Leaving a trail


Sir: While reading the story of Lenovers 80th anniversary in The Chatham Voice (“Lenovers celebrates 80 years,” in the Sept. 6 Voice), it brought back memories of going to the abattoir with my dad in 1955. We were new Canadians and since my dad was a butcher and sausage maker in the old country, Holland, he was soon back to his old trade of making sausages.

Many Dutch immigrants lived in the Chatham area and in 1955 dad was back making blood and liver sausages. We lived at Ruston’s Corner, and with the station wagon he had bought, drove to Chatham for supplies. One stop was Lenovers abattoirs on the east end of Park Avenue by McGregor Creek.

One day my brother, who just recently got his driver’s licence, and I were sent to Lenovers to pick up a pail of blood. We put the pail behind the front seat on the turned-down floor of the station wagon and drove from the parking lot to go over the one-car-wide bridge of McGregor Creek. Just then, a car was coming from the other direction and my brother gunned the vehicle. The pail with blood tipped over and spilled out the back of the station wagon. Blood trailed us all the way home to Ruston’s Corners.

That was not the end of it. Around suppertime, a knock on the door and two police officers asked to see the person who drove the station wagon. They had followed the blood trail to our house and wanted some explanation. In the few words of English we knew, we explained what had happened. They laughed at the whole thing once they heard that no murder was committed.

The worst was the smell that lingered in the station wagon for the rest of the summer, even after scrubbing it several times.

Wilhelmina Wolting



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