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Mickey John H. MacNeil
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 Jamesville, Victoria County  Birth Place
Mickey John H. MacNeil
Mìcheal Eòin Chaluim Sheumais Mhòir
Jamesville, Victoria County

Born on a small farm near Iona, an area settled by immigrants from Barra, Mickey John H. MacNeil is a talented tradition-bearer with a gentle manner. Though he and his siblings were brought-up during the Great Depression, their father, a farmer and fisherman, always managed to put food on the table and the local community provided a rich cultural environment in which to be raised. In the evenings, visiting was common and Gaelic stories were often shared between friends and neighbours. After serving in the armed forces for several years, Mickey returned to Iona where he intended to replace the local storekeeper temporarily; he ended up buying the store and spent the next thirty years behind its counter. Now retired, MacNeil is quick to laugh and reminisce about the years he spent there with his wife by his side. An important part of the local community, Mickey's general store provided a steady stream of Gaelic speaking customers with whom MacNeil would converse. A long-time member of the church choir, Mickey is a valued member of the Iona Gaelic Singers who regularly travels to milling frolics around the island. His rich Gaelic accent echoes his natural musical abilities. As photographer Ryan MacDonald recently observed, "He speaks like a slow strathspey." - Shamus

Interviewed by Jim Watson
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
November 02, 2006

Total Play Time: 1:33:55

00:20 Mickey introduces himself
01:57 talking about his community
03:00 the first immigrants and their homes
06:32 painting houses; building ladders
09:00-12:28 parts of the year; getting ready for winter View | Listen
12:28-20:38 different kinds of fish; preparing fish View | Listen
20:39-26:39 livestock; his uncle was a butcher View | Listen
26:40-34:12 preparing meat; skins View | Listen
34:40 the cow moos; speaking about cows in the barn
37:22 parts of the house
42:02-47:48 the weather; story about the snow View | Listen
47:49-54:43 signs of weather View | Listen
47:49-54:43 signs of weather View | Listen
54:44 Jim tells a story
56:16 kerosene lamps
57:58-1:01:13 hauling water; cutting wood; burning coal Listen
1:01:14 the old house; his family; illnesses
1:08:01-1:10:17 lighting the fire View | Listen
1:10:18-1:17:52 clothing; women's work View | Listen
1:18:18 Jim tells a story
1:21:35 question about stancheons
1:22:57 Mickey has a proverb; other questions about words
1:28:00 action words

Rod C. MacNeil & Mickey John H. MacNeil
Interviewed by Jim Watson
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
November 30, 2006

Total Play Time: 59:26

00:26 Rod C. introduces himself; the first of his people who came to the area
04:56 Mickey introduces himself
06:40-12:09 A local song; types of songs View | Listen
12:10 who was good at making songs
13:04 the song the midwife made about the old man
18:23 the graveyard
20:16 Song: Ailein Duinn
25:33 Song
30:25 Song: Anna mo ghaoil (John Stevens)
34:10 the Browns from Cape North, related to the people of Washabuck; they were good singers and pipers
37:40-42:19 Nìall Mór who was good at making songs; story about hard times on the hill View | Listen
42:21 Hughie MacKenzie
43:50 Song
46:35-49:13 story about the people getting tb View | Listen
49:15 Song: Saoil am pòs mi
51:25 Song: Anna mo ghaoil
53:03-56:48 ripping your pants View | Listen
56:52-59:00 Calum Cille; the evil eye View | Listen

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