Page 65 - Cockfighting: an Introduction
ISSUE : Issue 55
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1
match the weights within two ounces. Never give away more than two ounces. The only thing I could do would be make a deal with them: I'll take 5 birds over, and I'll fight any 5 men--I'll fight any 5 birds in (town)--for $1000. And whoever wins 3 out of 5 takes the money. That way they can't welch on me. That way if you win 3, they can't back out--you're getting your money. But for to take them over and half them off--like I say, I got $100 first fight, $50 second fight--anyone who fights for nothing, not worth the game. But then they weren't that much in agree? ment with each other that they'd agree to fight me that way. So. Might as well get out of it. Plus I didn't like to fight it that much. So--it wasn't too hard to get me out.... (So there's no big money in this.) No, not here. But in the States there is. Anna: It's just--here--it's just pasttime, real? ly. Jim: That's what I say, it's just tradition.... Well I remember, when I was a kid--well, I'll tell you--very young--that you ever saw a funnier rooster fight, if there wasn't 2 or 3 cops there. As a matter of fact, some of our town police had some of the best fighting roosters in town.... It was the Mounties, they were the problem. The town police, they grew up with it. Like I say, some of them used to fight roosters. The Mounties, they were different. But you're right, it's part of their tradi? tion, it's part of their life. You know, I listen to the older folks talk. And they claim where they went wrong: they should have paid income tax on it when it was big. When there was lots of money in it, they should have paid taxes. If you're paying taxes to the government, they'll never make it illegal. And they figure they could have got it legalized, it was so popular. But now they can't do it. Not enough people know about it and remember it. Like I say, you can't go--like I was born and brought up there--if there's a fight on, they'll call me up and ask me am I coming over to visit or something. Well, then I know that there's something to go over for. But then I'll go to this certain house. And then we'll get in a car and we'll drive to a certain spot and park the car. And then a truck will come along with a van--big closed-in box, big doors in the back. And he'll stop there, and then we'll get in there, and they lock the doors. And they drive you around. You might only be going half a mile, and he'll drive you 4 or 5 miles. And then they let you off right at the door and you'll go right in. (After,) come right out back in? to that truck, and drop back at your car. And unless you know the people that live in the house, there's no way you can de? scribe to anybody where you've been. That way, see, what it does, it cuts down on how many can squeal.... But they'll do that to protect the guy that owns the place. Plus, it protects the stranger, be? cause- -automatically if anything goes wrong, the stranger is the first one that's suspected. Where if you're blind? folded, or supposing you can't see any? thing, well, they know you can't tell them anything either. But I've often been invited. And I wouldn't know till a couple weeks later where I was--and I grew up in that town. Our thaniis to Sr. Rita Maclnnis, head librarian (retired), who shared with us the photographs and bool(S on cocitfighting that are part of the Dr. Thomas J. Khattar Collection at the University College of Cape Breton. At his death, Dr. Khattar was working toward a book on cockfighting. Most of the art work In this arti? cle is copied from the Khattar Collection. The carving of men at a cockfight Is by Murray Gallant of New Waterford. It Is part of a wonderful summer exhibit of Cape Breton folk carvings, featur? ing work by Sidney Howard. The exhibit is on display at the Cape Breton Centre for Heritage and Science In Sydney. Medical Hall EST. 1906 • COMPUTERIZED PRESCRIPTION SERVICE . FILMS • SUNTAN LOTIONS • FIRST AID SUPPLIES _ 66 Commercial St. . 1 Commercial St. DOMINION GLACE BAY 849-0200 ' 849-6552 (??busy) 849-1030 PHARMASAVE Solar Boiler Domestic Solar Hot Water • 85% of annual hot water • easy installation • '10-year limited warranty EASTERN HEAT PUMP h02 REEVES ST. SYDNEY 564-4141
Cape Breton's Magazine