Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 71 > Page 52 - Joe Neil MacNeil: A Talk About Tales

Page 52 - Joe Neil MacNeil: A Talk About Tales

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/12/1 (209 reads)

This was collected and translated by John Shaw, and published in Issue 23, Cape Bre? ton's Magazine.) (And you say you were that close to losing it all.) Oh, yes. I was on the way out. It was on the way out. Only for Sr. Beaton-- got after, and went out, 1972, when they started away on that. Only for I got in-- another two years and I'd be gone, pretty well gone out. {Sr. Margaret Beaton would gather Gaelic speakers around a microphone at Cape Bre? toniana in the old Xavier Junior College, and get them to share Gaelic stories on tape. John Shaw writes in his Introduction to Tales until Dawn that he heard those tapes in the summer of 1975, and knew Joe was the real thing. "A recording that imme? diately caught my attention was a version of 'Nighean Righ na h-tipheit'...delivered with a sureness of detail and a command of Gaelic that I recognized as the work of a master story-teller." Together, Joe Neil and John Shaw did the work that led to their acclaimed La Cooperative de Cheticamp Complete Line of Groceries Meats - Poultry - Dairy Products Produce - Deli - Bakery Camping Supplies - Hardware MON-WED: 9 AM to 5 PM THUR-FRI: 9 AM - 9 PM • SAT 9 AM - 5 PM OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK WHALE CRUISERS LTD. ESTABLISHED 1981 book Tales until Dawn.) (Joe, you mean in 1965, we'll say, you didn't have a group of friends that were after you all the time to tell them sto? ries?) No. Well, things were changing CHETICAMP (Opposite large stone church visible for miles.) Aboard the 42 ft. vessels WHALE CRUISER and BONNIE MAUREEN III, search for pilot whales, fin whales and minkes. Bird lovers may see bald eagles, gannets and a variety of other birds along the scenic coastline of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. View interesting geology rock formations and sea caves. Enjoy an ocean experience. SCHEDULE DAILY: May - June, 9 am, 6 pm (3 hrs.) July - Aug. 15, 9 am, 1 pm, 6 pm f'''' Aug. 16 - Sept. 15, 9 am, 1 pm, 5 pm l'w''j After Sept. 15, 10 am, 4 pm Adults $25.00. Children 6-12, $10.00 Under 6 years FREE Contact: Whale Cruisers Ltd., Capt. Cal. Poirier P.O. Box 183, Cheticamp, N.S. BOE IHO Phone: (902) 224-3376 Fax: (902) 224-1166 Toll Free: 1-800-813-3376 During one period last season, with a radio-equipped spotter vehicle, whales were sighted over 40 trips in a row. • BUS TOURS WELCOME • NOVA SCOTIA'S ORIGINAL WHALE CRUISE Awards: TIANS & Ambassador lei on parle Frangais /ilBRAl' (902) 224-3800 Maurice & Simone Poirier La Caisse Populaire de CHETICAMP • DAILY SAVINGS • SAVING ACCOUNTS • CHECKING ACCOUNTS • SMARTCHECKS • MASTERCARD CHETICAMP - around so much. Radio came in, and then television. Well, that was all new, and they were all going for that. When you bring in something new, it's a novelty and they go for that. (And of course it'd be in English, too.) Yes. (And there were fewer people who could speak and understand the Gaelic sto? ries .) Yes. Well now, around 1941, I was in with John Maclsaac, the late John Maclsaac was at a wake, and he was telling stories. Well, I got more or less interested in it for a time. But then there was a shortage, there was nobody to pay much attention to them. Everything changing around so fast. They were lost. (In 1941 you went to a wake, and John Maclsaac was there.) And he was telling stories most all of the night. Most of the first part of the night, while the crowd were in, he was telling the sto? ries. Oh, long stories and short ones. A lot of them were--one of them, especially long--I didn't learn all that one. John had a very soft voice. He spoke very soft, and low. And then, his hearing was bad, he was kind of deaf. And he imagined that he was speaking loud enough, perhaps. But at the same time he was only speaking in low tones. He could hear himself speak? ing loud enough--the inner ear was all right. But he wasn't hearing how low he was going. And it was hard to follow and hard to pick up. And for that reason it was hard to learn a story off him. Especially if you only heard the story once. (But you tried.) Well, of course, you tried. Well then, it must have been, maybe 5 or 6 I years later, that I heard the same John Maclsaac at a wake, an? other house. And he was tell? ing the story. He passed the night, telling the sto? ries . And I picked up a lot of them then. But • .O. Box 700 -Local Books lain Street ~ Series Books :heticamp ~ Self-Help Books Nova Scotia ~ Religion BOE IHO . Cook Books ' Good assortment HOOKED RUGS ?* F'-'n'h Books Souvenirs ~ T-Shirls & Sweatshirts Cheticamp Credit Union • R.R.S.P.S • MORTGAGES • LOANS • A.B.M. MACHINE 224-2055 Dennis Larade, Mgr. Mon-Thur 9:30 - 4:30 Friday '9:30 - 8:30j 52 Cheticamp: Over 200 Years of Tradition!
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