Fine Mel Fine

This song came into the world in the space of time it took to drive the thirty-five kilometers from Twin Creeks to Gibsons in the Andy’s Bay crew-cab on the day I packed it in after putting in six months working on the booming grounds.  Summer, as far as I was concerned, was to be spent in the garden.

For all that, the experience at Andy’s Bay was a good one for me. It was the foundation for a number of log-sorting jobs at Gulf Log Salvage and L#K, from which I moved on to salvaging deadheads from grounds around Howe Sound for Archie Haleta, and from there to log salvaging with my own boats.

Tubby Skellett was the foreman at Andy’s Bay, not a tall man but powerfully built. The legend was that he had on occasion picked recalcitrant hirelings up clear over his head and tossed them into waters on which the booming grounds floated. I, at that point, did not prove to be recalcitrant and found him a fair if fiery boss. Mel…….was his lead hand, active and clearly competent: Hence….fine Mel, fine…..a classic Skellett line.

Fine Mel Fine

Fine Mel Fine

C                                    B#                                 D7        G          C

Got a job on a booming ground one cold December day

C                                                         B#

‘Twas an icy morn and the old foghorn

D7                 G

Ushered us away


We caught the Belle in Gibsons

F                          C

And rode to Andy’s Bay

C                       B#

And the engine wound across the Sound

D7                 G        C

As the skies turned pearly grey


And it’s fine Mel, fine….tighten on the line

G          Dm7          G          C

And we’ll roll like the swell,…..behind the Nootka Belle

I was truly green, I’d never seen a boom before the day

That I applied from the Sunshine side

For a job at Andy’s Bay

But I said I’d worked at Teachern Arm

And ‘though that wasn’t true

They wrote me down and said come around

We’ll see what you can do

And its fine………

They put me on the swiftering crew

And I rode out to the float

I took just fine to pulling line, and the chains I had to tote

I told the other boys my game

And they showed me what to do

I did okay and I got my pay

When the next Friday was through

And its fine……….

Six months I stayed ‘till spring put paid

To winter’s dreary days

Then I quit ‘er Jack and I won’t go back

As long as summer stays

And I hope to see the loom of life

Weave something new for me

When again I feel I have to kneel to cold necessity

And its fine……….

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