It’s that time of the year again, where towns seem to be emptied of the people who once made the community a thriving beehive of activity. The streets are strangely quiet and the local stores are only filled with the barely audible sounds of elevator music, as the cashiers limply raise their arms to look at the slowly ticking watch. Yes, goose fever has struck again in the heart of Eeyou Istchee, where the once quiet land bristles with newly covered tent frames and the sound of children and youth, eagerly helping with the chopping of wood, warming the life that surrounds the hundreds of family units that congregate every spring at the goose camp. The practice calls of the young goose caller is heard often, in anticipation of the hunt to follow. (Over).
Meanwhile, all communities are connected through the bush radio and people who rarely talk to each other in town are now comparing their camp’s results and chitchatting. Children talk to their parents, talking about silly things like bubblegum blowing and the little accidents that always occur at camp. The bush radio is a steadfast communications culture, that spawned from emergency use (and emergency use only) to a full fledged bush activity. In every community, there’s people whose days in ghost town are relieved by family communication, using the full time radio that’s usually open from early in the morning to late at night. (Over).
At the heart and hub of the radio network that spans inter-trapping areas and other jurisdictions, there’s always someone who’s at constant attention. They’re equipped with pens and paper, and incredible as this may seem, they know everyone’s phone number! Yep, they’re the CTA bush radio attendants, ready to serve you as soon as the sun rises and fully authorized to carry out everyone’s transactions at any store in town. Wow, what a job description. For the better sex, I like to call them Bush Radio Mamas (in slight reference to Mother’s Day).(Over).
On the other side of the rainbow, carrying out everyone’s wishes is extremely stressful, as it is hard to please everyone, (and as everyone well knows, it is impossible to please even a few people). I tend to stop short on playing bingo as being my duty in the whole affair for Bush Radio Mama, but then again, hey, it’s the only game in town during spring goose break. Nothing like a good bingo once a year (for me at least) to spice up those lousy hunting day blues, while stuck in town. (Over).
With the advent of the satellite phone, the airwaves will slowly quiet down but I know there will always be a few diehards who will insist in keeping the bush radio culture active and thriving. What’s the use of telling only one person of your day when you can tell everyone within two hundred miles? Why bother leaving messages on the answering machine using space technology while you can advertise your camp’s progress (in other words, gossip all day) and compare the day’s catch (otherwise called bragging) with the other unfortunate cross-eyed hunters? Me thinks that Bush Radio Mama is here to stay.
OVER AND OUT.