Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Hebrew
, p. 30

Hooper, John, Author
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Item Type:
Written: 19 August 1994
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Kawartha Lakes Public Library
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

190 Kent St W.
Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y6
(705) 324-5632

Full Text

There was Berenbaum and Albert and Houzer and Wurstove, Bernstein and Pulver, Silver and Rice, but do you recall, Lindsay's quietest Hebrew of all? Why he was known only to our citizen's as "Harry The Jew".

Harry, the first man I ever saw with a goatee was a fine old gentleman who made his living as a "junk" dealer and had his yard on Lindsay St. just north of Wellington St.

I can't recall the name of his horse but I haven't, right up to this day, seen a horse with sway-back like Harry's old nag but he would hitch him up to the old wagon he had and away they would go doing the rounds in search of "junk".

Harry had an old hand bell with a piece of meat cord tied inside with a fair sized metal nut on the other end of the cord which served as the clapper and lazily shaking the bell would call out, in a monotone voice, "Any rags, bones, bottles; any rags, bones bottles?"

Many a housewife would save up old clothes and ragged pieces of cloth and when they heard Harry's familiar cry they would call out to him and he would come to the door and lift the bag (which was usually a burlap potato bag) and judge its weight and pay about 10 or 15 cents for its contents. Quite often some of the local kids would take bags to Harry's home and more often than not would have a big stone or piece of iron placed in the center of the bag to give it a little more weight and thus worth a few more cents. (Of course yours truly would never dream of doing anything like that.)

Iron was worth considerably more than rags and Harry's back yard was virtually full of iron pieces of every description and the older lads in the town would wait until the dark of night and sneak into the yard and "relieve" Harry of some of his iron only to return a few days later and sell it back to him. In retrospect I have to wonder if Harry paid less the going price knowing full well what the guys were doing.

Often I would go fishing and if I was lucky enough to catch a Carp (which was never a difficult thing to do in the Scugog River) I would rush to Harry's and if I was lucky enough to find him at home he was always good for a dime in payment for the fish but it had to be freshly caught or he wouldn't buy it.

I doubt very much if there was anyone in Lindsay who didn't know the man they affectionately called "Harry The Jew".

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Looking Back: Hebrew