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

Hooper, John, Author
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Item Type:
Written: 22 May 1996
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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.
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Full Text

One duty I had to perform each week when I entered the newspaper business was to go to the Town Hall each Saturday morning and cover the farmers' market.

I was expected to visit the farmers and ask what prices they were charging for their various goods covering everything from potatoes to tomatoes, reporting my findings in Saturday's edition of the "Daily Post". How boring!

There was a gentleman who was caretaker of the Town Hall and his duties included cleaning the Town Clerk's office, the Police Station and the Council Chambers that also served as Magistrate's Court as required and on Saturday, the Farmers' Market place.

If memory serves me correctly his name was "Sandy" Gilchrist and a more fatherly type of individual you could ever care to meet.

He used to set up tables on which the farmers would display their wares and would help them carry everything in from their wagons and assist in setting up their produce.

"Sandy" would never accept one penny from these people for his help but he did do something that all of them were aware of; he would pocket a few of their vegetables, etc. and slowly walk through the door into the Police Station and place his cache under a counter in some paper bags he had brought along with him.

His mode of operation was to get into a conversation with a farmer and when a customer would come along drawing the farmer's attention, "Sandy" would place two or three potatoes in each of his jacket pockets and then go through the door into the Police Station and place his lode in one of his paper bags.

Back out he would go and perhaps chat with farmer selling tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, beans, peas or whatever and, when the right time presented itself, he would once again abscond with some more loot and head for his hideaway.

I recall one Saturday while talking with "Russ" Hargrave who served as one of our Town Constables, being interrupted when he said "excuse me but look Jack, Sandy is up to his old tricks. He just pocketed about four eggs from that farmer over there and is heading this way. Watch me if you want to see some fun!"

Hargrave got up from his seat and met "Sandy" at the doorway and accidentally (?) bumped into his left side causing him to bounce off the right side of the door frame.

I think it would be inappropriate for me to use the same language here that "Sandy" used on Hargrave for his mean escapade in teaching him a lesson about his ill-gotten gains. However if you could have seen the look on his face as he was attempting to fish broken eggs out of his pocket you would understand why I broke into a hearty laugh showing my sense, or lack thereof, of humor.

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Looking Back: Gilchrist