Recently I was strolling through a wooded area and the smell of fresh sawdust, from a tree that had just been felled, penetrated my nostrils.
Immediately it stirred up memories of the butcher shops of bye-gone days.
Often my mother would give me a list of meat she wanted and send me off to the corner butcher.
The butcher shop was situated at the corner of Queen and St. Paul Sts. and was operated by Seward Stone, his wife Annie and son Harold.
Sometimes it would be a little run for some Balogna that would be placed in a slicer and cut from a number which he would set to dictate the thickness of the slices to be cut from the roll, or an order of freshly ground Hamburg. Twenty-five cents worth would be sufficient to feed our family of eight. This would include Mother, Dad, and my four sisters and brother.
Entering the shop one would find the wooden floor laden with fresh sawdust that seemed to give the little store a distinct and pleasant smell of cleanliness.
On occasions I would accompany Mother and watch the butcher with great interest when he would cut a nice roast of beef or maybe pork or some other cut of meat she would select, or maybe watch Annie making fresh sausages and watch in awe as she tied them in bundles of four.
He would select a nice cut and hold it up at an angle and ask if "this would be suitable, Mrs. Hooper?"
The meat was then placed on a piece of wax paper on the scales and, setting the roast on it, would give you the weight. He would then quote the price for the selection she made.
Being satisfied he would then wrap it up in brown paper and seal it with gummed tape, or tie it up with string. Before doing so he would ask if you wanted any suet, especially if it was a steak you had purchased, (at no extra charge) to go along with the meat.
(There used to be a standing joke about watching to make sure the butcher didn't place his thumb on the scale, thus tilting it to add to the weight and cost of the meat.)
There were many times when folks would call in at the shop and ask if there were any soup bones available. If luck was on your side, these too were free of charge.
I remember a little fox terrier dog we had by the name of "Spot" and Stone would invariably ask if we would like to "take home a bone for "Spot." Again, no charge.
Some of the other butchers in Lindsay were: O'Halloran's, located where to TD Bank is, Bill Langdon, 8 Kent St., Watt Matheson, A&P, Don Blackwood, (who succeeded Stone), Greenhall's at Sussex and Kent, Walkers where Pilkington's is presently located, Bragg's at 21 Kent St. and George Langdon adjacent to the Academy Theater on the North side.
There was something special about those days when a proprietor knew his customers and went a little out of the way to strive to please.
Can you recall when you last got a soup bone, dog bone or suet just for the asking?