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Tryon, Anne: Summary of a Blue Collar Worker's Life

Summary of a Blue Collar Worker's Life

by Anne Tryon


David John Stevenson usually known as Sam or Jack, was born June 3, 1910, although a distant cousin said that my father was not born as he couldn’t find a record.

Sam lived in Cobourg all of his life. As a teenager and young man he bowled, played softball and played hockey on outdoor rinks.

He was educated at George Street Public School and Cobourg Collegiate Institute High School.

Hit on the head while digging a ditch to lay the water pipes on Ontario St. N which went to the mansion on Oliver’s Lane, he was injured which caused seizures and was the reason for his not being able to enlist in 1940 with his buddies and cousins.

The Tannery / Edwards and Edwards gave many young men employment. Here Sam worked his way up to foreman. Living just 4 blocks away he rode his bike to work, just like his father, Alexander, and his uncle, Dave Gibson, did when they were young men.

This job lasted until the new owners of the tannery changed the work place. Sam was lucky to find another job as caretaker at Gummow Public School and later became head caretaker at Burnham St. School.

Sam danced at the Pavillion and was a pro in the balloon dance. Dancing gave him the opportunity to meet his future wife Leonora Coe whom he married in 1937. They were blessed with two daughters.

David John (aka Sam) Stevenson celebrated his 60th birthday on June 3rd 1970. He died about a month later on July 20 , 1970 as he prepared to go and pay his respects for his cousin George Whitney Davey, who had died on July 19th. As young cousins they often joked that they would go together. One day apart was close. It seems they had made an accurate prediction.

Sam Stevenson is seated on rocks at the Old West Pier.  You can see the lighthouse in the distance over his left shoulder.

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Cobourg Men

Top: Tom Bulger, Parker  Niles,     ?      , Dad - Sam Stevenson

Front: Leonard (Corky) Kewin,   ?, Don Maher, Jean  Colin, Evor Leonard, Tucker Davidson, Christie Leonard

The Tannery /E & E outdoor hockey team. Sam Stevenson is second from the left.