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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 14, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 46 'HE inilBRIDGE HERAID Wednesday, Mcmli 1 4. 1973 III Hundreds of women are working away from home today and cannot be reach- ed by daytime TV or radio. But. .they will be reached by the newspapers. The Lethbridge Herdd February 1973 Circulation Has Reached An All Time High February 1973 Net Paid Daily Average is Our Display and Classified Advertising Departments Are At Your Service Just Dial "I could always everybody else does. wltal But how many other iicoplc could do I By TOM TIEDE LITTLE FERRY, NEA 57 year Wiliie Koyka (Iocs is N.J. old Irap rauskrats Tor a living. And it lie here in tiiis polluted part of the East, tlie marshlands remain at least semiwonderful. Md Willie Roylca is one of the good rea- sons. Koyka works the meadows daily, When from the IfDckensnck River recedes, he advances. Traipsing over swallow up Ihc !oss experienced (the mud hi places sinks three lo tive Iloyku engages in what lie calls a "battle royal" with I) i s "rats." Says lie: -'They're these rats. But I'm cagey, tea. t been trapping here since I was 13, so I've learned think like them. See that boastfully assigns Hie occupa- tion a liil more singularity tiirm it would seem to merit, it's not without reason. Royka is a remarkaWe fossil of limes gone long by; working in the siiadow of the Empire State Building, smack in the nation's most populous corridor, lie is per-. napsthe only man left in ditch there? That's where megalopolis wlio manages to run at mgtil. Put a trap survive off what remains of the llia' tlllch catch lanj i a rat. That's all there is to it, _ i i you Potta know how to put Royka's stamping t v Hactensack Meadow-l "7 "Alt around says Royka, "everybody's got money. A lot of these commuters here pay more for I heir husfare than we do on food. I like trapping. But it sure don't pay me nothing." It sure don't. Royka's family is crowded into three rooms of a two-story home bottom part's all brokcnup, so we stay The roof leaks. The are Uie lands, 20.000 oblong acres of musk slid marsh situated across the Hudson River from Manhattan, tliree ot tour dir- ect miles from Square. "The Meadows ain't like Uie says Willie, "when I get inside, walking around. 1 ain't likely to see another person all day." Indeed, the Meadows ain't like the city. Like Royka, they I are more a Ihrowback to an- other age. Miles of 10-foot U'ils, dissected by streams, pilted with potholes, it is one of the last remaining (anil uu- I protected) natural wildlife hahi- 1 lals in the metropolitan area. Muskrats run at night, rac- coons can be observed, Tloyka says he occasionally runs across a mink and is forever scaring up the pheasants. i Not that the meadows are total wilderness, of course. The marshes are surrounded by the encroachment of industry and suburbanization. Sloppy factor- ies in the area have deposited permanent amounts of oil and chemicals into the miles of muck. Even now Uie state of New Jersey is preparing to pave over another huge seg- ment of the meadows (with a sports complex) and thus kill a little dab more of nature. But all things considered, Hoyka evidently kr.ows. In 33 1 years of full-time urban trap- j ping he has snared an estimat-, ed muskrats. "t average 20 a day. My best year was nearly 900." The animals are captured in snares that would wrinkle the conservationist's (some of his leg-snap traps are And Uie rats often suffer long psia or mu- themselves in confined drowning. But Hoyka says lie is as humane as a hunter can be: "ff T. didn't get them, they'd die of starvation in the winter." Actually, if Royka didn't get muskrats he'd probably die of starvation in the winter, too. Father of five and husband of one, the trapper relies on reg- ular rot sales (to Manhattan turners) for family survival. "I get anywhere from 10 cents to for the rats, depending on the size. Sometimes, when I get a black rat, I get more, three-four dollars maybe. Tiiat's the way I pay all my doggone bills." As it walls are falling hi. The broken windows are stuffed with old rags. "Worst thing is t h e In shadow of downtown Is, even with the rat SLsles, Royka finds it increasing- ly difficult to pay his bills. His annual income rarely exceeds (he supplements rat rap- ping with junk anc never gels above the established poverty level. His family, thus, is fixed in ironic form of ugly privation stove." says Mrs. Hoyka, a :erribly thin woman who is orever cold. of it's sup- )ose to heat the house. But that lalf don't work. So we got to um lha gas burners on full jlast all day long especially :ow the cold is here." For all the destitution, (hough, Willie Royka, true to iis traps, remains self-reliant. He insists he'll "never accept welfare as long as I can lift a finger." And he justifies his lifestyle by remembering the days he used to work on a Jer- sey farm "for a lousy 25 cents and rememliering ttie time-worn misconception of poor people everywhere: "I bet we're as happy as millionaires; ricti people are always sad." And so it is, every morning at low tide, Willie Hoyka navi- a battered 1962 pick-up truck into the MeadowlancTs for aanother day's "honest work." People chuckle when he passes, hold their noses when he's near. But there, among the cattails, while the whistles ot industry blare in the backdrop, he leans on a stick, rubs his ruddy face, and reaffirms his faith in his way of survival. TRAPPING IS WILLY'S SURVIVAL SIMPSONS OcdIS 50% to 65% OFF THE SUGGESTED SELLING PRICE MEN'S GWG CASUAL SLACKS The LctWmdge Herald Reg. GWG Suggested Price and Checked Double Knit Trim fit flares of washable 100% polyester. Fashion colors of navy, black, and blue checks on white background- Sizes 30 fo fdecl for the golf course this summer. Similar to illuitration. Reg. GWG Suggested Price Wool Flannel Slacks Trim fit (lares ore made of pure virgin wool. Inside shirt grips, Solid colon of gray charcoal, olive, brown. Dry clean onty. 30 to 38. Similar to Illustration. Reg. GWG Suggested Price Stretch Houndstooth Wool Trim fjl flares of 100% wool. Available In colors of blue, cornel, brawn, ond burgundy. Sties 30 to 40- Similar Id Reg. GWG Suggested Price STORE HOURS: Open daily a.m. to p.m.; Thurt. and Frl. t: 30 a.m. to p.m. Cenlrs Village Mall, Telephone 328-9231 ;