Page 93 - Estwood Davidson: Travels with Beattie and Winston
ISSUE : Issue 54
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1
First song we played down there, old Angus MacKinnon came down the hill. He used to work in the woods at North River. The great? est stepdancer I ever saw in my life. He was a master. He was a Fitzgerald with his feet, what Fitzgerald was with the violin. But anjrway, we gave him a couple of drinks. We said, "Angus, will you dance?" "Oh, yes," he said, "I'll dance for you." He danced with his thumbs out like that. The only part of him would move was from his waist--nothing else. You could put a glass of water on top of his head and I don't think he'd spill it. That's the kind of a dancer he was.... He had a sister (Annie MacKinnon) who danced as well as he did. I asked Angus one time, I said, "Is your sister as good a dancer as you, An? gus?" And he said, "She's better." And they'd ask the sister. "No," she'd say, "Angus is better." Boy, I wouldn't want to have to judge between them. There were no two ways about it: he was the greatest dancer I ever saw in my life. There never was nothing on Cape Breton Island that even came close to him. He was a master at his own trade.... Mossy Angus MacKinnon. And a violin player, (Mossy Angus) was equally as good. The old tunes, you know. He had a bad finger, he used to put an elastic band on it here. And he played "Christy Campbell"--he was the only man that ever I heard could play "Christy Camp? bell" perfect. There were only three people played "Christy Campbell" and played it really the way it should be played. Fitz? gerald, Angus Chisholm, and Mossy Angus. And they learned from Mossy Angus.... (And Winston--playing on the wharf at White'Point on Sunday morning--people would come and dance?) Holy jumping, the whole village would turn out. There'd be as many on the wharf dancing as there would be in the old Star Dome hall, al? most. We'd play a couple of sets before we'd go home, and they'd have a ball there, boy. And there'd always be a bunch of boats--especially in swordfishing time, you know. All the Newfoundlanders would be there and, holy jumping, American yachts. It was a real nice place to go.... DON'S FLOWERS Serving Port Hood, Judique, Inverness and Surrounding Areas p. 0. Box 179, Port Hawkesbury, N. S. BOE 2V0 Telephone 625-2215 or 625-2717 Annie MacKinnon and her brother Angus "Mossy" Mac? Kinnon. "Mossy had a sister, Annie, who was a good dancer. When she was dying In the old St. Rita Hospital, we toolt An? gus in there.... Annie wanted to' see Angus dance for the last time, at the foot of the bed. i think Johnny Aucoin played the violin, and IMossy Face opened fire and danced and the tears were running down from his eyes. Five minutes after that, she was dead." • Alice Aucoin in the booi( A Caoe Breton Ceilidh. (But when you'd travel, you rarely stayed the night?) Never stayed the night. Proba? bly once in a blue moon, if we really got hung up in a snowstorm. It was right back-- 'cause we worked, you see--we had to keep our job. (Beattie) was the only one that got rest, you see. Beattie was better off than we were, 'cause she could go home and sleep. Where we had to go to work.... And those were long hikes. You know, in old cars in those days, and bad roads. And you had to get back to Sydney by 7 o'clock, anyway, change your clothes, and go to work. You'd play till 1, and then pound the road till you got home. And then go to work. Some people thought it was a glamour? ous life, but it sure as hell wasn't. (Any accidents?) Two--deer. We hit two deer. We only missed one dance in our life, on account of running into a big buck deer. And the next one we ran into was right in Whale Cruises CHETICAMP Scenic 3-Hour Boat Tours * June to October 3 Times a Day in July & August Contact Capt. Bill Crawford, Cheticamp Boat Tours, Box 10. Grand Etang, Nova Scotia BOE ILO (902)224-3376 liilZZIf' ''' SHOOTERS LOUNOE FAMILY DINING Featuring Fresii l??iil • (sl and Homestyle Cooking WE OPEN AT 7 A. M. Monday to Saturday 9 A. M. Sunday RESTAURANT OPEN till 11 P. M. LOUNGE OPEN till 2 A. M. $1.99 Truckers' Special Breakfast Every Morning Live Entertainment Thursday, Friday, and Saturday j) Old-Fashioned Ceilidh Every Saturday at 2 P. M.! j' CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA 539-5247 Brian.ICMusgrave SYDNEY RIVER
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