Page 75 - A Visit With Gertie Boutilier Turnbull
ISSUE : Issue 50
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1
me. You should have heard what I said! It wouldn't do for me to tell you. Yeah, they were going to take me out in the field and shoot me. (... There are things that some people consider signs of death. But I never heard that thinking about who you'd like for your pallbearer was a sign.... Some people say, if a bird comes to the window.) Yeah. Jack, my second husband, he said there was someone going to die. There was a bird come on the window, and he hit the window and it wouldn't go--it turned around and looked at him, and it came back and stayed there. Jack said, "Do you believe in signs?" I said, "Yes, they say that's...." When Albert's father was sitting on the bench, outside in the old house, I heard him saying, when his son was sick. He said--a bird came and lodged on his shoul? der. And he kind of pushed it away. He said, "It's not going to be long before he'll pass away." And it was his son Wil? fred that died. I remember old Granddad saying that, years and years ago. They say that's a sign--bird coming. They break the news. But I never had anybody come to the windows here. (Gary; Tell him how many lay-out dresses you've had in the last 30 years.) Dresses to bury me. There was some woman in here last night, and I was showing her the dress that I'm going to get buried in. "Oh," she said, "don't do that. It's too ??pretty. Wear it . when you go out." I said, "No, that's the dress that's going to bury me." I've got my slip and every? thing there, hang? ing up. So when I die, Gary dear, all you've got to do is go in. Everything is ready. (Gary; No, I'm going to put you in a Sobeys bag!) Laughter. (But have you really bought different out? fits over the years?) Yes. (In prepara? tion.) Yeah. Some were too dark and ugly, and they made fun o.f them. So this dress, I've got a pretty dress. I want to know they put a necklace and earrings and my wig and everything on--glasses. Laughs. He's laughing at me. (This is what you want.) Yeah, that's what I want. (Shoes?) They can if they like. Dancing pumps if they want to! (Gary; Put your teeth in?) Oh, I've got to have my teeth in. And glasses on, and my wig on, and earrings. (Beautiful.) And 'ake my rings. I'm going to give my rings away before I die. Be? cause they say they steal them off your fingers when you die. I know a certain person told me that was the truth. (They?) The undertakers. I was told that. (But you don't think they'd take your glasses.) Oh, no. These glasses, nobody can use them much, not with the eyes like I've got. See, I've only got one eye. They'd have to be a one-eyed gunner! I'm a one-eyed gunner! (But again. Now, buying layout dresses is obviously not a sign. If you've gone through several over the last 30 years, it's certainly not a sign.) But sometimes I think--I just say to myself, Well, an? other day nearer the grave. When I get up. Every day is another day nearer the grave. And I often say, "Oh, my Lord, how much longer am I going to live?" Well, I'll say to myself, "I shouldn't say that. That may be an awful sin to say. I've got to wait till my time comes," and I forget all about it. And then I go and play my music and I forget all about it. But I realize that I'm not a young chicken any more, like I tell the doctor. I'm not a young chicken any more. My time is short. I know that. But I'm not scared to die. Not a bit. Am I, Gary? (Can you tell me, though, why you're not scared a bit? What your expectations are?) I think, well, I've never hurt or harmed anyone. I always try to be good to people, and kind. I don't think the Lord's going to punish me any. That's the way I feel. And that's why I believe He's leaving me live here so long. The bell didn't ring yet, for to take me. That's what I say to Mrs. Beattie Wallace Paul Cranford; Two reels, "Mrs. Beattie Wallace" and "The Red Shoes" were recorded as the "lona Medley" on a Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald 78. It was later re-issued on Rodeo LP i'9. and then on Celtic LP #34. The original setting of "Mrs. Beattie Wallace" is available m Dan R.'s Heather Hill Collection. "Red Shoe's" is in MacQuarrie's Cape Breton CollectiQn. Dan R. MacDonald rr; W. Fitzgerald
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