IN THE
MARKET GARDENING BUSINESS
RAISING VEGETABLES,
SHIPPING THEM INTO WHAT
WAS FORT WILLIAM AND
PORT ARTHUR, WHAT
IS NOW THUNDER BAY.
SO, MY FIRST... YEAH, I
ALWAYS WORKED IN THE SOIL.
STILL.
MY WIFE STILL SAYS
UNLESS MY HANDS ARE DIRTY
WITH DIRT I'M NOT HAPPY.
BUT THAT'S CLEAN DIRT.
DIRTY DIRT IF IT STAYS
ON MORE THAN A WEEK.
CLEAN DIRT IS YOU WASH
IT AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK.
I'VE ALWAYS WORKED IN
THE DIRT, YEAH.
NOTHING ELSE.
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO
LIVE ALL OVER AGAIN,
I'D MARRY THE SAME GIRL,
AND I WOULD GO A WAY BACK
IN THE WOODS SOMEPLACE
AND TAKE A HOMESTEAD UP.
IT'D ONLY COST ME MAYBE A
DOLLAR AN ACRE OR SOMETHING.
AND GRADUALLY TAKE THE TIMBER
OFF IT, CLEAR THE LAND UP,
AND START PRODUCING
FROM THE SOIL, YEP.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Editor, Jim Crewe.

Producer and director, Inge Johnson.

A production of TV Ontario.

Copyright. The Ontario Authority. 1990.

Watch: People of Ontario: Bert and Joe - Living in the Country