Poetry- Osborne Thomas (O.T.) Scott
Osborne Thomas Scott (1880-1960) was well known for his ability to memorialize a special event or moment in Caledonia's history through poetry. On this page are a selection of his poems relating to life in Caledonia.
A Toast to Caledonia
We do not claim to be
the largest in the land.
We're just a pretty little burg
along the River Grand.
But we have points of interest
that make life here worthwhile.
And bring you home contented
when you've travelled many a mile.
And we in business want to build
and keep our Town's good name.
To pull togther, lend a hand
and learn to play the game.
And so a toast I give to you
I ask you drink it deep.
The Town of Caledonia
my Town to build and keep!
The Chill November days are here
The saddest of the year,
When every finger wears a mitt,
And every nose a tear.
The frost is on the pumpkin,
The crib is full of corn,
I'm hunting out my flannels,
And I find they're sadly worn.
October winds have stripped the leaves,
Their hues no longer shine,
In windows deep they lie where blow
From your lawn onto mine,
I've raked and burned and wondered
Why beauty dies so soon
My answer is a screech own on
Gaunt limbs against you, moon.
Sweet summer days have vanished
The long lonely nights draw on,
The wartime clock now maddens me
Long ere the crack of dawn.
The promise of warmer weather,
There's Indian summer yet,
But once again tis hope deferred
Squaw winter's all I get.
The song birds all have left me,
The ground hog's burrowed deep
I wish I was a big brown bear,
All cuddled up asleep.
Whatever makes me shiver?
There's ice right in my spine,
My legs feel all uncovered
When the wind begins to whine.
And yet, when comes the winter,
I don't feel half so bad,
My spine defrosts, my blood warms up,
In fact I'm almost glad.
But as the hound dog bayeth
And howls against the moon,
So to November I complain
It cannot pass too soon.
I can't go back one hundred years
and from my memory bring
fond pictures of our village then,
I cannot tell a thing.
My earliest recollections start
I lived up on the Catholic hill
A little boy of five.
The hill is not as steep to-day,
In winter time my sleigh
would scoot across the sidewalk
and on the square away.
The Priest, he had an orchard,
The picket fence a hole,
Sometimes we asked sometimes we failed,
he was a kindly soul.
We all kept cows, they roamed the streets,
From school we had to roam
The village o'er before we found
and brought those bovine home.
The streets were mud, the Plank Road gone,
but in the springtime rain
those planks got resurrection hopes
and up they came again.
The sidewalks were all made of Plank
The ladies' skirts were long,
The nails worked up and tore those skirts,
the council got in wrong.
We had a dandy swimmin' hole,
straight down from the town hall,
the kid that swam out to the rock
was champion of all.
The fishing at the dam was great,
the slab piles lined the shore,
we bobbed for bass and trolled for pike,
then waded out for more.
In winter time the river froze
quite thick from shore to shore,
the farmers used it as a road
for several months or more,
they cut their ice above the dam
to last the summer through,
while we boys played our shinny game
and watched the process through,
to "hang on bobs" was one great sport
we practiced far and wide,
we'd ride the farmers' sleighs for miles
then catch a homeward ride.
At Trotter's we got licorice root,
And Roper's sold us pills,
While Doctor Forbes and Doctor Burns
cured all our childhood ills.
I well recall our first gas well,
behind Fred Avery's shop,
and what it did to our cook-stove
in twisting up it's top.
They charged a dollar every month
for each stove we did burn,
boy - when I get my gas bills now
for those good days I yearn.
I went each day to Seldon's store
To get our daily bread,
It smelled so good I nibbled some,
you guess what mother said.
I can't forget that Blacksmith Shop
Where Billy S held away,
he fixed my broken toys and tools
and always yelled "good day"
The village square was much the same,
the cows mowed long grass short
we had our baseball, cricket too,
our days were filled with sport.
These golden days have passed away,
old friends are leaving me,
and yet I do not wish them back,
the best is yet to be.
Life's day brought joys and sorrow,
my maker planned it so;
but early morning's beauties
can't match the sunset's glow.