Page 3 - Isabel Bartlett Remembers George
ISSUE : Issue 43
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/8/1
and I used to go down and visit Aunt Kate. He used to take my cousin once in awhile to the movies. And when I was down there, he took her and I both to the movies. And after that he just took me to the movies! He was desperately shy, terribly shy. No? body ever would believe me, but it's the truth. Ask his brother. He'd go out the up? stairs window and shinny down on the veran? dah .if girls would come in the house to visit his mother and his brothers, he was so shy. But he wasn't shy with me. We talked all night, the first night we went out. I almost got sent home in disgrace, staying out too late. Talking. About things nobody else was interested in. But I'll tell you what--we were both queer, according to everybody else. My Aunt Kate said, "It's too bad to spoil two houses with you--it's better for you both to be in one house." Because she thought I was crazy, the notions I had. And George's par? ents thought he was nutty. The first thing we got interested in was the Spanish Civil War. He was the only boy I knew that even knew there was a civil war in Spain. I used to read a lot about that, and so did he. And we really couldn't believe it, that we had met each other. He was wishing that he wasn't lame, so he could go to Spain with the MacKenzie- Papineau Battalion when they went over. That's the first thing we had in common. He wanted to go, and I was a fearful paci? fist. I didn't think they should fight, e- ven though I knew it wasn't right, what was going on. But in those days I never thought you should fight for anything. I knew people, you know, and it was just pit? iful, the things that were happening. Ref? ugees then. It's pitiful what happened to the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion, how ill they were treated by Canada. You know, they were called "godless communists" and all this. And actually, they were uphold? ing the legal government. (In Spain.) Yeah. And we were both sort of socialists. We were both mad as the dickens 'cause they were selling all this scrap iron to Japan-- all this sort of stuff, you know--we wouldn't even--when we were so terribly hard up--they'd come around wanting all the old pots and stuff, but we wouldn't. I wouldn't even wear silk stockings, 'cause the silk was made in Japan at that time. (Was there no one else but George to talk to about the Spanish Civil War?) I didn't know anybody. The minister in Baddeck at that time--he was J. Nelson MacDonald--he was the United Church minister out at Big Baddeck. And he had an awful lot to do with starting credit unions and everything around here. And people were mad at him for cooperating with the Catholics--they thought, "Wasn't that terrible!"--he and the people at Antigonish were together. And he and our minister, Allison Fraser, were very good friends. I used to hear him talking, too. And they used to lend me their books. I'm just trying to think about Mr. Fraser, he's still alive--I wouldn't want to say anything wrong, mistaken about that. But he was very much against fascism early on, before anyone too much was, around here. And he preached a sermon one Sunday night-- he's still a marvellous preacher--! wish Gome in and browse through our selection of Nova Scotia books. We've got books on: • the industrial area of Gape Breton around Sydney • Industrial Cape Breton Fact Booit • how to lose weight, get nutrition for your money, eat less fat • Tfie Nova Scotia Eater's Almanac • gravestones - the types of stone used, popular designs, symbolism, peeuliarities of individual carvers • Life how short. Eternity how long • natural dyeing including instructions on making dye and dyeing wool • Country Colours • intrigue at Government House in the Wentworth Years • The Romance of Government House • the secret lives of Nova Scotia's reptiles and amphibians • Amphibians and lieptiles of Nova Scotia • how to entertain simply or lavishly with seafood • Nova Scotia Seafood Cookery • population, families, incomes, and labour force of Gape Breton's four counties • County Statistical Profiles. * And that's only a sampling. A cafcilogue with complete subject listings is available free upon request. If you spot something in it we don't carry, we'll be happy to order it for you from the Nova Scotia (Government Bookstore in Halifax. 'j.'''j.'j.'1' (3)
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