Page 25 - A Visit with Max Basque, Whycocomagh
ISSUE : Issue 51
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/2/1
old man passed out his cup, too, "Give me a little more tea," and he said the old lady just went to give him a little more tea, and she pulled the teapot away, said, "Ah, yes, our father's gone crazy again." "Our Father," you know that's a great name amongst us; instead of saying "Uncle" or "The Old Man," they'd say, "Our Father." That's a little different from what we call a priest. Priest is altogether, well, it may be just a different way of saying it. But the old man had squeezed his (ceramic) cup, you could see his fingermarks all 'round. She pulled the teapot away from him, put it back on the stove. The old man just laughed, "Oh, I'll straighten it up here." He straightened it up as if it were made out of clay, and the old lady said, "That's more like it, now I'll pour you a cup of tea." He had squeezed it up on the old lady; "Our father's gone crazy again." My grandfather Isaac Sack, well, that's the way it happened, he said. And some said you must have had, well, what do you call it, a hallucination, or mass-hypnosis or what. But he said, no. Grandfather said, "No, I wasn't the only one seen it, everybody seen it; just that he done so many weird things it didn't surprise no? body. Didn't surprise me any." He said just a matter of fact that things like that happened. Like him stretching his clay pipe round his hat. He stretched his clay pipe round his hat! He'd no way to carry it, 'fraid he'd break it, so he stretched his clay pipe round his hat. That's going beyond belief. Then he straightened it up! Mass hallucination is right! Or else I spose they'd think up who can tell the weirdest tale about old James Paul. Course there'd be all kind of tales, I know when I was younger, people that can remember him, and one of the other tales is this windmill somewheres near Dart? mouth- -this man had a windmill for grind? ing grain. A big windmill and has a main shaft that come right down to turn the main grindstone. And he (my grandfather Sack) said, "We was boys; we used to ride round this main shaft, like, grab it and ride round. And old James Peter Paul, he grabbed that and the whole thing stopped. And the miller come in going, 'What are you fellows doing?' And they said this old gent grabbed that pole. Miller said, 'He can't stop it, take more than the old man to do it.' The old man said, "All I did was THIS," and it stopped it again. The miller said, 'Don't do it any more, you've stopped the whole mill!" Another one of those weird tales. So after all this we came out from Grand Mira, to 1922, and we lived in Millview. And we moved back to Shubenacadie. I re? member we had our horse down there. I was 8, and Richard was 10. Neither one of us ever went to school. But Mum used to teach us. We could read and write--at least a little bit, anyway. And we went home to Shubenacadie. And it wasn't long after? wards- -it was after Richard died--he got killed in 1926. I asked Dad one time, be- Ic'lirSSn OUTER VOICES POGtrv! ??'" Anthology of Cape Breton Poetryj ft?
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