Page 25 - A Visit with Bill Daye, Painter
ISSUE : Issue 30
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1
big falls in North River. And there was a painting on the wall of a hunter. There were three deer leading and one you could see the red where he was struck, and he was collapsing, you know, big deer. And there was another one of a red fox, dig? ging the bones that he had planted, out of the ground. See, it was still nature. (And what did your wife say about it?) Well, I didn't hear the remarks she made, personal remarks about it, but she liked it alright. (I mean, there aren't too many wives that let you paint on the wall.) No, well, that was my nature. I suppose she wasn't going to kick about it too much. And when that house burned, we had all new plumbing put in it that year, in the fall, and it burned at Christmas, in such a snow? storm that the fire wagon couldn't even get out. I could make between October and Christmas $600 to $700 mounting deer heads. And eve? ry week I'd get a snake, a trout,.some? times a little crocodile somebody would ship--sometimes one would die at the cir? cus --canaries , parrots, dogs, everything. I remember one woman brought me a little monkey about that big. It had perished some way, and I got a cabinetmaker to make me a little stand for jewel boxes, little drawers in it, and I put the monkey behind it, standing in the back looking over. I'd have something all the time, every week I'd bring in $20 or $30. And I borrowed the money to build a new house, and in 10 years the house was paid for and I had a brand new motorcycle. There's why I went into taxidermy work. I never started recording this history till maybe 10 years ago--or something like that--that kind of painting. I got right in earnest. I want to get the history of all those old things that are gone and like horses, the way people do with horses. I drove a grocery wagon for Rod MacNeil one time, delivery groceries, winter and summer. I drove hauling coal. I was a milk? man at Blackett's Lake. That painting's down in the college there, when I was a milkman, where I'm coming up with a big 10- gallon can of milk. I was in an awful lot of different things through my life. It all adds up to make a picture now, differ? ent things. This was the way the mail went to Water- ford and Glace Bay. (Bill reads from back of painting:) "Jim Callaghan, from Sydney to New Victoria and New Waterford Post Of? fices , daily with his beautiful, strong, black horse. MacLean Hotel was located on the corner of MacLean Sto and Victoria Road, Whitney Pier. The livery stable was on the south side of it. Charles Murdock was owner of the stable. Callaghan also managed a livery stable behind the build? ings opposite Sydney Post-Record Building on Dorchester St. As a kid I played around in Murdock's stables rainy and stormy days in 1910." "This is Jim MacLean that plowed the side? walks with a wooden plow that he had with rocks in it to make it heavy. And he plowed the sidewalks with that--nobody plowed the streets. The building is a forge and car-repair shop, 1429 Victoria Road, and 1431, operated by Edward Phil? lips, previously by his father, Reuben Phillips, 64 years ago. In my early teens, Reuben Phillips was an old small man with a white beard. He would not tolerate smok? ing tobacco in his shop." "Jim MacLean was also in the trucking busi? ness with two large horses, the white one and a gray, hauling sand from the South Bar sandbar to builders, etc., and stock? piling it for future use. It was taken to
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