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Page 27 - With Billy MacGillivray in Boston

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (1183 reads)

With Billy MacGillivray in Boston From Conversations between Gary Burrill and Billy MacGillivray This story is an edited version of a day Gary Burrill and Billy and Margaret MacGillivray spent together in 1981. It is not a straightfor? ward transcription of the taped conversation. The final version was constructed from the taped interview in consultation with Mr. MacGillivray. Mrs. MacGillivray has since died. See the aftenvord for Gary's remarks on his method of presentation. Billy MacQillivray: We both left. She was 17 and I was 18. I came here in 1925. I came to my brother's house -- he'd been here since 1911. I landed here-- there were some of his wife's sisters around and I was shy and one thing and another, and I wanted to get away from the house. I told my brother's wife I was going to look for 'a job. "Oh," she says, "you'll get lost, you don't know your way around." "Oh," I said, go far." "I won't She started telling me, "Now, when you get out to Warren Street, the street cars will be coming there," she says, "and they'll take you into Dudley Station, the termi? nal. And when you get there, go to such and such a place and get the Alston car. But," she said, "you're going to get lost." So anyway, I went out to Warren Street from where they were living, and I had to ask somebody out there which way was Dudley Street, this way or that. So somebody told me, and well, when I got to Dudley Station I didn't know whether I could get the Alston car or not--you know, so many different landings and all of the cars pulling out of there. So anyway, I walked up to this big, dignified man, well dressed, with a black coat on. I asked him, "I'm a stranger here. Do you know where I can get the Alston car?" "Yes," he said. "Where do you come from?" I said, "Well, I come from Canada." "What part of Canada?" I said, "Nova Scotia." "What part of Nova Scotia?" And I said, "Antigonish." "Antigonish. What part of Antigonish?" "St. Andrews." And he said to me, "'4 bheil Gaidhlig agadi" So I nearly dropped, you know. He was from a place called Beech Hill in Antigonish. He directed me and told me where to get the car. But that wasn't the end of it. I got on the Alston car, and I wanted to go to Ray Street, so I went up and asked the mo- torman if he would let me off there. "I'm a stranger," I said. "And where do you come from?" I said, "I come from Canada." I went through the whole thing again and then he said, "How is your father feeling now?" So I damn near dropped, and who was PIPER'S TRAILER COURT Featuring: Fully Licensed Dining Room Laundromat Mini-Mart Ocean-Side Campsites Swimming Pool 929-2233 929-2067 Indian Brook on the Cabot Trail (Halfway between eaddeck and Ingonish) From either direction on the Cabot Trail, plan for comfort and welcome The Old Manse GUEST HOUSE with Bed and Breakfast OLD MANSE OPENS on JUNE 1 j
Cape Breton's Magazine
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