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Re: Nova Scotia

All of a sudden I want to visit Nova Scotia.  Thanks
Rob.  Beautifully done.


---Rob Cohn <rob@eteast.com> wrote:
> well...I still have not found any Sinclair musicans
from the east coast
> of Canada (which is not to say that there are or
weren't any)...and I
> haven't  dug out the lyrics for Song for the Mira
> 	But the enquiry of Sinclair earns some answer...
> 	Nova Scotia is a peninsula on the Northeastern
Coast of North America
> with 5000 miles of coastline nooks, crannies,
harbours and beaches, and
> a peculiar history...some of the greatest fossil
sites on the continent
> are found in the Bay of Fundy area, which boast the
most visual physical
> evidence of the effect of the Moon on the Earth -
the highest tides in
> the world...I read once that the area has the most
difficult to predict
> weather in the world...the subject being one of
considerable daily
> speculation amongst the locals...
> 	10,600 years ago there was a thriving Paleo-Indian
city near Debert -
> not far from Bill Mann's theoretical Grail site in
Green Oaks...they had
> established trade links with Latin America...5000
years later the
> current Mi'k maq aboriginal's forebears came to
> 	It has been a known European fishing base for
millenia - exactly how
> many depends on who you talk to...the offical party
line in the province
> is about three hundred years...I'm in the
two-to-twenty millenia range
> myself...
> 	Lief Erikson toured through, Prince Henry hid the
Grail and became an
> aboriginal spirit here...John Cabot dreamed about
coming here...A bunch
> of French Folk came and established the first music
award in North
> America...Samuel de Champlain dreamed up the Order
of Good Cheer for
> best entertainers to get his troops through their
first long winter of
> 1605-06...by 1608 they gave up - probably because
of bitching by the
> local musicians...that's a very inside joke...
> 	A bunch of English folk and Freemason's showed
up...Francis Drake hid
> Bacon's Shakespeare manuscripts at Oak Island where
a lot people liked
> to hide a lot of things (last time I was in the
tunnels I found a
> battered pocket watch autographed: "to Whitey, from
the whole Wonderland
> Crew")...pirates hid gold and did pirate things to
women...a scourge
> finally eradicated when the Highland Clearances
established a fearsome
> bagpipe presence in Antigonish which protects the
province against
> invasion to this day...
> 	Blacks came from Jamaica and the U.S....later, in
a bizarre turn of
> events, blacks from Nova Scotia founded Sierra
Leone in Africa...German
> immigrants settled Lunenburg and the English gave
Wordsworth the
> inspiration for his epic poem Evangeline...the
Brits decided to send the
> French packing and shipped thousands to the U.S. -
especially Lousiana
> where the "Acadians" became "Cajuns" in the local
dialect and started
> using hot sauce on much smaller lobsters...
> 	The land was farmed, the forests provided endless
lumber, and the
> oceans were the bounty of the lord...
> 	The fortress of Louisbourg controlled the
entrances to the St. Lawrence
> Seaway and the routes to the growing population in
Upper Canada...It
> only stood for a couple of decades, and changed
hands like  a joint on
> the Halifax Library lawn but version Louisbourg
3.0, which began
> construction in the late sixties, will outlast them
> 	Through two World Wars Halifax Harbour served as
the staging centre for
> Canada's not insignificant war efforts...and all
the while historic Pier
> 21 was the Ellis Island of Canada - bringing a
flood of European
> refugees to add colour and bizarre recipes for
cabbage to our national
> fabric...
> 	During WW1 two ships collided in Halifax Harbour
causing the largest
> man-made explosion before Hiroshima and flattening
half the city...then
> we buried the Titanic dead...last year we got Swiss
Air Flight 111 in
> the heart and soul of the province - Peggy's
Cove...and now we get to
> the heart of the matter...
> 	Peggy's Cove is where the neurons of North America
meet all of the
> power and majesty of the North Atlantic
Ocean...there are days when the
> place throbs distantly and contentedly with
power...and then days when
> not-so-smart American tourists are swept off the
rocks to feed her
> wrath...
> 	There are many other places in the province which
are every postcard as
> beautiful and there are some with as much, or more,
power...Nova Scotia
> has it's fair share of pagan religions and about 15
years ago an entire
> Buddist sect moved their world headquarters here
and established Gampo
> Abbey in Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton...
> 	This power may be manifest in the Bay of Fundy or
in the mist movered
> mountains of Cape Breton, in the beautiful orchards
of the Annapolis
> Valley, or the rivers of Guysborough County...there
are reams of
> pastoral lyrics on the endless dripping beauty and
splendour of our
> wonderful blah blah blah...much has been
written...buy really - you have
> to see it to feel it...
> 	The warmest saltwater beaches north of the
Carolina's are to found on
> the Northumberland Straight between Nova Scotia,
Prince Edward Island
> and Cape Breton...50 feet outside the window where
I sit in Belle Cote
> on the western side of Cape Breton, winds of 80
km/hr drive huge
> white-crowned waves that carve out a 3-mile
crescent sand beach - and
> the rain sweeps through in complimentary
waves...the ocean is 25 C...we
> are getting Tropical Bath Floyd which some of our
less fortunate
> contributors have recently experienced as a
hurricane...this is our
> fifth month of ocean swimming in the most glorious
summer in memory...
> 	Our current culture developed three hundred years
ago and remains
> fundamentally unchanged...the economy was built on
government and
> military principles, for exploiting natural
resources...naturally, those
> who could not get a cut of this game turned, or
returned, to vice...
> 	Many a current local fortune was built on
rumrunning and then beer and
> national prostitution scemes, and many others on
drugs...we built the
> fastest sailing schooners not to catch fish - how
fast can they be? -
> but to slink about the seas with sin designed to
fullfill the "pursuit
> of happiness" clause in the American Declaration of
> 	In the past three decades it has mostly been
drugs...8 zillion kilos of
> pure rock columian tie stick something or other was
being dumped
> overboard from boats that the Hector passengers
wouldn't have
> boarded...it was washing up on the beaches in bales
more often than
> fish-kill down at the hard-board plant...
> 	Alas, all that has changed with modern policing
efforts...our finest
> are still out there Miami-Vicing around in cigar
boats while the locals
> learned to grow pot hydroponically and now they're
too lazy to import
> cocaine...drug problem solved...
> 	Today Nova Scotia and Cape Breton are in
transition...and what part of
> the world isn't...until the mid-twentieth century
Nova Scotia was a
> major connector for the European/North American
routes...then airplanes
> let everyone fly to the centre and an increasing
population in Upper
> Canada overshadowed the east...then the central
government passed laws
> that diminished trading between the region and our
natural trading
> partners - the east coast of the U.S....that would
be a gross
> oversimplification - but most of you are asleep by
now anyway...
> 	Being severed from the largest capital markets in
North America had has
> a profound effect on the economy...Marconi was
dead, Alexander Graham
> Bell had moved to Boston and Hank Snow to Nashville
and the greatness of
> the region dwindled...people bought tv's and set
their kids in front of
> them...if they couldn't get a job the government
paid them to stay home
> until the government created a job for them...
> 	The government started thinking about sheep...
> 	Global economic changes in the early 90's hit the
region hard...The
> fish were gone, the mines and the steel mill were
being run out of a
> call centre...all the levels of government were
cutting and tens of
> thousands of jobs were lost...they were later found
in more places
> around North America than parts of Jimmy Hoffa...
> 	At about the same time a couple of things came
> 	The region has always benefited from an educated
population - there are
> almost as many universities as bagpipers...on the
other end of the
> spectrum were planted a rural popluation dedicated
to preserving their
> way of life - mostly because it was the only thing
that kept them alive
> with little to exercise free will about...
> 	But many did just that and bolted - at the turn of
the century there
> were more Maritimers living in Boston than in the
> migration to Alberta in the 70s and 80s is well
documented in our
> national folklore...Newfoundland is relocating to
> 	Back home the extremes started intermingling more
and their point of
> contact was the cultural sector, specifically the
music and film
> industries...and let us not underestimate the power
of the internet...
> 	This period coincided with the great debates over
our nationhood and
> the Quebec question and the Maritimes were the
first region to find that
> they also had a "distinct society"...when the soul
searching started
> everyone was surprised to find that Cape Breton had
a soul for
> generations beyond count...
> 	They sang, they danced, they told a whopper of a
story, they gathered
> around the piano every weekend with their neighbors
or went to the local
> community hall to hear many of the best fiddlers in
the world play for
> nothing but the pure joy of the playing...they know
who everyone's
> father is...
> 	It's all based on a 200-year old frozen
moment-in-time when the Brits
> did a nasty on the Scots and replaced them with
sheep - much the same
> way that Ronald Reagan replaced all of the air
traffic controllers...
> 	Anyway, they brought their culture, language,
music, scotch, and they
> did despicable things to sheep - both in the
kitchen and - allegedly -
> behind the barn...but that may just be a series of
jokes handed down
> from generation to generation, preserved like the
funny plaid pleated
> skirts that the guys wear...and more guys in Nova
Scotia wear them than
> anywhere...
> 	They had been singing the same songs for 200
years...then, someone
> stole a page from Bob Dylan and got a electric
guitar and some drums and
> off they went to be rock stars...it sure beat the
coal mines...have you
> ever worked with fish?
> 	The Scottish oral traditions had been put to music
and preserved intact
> in isolated Cape Breton - hidden away safe to be
rediscovered in an era
> where talking about Scottish independence doesn't
get you thrown in jail
> anymore, or drawn and quartered...hmmm...
> 	Many a Cape Bretoner earns a living teaching here
and in
> Scotland...many a book is sold, many a film
produced, many a festival
> celebrated and much much water of the gods consumed
as the fiddles play
=== message truncated ===

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