Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 9
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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millions as they settled in the hardwoods to feed on beech mast
and acorns. This red-letter day Taddy Lazler, who had been
giving us a hand with the haying, got himself a sackful of
pigeons and took them home to his wife. I can still hear the
portentous booming of Taddy's gun, which went on so long I
began to think that surely war had come, possibly with the
Indians. But these passenger pigeons are no more, the last one
having been seen in 1914.
I do not at all remember the dislocation of being taken from
my family, at the tender age of nine, to live at North Shore with
my grandmother. I had no idea, of course, that I would never
return to them. Moreover, I loved Grandma Grant and she
loved me. She was a sturdy woman, worn and weatherbeaten by
years of wresting a living from the land, but still going strong.
She did not have the Gaelic, as they say on Cape Breton, but her
speech was marked a little, I think, by the singsong of that
strange and lilting tongue. In any case, she left a mark on my
own way of talking which lingers to this day.
North Shore, my new home, was six miles from Little
Shemogue and looked out upon the gray-blue waters of North-
umberland Strait from Cape Tormentine. It was a much more
interesting place, I thought, than the one I had left. Here the
wind always blew off the sea, bringing rain and fog from the
north and east and bright blue days from the south and west.
Back and forth, as the weather swung like a pendulum, the wind
blew and salt tang was in the air. Grandma Grant's little clap-
boarded farmhouse seemed wondrously snug to me, the fires in
her fireplace rosier than any I had known.
Back of Grandmother Grant's house was an ocher bed and I
shall never forget the thrill of discovering this treasure. It was a
deposit of clay, colored red with the hematite, or iron oxide,
common in this part of Canada. Some of this reddish clay the
neighbors dried, ground it fine, mixed it with oil, and used it in
lieu of paint. Today, I believe, a similar clay is mined in
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/21/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.