Tag Archives: snakes


(no photo: some things are just meant for memories)


Two properties over from where I lived as a kid was a 5 acre plot of land called “Beaverpotts”.

A narrow gravel road ran down the middle of it and connected to Lakes Rd and Jaynes Rd at either end. Apart from an old house foundation, that was home to snakes and broken bottles, the place was just a tangle of trees, bushes, and open patches.

It was a magical place. I could get lost for hours there: exploring, wandering, investigating.

I didn’t know why it was called “Beaverpotts“: it was just “Beaverpotts“.

I don’t think I ever questioned the name, in the same way I didn’t question:

why “The Mound” was called “The Mound” … eventhough it was a very small hill surrounded by flatland.


why “Hospital Hill” was called “Hospital Hill” … eventhough it was a hill on the way to the hospital.


why “Fuller’s Lake Arena” was called “Fuller’s Lake Arena” … eventhough there was a lake around it somewhere.

It was just “Beaverpotts“. Most likely for some reason that no one knew anymore … like someone who gave you a nickname then moved away, but everyone kept calling you that … although they didn’t know why.

When I was 11 years old, I learned why it was called “Beaverpotts“: it was named after Dr. Beaverpotts, who used to live there, but moved somewhere else before I was born.

Knowing why it was called what it was didn’t make it any less special.

I still consider “Beaverpotts” more a place than a person’s name though.

… although it’s a pretty cool name too!


note: yes, my last name is Janes and I used to live on Jaynes Road as a kid.  I don’t think any Lake families lived on Lakes Road though.

double note: I’m sure everyone has their own private “Beaverpotts” … somewhere … in their childhood … or I hope so.

triple note: the classic story in my family is 3 of my older siblings going there and one of them saw a kitten, that he  tried to pick up, … while the other two siblings were screaming, “it’s a big rat, not a kitten!”  One of my older brothers was always a sucker for animals … and rabies’ shots.
(it always sounds so much better when my brothers and sisters describe it though)


Today 184

If I was in a basketball game today, I wouldn’t foul out.

Snake Wrangler

My older sister has always had a job. Always!

Collecting pop and beer bottles, shining our Dad’s shoes, picking blackberries, …

The most unique was catching and selling snakes at 10 years old.

Someone advertised for snakes in the local newspaper: 10 cents for small ones, 15 cents for big ones.

My sister enlisted her friends and myself; we looked in fields, flipped over plywood sheets in empty lots, and scoured the bushes. We found a few and deposited them in our plastic bucket. My sister had the great idea of looking in people’s backyards: compost piles were here goal. She knocked on neighbour’s doors, told them of our mission, and was never turned away.

We collected about 90 garter snakes over a weekend.

The people buying the snakes wanted them for a university lab. We were their only suppliers.

They were surprised to be doing business with a 10 and 7 year old.

We got about $11 for the snakes; pretty good money back in 1972

My sister put her share in the bank; I blew mine on candy.