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Page 65 - A Visit With Gertie Boutilier Turnbull

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (183 reads)

I'd chord with the piano, and he played the violin. He was one of the best violin players in Cape Breton Island. And I'll say it till the day I die. They say that (Winston) "Scotty" Fitzgerald was a won? derful player, but--I will say, my first husband, he was a beautiful. (What was his name?) Albert Boutilier. (And what made him such a beautiful ' player, in your opinion?) Well, because I think he inherited it. His father played it a little bit. But his father's father, oh, he was a great violin player. Great violin player. I remember one time my first husband was out in the field, and he was plowing, and he came in. And I was on the floor, washing the floor. He said, "Old woman, get up. I'm thinking of a tune that Granddad played--he went to bed one night and he dreamt this tune." And I got up, wiped my hands and went to the piano, and he played the tune. And he said, "That's the tune old Granddaddy dreamt one night, and he knew how to play it the next day." Wonderful, isn't it? But I don't re? member the tune. The old fellow was a won? derful player, his father's father. They all played the fiddle, every one of them. ("Every one of them," meaning the boys and the girls?) Yeah. The girl did, his sister did, too. But she wasn't what you'd call a real--she could pick out a tune and play, but she couldn't play like her brother. And his brother George that lived across there--he could play the vio? lin, too. But he couldn't play like Al? bert, like my husband. 'Cause he used to come up to the house and he'd say, "Al? bert, give us one of those hornpipes." "Oh, just a minute," my man would say. And my husband would say to George, "Start in. Play yourself." "Oh," he said, "Albert, I can't play like you. I never will," he said. "I never can, or I never will." This is what he'd say. And this is the truth. (George) just had one way in playing. But as soon as Albert would take the violin in his hands--we'd play to dances--everybody would be up, roaring and raring to go. As soon as he touched the fiddle. (Gary: Who used to play with him? Just you and he?) That's all. And then the kids. Albert Boutilier in 1970 when they started to grow up. Beattie'd be one end and I'd be at the other. (Of the piano.) Yeah. And then Bud (Gertie's son), he'd take the violin and he'd take the mouth organ--he played the mouth organ too. They all had a feel of music. (Would you call the music they were play? ing- -since the name is Boutilier, I ask this question--was it Scottish music, or was it something else?) I'd say it was Cape Breton music--jigs and reels. But still, at the same time, he could play the waltzes, a good many waltzes--old- fashioned waltzes. And I was thinking of a tune the other day. "Let the Rest of the World Go By." We used to play that. And I've got it on that (a roll piano). Oh, it's handsome--you (Gary) should learn it. The words: "There's a sweet little nest somewhere in the west"-- something like that. "And let the rest of the world go by." I used to know it all. It's lovely. It's lovely to sing, too. Yeah, it's a lovely song to sing. And nice, lovely air, tune, to it. And, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles." Years ago, we used to play that. That was years ago. (And he _jit' Cape Breton Dairymen Upper Prince Street and afSydport SYDNEY SOOTSBURN THE DAIRY BEST ~ Working with and Committed to Serving the People of Cape Breton with Quality Dairy Products ~ 564-2000 564-5581 ICECREAM • FROZEN FOOD MILK and DAIRY PRODUCTS 65
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