Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 71 > Page 57 - Joe Neil MacNeil: A Talk About Tales

Page 57 - Joe Neil MacNeil: A Talk About Tales

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/12/1 (145 reads)

just took it for granted that they were supposed to die out with their own gen? eration or whoever would pick them up. (Because really, if it hadn't been for someone like yourself to have been there ' at that wake, or to have been in a house when a certain story was told--perhaps there are some stories that would have died out.) Oh yes, oh naturally, natu? rally, there are stories that would be gone, that would be lost completely, if it weren't for just people.... Of course, they had them. You find a lot of stories in some of those folklore books; you'd find different versions of some of the stories that those people told. I guess that came about through different collectors gathering those stories. And somebody would want to tell the story different to the way the other man told it. So, they changed the names, they changed it round from one to another. Maybe in some cases they'd have a fox was in it, and in another story it would be a wolf, or a dog, or some thing. They changed it roind.... '''' * ' ''m n seems worthwhile to offer again this photo of two of Cape Breton's finest storytellers, Archie Neil Chishoim and Joe Neil MacNeil. Wherever stories were being told • in homes, at a book launching, at any gathering of Gaelic learners • if he could make it, Joe Neil would be there. (But when these fellows were telling a story, when Maclsaac was sitting at that wake, it was more for just that time.) Yes. (It wasn't like he was sharing a sto? ry, like he was passing on tradition to the next generation.) No. Well, you could learn the story off him. (But you don't think that was on his mind, do you?) Well, no, I suppose it wouldn't bother him very much--he wasn't even thinking along those lines. I don't suppose he was wondering at all will that story be lost or would it be preserved, or what would happen. I don't know if that ever occured to him. But I'm sure that he wouldn't mind for you to learn stories from him. Because he'd like to hear you tell stories--if you had any stories that you learned from somebody else, he'd like to hear that. (He would.) Oh yes, yes, yes. (So he wouldn't care to just be the centre of attention.) Oh no. no, no, he'd always point at the other fellow, say, "That fellow's full of them." Oh, I wasn't in it at all, especially around 1946 or '47, those years. I wasn't even in on it because I was after going off the storytelling completely. I wasn't in on that at all. (Before 1946 were you thought of as someone who would tell stories?) Well, I suppose away back, about in the late '30s, I would be considered perhaps one that would tell one of those stories. ~ Over 25 Years in Business ~ Canso Realties Ltd. Box 727 Port Hawkesbury, N. S. BOE 2V0 ?? Phone (902) 625-0302 ? We carry 300 listings of property for sale in Cape Breton and Eastem Nova Scotia. JiiA iUIARCHAND (' Rome's (WharD Restaurant and Lounge ~ Specializing in Fresh Seafood and Steaks -' LICENSED RESTi'URMT LOUNCS Monday to Saturday * 11 a. m. to 2 a. m. Large Video Screen and Dance Floor Live Entertainment riday & Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m 2-for-1 STEAKS in the Lounge Lunch and Dinner 10 a. m. to 9 p. m. 7 Days a Week 411 Purvis Street in North Sydney on the NORTHSIDE WATERFRONT • . ___- near MARINE ATLANTIC 7'4-7774 Newly Remodelled Wharf for Pleasure Craft
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