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Page 19 - Johnny Murphy, North East Margaree

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1 (334 reads)

a few at a time. But there were two girls out here, their mother used to give them eggs in their lunch • but they didn't like eggs. But they come up with this idea one day • boiled eggs • they kept them for three days, two each • they had a dozen. Said they liked them in their lunch. I'm not going to say their names. Three days they had a doz? en eggs. Hard boiled. So they took them down to the merchant for good eggs and got the worth of them in candy. And oh, they got away with that a few times. But one day he sold a dozen to some woman for to make a cake • and they were already cooked.... I used to hear old Malcolm Gillis and his son • they used to play at the hall out here. I was I suppose 9 or 10. I loved the music. Oh yes, and my mother sang. She had an or? gan and used to play by ear. And we used to go from one house to the other. There were a lot of musicians. One night we'd be at Kenny MacKenzie's. They had fiddles there and piano. And then another night we'd go to what we called Clem Ingraham's. And then we'd go to Ernest Eraser's, and Ralph Mac? Pherson' s, Johnny Burton's over there, and spend a night there • one house to another. It was a great pasttime. Time didn't mat? ter. Twelve or one o'clock. At that time there was no television and not too much radio. We'd be in bunches. We wouldn't take fiddles. They'd generally be in the house. And there'd be an organ in every house then. And they'd sing. Some of them were beauti? ful singers. I remember one song • I wish I had a copy of the words • Clem Ingraham used to sing one: "The Shooting of President Garfield." There was a beautiful air on it. I suppose you'd never find that today. But my real interest was fiddle music. I'd learn tunes hearing them. That's why I'd go to dances. Then I'd come home, try playing did for them. I never danced too much. Then I learn to play and then I didn't get a chance to dance because I had to play others. I'd just sit somewheres handy to the fiddler. And I never could learn a tune that way. If I heard a tune maybe it'd be two weeks afterward that it would come to me. You could play a time a hundred times and I couldn't learn it that way • but maybe in a month's time it would come to me. I don't know why. When I was 13 I left home and went to Ny? anza, worked at a sawmill with my brother, Mike. I often think what people did at that time. My god, it was a long walk. I left in there in the month of April and I walked to South Haven at the foot of Kelly's Moun? tain • right below the graveyard • that's where the mill was at Fowne's. Ten hours a day • I often think • and the sawdust piling up higher and the smoke blowing in your face, trimming lumber and tallying and put? ting it out. I think we got 26 dollars a month, a dollar a day. But people walked in those days. A Deveau, he left Cheticamp, he and two other fellows, and they walked every camp at St. Ann's • every camp. He got a new pair of boots before he left down there. They didn't get work and they walked to Baddeck and slept in a barn all night and walked back • and his feet were on the road • he had to walk from Belle Cote to Cheticamp in his bare feet. And there was a trapper • Frank Walters • he was only a thin, thin fellow • about 6 feet tall but only weighed about 120 pounds. He used to trap all in the Highlands. Used to walk from Ingonish to the head of the Margaree River on his trapline. And he thought nothing of leaving the head of the Margaree River at 10 or 11 at night and walking back to In? gonish. It was him that got that live bear for Professor Bell. Genuine Doim Bast Hospitality Keddy'S Motor Inn 600 Kingjs Roadt Sydney, N.S. Phone 539-1140 • Telex 019-3517 Tourist Brochures & Colour Printing A Specialty PRINTERS LIMITED 180 TOWNSEND STREET, SYDNEY, N. S. TELEPHONE (902) 564'245
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