Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 68 > Page 18 - A Talk with Donald Johnny Murdock: The Blind Man's Seventh Son

Page 18 - A Talk with Donald Johnny Murdock: The Blind Man's Seventh Son

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/6/1 (337 reads)

farmers would take their harnesses to him to get repaired, even though they had their sight. He could sew, and he could get around pretty well. If he could get his hands on something, he could do almost anything. He used to do a lot of work on the highways. Of course when my brother Murdock, the eldest son, got older, my fa? ther would take him with him. Murdock would lead him around, sometimes not so good, but most of the time pretty well. I remember a story, when he was working on the highway, with Murdock, of course. It was (route) 19 through Mabou that they were working on. They were going to widen it, gravel it. So most of the work was done by hand, by shov? el. They would both go in the ditch, if there was a ditch to be sho? velled out. My father would go right along, the same as if he had his sight, as long as someone was working with him side by side. At dinner time, they would sit down on the bank of the road, and have their dinner. Each day, this certain guy, I don't know who he was, used to come and sit close to my father, and stare at him, while my father was having his dinner. I don't know why, but he was looking at him all the time. So Mur? dock would come home and say, "That fellow was looking at you again." Next day, the same thing. "Well," (my father said,) "if he's looking at me again tomorrow, you DRUKER INSURANCE AGENCY LTD. 363 Charlotte St., Sydney 562-5504 Toll Free In Nova Scotia and PEI: 1-800-661-3500 (FAX 564-5059) dk BLUE CROSS" MMimiPHmws BKMMlMiHy mmormS' sit close to me, give me a little nudge with your shoulder, and tell me where he's at." So the next day they went to work, and at dinner the guy came again and sat down, and was watching again. (Murdock gave the nudge.) "Where's he at?" (asked my father, and Murdock whispered.) "He's near your left hand, he's over about three or four feet from you." My father turned around, looked at the fellow straight in the eye and said, "Do you see horns on me?!!" Laughter. The guy took off. We don't know who he was. When they were building the breakwater, from Port Hood Island to Port Hood, he used to haul alders. {At one time, alder branches would he weighed down with rocks and sunk in the strait, so the sand in the current could be caught, and would accumu? late.) My father could load the wagon. As long as he knew where it was, there was no problem there. He would bring the alders to Port Hood, and they would pay you by the weight of the wagon. So Murdock and my father would come with their load. Murdock would jump off, onto the tram, and then you'd jump down to the ground. So my fa? ther would start trying to get off, and they'd say, "No, no, no, you stay up there," because he couldn't see. The man at the scales knew my father's weight, and he would just subtract it from the weight of the load. So he'd stay there. But Fr. MacPherson who was the parish priest, got wind of that. He heard about it somewhere, and he got after my father. He got the aw? ful bawling out, because he thought my fa? ther was adding weight to the load. He didn't do that any more. Laughter. One night, here he and Murdock went to this certain house, to tune a piano. He didn't know the people, and she (the lady of the house) didn't know my father was blind. She said, "Oh, we've been waiting for you." So he went in, she took the lamp, lit it, and "Follow me," she said. So he followed her down into the living room. She put the lamp on top of the pia? no , and she came back out. She figured he was alright, that's all he needed. By the time she came back out to the kitchen, he had knocked over the lamp, and it went flying off the piano. Laughter. He didn't need a lamp! Laughter. So she got a surprise. Lloyd MacDonald ' NISSAN Our 35th Year 124 KINGS ROAD SYDNEY RIVER Toll Free 1-800-565-9427 20 CAR SHOWROOM 1995 Pathfinder 4x4 NOW IN STOCK • Also Available in 4-Door •
Cape Breton's Magazine
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