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Jimmy Mickey Sandy MacNeil
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 Benacadie Pond, Cape Breton County  Birth Place
Jimmy Mickey Sandy MacNeil
Seumas Mhigi Shandraidh 'ic Dhòmhnaill
Benacadie Pond, Cape Breton County

Jimmy Mick Sandy is a name synonymous with the community of Benacadie Pond. One of six boys and six girls born to Micheal and Margaret MacNeil, Jimmy lived nearly his whole life in the home built there by his father more than a century ago. There he ran a dairy farm, delivered the mail, worked as a carpenter and raised a family. On the side, he was a well-known water-diviner whose abilities were widely appreciated. MacNeil's father was a fiddler and storyteller who was recorded by famed folklorists John Lorne Campbell and MacEdward Leach. His mother was descended from Irish immigrants who quickly assimilated with their Scottish neighbours in the area. A tall man with an interest in the traditional folklore and beliefs of his community, MacNeil now lives with his son's family just down the road from his old home overlooking the water. Decorated with pieces of furniture he built himself, MacNeil enjoys visiting with friends in the front-room overlooking the community he knows so well. He is quick to show visitors the many pictures of his grandchildren he handles with such pride.
- Shamus

Interviewed by Goiridh Dòmhnallach
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
September 02, 2006

Total Play Time: 01:07:30

00:00 the name of the community and it's origins
01:55 the first immigrants; Jimmy learned English in 1926; his family spoke Gàidhlig
04:22 the family
05:48-07:15 carpentry work; his father was a farmer View | Listen | Transcript
07:57 names for tools
10:00 parts of the house
18:00 brothers and sisters
18:52 his mother's family
20:10-25:10 sloinneadh; fiddlers; dances; older folks preferred the reels View | Listen
25:15 the schoolhouse
26:18 schoolchildren spoke Gàidhlig together
27:48-28:27 walking to church; walking to Sydney View | Listen | Transcript
29:20 fasting
30:32 praying in Gàidhlig
33:33 kitchen, dining room
34:30 living room
35:36-39:27 going to confession, slaps and spanks View | Listen | Transcript
39:41-41:58 names for things; the kitchen loft View | Listen
43:19 children's clothes
44:00-45:02 difference between briogais and triùbhsair View | Listen | Transcript
45:38-47:04 the wake house View | Listen | Transcript
50:45 caskets
52:45 children's caskets
53:44 funeral processions
54:52 seasons; butchering with the moon phase; pickling; hanging pigs to cure; cooking; names for vegetables; blessing seeds

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