Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 75 - A Talk with Dominic Nardocchio

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (287 reads)

for two years. Because here, I saw no hopes, no way out. I was too old when I came here--12. And start to learn a new language. I worked with others for 3, 4 years. But then the first shop I had with my cousin, on George Street opposite the old Sacred Heart Church. 1924, '25. And then of course, I didn't care too much for that. At the same time I was studying music and I met with my old friend, my late friend, Emilio Pace. So then we made a team. He was a good mandolin player, very good--one of the best. He had come from Italy in 1918, and he didn't go to school, and he didn't have much of English,' but he was a good musician. Not only in mandolin, but as guitarist; and a trumpet player. And I played the guitar for him--Spanish guitar. We called ourselves the "Harmony Duo." We first started in Cape Breton here. We got a good response. We used to have a packed house. So then we started to travel on the road as a vaudeville team, you see. And we played in Halifax for 3 months. That was in 1928. The old Majestic Thea? tre, it was right opposite the Basilica. We played there 3 months. Before we lost our place in Halifax, we played with a program on the radio--CHNS. There was no radio station in Sydney then. And from there we were moved up to Monc? ton. I think the name of the theatre was the Imperial Theatre. But then we moved on to Woodstock and Bathurst. And then we went to Quebec. And we played in Montreal for quite awhile, up until November. And then the talkies came in. The silent film was replaced by what they call the film of today, the talking pictures. When that's done, we lost our job. We played on the vaudeville show. In between the movies, there'd be vaudeville acts. But then when the (silent) film was replaced with the talkies, all the musicians that used to be hired around the orchestra pit to play the script for the pictures, for the film--they all lost their jobs. And there was no more vaudeville, so we lost our job. Of course, I was young, I didn't care too much. I wasn't married. Specialists in 341 Welton St., Sydney SERVING ALL OF CAPE BRETON PRODUCTS LTD. Phone:539-4111 • No structural changes • No more painting • Clean from inside FREE ESTIMATES I met a friend there and I told| him, I said, "I don't know what to do." My par? ents were in Sydney. They wanted me to come back here. This fellow here in Mon? treal told me, "You're crazy. Why don't you stay here, and I'11 get you a job in a shoe factory." See, I knew enough of I the trade to get | a job in a shoe factory. And he said, "You'll make good mon? ey ." At that time, he almost Dominic Nardocchio & Emilio Pace convinced me. Because he even showed me his previous week's paycheque was $80, That was good money in 1928. But I came back here. And always with the intention of going back. Came back in De? cember in 1928. As a matter of fact, we went broke in Montreal. Because we were waiting and waiting, see if we'd get a job. Well, I told him, I told Emilio, I said, "If we don't go now--we've got our fare--I'm not going back'." So I said, "I'm going to get a job here and I'll stay." But, we came back (to Cape Breton). And then, 2 or 3 months after, I bought the shop on Charlotte Street from a fellow by the name of Ceccheto--Ernest Ceccheto. It was (already) a shoemaker's shop. He'd opened that in 1924. But i never actually cared too much--I always felt that I want? ed to go away. Always felt that way. Siuberges lUjnnDLvn Inns Welcome'''' You to 50 Lovely, Newly-Renovated Suites & Fine Dining at Family Prices A Fully Licensed Dining Room featuring Fresh Seafood WANDLYN INN 100 King's Road, Sydney, Nova Scotia BIS 1A1 (902) 539-3700 TOLL FREE: 1-800-561-0000 (Canada) 1-800-561-0006 (U. S.) Senior Citizen Discount
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