Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 41 > Page 63 - With Josie and Jim MacNeil, Big Pond

Page 63 - With Josie and Jim MacNeil, Big Pond

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/1/1 (189 reads)

So you went to the doctor yourself, and there was a German doctor there, and he could not tell you what that was. Jim: No, never saw it before. Josie: Never saw that before. He said, "I can't name it. I never saw the likes before." And that's the side that the kidney was diseased on. So, that was all right. I kept rubbing the stuff the doctor gave me--it looked like zinc ointment but it wasn't--it was powerful stuff. And I put it on all these little blotches, all over his leg. I changed his underwear--he had long drawers on--so that nothing would irritate the leg. And in a- bout 21 days the leg cleared up--there wasn't a mark on the leg, not a mark, that anything ever was there or came out on there. So about a year after, they took you to the hospital to X ray your kidneys, didn't they? Jim: No. I went to the hospital for some other reason. And they came one after? noon, came over and--"Now, you'll have to go to X ray." They X-rayed me. And the same doctor as told me he couldn't cure me, (Old sayings--some of us call them prov- erbs--like songs and stories, are a part of Cape Breton tradition. They were used here in all languages and were an impor? tant part of daily conversation. Here are a few examples Josie MacNeil told us. They are known in Gaelic as "sean-fhacail." We hope they will encourage our readers to write and tell us other old sayings their parents used long ago.) Josie MacNeil: 'Se an lamh mhor as luaithe ach se an lamh bheag a dh'innseas an uair. It's the big hand on the clock that's the busiest but it's the little one that tells you the time. Ged tha an saor dubh tha an slisneach geal. Know what that is? A black carpenter but the chips are white. Well, that means a person could be dressed in old rags, and they could have a heart of gold. An rud nach buin dhut na buin dha. (Liter? al translation: Do not touch that which does not concern you.) Don't try to be a friend to an enemy. If he's your enemy, leave him alone. Something that doesn't be? long to you, don't bother with it--that's not with you, forget it.... This is a funny one. I shouldn't say it. Cha seas poca falamh. A burlap bag won't stand up alone. Jim: An empty bag won't stand alone. Josie: Burlap. Jim: Doesn't have to be burlap. Josie: Well, a paper bag will! or no other doctor can, told me that my kidney was all right, not to worry about it. Josie: Everything was cleared up. Jim: Kidneys cleared up. Josie: That's as true as the both of us are telling it. And the neighbours around here would come in and look at his leg, and kind of shiver at the look of it. It was so angry looking. They weren't running or anything, but they were scaly and red. And everything disappeared. Couldn't tell his leg today--it's as good as the other one. (What is St. Anne's oil?) St. Anne's oil came from St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec. I still have it. Not the same bottle, but I always have it. Somebody came in and gave it to you. And the little prayer beads from St. Jude, and the medal--somebody in Big Pond. And they'd shake their heads at me when they were going out, the people that were in here, and they'd say, "Well, he's finished," But he's not.... On the eve of their 64th Wedding Anniversary, Jim and Josie are visited by friends, all members of The Harmony Nine, a Gaelic singing group. L to rt: Darlene and Darryl Jones, Theresa Maclnnis. Tina Thomas, Denise Jones. A gift should be received with the left hand as it's closest to the heart. (Trans? lation: Bu choir tiodhlac a bhith air a gabhail leis an laimh chli oir 'si as fhaisge air a' chridhe.) We'd welcome hearing of other old sayings from our readers. Please write! Our thanks to Donalda Mac? Kinnon, from Baddeck and Tarbert, Harris, for transcribing the Gaelic. Moraf f's Yarns n' Crafts Wools, Synthetics & Blends by • Mary Maxim • Patons • Barnal • Emu • Lopi • Ja??9ar • While Buffalo • Nomotta 100% Wool from New Brunswick Edward Island - Cape Breto IPfi Threads for Embroidery, Crocheting- Weaving, Tatting & Ouilting ASK TO SEE Anfpra Camel Hair Alpaca Mohair Linen Bleods Caslmere Tapestries - Crewel -Oeeoupage -Macrame Large inventory of Craft Supplies and Patterns Open daily 9:30 a.m.-S:30 p.m. Friday* until 9:00 p.m. Mail Orders Filled "A World of Yarn at Your Fingertips" Now'with 2 Locations to Serve You: C. B. Shopping Plaza, Sydney River (539-5949) , _ 752 Victoria Rd., Sydney (564-8339) (64) George's ENTERPRISES & LAUNDROMAT BADDECK "People are saying our prices are dear. And here we are in our 20th year!" Vogue Cleaners Prince Street, Sydney * Quality Same-Day Dry Cleaning * SUEDES REPAIRS
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