Page 12 - With Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald
ISSUE : Issue 46
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/8/1
didn't care too much for. But in order to make a living, I had to do it. (Were you taking Cape Breton tunes and playing them western style?) Yeah, you could do that. Or--at that time you could learn tunes. There were lots of ways to learn from oth? er players. Or you had gramophone record? ings then. I had Al Wade and His Cornhusk- ers. I learned a lot of tunes off of him. We used to play the polka, mostly polka stuff, you know. I'd play the Cape Breton music. My own style on it. I never let go of that. Every show--featured in every show. With Hank, every show. He used to chord for me, most of the time. Hank wasn't the best chorder in the world. But there was one tune I remember learning--the "Canadian Jig"--and that was his favourite. I had to play that at the concert. It wasn't my fa? vourite, but it was a good--in fact I think Angus Chisholm has it on recording. (Didn't you do "Turkey in the Straw"?) Yes, we played pieces like that, surely. TELECOMMUNICATiONS AT THE SPEED OF A colourful and informative brochure containing a piece of fibre optic cable is available free from Maritime Tel & Tel. For your copy, please call toll free withiit Nova Scotia 1-421-4720. (iD MARITIME TEL&TEL; So then, I stayed with Hank about 2% years. Travelled up, pretty well all around New Brunswick. And all down the Nova Scotia shore. And then he packed up and left. Wanted me to go with him, coaxed me. He went down to Tennessee. But I didn't want any part of him. I couldn't see--you know, I was starting to come up then, and get up a bit in age, years. And I wasn't a rummy. I liked to drink. But--a little too heavy for me. And very contrary. Temperamental and jealous--anything else I can think of, I'd add it. (He wasn't the man for you to--) No, he wasn't, certainly, the man for me to marry for the rest of my life! To join up with for the rest of my life. Well, when he left, I got a job at the Hal? ifax shipyards. I worked there 8 years. But I still played for dances in Halifax. Played for dances, but I never did any show work. Played for dances by night, and worked at the shipyard by the day. (Were you finding Cape Bretoners in Hali? fax?) Oh, there were more Cape Bretoners than Haligonians! By all means, yeah. And a lot of French peo? ple there, from up L'Ardoise and those places. An awful lot of them. (And they'd come to these dances.) Oh, yes. They'd get in if they had to come down the chimney. They were great peo? ple. I was playing sometimes 3, 4 nights a week. And I was working at the ship? yard for 50 cents an hour. That was my pay at the yard. The War broke out then in ' 39. So a- round '40 I said, "I'm going to have a crack at that, too." So I went down to the Navy. Navy was pretty busy, I couldn't get anything--they of? fered me everything but what I wanted. I wanted to get on deck. I could go down in the holds, down in the engine room. Lots of chances, I could have gone down there. "No," I said, "if I'm going to get torpe? doed or shoot anybody, I want to be on deck. I want to see what I'm doing." "You'll have to come back a- gain," and so on. So I went out and joined the Army. And there I was in the Army till 1946. i CONTINUED NEXT PAGE
Cape Breton's Magazine