I’ve never had high expectations or thought that I can learn or be very smart and I may not have much ambition, but I am really going to try my best. This is for me and my kids.
By Kenneth McDow
Keshen Goodman Library Adult Learning Program
When I was growing up in Halifax, I went to school. The name of the school was Bloomfield and it was in the North End. At Bloomfield, the teachers tried to help me to learn to read and write better. I could not read very well. The class was too big for the teacher to help all the students in the class.
It was hard to grow up in the north end when I was a boy. I went to school in the daytime and came home after school and played with other boys outside. We played baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter months. I went to movie shows with my friends in the North End on Saturday afternoons. We mostly liked Westerns. When we would go back to my house, my friends would have lunch with me and then go home. We had fun when I was young living in the North End.
When I was sixteen, I left Bloomfield School to look for a job to help my mother with the rent and groceries. I went looking for a job in Halifax. I walked the streets and looked for a job. It was hard for me because I could not read and write very well. When I would find out about a job, I could not fill in an application very well because I could not read it.
I found a job at the National Fish Company and was delivering the mail for the company to the offices but I did not know how to read the names very well. I changed jobs and started working in the fish plant. I did not have to read and write and I made more money and it was good for me. I worked for the fish plant for four years and then the fish plant laid me off. There was no work for me. I went looking for a job in the A.M. Smith Fish Company and I stayed working with them for three years but I was laid off. There was no work for me. I started looking for a job in Halifax to help me pay my bills and the rent for my apartment in the South End and to help my wife too.