Thursday, December 30, 2021

Calabogie and Kaladar and Fiddling and Silly Walking

Back in the mists of time, after ten years of teaching geography, I was told that I was going to teach an English class. It was grade 12 of all levels, but at least it wasn't an advanced level class for my first gig.

At one point, we had a film appreciation unit. Ahem: I am not sure how much critical appreciation we did, except that we all appreciated the change in pace. I can't remember how many films we showed, but I only seem to remember three, at least more or less by name although I may have a few wisps of others pass through my occluded consciousness every now and then. 

There was the story of Dinky Hocker who, as I recall was girl who turned to food for comfort, and the film is about self-esteem amidst the social problems that she had to face. There was another film about a Sikh boy, Ravinder, who had to face some prejudice over his headwear and long hair. I don't have a link for that because there are too many current Ravinders that pop up in searches.

There was also The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar, and ths is me finally getting to the point. I knew very little about this region in Eastern Ontario at that time. I certainly never thought that I would live here, but now I do live here and have since visited both small hamlets. I also never thought that I would take up the fiddle, but I did for about five years in my early sixties.

Here is the video of the film, which, of course, I showed as a 16mm film in 1982. It was filmed in b&w just over a decade earlier in 1968. It's 48 minutes long, so I am not going to re-watch it now, and neither are you, but I am embedding it for future reference.

This  ↓ is a little map on which I have circled Kaladar, Calabogie, CP (Carleton Place) and the western outskirts of Ottawa, but will probably have to embiggen it to see any of this.

And now, I will introduce my third (and final! so relax) fiddle tune: St Anne's Reel. Fiddle tunes are short and are usually repeated three times, so you can stop at ~1:08 if you like, but it is not a long clip to begin with. I have also set it to start after the talking intro.

Most of you have seen this ↓ clip of Sue and me doing the Silly Dance early in the COVID times. I used St Anne's Reel as the background for our performance, but just in edit. We didn't actually silly walk to a tune.

We have missed our annual Celtfest for two years running. Hopefully, they will hold it again this year. Even in the worst of COVID, summer times have been relatively good.


Patio Postcards said...

Two tributes in one with your video - your John Cleese walk to fiddle music - well done & fun.

Marie Smith said...

That tune is near and dear to an east coaster’s heart!

PipeTobacco said...

Do you still have your fiddle?!?! I am hoping you do….. you should consider getting it out and starting to play again!!!!


Barbara Rogers said...

And many generations from now, your descendants will view that silly walk and think that "this is what COVID did to their brains."

Boud said...

Well, a home based Ministry of Silly Walks! Your neighbors are probably wondering what next!

William Kendall said...

I've been to both villages, but not for several years now.

MARY G said...

I can imagine you teaching English and am finding retrograde jealousy about the films. I never was allowed to do that.
As for the fiddle music it. Nice version of the reel, too. Hey, we had not only reels but step dancing at Brien's funeral
. Good stuff, played by grandson and friend. He would have loved it.
Sharp moves there.

DrumMajor said...

What a cute Silly Walk. Of course, any Physical Therapist trying to get their patient to maintain balance and stability with a walker, would freak with your example. Glad you can still do those Silly Walk moves. Linda in Kansas

Margaret said...

When I first "met" you, Sue and you were doing fun filters on your faces and they cheered me up every day. I think I was around for the silly walk too. I loved watching a well-chosen French or Canadian film in my classes. My students, many of them fans of action films, needed to see movies that were more meaningful, character driven and beautifully acted.

Jeanie said...

I love your Silly Walk video to the max! New to me and so much fun! (And the music was great, too!). We used to have a wonderful folk festival here in East Lansing (till a new museum director killed it; Covid probably would have, anyway). And it was loaded with Celtic and other traditional and international folk. I always loved the Cape Breton groups. This just made my day!

Joanne Noragon said...

St Ann's Reel is one of my favorites.
I taught English, too. Probably mostly the same.

Red said...

I think teachers who accepted a position outside of their comfort zone learned a few things along the way and did well in the new challenging assignment. I went from math to language arts.

Jenn Jilks said...

This is a fun one. I enjoyed it.