Elliott’s Cove Pond

First Job

Elliott`s Cove Ball Park

Lion’s Ball Park

Last night, I saw John Cleese here in Halifax.  And that reminded me, in a round about way, of my first job.

In the summer of 1982, the year I graduated high school (last graduating Grade 11 class before grade 12 was introduced) the Random Lions Club got a grant to develop a park at Elliott’s Cove Pond.  They proceeded to have a summer job program for some students, and one supervisor.

I put my name on the list which if I remember correctly was by filling out a form at manpower, and was lucky enough to get chosen.  After all these years I forget who else worked there that summer, but I do remember Merril Rogers was our supervisor/co-worker, and that both Rob and Derek Burt worked there as well.

At the time, where the park is now was nothing but woods, we worked hard that summer, clearing land with chain saws, sometimes in oilskins in the pouring rain.  Wheeling wheelbarrow loads of crushed stone to make paths, chopping up roots, hauling stumps, making bridges, etc.  But by the time the summer was over, a lot of the core park area was ready to be developed more.

One regret that I have is that from my first paycheque, which Dad cashed for me at the bank while I was working, he got me a silver dollar to have as a keepsake from it.  I had it for many many years, until my move to Nova Scotia where at some point it was forgotten or mislaid.  Hoping sometime I can find it.

How does John Cleese enter into this? Well one of my most vivid memories of the summer was myself and Rob Burt, on the beach near the brook, reciting scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail as we ate our lunch.

Hard work, and still a lot of fun.  And we started a park that while maybe nothing spectacular has had lots and lots of use since, and am proud.

The Tournament

In the summer of 95 I believe it was, there was a softball tournament at the Lion’s Park at Elliott’s Cove Pond. And a good time was had by all.  The end.

Well that’s a kinda lame story, so will add a couple events.  Hopefully I can be forgiven if I’ve mixed multiple events into one.

For some reason I was umpiring that tournament or a lot of it anyway, not because I was necessarily any good, but more because no one else wanted to do it.  Umpires of our softball games generally have to make all the calls for all the bases, and outfield as well, so sometimes the point of view can be difficult.  That said, I really from that day to this cannot be sure I made the right call, just that I made a call.  I can’t even remember specifics now, but for some reason I had called Craig Baker out at first, whether for being thrown out, or for being off the bag or whatever, I don’t recall.  What I do recall though was something was said or done, and I threw Craig out of the game.  I probably wasn’t amused at the time, but I know everyone else was laughing and I can only laugh now too as Craig took the bag and walked up the road and threw it out in the woods!

The second incident, may or may not have been during the tournament, and since I don’t know the people involved well anymore, will not mention their names, but I’m sure most will remember.  Somehow an argument happened between two people around 2nd base.  All I can remember, and to this day laugh my ass off was the exchange “Ah, go f$%k a caribou!” and the response “Well you go screw a moose!”

That tournament was also unfortunately the site of an injury when Lisa Critch got her leg broken at 2nd base.  Scary play, and so happy she recovered well.

Summer days, where would the be without softball?

Shortest Phone Conversation

Watching the world junior hockey championships on TV, I think back to the shortest phone conversation I ever heard. It was when the gang I hung around with were trying to organize a hockey game in on Elliott’s Cove Pond.  I remember Derek Smith calling David Quinton and the conversation went “Hockey? Yep, when? One” That was it.

One o’clock rolls around and we are all in on the pond, which was like a sheet of glass.  Teams were decided by piling sticks and throwing them in opposite directions, you were on the team where your stick went.  Nets were generally a pair of boots separated by the length of a hockey stick, sometimes we had goalies, often the person or persons who had no skates, often there were none.  I really don’t remember if we had any for this particular game, but I do recall one goal the puck rolled and rolled and rolled.  I believe it was David Smith that skated pretty much the length of the pond, all the way to the park, to get it back, took about 10 minutes or more.

Another thing I remember was that the pond ice was so hard, that stopping like you would at a stadium was much different.  If you tried it that way, you’d often dig yourself a rut and go flying over, lucky to not snap an ankle, much less spray up a sheet of snow.

Ah good times 🙂