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> Issue 53 > Page 4 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Page 4 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (342 reads)

tune for him. And Dan R. said, "Why don't you take that tune, put it in a garbage can,' put the lid on the garbage can, and then SIT on the garbage can!" I mean, that was his approach if he didn't like the tune. I mean, you knew exactly where he was coming from. John Donald: But then by 1959, you know, his sight was getting bad. He was in Blind River and El? liott Lake. And he started getting cata? racts. By that time I was working in the Royal Bank. And one day I went into the post office and I met Mrs. MacEachern-- John Willie's wife--and she told me Dan R.'s sight was getting bad, that he was going to have to give up work. So sure enough, he did. And he moved to Sydney. But from that time on, he was around here. And from then on, I got to know him bet? ter. And he was telling me all those sto? ries about his days in Scotland. And even? tually he moved--by 1968 he moved into Marine Atlantic, Flagships of Atlantic Canada, joining people and places for business and pleasure. For rates, schedules, or ferry infornnation call Toll-Free (N.S., N.B., P.E.I.) 1-800-565'470. Great -#- Marine Atlantic Marine Atlantique Connections Mabou with my mother, who was a widow at that time. You know, I used to dig out tunes, too, that he didn't know. I used to find them in different places. And he'd always ask me--if he liked them, he'd ask for the tune. And of course I always gave it to him. And we became great friends. And sometimes I'd criticize him, you know, without fear of.... John Allan: There was a wonderful story about Dan R., too. You can ask my brother John Donald about him. And John Donald was talking to Dan R. one time. He went over to the Cel? tic Music Store in Antigonish and got a whole bunch of records. And there was this one particular record from Scotland that Dan R. got, that this fiddler shall remain nameless. I can tell people individually when they come to see me after reading this! But they said--they came home, and I put the record on. And this fiddler wasn't very good at all. Really, he wasn't that good. And Dan R. would just sit down there and start chuckling. (John Allan chuck? les .) "Play that again." (Chuckles.) This torture again. "Play it again," see. He wanted to hear how bad.... And he was talking later on to some people at a party, and said to John Donald, "That record you got--not a very good player. Not a good player at all." Then the capper was, he finished off by looking at John Donald and said, chuck? ling. "You could beat him yourself!" (Laughter.) John Donald: (John Donald, where does Dan R. come from, musically? Do we have any sense of how he began composing?) No. I can't really say that. It seemed to be just a natural tal? ent. He used to work in the woods one time--oh. back in the 1930s. And they were nil 1 IN HOME nUtl HEATING • state of the art heating equipment • Trained heating technicians • Largest Fleet of Home Heating delivery vehicles • Ways to save you money • Budget Payment Plan • FREE Furnace Efficiency Tests IN SYDNEY CALL: STEVE BLUNDON | IRVING 564-6293 ''' Island Vinyl Siding Ltd LeBlanC Siding Ltd. Authorized Dealer tor Kay CAN Aluminum & Vinyl Siding Aluminum Windows & Doors Shutters / Softfit / Fascia / Awnings 109 Reservoir Road SYDNEY Professional installation of Aluminum & Vinyl Siding in Cape Breton for over 15 years. Free Estimates forR.R.A.P., N.S.H.C., & C.M.H.C. Programs, and all other siding inquiries. Call Collect: SONNY MacPHERSON 539-4626
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