Around the Dinner Table
On Friday, October 1, 1982, Tom and Betty invited us to have dinner at their house. We talked about many things that happened to them and others during the past years. I captured the conversation on tape.*
Betty told of her last visit to Auckland. "We tried to get Hilda and Robert to go to church when we were down there. They said that they had been to church one Sabbath, and somebody came and told them the Pitcairners were sitting in their seat. The two just never went back to church."
Tom: "That happened to us in Wellington."
Betty: "Well it's the same here. Most everybody sits in what they call 'their seat.'"
Thurman: "I've sat in some people's seat, and no one has ever told me to get out of their seat. Of course, I guess it's different because I'm the pastor."
Betty: "You're the big boss!" [laughter]
Betty: [Speaking of the muddy roads] "This past week would have been impossible if it had not been for the ATC."
Tom: "I walked up there [radio station at Tarro Ground] for 10 years all alone―I was the only operator."
Betty: He reckons he's been up there in what? eleven minutes from the landing?"
Martha: "That must have been a trot―all the way up."
Betty: "No, he was on wings."
Tom: "I ate an apple half-way on the way up. I used to be able to get up to the station in 20 minutes flat. It's stepping it out to get up there in 15 minutes."
Martha: "That was a special thing for you to do it in 11 minutes from the landing."
Tom: "Yes, we had [work] at the landing and I had a schedule and had to be there."
Betty: "Now I can barely make it in 20 minutes."
Martha: "I walked from my house up to Big Ridge in 45 minutes and I thought I was really accomplishing something."
Thurman: "For you that is good."
Tom: "Ordinarily a person should be able to walk non-stop right up to the top without an interlude."
Tom: "Working on ha boat over there, I been stretching all my muscles. We used to pit-saw timber, Pastor, and that's rough, I tell you. It stretches every muscle in the body. I can't forget the first time that I worked in the pit saw. It was terrible. I was so tired I thought I'd drop dead, and I had to keep going. But you soon get used to it. A couple of guys would get on that and they'd race cutting the logs. They'd go 30 minutes non-stop, you know, sort of steady."
Betty: "Just think if the guys were down Tedside pit-sawing timber, and somebody shouted 'sail-ho,' they'd drop everything, run home , run down the landing to go out to ship." [Tedside road is perhaps steeper than the Hill of Difficulty, and climbs to an elevation of 900 ft. before descending into Adamstown.]
Thurman: "And then they'd row for 6 miles."
Betty: "That's the good old days." [laughter].
Tom: "I heard Reynold say, 'If you want to meet everybody, just give 5 strokes on the bell, and you'll meet them at the landing, that's for sure.'"
Betty: "The faster you ring the bell, the faster the people assemble down there, if you really want to see people move."
Tom: "If you're ever in the bow of the boat, Pastor, when you're going out of the harbor, and hit a big wave, you need to put your stomach on your thoughts and really hang on to it. . . . It's rough up there sometimes."
Betty: [Noticing that one of Warren's can's had an upside down label] "That's for people stand on dem's head."
*I've edited some of the items.