Carrie M. Best/A Digital Archive

Every life has it defining moments - moments which can be looked back on as a foreshadowing of things to come. Da' Hennie Game is one such moment from the early life of Carrie Best, told here in her own words as she recounted it in her 1977 autobiography That Lonesome Road.


By Carrie Best
From That Lonesome Road

From my earliest recollections I had always felt to be very much a human being with the ability to think, to act, to feel and to develop those moral and intellectual concepts common to all human beings. In this respect I am confident that I was no different from others of my race and generation, although the methods I chose to prove it may have differed somewhat from those chosen by my friends and associates. I tried to divide the story of my journey into chapters; the yearning years; the crusading years and finally, the golden years, only to discover that I could not determine when each period ended and another began; for no one really knows when the seeds of dignity and self-worth implanted at birth may blossom: either as a flower or a thorn - depending on the sensitivity of the individual, and the environment in which he or she is nurtured.

For many years, I was embarrassed by the story my mother often told of an incident that happened when I was about four years old and we were living on Provost Street in New Glasgow. I was sitting on the steps of my home one morning, when a local lawyer (Henry Graham) later Mr. Justice Graham of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, passed by on his way to his office and winked at me. My mother worked at his home sometimes and I knew him by name. Angry and excited, I rushed upstairs and declared Da' Hennie Game look at me and wink he eye - but I never toined; I let he know I no two-cent dude. Two-cent dude was the term applied to people of low esteem; usually those who were flashily dressed but financially insolvent. Apparently I had interpreted his greeting to mean that he felt that I belonged in that class. If I had reasoned so, at that early age then I had actually begun my journey into self evaluation when I was only four years old.

© 1977 Clarion Publishing