The time of the year has just about arrived when orders were being placed with the local coal, coke and wood dealers.
I recall Lindsay Coal Company, J.G. Baldwin, John L. Baker and L.A. Waddell being come of the suppliers and readily recall seeing a horse hauling fuel with the supplier's name on the side of the wag.
Local residents requiring fuel would start making calls to the dealer of the choice. As for my parents, a phone call was made to Baldwin's (Mainly because he was a member of our church) or to Jack Baker, a friend of the family for many years. An order for coal was placed and usually the following day a wagon containing a ton would arrive at our house.
The driver would pull up on our side lawn adjacent to where a basement window in our home would be left open for him. Out would come a chute that would be placed on the side of the wagon, and directed to our coal bin located in the cellar. The task then began for the driver to start shoveling the entire load that had been showered with water to prevent as little dust as possible from drifting throughout the house. This of course helped, but was not 100 per cent fool-proof.
I used to feel sorry for these men when they delivered to locations where access could not be made with the horse and wagon (such as businesses on Kent Street) and delivery had to be made by loading the coal into sacks made of canvas. These sacks were filled with 50 pounds of coal and had to be carried on the coalman's back and emptied into a given location.
I remember remarking to my father how dirty local gentlemen, who lived near home, looked as he passed by and the scolding I got from him.
"Son, don't let me ever hear you pass a remark like that again. That man has a family to keep, works hard and has nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing wrong in getting dirty from honest work!"
How right he was! (LDP)