Page 16 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron
ISSUE : Issue 53
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1
We didn't want to push him too much in (the business) direction. Because the way Dan R. was--he wasn't married. And he didn't real? ly have a home, per se. When he lived in Windsor, Ontario--he used to come home, of course, on trips. But he'd stay, maybe at the Gillis residence in Arisaig--Wilfred Gillis. And he'd come to the MacKays in Glendale. Or he'd stay at John Duncan Mac- Master's in Judique, or--several places that he would stay like that. And while he was there, he would write music for these people. You notice everyone I mentioned, they're musicians! It's a musical home. He would write tunes for them, and that was his way of, perhaps, of saying "thank you." And it would be--he wouldn't feel like it would be very nice of him to feel that they should pay him for the'music. And probably he was right that way. John Allan: Dan R. was the type of individual--he would sometimes wander around the island. He would go to visit friends, and he would look at them and say, "I'm going to stay with you for a month!" I mean, that's very straightforward, that's very direct. (What did that mean for the family he was going to stay with?) I think in most cases it was okay. Because Gape Bretoners love to have music in the house. And he would-- he'd play--he'd be playing at 10 o'clock in the morning. And, I mean, wonderful Home of Solid Birch Furniture Keltic Furniture Sofas Sofa Beds Coffee & End Tables World Rockers Recliners Tables & Chairs All Your Home Furnishing Needs 1115KlngsRoad,SydneyRlver, N.S. B1S1C6 • 539-1715 Enormous Showroom at SYDNEY RIVER legacy that he left. One of the greatest gifts a person can do is, he wrote many, many tunes for some of these people. He would leave, but he would leave a tune that would be played for years. I never met "Mrs. Norman MacKeigan." There's a wonderful tune on the Key of D. John Donald: I know back in the 1950's, Dan R.'s name was magic to John Allan and I. Whenever we heard of him being somewhere, we made sure that.... Gee, I remember one time we were at a wedding in Hawthorne. And we were over there. This car pulled in, it was Buddy--Buddy MacMaster--and his sisters. Buddy would be playing there, along with several other fiddlers. And Dan R. was with them. He got out of the car. The first time we'd seen him in quite a few years. Boy, we thought it was something special. He got out of the car and--being a big man, you know, and he had jet-black hair--and he attracted a lot of attention. There were a lot of people, you know, "Oh, there's Dan Rory!" Oh, everybody just came, surrounded him. They were honking their horn at him, you know, and he'd stop and he'd wave at somebody. I mean, he naturally attracted attention, it seems. You know, we thought he was pretty much of a hero to us. He didn't look at it that way, though. He didn't feel that--you know, he was just an ordi? nary guy who played the fiddle and com? posed music. And he was well-dressed, you know, at that time. I know that people who, perhaps, sometimes laughed at him in later years--you know, they didn't under? stand him--they might have laughed at him. I often think, well, they should have seen him then. They should have seen him then, when he had his sight. He had a job, he had a regular job. And he was just a well- liked man, and a popular man, and a dis? tinguished man. Real Estate & Insurance "If you're thinking of selling your home, give us a call." Serving Industrial Cape Breton and North Victoria R. Hickey & Co. p. O. Box 96, North Sydney B2A 3M1 Gerald Brennan, Mgr. Residence: 794-4564 "And remember: No sale, no charge." 794-3119 150 YEARS OF SHIP REPAIRS TRADITION Good People Sea & Shore Services Inc. "You are welcome to be served by long tradition and high quality." ?? Ship & Industrial Repairs ?? Dry Docking (1000T) ?? Marine TraveLift (150T) ?? Diesel Engines Repairs & Rebuilding ?? Propellor Repairs ?? Welding ?? Carpentry ?? Diving Services ?? Fueling Station ''' Commercial street • North Sydney DAY: (902) 794-4741 (office) ~ CALL 24 HOURS A DAY ~ NIGHT: 794-4338 or 539-8634 or 564-5560 or 736-2404 Carmel Ship Supplies If we don't have it, We can get it! If we cant get it. It doesn't existLf Fishing & Fish Plant Supplies, Ship Chandlery SERVING THE INSHORE AND DEEP-SEA COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN 255 Commercial Street, NORTH SYDNEY, Nova Scotia (902) 794-4741
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