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Restigouche River, New Brunswick



Illustrations by the Author
Copyrighted June 23, 1978 287659

Restigouche, a Micmac Indian word meaning Five Fingers, representing the five main branches of the river, the Matapedia, the Upsalquitch, the Patapedia, the Little Main, and the Kedgwick.

   I hope you will enjoy these tales. Remembrance is keeping things in mind. Reminiscence is looking back on personal experience. Let us think of the :rain as a great chamber with rows of filing cabinets and a table. Filed away in these cabinets are all the important things you have done in your life. On the table are papers lying in great disarray, these are the unimportant things you have done in your life.
   If a child has had a good breakfast, and his home is burned down that same morning his memories of that blaze would be put away in the files of his brain but his breakfast was not important that morning, so it was tabled, so to speak, and later thrown away and forgotten forever. This pattern of thought goes on from childhood to the grave. Perhaps in fifty years he decides to write his memoirs. He goes to the files and there are all the important events of his life. The blaze is there, but, search as he may, there is no record of his breakfast. He doesn't need that for his memoirs. That is why as we grow older we don't recall little things that occurred a few days ago, but remember vividly the events that happened sixty years ago. They were filed away in that master filing cabinet of the brain.
   I have often wondered why no one has ever written a story of the Restigouche River. It is world famous for its Salmon fishing and for beautiful scenery. It is unsurpassed anywhere. No doubt the winds of change have blown over the river and have changed many of its features. Erosion, ice runs and things of that nature have changed many of its rapids and channels and bars; as time changes all things. I have not been there for so many, many years what those changes are I know not, but of this I am sure; it will not have lost its great beauty. As I have never seen anything written about the Restigouche I thought I would try to do so myself. Memories are treasures we keep forever, and I love to reminisce. I thought I would put my memories into written words, even with my limited education and imagination I would do the best I could. Who can do more? Maybe some day some one will write a story, perhaps a novel, the basic things are there for them to use and that story will be worthy of that great river. The Kedgwick, Upsalquitch and such streams are tributaries of the Restigouche and we will consider them as part of the same river. These are my memories of some sixty years ago.
   You ask what has this got to do with the Restigouche River? Perhaps nothing and perhaps everything. These tales I am about to tell are not my memoirs, or is this a history of the Restigouche River; but just memories of the past. Only great men write memoirs, the common man only tells tales.

     let us go to the river -

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