The good old days


My adopted grandson, Roger, who is 11 years old, is my hunting companion and he is always asking questions.

Roger once asked me on one of our hunting trips why I never miss what I shoot at. (He himself rarely misses what he shoots.) I replied, “Well let me think a minute.” I was born when we were still living in igloos and depended on our dog teams during our hunting trips. Today, you shoot for fun and a good aim. “In those days, you thought before you shot. You waited until the caribou or other animals were in line, then you shot. There were many times when you killed two or more caribou with one shot,” I said. This was before gay rights, and day care centres. Voting for a political party was unheard of. Our lives were governed by our grandparents, good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and we stood up to take responsibility for our actions. Having meaningful relationships meant getting along with your cousins. The only time we closed our doors is when the snow started to drift in. Fast foods were the ones you ate right away, when you caught a fish or an animal. You could buy a new snowmobile from the Hudson’s Bay Co. for $600, but who could afford it? That was too bad, because gas was only 85 cents a gallon. In my days, the only medicine was cod liver oil. When it was time to take it, we ran away. Thank God, for we used cod liver oil when we ran out of seal oil for our qulliq, or soapstone lamp. “Pot” was something your grandmother cooked in. We were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us “old and confused,” and say there’s a generation gap.

Andre Tautu
Chesterfield Inlet

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