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> Issue 21 > Page 44 - A Milling Frolic on the North Shore

Page 44 - A Milling Frolic on the North Shore

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/12/1 (413 reads)

to be shrunk to that • keep singing, rail- ling • 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning before they'd get it shrunk enough to satisfy. Kept measuring • a cromadh, they called it • that's the measure. That meant from the tip of the finger to the knuckle. Most of them figured that, I think, as five inches. The one that owned the cloth would do that measuring • her finger. She had to be the boss to see that it was done to her satisfaction. Even if somebody else thought it was pretty good, if she didn't think so you'd have to go at it again. 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. (Would you be tired?) You would think so. But we wouldn't think anything of it then. And there was such a lot of them, you know. It would be hard work with that heavy home? spun, swinging that around, perhaps a fel? low would have a song with Z5 or 30 verses in it • by the time that would be finished a fellow's tongue would be hanging out. (But you wouldn't think of not going?) Oh, no. We'd go. It was great fun. (And all you got out of it was a plate of beans?) Plate of beans. Lots to eat, whatever they had • they always had lots to eat. If the milling was going on later than the usual hour, they would come around with tea per? haps 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. And you know, that song John Shaw sang the other night at the milling (at Josie Tommy MacDonald's, French River) • I haven't heard it since years and years till he sang it that night. That was the song they would sing when they were rolling the cloth. The singer started off, and he'd sing the chorus: 0 co chuireas sinn anns ah luing Eireannach? Oh, who will we put CONTINUED NEXT PAGE Our thanks, first, to Josie Tommy MacDonald, French River' in whose home the milling frolic occurred; and to Gwennie Pottie, Tarbot, who supplied the new weaving; to Evelyn Smith, Wreck Cove, who helped with organization; and to all those who donated salt herring, blue potatoes, oatcakes and bannoch, and their time. John Shaw, Kings? ville, taped the songs and Owen Fitzgerald, Sydney, took most of the milling photos.
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