Page 35 - "Oh, You Will Not Drive Over Ben Verick? No, Man, No!" A Cape Breton Travel Tale from Dawn Fraser's Book, Echoes from Labor's Wars
ISSUE : Issue 63
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/6/1
seemed at odds witii the powers that be. He felt tiiat highways were neglect? ed, that his mountain road could be widened and made more attiactive at very littie expense, and this would be a great ccMivenience for the people who were much attracted to tiie largest town of Invemess County. "Perh's you don't vote right, Sandy," I suggested • and his answer to tiiis was prompt and a littie bitter. "That is just tiie tix)uble, Fraser. We Beatons, Rankins, McDonalds and other Scottish families in these parts always sujqxjrted the p-esent govenment But tiie govonment concludes that the Beatons and Rankins and McDonalds are aU good, faithful frieiris who would scorn to 'turn their coats,' so we will sedc new converts to support us and tiius swell our majOTity. Acting on tiiis, they fix roads elsewhere and neglect their good friends here." Anotiier observation of mine in the rural (areas is) that tiie people there seemed more intelligent than in the towns and cities. Perhaps they are not so poisoned with propaganda by the press, advertising mediums, etc. They don't believe, for instance, that every different kind of tobacco can be super? ior to every otiier, or tiiat Soapso is better tiian Sudso, or vice versa. If oae believes all he hears or reads, it weakens the intellect. If I declare to a rural- ite that forty dollars per month is not sufficient to maintain a family of four, tiie gentleman will always agree with me. But if I make the same statement in the city or town, I am called a "RED." Another tiling I soon discovered was tiiat the Beaton home did not lack for entertainment The young lady of the family. Miss Mary Beaton, was a talented performer on tiie vioUn, and during the course of tiie evening Sandy urged her to get her fiddle and play for Fraser, whom he doubted w' a tine Scot And the young lady, laying the violin across her knee, charmed us witii "Lord MacDonald," " The Lament of Wullie Wallace," and many otiier pleasing airs that I could not identify. Then Sandy looked at me suspiciously, winked at his charming daughter and urged, "Marack, Oughs-tiian Frishell, Oughs-Frishell." Smiling with mischief. Miss Beaton let loose witii anotiier air tiiat I did not recognize. I leamed afterwards that with the first notes of "Oughs-than Frishell" it was expected that I would leap to my feet and do a Highland FUng. But I disappointed my friend Sandy and was promptly aware of his dis'pointment "Don't you know that tune, man? You are no Scotsman and no Fraser!" And Sandy scorned to relieve me of my ignorance. However, I leamed later that Oughs-than Frishell was the favorite pibroch of the Fraser clan, and that Sandy was justified m considering me something of a half-breed when I did not recognize it After a pleasant evening spent with music and story, I was led to the guest chamber by mine host who hoped I would say my p-ayers, rest well, and assured me that in the moming we would recover my sleigh from tiie top of the mountain. And of course the moming came, as momings will and, gazing around me from the Uttle valley, I was astonished to observe the mountains in this particular section of Cape Breton Island. Many years before, while reading geography at school, I leamed tiiat the Cobequid Moun? tains on the Nova Scotia mainland were referred to as the chief heights in tiie province. But I do not recall any mention of the In? vemess mountains in tills Cape Mabou section of tiie county. Since tiiat time I have ob? served the Cobeq- When touring the Cabot Trail, '' you'll enjoy yoiu- stop in Cheticamp. It is a ' '' friendly village with strong Acadian traditions.'' While in Cheticamp, why not enjoy a meal at Le Gabriel? We offer unsurpassed Acadian hospitality and cuisine. The dining room S'e offer seating for 125 people, and many traditional dishes. "-' • . s well, you might dine on fresh local seafood, sizzlinj? steaks, fresh baked bread and sinfully delicious desserts Best entertainment for miles around Le Gabriel would like to invite you to visit our great hall, for the best in local entertainment! Tuesday: Square Dancing & Fiddling Wed., Thur., Fri., Sat.: Popular Music Saturday & Sunday: Fiddling • fully licensed service • air conditioning • U. S. currency accepted Le Gabriel P.O. Box 316 Cheticamp, Nova Scotia Canada BOE IHO Tel: (902) 224-3685 While in Cheticamp, don't forget to visit Flora's craft shop, which offers a variety of locally crafted fbrate on the Cabot Trail Best selection of hooked rugs Flora's offers an excellent selection of rugs and other hooked items, made by over 100 local craft ladies. We also feature other quality handcrafts and souvenirs. • Coasters • Sweaters • Chair seats • Quilts • Wall hangings • Placemats • Rugs SX c' • Tartans Flora's has served the tourist industry for over 25 years. We v'elcome tour groups for one stop shopping. You're sure to enjoy /'~ our rug hooking dem? onstrations! U. S. CURRENCY AT BANK RATE. ALL MAJOR CREDIT j CARDS ARE ACCEPTED, AND WE ALSO SHIP WORLD-WIDE! 'C A'M p. Relax and enjoy a rx''f''>'''NXy' treat in our '' /ffiiVxi>*..<' comfortable eat-in ' ' O ice cream parlor. .1 ' • Frozen yogourt • Soft ice cream • Fresh Muffins • Coffee & Tea PHONE: (902) 224-3139
Cape Breton's Magazine