If you think your story should be read by young Canadians, if you think it teaches a good lesson, please get in touch with our admins and send us your story. There’s no need to write the whole thing out if you haven’t yet, for we don’t want to waste your time if the story isn’t accepted (although writing can never be unproductive). We simply need some bullet points describing the main reasons why your story should be features here and what its about. We’ll get back to you ASAP if we think your story would fit well here. Go back and read our other stories to see what kind of content we’re looking for. Thank you and good luck!
Welcome back, and hello if you’re new here! Our blog is all about sharing cool stories from retired Canadians. Recently we shared our first story from a retired landscaper. This week, we’ll be sharing one from a retired stone mason who also lived most of his life in Ontario, but in Ottawa rather than Hamilton. He has no connection to our last story but his Ontario character is similar, as you’ll soon see. We recommend going to read the last story if you haven’t yet. But let us continue.
This story is called:
“Masonry Ottawa Rhymes with Hate Me for All I Got”
Now, let our storyteller take it away: “Hello, readers. I was asked to share my most interesting story related to my career as a stone mason in Ottawa. I’m not sure if by interesting they meant entertaining and funny or bizarre and curious, so I’ll go for the latter as the landscaper’s story on the blog I read is quite strange too.
“It all started on my 19th birthday, the year I became a stone mason, following my dad’s footsteps. Back then (it wasn’t super long ago) there were a few trusted and really well-known masonry companies in Ontario. Now, today, there are dozens and dozens of them in the city let alone all of Ontario. There are new small masonry Ottawa Ontario businesses popping up every year, it seems. Or maybe I’m just comparing today to the past too much.
“Moving on, when I was 19 I only had a few companies to work for, and dreamed of making my own company (which I never got around to). So I chose what I thought was the best company, and it turned out I was right. The company was the most popular in Ottawa at the time, but this wasn’t necessarily a good thing for business as our competitors (only saying this because my name is anonymous here) were part of the French mafia or something. They were these angry guys from Quebec who hated me and the company I worked for because we got most of the jobs in the city. So as you’ll probably guess these badass stone masons did nothing but sabotage our work. This bout lasted only a few months before their leader got arrested after video evidence proved it was them, but it was really frustrating.
“As soon as we’d finish building a brick wall, it would have spray paint all over it the next day. And as soon as we repaired stone veneer or anything, it would either be damaged or have graffiti on it within a week, every time! The wannabe mobsters were very stupid though because we found out it was them after we also found out they had given all our clients quotes. That’s how they knew where our jobs were, because our clients would get a quote from them before calling us (probably because they had a coloured add in the phone book) and then we would always get the job. I can see how angry this would make them, but we were getting the jobs because weren’t angry French guys. That’s the truth of it. We were nice to people who called us and they weren’t. So, the video evidence came just in time and a lot of our clients sued them for the damage they did. They got sued half a dozen times in one year, I think, and probably moved back to Quebec (I hope).
“That was a long time ago so I doubt they’ll be any more trouble. This story just proves that not all companies are legit. New companies like Stone Masonry Dads of Ottawa who are actually just fathers trying to make a living by providing quality stone masonry service for locals, are the real thing but many others are fronts for criminal organizations, like those aforementioned French guys. This problem probably isn’t as rampant today, as crime in Ontario has dropped a lot over the years, and that’s honestly very releasing because I don’t have to worry about motorcycle gangs robbing the liquor store while I’m shopping anymore (it happened more than you’ll believe). So I hope this story was educational as well as interesting. Thank you.”
Allow us to make a brief introduction before getting to the story. Thank you.
As we promised, we’ll be sharing historical stories from retired Canadians. That’s what our Foundation is all about. Whether they be zoologists, technicians, mechanics, or landscapers, their stories are unique and interesting and are an important part of Canadian history.
Today, we have a very original story from a retired Canadian in Hamilton Ontario. He was a landscaper for over 30 years in Ontario and has hundreds of stories to tell. We told him to tell us one story.
And here is his words…
“If over 30 years of landscaping Hamilton Ontario experience could say one thing, it would say nothing because there are millions of things to say and it would explode from trying to pick just one. But thank goodness I’ve already thought about this before when training young landscapers in Barrie.
“First of all, I just want to say thank you, Saritsa Foundation, for sharing stories from retired Canadians because I too believe this is a part of our history and they may otherwise be lost forever if not conserved on the internet. So thank you.
“Let me see. If this story had a name it would be called:
“A Landscaper in Hamilton Ontario Gets Followed by Garden Gnomes
“No spoilers intended. I was aerating a lawn in late winter. I think it was 1989. The lawn was rather muddy, stretching across the perimeter of a residential townhouse. There were lots of kids playing around, a few of them playing in the dirt pile I had ordered. They listened to me well when I told them to leave my stuff alone.
“After lunch, (amazingly I remember eating a roast beef sandwich with my sister’s homemade mustard) I came back to the work site to find gnomes standing around in places they hadn’t been before. I took this as a humorous prank, moved them aside, and went straight back to work aerating the grassy, muddy soil. It was not a good day to be aerating lawns, but my boss disagreed. So there I was, getting my boots dirty unnecessarily, digesting the tastiest sandwich in the world.
“I had a habit of taking a second break two hours after lunch back then (later I learned it was way better financially to plow through the worked day until the last hour) and so this time when I came back I saw that all the gnomes were back but in different spots. I didn’t find it too funny this time, but went back to work all the same. I decided to work around the gnomes, as someone might get mad if I moved them, I thought.
“It just so happened that during this time a heavy fog was rolling through Hamilton. The fog was stronger then ever now, blocking my vision for 20 feet in every direction. This made lawn aeration very hard because I kept forgetting which spots I had already aerated. But anyway, as I was working, getting hopeful about finishing the day early, I noticed that a gnome had moved without me touching it. It was in a different spot, right next to a rake I had leaned against a tree.
“I frowned at it, but kept working. A few minutes later, it happened again. A gnome was a few feet behind me, a blue one, staring at me, and I heard a snigger in the fog. If a gnome could chuckle, that’s what it sounded like. My heart pumped harder, but I kept working, thinking those darn kids were trying to get a reaction out of me. I remembered being a school boy myself and playing pranks on the janitor. That’s all it was. I thought. Until a gnome slowly came into view right in front of me through the fog and I heard a laugh behind me at the same time. The fog was getting thicker and I threw my tools on the ground.
“By now I was not getting back to work until I found out who in tarnation was trying to prank me. Well, this wouldn’t be a good story if the solution to my problem was easily attainable. The fog began to ebb and as I searched around looking for those darn kids the gnomes began to disappear. I knocked on a few parents doors and asked if their kids were out playing (which might have sounded really creepy now that I think of it) and it turned out that all kids in the townhouse usually turn in for dinner around 5 o’clock, which was the time at the moment. So I just said thank you with a confused tone and to this day I still have no freaking clue who had pranked me with those darn garden gnomes.
“And now thanks to the internet and the Saritsa Foundation, the mystery will live on forever.”