Dailies: May 7, 2013
Hello all! Not much to say today. Unlike Chris Hadfield, we can’t just lean out over the Earth and have a really incredible and enlightening view of the entire world we know. Sign. Darn astronauts. But there was not terribly much to do today other than getting the word out about the info session tomorrow night and scheduling with different people here in town about taking some video of what they do. We are planning to go see the soapmaking process on Thursday, and sometime around the beginning of next week we are going to talk to a local family about the harvesting of the Irish moss that goes into the soap. The moss is a finnicky and unusual source of income here, but rather than speculating further I will wait until they have told us a bit more about it. We are also working to get out in a lobster boat and a have a couple of other experiences to record and show everyone. Hal’s tour yesterday really illuminated the area for us, and we’re looking forward to knowing it better.
I was particularly struck by how different these tiny little distinctive pockets of community can be, even in an area of such low population as Tignish. What we would consider to be “Tignish” or “Greater Tignish” here is composed of no fewer than ten discrete places, complete with their own customs and reputation. All of them rely on Tignish for most of their daily business–many of the towns barely have a gas station–but Smith Road is different from Mimenegash, which is different from Skinner’s Pond, which is different from Norway. And then there’s Anglo Tignish and Tignish Shore and O’Leary and Pleasantview and Nail Pond and Seacow Pond. All of them are within a 15 minute drive of Tignish, which is at the geographic centre of the area. We’ve often wondered if the difference comes from a region’s development having occurred before the age of affordable rapid transportation. Tignish was permanently settled in 1799 (and had been used for a long time prior), so the bulk of its early history came before the automobile or even roads. Take the west, then. Most similar places in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan grew as automobiles made them more accessible, and so those communities were able to tolerate a wider physical area as being all part of one contiguous community. An unsubstantiated theory but it’s worth consideration!
Got to get plenty of rest for the info session coming up. Talk to you tomorrow!