Page 31 - Remembering Life on Scatari Island
ISSUE : Issue 14
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/8/1
Joe Spencer: When we Ixved on Scatari, everybody was the sarae. Go any place and do what you do; they'd corae to your place and the sarae thing. All together. Never no disturbance there. We'd have great fun there in the wintertirae. Skate, play hockey, play cards and shoot guns. Cut our own wood through the winter. Marae Spencer: September .and during October we used to have raffles, dances- sell the raff'les and kill the sheep and raffle that. (Did you feel locked off frora the rest of the world?) No. You know, when I raoved up here I had a hard job to get adjusted. See there's so much excit- raent going on in the world today that it's not fit. And the young people got an awful hard job to grow up and you've got an aw? ful hard job to raise a faraily. If all the farailies were back there again, I'd just as soon be back to Scatari as anywhere. Joe: So would I. More fun back there. On the pond skating all day. Heavy breeze of wind. Had a sail on your back • was 6 feet across • go up and down the pond about a raile long. Gale of wind be on that sail and that sail on your back • you'd go sorae too, wouldn't you? When it would keep blowing you'd go before it, out the har? bour road going 60 railes an hour. Boy, you'd drive her. And we had ice boats • raake ice boats. Take a piece of plank across this way • with skates and a piece of iron behind for a rudder. Put a spar and sit on her. Be good, but you had to be careful. Marae: And they used to have • I guess you never heard tell • the raumraers. Came when the Newfoundland people raoved there. Well I think they still have that yet in New? foundland. Soraething like Halloween, only different. Joe: During Christmastime you would dress up. Make a mask and dress up. Go from house to house. Good Time. Marae: Only then they'd have my dear lovely rigs down there. Go around and then the last house probably they'd take off their faces, sit down and talk. When they had the mask on, you'd try to pick them out. If you did know you wouldn't exactly bring their names out • you know, you'd make thera feel bad, they'd have to go soraewhere else. Joe: I did a lot of it. You'd draw your raask to suit yourself. Marae: Probably some put a suit of underwear on. Men probably dress like women. Women's clothes and shoes. I'll tell you the truth, boy, it was fun. 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning before they'd be gone on their way. (Is Mame and Joe Spencer this little children?) Oh' no. Joe: 15, 16. Mame: Oh my dear, some were in their thirties and forties. Joe: We started about a week before Christ? mas. We wouldn't buy false faces at all. Get cotton and paint it up and make our own faces. (Clem Spencer: Some bad faces, too. Scary faces. Used to take a bird and skin it and turn the feathers inside and skin outside and cut holes and paint it and with the feathers it would be all like pimples all over the face.) Joe: Dress up as ugly as we could. Probably 10 of us, dressed up • and another fellow with a fiddle. Mouth organ. Anything at all. Went to every house on the island. Dance. Wouldn't sii' very much because they'd know your voice. When you're a mummer you try to talk different than you used to talk. We'd have a great time. They'd have to guess you. Try to get your shape some? times • you're twistinf. Have to figure out v4io you'd be. Every Christmas. Come a heavy snowstorm then we wouldn't go- but clear of that. Dancing and singing, lots of booze around. Mame: We just sung Christmas songs, and some would sing the odd hymn and some would sing little rhymes • not too much. Afraid if you sang too much they'd catch on • they knew them all so well. Mame: They'd do the work in the daytime and at night this would take place. And not very often on Sunday. With bad wea? ther, you'd get 6-7 days out of it. Joe: Went dressed in an overcoat down to Bast Point one tirae • long walk for her. Had my shoes on I guess. She was dressed as a man and I had her clothes on and her shoes • so you know vdiat kind of a shape my feet was into. Mame: Today if you dressed up, come up here, they'd call the raounty, think you're foolish. (Could you walk across the ice to Main- a-Dieu?) Joe: I walked across once. I Cape Breton's Magazine/31
Cape Breton's Magazine