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Vol 32 â€¢ No 05
Curious about cannabis edibles?
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life is better Published monthly in St. John’s by Downhome Publishing Inc. 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3 Tel: 709-726-5113 • Fax: 709-726-2135 • Toll Free: 1-888-588-6353 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.downhomelife.com Editorial Editor-in-Chief Janice Stuckless Assistant Editor Elizabeth Whitten Special Publications Editor Tobias Romaniuk Art and Production Art Director Vince Marsh Graphic and Web Designer Cory Way Illustrator Mel D’Souza Illustrator Snowden Walters Advertising Sales Senior Account Manager Robert Saunders Account Manager Barbara Young Marketing Director Tiffany Brett Finance and Administration Junior Accountant Marlena Grant Accounting Assistant Sandra Gosse Operations Manager, Twillingate Nicole Mehaney
Warehouse Operations Warehouse / Inventory Manger Carol Howell Warehouse Operator Josephine Collins Distribution Sales & Marketing Amanda Ricks Sr. Customer Service Associate Sharon Muise Inventory Control Clerk Heather Lane Warehouse Associate Anthony Sparrow Retail Operations Retail Floor Manager, St. John’s Jackie Rice Retail Floor Manager, Twillingate Donna Keefe Retail Sales Associates Crystal Rose, Emma Goodyear, Jonathon Organ, Nicole French, Elizabeth Gleason, Rebecca Ford, Erin McCarthy, Mackenzie Stockley, Marlene Burt, Marissa Little, Hayley Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gauci, Rachel Ryan, Beth Colbert, Kim Tucker, Heather Stuckless, Katrina Hynes
Subscriptions Sr. Administrative Assistant Ciara Hodge
Founding Editor Ron Young
President Todd Goodyear
Chief Executive Officer / Publisher Grant Young
Chief Financial Officer Tina Bromley
To subscribe, renew or change address use the contact information above. Subscriptions total inc. taxes, postage and handling: for residents in NL $39; AB, BC, MB, NU, NT, QC, SK, YT $40.95; ON $44.07; NB, NS, PE $44.85. US and International mailing price for a 1-year term is $49.00.
Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement #40062919 The advertiser agrees that the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising out of errors in advertisements beyond the amount paid for the space actually occupied by the portion of the advertisement in which the error occurred, whether such error is due to the negligence of the servants or otherwise, and there shall be no liability beyond the amount of such advertisement. The Letters to the Editor section is open to all letter writers providing the letters are in good taste, not libelous, and can be verified as true, correct and written by the person signing the letter. Pen names and anonymous letters will not be published. The publisher reserves the right to edit, revise, classify, or reject any advertisement or letter. © Downhome Publishing Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.
Printed in Canada
Official onboard magazine of
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106 just desserts
46 Man of Characters Comedian, actor, writer, now member of the Order of Canada, Andy Jones reflects on his incredible career. Wendy Rose
52 Fishing and the Future After the cod collapse, is cod jigging still a rite of passage? Jenn Thornhill Verma
70 Beware These Beasts
Folklorist Dale Jarvis has an important message to share about some mythical beasts in our midst.
106 Readersâ€™ Best Berry Recipes Tasty treats filled with partridgeberries, blueberries, cranberries and more.
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homefront 10 I Dare Say A note from the editor 11 Contributors Meet the people behind the magazine
12 Letters A St. Shotts expat turns 107, a quilt to mark the spot, and treasures found where trash would be
20 Downhome Tours Explore Hawaii with Downhome
one man tour
22 Why is That? Where does the phrase “skeletons in the closet” come from, and why does pepper make us sneeze? Linda Browne
24 That’s Amazing Wild news from around the world
26 Life’s Funny Something Funny Brewing Norma Noel 27 Say What A contest that puts words in someone else’s mouth
27 lip service
28 Lil Charmers Sweet Treats 30 Pets of the Month Halloween Hounds
32 Blast from The Past Remember library card catalogues?
34 Reviewed Denise Flint interviews Susie Taylor and reviews her latest book, Even Weirder Than Before.
36 What Odds Paul Warford vacations on that other island 4
cute in disguise 1-888-588-6353
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38 In Your Words Good Friends Bruce Roberts
42 In Your Words A
growing concern Newfoundland Time Michelle Barrett
features 58 Putting Food First The final installment of our three-part series on NL agriculture looks at how we make food security a community affair. Elizabeth Whitten
66 Salute to Service The Canadian Forces 56 Engineer Squadron, better known for community projects and big gun salutes, turns 70 this month. Dennis Flynn
explore 78 Whatâ€™s on the Go Exciting events happening around Atlantic Canada
80 Hunting for a Haunt? In the spirit of the season, Tobias Romaniuk seeks expert tips on where to look for a ghost. 84 Spirits on the Rocks Three tales of tokens from old Conception Bay, NL Dennis Flynn
88 Strike While the Iron is Hot
haunting memories www.downhomelife.com
The Brigus Historical Society and a new generation of artisan blacksmiths have forged a rewarding partnership. Dennis Flynn
92 More Than Just a Pretty Place Marie-Beth Wright travels to Greenspond to see whatâ€™s new in this historic area. October 2019
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102 recipe for greatness
96 The Slow Road to Monkstown G. Tod Slone
food and leisure 102 Everyday Gourmet Carrot Cake Andrea Maunder
116 First Timersâ€™ Guide to Cannabis Edibles Tobias Romaniuk 118 Q&A with Ross Traverse Advice for Gardeners
reminiscing 122 Flashbacks Classic photos of people and places
123 This Month in History Remembering the hospital ship Strathcona 6
the more you know 1-888-588-6353
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126 autumn antics
124 Downhome Memories Colonial Times and Cordage Randolph Toope
126 Visions and Vignettes Gnat, do you mind… Autumn Leaves? Harold N. Walters 130 Mulleys Cove Treasure Hunt A reader shares an 80-year-old mystery from his hometown Dennis Flynn About the cover These partridgeberry squares were among the reader submitted recipes that were made, photographed and eaten by Downhome staff in preparation for this issue. Get this recipe and more, beginning on page 106.
Cover Index Curious About Cannabis Edibles? • 116 Andy Jones • 46 Where to Look for Ghosts • 80 & 84 Berry Tasty • 106 Monsters Ink • 70 www.downhomelife.com
134 Between the Boulevard and the Bay Ron Young recalls squid-jigging days
136 Newfoundlandia Our Lost Monuments Chad Bennett 139 Mail Order 144 Marketplace 148 Puzzles 160 Photo Finish October 2019
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Part three of our series on NL farming pg. 58
The origins of “Skeletons in the closet” pg. 22
Children’s Book Giveaway Visit Downhomecontests.com October 1 – 11, 2019, to enter to win a copy of Nanny’s Kitchen Party by Rebecca North, illustrated by Laurel Keating.
Find even more berry recipes at Everydayrecipes.ca
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Submission Guidelines and Prize Rules
You could WIN $100! Every reader whose PHOTO, STORY, JOKE or POEM appears next to this yellow “from our readers” stamp in a current issue receives $10 and a chance at being drawn for the monthly prize: $100 for one photo submission and $100 for one written submission. Prizes are awarded in Downhome Dollars certificates, which can be spent like cash in our retail stores and online at shopDownhome.com.*
Submit Today! Send your photo, story, joke or poem to
Downhome 43 James Lane St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3 or submit online at:
www.downhomelife.com *Only 1 prize per submitter per month. To receive their prize, submitters must provide with their submission COMPLETE contact information: full name, mailing address, phone number and email address (if you have one). Mailed submissions will only be returned to those who include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Downhome Inc. reserves the right to publish submissions in future print and/or electronic media campaigns. Downhome Inc. is not responsible for unsolicited material. www.downhomelife.com
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i dare say
Proofreading can be scary business. At least it was for me one night during my early career at Downhome. And it wasn’t misplaced modifiers or Canadian spellings that had me sleeping with the light on. It was Dale Jarvis and his ghost story in the issue I was proofreading near the witching hour. At the time I was living on one of the oldest (and I think prettiest) little streets in the downtown core – Victoria Street. I was on my umpteenth Pepsi of the day (my preferred caffeine delivery system in those days) and propped up on the pillows of my bed, eyes bloodshot from reading pages. I was scanning slowly, not letting my eyes get too far ahead in the text as I tested each word and punctuation for accuracy, when I read: “… most of Victoria Street’s ghosts are relatively harmless. A good example of this is the ghost of number 23 Victoria Street.” I went so quickly rigid with fright I nearly tore the pages in half. “That’s my house!” I exclaimed to no one… hopefully. I became suddenly, acutely, aware of how quiet the neighbourhood was at this hour, how dark the street, how loud the sound of blood rushing between my ears. Barely able to breathe, I read on. The ghost of an elderly woman was known to appear on the stair landing in the multi-storey rowhouse. But – and here is where my heart restarted – she hadn’t been seen since the stairs were repositioned and the home was renovated into apartments. I moved out of that house a few months later, and while I never saw that elderly spirit I do think of her from time to time. There are a few creepy stories in this issue, from paranormal encounters to mythical beasts that roam our communities and hillsides. I’ll be in my office with the light on. Thanks for reading,
Janice Stuckless, Editor-in-chief firstname.lastname@example.org 10
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Meet the people behind the magazine
As a local freelance journalist, readers might recognize Wendy Rose’s byline from previous issues of Downhome as well as various local print and online media. She’s also the member services coordinator for the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. She’ll cover anything and everything arts related, from music to theatre to dance. “I also enjoy writing lifestyles/human interest stories because I feel everyone has a story worth telling!” Wendy says. In this issue, she chats with legendary comedian Andy Jones (see p. 46) on his recent admittance to the Order of Canada. “The honour is only given to those who represent the Order’s motto, desiderantes meliorem patriam, which translates to, they desire a better country,” Wendy says. “Just imagine your contribution to the arts being considered part of an effort to better your country. Around 7,000 people are among the Order of Canada recipients – that’s about 0.01% of the country’s population. Pretty prestigious!”
October is one of Downhome Special Publications Editor Tobias Romaniuk’s favourite months, when the leaves turn colour and there’s a crispness to the air. It also concludes with one of the best holidays: Halloween. While a big fan of candy and costumes, he really loves the origin of this holiday. “This was the time of year when the dead would revisit the living, and people wore costumes to scare off the ghosts – or blend in with them. It was 2,000 years ago, so things have gotten a bit lost in translation. Anyway, the pagan roots of Halloween are why I love it.” In this issue, Tobias delves into the history of hauntings in Newfoundland and Labrador (see pg. 80). “I love a good ghost story. And this month, I got to write about ghosts. It was fun,” Tobias says, “and although I’m still not quite convinced that ghosts exist – or how to answer the multitude of other questions that arise if ghosts do, in fact, exist – I am open to the possibility.”
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This project is near and dear to our hearts. My sister and I recently painted a quilt in honour of our mother, Dorothy Judge, who passed away 10 months ago. My mother was widowed at 38 and raised six children from age three to nine on her own. She passed away this year at the age of 90. Our mother spent her life making quilts. She gave many away to treasured friends and family. To quote Dolly Parton, “She sewed every piece with love.” This summer, my sister, Madonna Judge Malarsky, and I scoped out a rock, devised a pattern and started in. Although not perfect, it was painted with love. The pattern is “Around the World,” one of her favourites. We painted this in by the Spelling Rock on the back of Small Point/Kingston, her favourite berrypicking spot. This rock is where she would “take a spell” with her berries. Those berries would be sold and the money would be used for school clothes and oil in the tank for the winter. Peggy Judge Doyle Via email
It sounds like your mom was a wonderful, hardworking person. We are sorry for your loss. Your painted quilt to mark her spot will no doubt warm the hearts of many who discover it. 12
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Mystery Solved The item depicted in the photograph, “What is this thing?” (p. 16, September 2019 issue): This is a metal support, usually comes in pairs, that holds wood in an open fireplace. Probably made by a local blacksmith. Mike Ryan Milton, ON
First Visit In July 2019, my husband Cal Belbin and I took our grandson, Blake Belbin, for his first trip to Newfoundland, where we met up with other family members. He loved it so much he didn’t want to return home. This photo was taken on the original Pentecostal Church steps in New Chelsea, Trinity Bay, that Cal’s dad, Hedley Belbin, built as his contribution to the community. Bev & Cal Belbin Oakville, ON
Thanks for sharing this moment. You’ve hopefully instilled in this young fellow a lifelong love of “home.”
Thanks, Mike, for the answer and the photo. We also heard from Elizabeth Curry, who wrote: “…According to Websters Dictionary, the item is an andiron, used for supporting logs in the fireplace; also called a firedog. I was raised in a 200-year-old house in the Maritimes, so I know all about this item. They came as a pair, much better to support the kindling, then the bigger logs, for longer burning.”
What Are These?
Does anyone know what these are? They were found in a mariner’s shed in Campobello, NB. There are five individual pieces of curved wood approximately 1.25 inches in diameter. Each is exactly alike except the hooks are angled differently at the end of each one. The diameter of each is approximately 30 inches. G.E. Pike Riverview, NB
If anyone knows what these are, let us know. Email email@example.com or write to Downhome, 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3. www.downhomelife.com
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find corky sly conner Hidden somewhere in this issue is Corky Sly Conner.
Can you find him? Look carefully at all the photographs and in the text of the stories. If you spot Corky, send us your name, address and phone number, along with a note telling us where he’s located. Your name will be entered in a draw and the winner will receive a coupon worth 25 Downhome Dollars redeemable at our store, or through our website.
Send your replies to:
Congratulations to Eva Wight of Woody Point, NL who found Corky on page 37 of the August issue.
Corky Contest 43 James Lane St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3
firstname.lastname@example.org www.downhomelife.com *No Phone Calls Please One entry per person
Deadline for replies is the end of each month.
Agrees with Paul Warford Hi Paul; I’m writing re your July 2018 article “Just Drop It.” I returned to my home province about four-and-a-half years ago and, like you, I am disgusted with the garbage! I started an annual clean-up of Black Bank (Bay St. George area) three years ago. I visit Black Bank every day and I pick up one to two small bags with each visit (I’m far from exaggerating!). I pay the dump fees out of my own pocket (for now anyway). I do this from late April until mid-December. A lot of the garbage is from fishermen (I estimate 60-70 per cent). The rest is from users of the beach. There is definitely no practice of “just leave your footprints behind” on this beach! I keep thinking more citizens will come on board with me. There are other walkers on the beach. One summer, a walker asked me who was paying me... lol! I had one individual tell me forget it, it just keeps washing in 14
so just let it wash out… The thing is, once you start picking up garbage that’s all you see everywhere. Our ditches along the highway and side roads make me angry. I don’t understand this tossing out the window of fast food packaging and cups, bottles etc. It drives me mad, but I have to stop somewhere and that is “my” beach. I go at 8 a.m. every morning with my dog and I finish up around 10. I walk the entire beach... it is a long one. I just love it there. It is my meditation, and fitness for me and my dog, Pixel. Also, I wouldn’t be able to relax on a filthy beach! Like you, I have travelled to different parts of the world. However, I have seen garbage in pockets of places we have visited. It isn’t just here. It is a global problem. Our daughter lives in Burlington, ON, and witnessed a driver toss out a tray filled with Tim Horton cups! 1-888-588-6353
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I see beautiful spots in Newfoundland. We do a lot of day tripping. In many of the small places the people seem to take pride in their communities. I don’t know if it is because St. George’s and Stephenville Crossing are close to Stephenville with access to fast food chains that causes the problem, or if it’s the attitude of the people in this area. I haven’t figured it out, and I’m sure I will never figure it out!... Tourism is on the rise here. I want to see more people take pride in our beautiful province. Thanks for writing the article. I felt it was me writing it! Nancy Pearson Via email
It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another to actually do something about it. Good work, Nancy. Here are the photos you sent from one of your organized cleanups.
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Rupert Molloy turns 107! Rupert Joseph Molloy, later known to the family as “Pi,” was born in St. Shott’s, NL. He fished and worked the land growing up in the small town of 120 people. At age 24, he followed his brother Sylvester (Syl) to the United States. He married Catherine Penney, a fellow Newfoundlander, and they had one son, John. He worked at Bethlehem Steel in Boston for 35 years. Upon retirement and the passing of my grandmother, he moved with Mom and Dad, me and my three siblings to Sunapee, New Hampshire. He never thought my parents would last in rural New Hampshire, but 40 years later we are still here. Now at age 107, Pi is living at Sullivan County Nursing Home. It only took him 105 years to determine that maybe he needs a little more help with his daily routine! He is still very active, walking the hallways a few times a day, enjoying meals in the dining room, and sharing stories with fellow residents and staff. He likes to sit in the library when we visit, or take my son to the store to buy him candy bars, which I fondly remember him doing for me when he picked me up from
school. It’s fun to see how life comes full circle. But most importantly, he holds his roots to Newfoundland close. He keeps in touch with all his nieces and nephews, still prefers fish over any other food, and always enjoys telling stories of growing up in Newfoundland. I know that I speak on behalf of many people when I say that I hope my life is only a fraction of the life my grandfather has lived and keeps living each day! Caitlin Clapp Sunapee, NH, USA
Happy birthday, Rupert. You’re an inspiration.
Found on Facebook Emily Gladys My jumbo squid. Caught on Bear Cove beach, Brooklyn NL. August 15, 2019
Letters continued on p. 18 16
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East Coast Trail Hike
with Newfoundland Ponies The only thing better than hiking the East Coast Trail with stunning ocean views, is seeing Newfoundland Ponies along the way. On July 6, the Newfoundland Pony Society partnered with the East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) on a guided hike of the Island Meadows Path in Renews-Cappahayden which ended with a visit with three Newfoundland Ponies. Approximately 20 hikers trekked the 19 kilometer hike and made their way to Liz Chafe’s stable in Cappahayden. Liz has a 13-year-old mare named Katie’s Rose of Avalon and an 8-year-old named Cappahayden’s Cailleach. It was 3-year old pony, Beaumont, who stole the show! Beaumont took advantage of the moment to charm the hikers and show them just how gentle and smart her breed is. (Beaumont is owned by the Hatfield family who live in Ontario but spend part of the summer in Newfoundland.) Many thanks to the awesome team at ECTA for the opportunity to showcase the ponies! Above: Beverley Richardson gets up close with Cailleach
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Turning Trash into Treasure! Random homeowners have their garbage boxes painted as traditional Newfoundland favourites for a tourist attraction. Take a drive around to see how many hidden gems you can find! Renee Hamlyn & Heather Dehann La Scie, NL
The Dildonian @TheDildonian
life really is better #downhome #Dildonian #freshjamtomorrow
The Slut I chuckled at the submission written by Art Keeble (August 2019, page 40). I had also never heard the term used like this before, so I looked it up. What I found was very interesting. I just learned something new, thanks to your magazine. Didier Naulleau Pinware, NL
Our language is an important part of our heritage and part of Downhomeâ€™s mission is to teach each other about our colourful phrases and keep them alive in print. One writer who helps us do that in the most entertaining way is Harold Walters, a resident of Dunville, NL, who pens the fictional adventures of two bayboy scallywags, Harry and Gnat, in his Visions and Vignettes bimonthly column. See what words will be new to you, or what ones will ignite a memory, in his latest tale, beginning on page 126. 18
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homefront Downhome explores...
Hawaii Head in the Clouds
Patty Reid of Corner Brook, NL, took her copy of Downhome all the way to the top of Mount Haleakalā in Maui, Hawaii! With an elevation of more than 10,000 feet, Haleakalā is a huge shield volcano that makes up the majority of the island of Maui. It’s also known as the “house of the sun.” According to Hawaiian folklore, the crater at the summit was the home of the grandmother to the legendary demigod Maui.
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Kent Withycombe of Abbotsford, BC, his wife, Mary, and their granddaughter, Lauren, pose for this photo in Hanapepe, Kauai. Before they returned home, they left their copy of Downhome at the resort library. From 1810 to 1893, the Kingdom of Hawai’i was a sovereign nation, until the monarchy was overthrown by Americans and Europeans. Then from 1894 to 1898, it was an independent republic. Afterwards it was a US territory and in 1959, Hawaii became the 50th US state.
Famous in Film
Chuck and Mary Burdick visited Kauai, Hawaii, where they made time to visit Lydgate State Park in Wailua, Kauai. As the fourth largest island and the northernmost island that makes up Hawaii, Kauai is sometimes called the Garden Island. It’s also been the setting for dozens of famous movies, including Disney’s animated Lilo & Stitch, Blue Hawaii staring Elvis Presley, and scenes from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. www.downhomelife.com
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Expert answers to common life questions. By Linda Browne
Where does the phrase “skeletons in the closet” come from? October 31 will soon be here, with a parade of black cats, bats and other symbols of creepiness. You might very well be hauling skeletons out of your closet, if that’s where you happen to store your Halloween decorations. But why do we say someone has a “skeleton in their closet” (or “cupboard,” if you’re in the UK) if they’re trying to hide a shameful secret? We’ve done some digging to try and unearth the origins of this spooky saying. According to the UK’s National Archives, doctors and medical students in the 18th century studying anatomy often relied upon “body snatchers” to provide them with a fresh supply of cadavers. (The passing of Britain’s Anatomy Act of 1832 helped put a nail in the coffin of this macabre profession.) One popular theory is that doctors would keep the skeletal remains concealed in a cupboard, either for further research or to evade possible punishment. But the evidence to support that theory is lacking. Renowned etymologist Anatoly Liberman, who teaches in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, says a peek into the periodical Notes and Queries (NQ) provides some insight into how this phrase entered the 22
public consciousness. As early as 1850, Liberman says, someone wrote the journal to ask about the origin of the saying, “There is a skeleton in every house.” The editor responded that the phrase came from an Italian story, translated in the collection Tales of Humour, Gallantry and Romance. In 1889, Liberman adds, James A.H. Murray, while working on the Oxford English Dictionary, posed the same question to the periodical. The respondent referenced the novel The Newcomes, by British author William Makepeace Thackeray. The book contains several references to the phrase, including the line: “And it is from these that we shall arrive at some particulars regarding the Newcome family, which will show us that they have a skeleton or two in their closets, as 1-888-588-6353
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well as their neighbours.” “No doubt, the phrase was in some form known earlier. Today we can hardly imagine Thackeray’s popularity: everybody read everything he wrote and, what is more important, remembered everything. A skeleton in every house competed with... closet/cupboard,” Liberman writes in an email to Downhome. In another exchange in NQ from 1947, Liberman adds, “I came across
the hypothesis that the phrase had originated with doctors. The correspondent had serious doubts about that idea, and so do I. Most probably (this suggestion has also been voiced), the phrase is a parody of the Gothic novel, something like Jane Eyre.” Common elements of Gothic novels include madness, death and ghosts, so this makes sense. But perhaps the true origin of the phrase remains buried.
Why does pepper make us sneeze? Pepper is tasty and adds just the right amount of zip to our food, but a little can go a long way. A lot can make you go running for the Kleenex. Why does pepper make us sneeze? It appears the chemical piperine is to blame. That act of sneezing (or “sternutation” as it’s technically known) is the process by which our body expels irritants from the throat and nasal cavity. It’s our nose’s way of giving dirt, dust and other pesky particles the boot, so to speak. As for what part piperine has to play, the US Library of Congress has sniffed around and shared their findings on their website. “Pepper, be it white, black or green, contains an alkaloid of pyridine called piperine. Piperine acts as an irritant if it gets into the nose. It stimulates (or irritates) the nerve endings inside the mucous membrane. This stimulation will cause you to sneeze. Actually, the nose wants to kick out this irritant, and the only way it knows how to do this is by sneezing,” they state. We often use pepper when it’s finely ground, so it’s easy for it to find its way up our nose, where it tingles our nerve endings, triggering an “Achoo!” and sending air rushing out at about 100 miles per hour. But as annoying as a runny nose might be when you’re trying to enjoy a nice meal, the pros of pepper are nothing to sneeze at. According to a paper published by the McCormick Science Institute, which researches and shares information on the health benefits of culinary herbs and spices, black pepper has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and helps improve digestive tract function, just to name a few of its benefits. So take some seasoned advice and don’t ditch the pepper grinder. The sneezing may be worth it.
Do you have a burning life question for Linda to investigate? Turn to page 9 for ways to contact us. www.downhomelife.com
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AMAZING Wild news from around the world
A new species of shark has been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico. The American pocket shark is five-and-a-half inches long and glows in the dark! Initially, it was found back in 2010 by a team from Tulane University and NOAA scientists. The news was recently announced in the journalÂ Zootaxa.
Taking off from Sangatte, France, a man was able to cross the English Channel using a flyboard powered by a kerosene-filled backpack. He had to make one refuelling pit stop halfway between the countries. The journey was 22 miles, which he did in 22 minutes.
Insurance Out of this World
An insurance company in Altamonte Springs, Florida, has a new insurance policy that people can buy: alien abduction insurance. Already, thousands of people have taken out policies; however, an alien abduction will have to be proven to get a payout. 24
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Record Making Ride
A man from Hungary recently made headlines when he was awarded a Guinness World Record for the most countries visited in 24 hours by a male on bicycle. It took some planning, but with a small bag of essential tools (including a GPS, a camera and sushi made by his mom) he pedalled his way through Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.
Research from the University of Exeter suggests that one way to ensure that gulls won’t swoop down and steal your food is to just stare them down. If the bird thinks it’s being watched, it’s more reluctant to make a grab for your chips.
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homefront life’s funny
Something Funny Brewing One afternoon, when I was five or six years old, Mom and her friend left us kids with Dad and our neighbour and their child. The women went off for the long walk to another settlement. The men thought it was a good time to put on a new batch of homebrew, as they were getting low. They poured themselves what was left in the barrel, then dumped the remainder, mostly grouts, outside by the doorstep. While the kids played outside, they enjoyed the last of the beer as they cleaned out the barrel and put on a fresh brew. Our hens were in the garden, pecking at the ground like they do. Later in the afternoon, we noticed the birds acting strange, clucking loudly and stumbling about. The door to the
house was open and a couple of hens got inside. One flew up on top of the stove. There wasn’t any fire in, as it was a warm day, and the hen laid an egg right there on the stove! Then a second hen flew atop the wood box and laid an egg there. What the men came to realize is that the hens must have been pecking at the beer grouts they’d thrown outside and become intoxicated! When the women returned, they found the kids were hungry for supper, hens had made a mess in the kitchen, and the men were having a great laugh at it all. Not likely that they were left in charge again anytime soon! Norma Noel Bridgeport, NL
Do you have any funny or embarrassing true stories? Share them with us. If your story is selected, you’ll win a prize! See page 9 for details. 26
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“Drank a little too much la down on George Street... st night around the lips…”– Lillianlittle green Patey
Say WHAT? Downhome recently posted this photo (sent in by Heidi Powell) on our website and Facebook page and asked our members to imagine what the mink might be saying. Lillian Patey’s response made us chuckle the most, so we’re awarding her 20 Downhome Dollars!
Here are the runners-up: “For the last time, no relation to Ricky Martin! I’m just Livin’ la Vida Newfoundland!” – Nikita Barker “OH PLEEEASEE, stop pretending like you never tried the green stuff!” – Marjorie Keeping “Oh my, I got caught cheating on my diet.” – Cal Burge
Want to get in on the action? Go to www.downhomelife.com/saywhat
“Like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/downhomelife October 2019
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homefront lil charmers
Sweet Treats Caught Red Clawed This lobster is too cute to eat! Jacinta Loder St. Lawrence, NL
Gotta Get Yer Moose
Three-year-old Aubrey Joyce wanted to be Morris the Moose for Halloween. Kelly Baker-Joyce Burin, NL
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Baby Leviâ€™s enjoying his second Halloween and playing with treats he isnâ€™t old enough to eat. Amy Humphries Gander, NL
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homefront pets of the month
Don’t Be a Grinch
When asked “Trick or treat?” this doggo wants a treat, please! Kylie Goodyear St. John’s, NL
Puppy Pirate Gang
Can you spot Frasier, Ralph and Nigel under their clever disguises? Jodi Brewer Cambridge, ON
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Someone Order a Doggy Bag?
Dinner is served! Twila LaFitte Mount Pearl, NL
Dressed for a Night Out
Maggie gets right into the spirit of the season. Noelle Lebas Fort McMurray, AB
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Remember Library Card Catalogues? Library card catalogue cabinets can be easily found for sale online these days, and have found a second life as conversation pieces and storage for all manner of small things in homes and businesses. But there’s somewhere you won’t easily find them – in libraries. And chances are you won’t find the original cards in them, either. Once upon a not so long ago, we located books in the library by first consulting the library card catalogue, a cabinet with small drawers each filled with small cards containing the information of a single book. Then the internet happened and everything – including library catalogues – went online. The first online card catalogue was made in 1971 by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), which, somewhat ironically, is also the outfit that produced and sent out custom printed paper cards for old-fashioned card catalogues. In 2015, the OCLC 32
announced it would no longer offer this “largely symbolic” service, putting the final nail in the coffin of the card catalogue. The library catalogue system has been around for millennia – since at least 250 BC, when the Library of Alexandria found a need to organize their papyrus scrolls. While the idea of a catalogue system is thousands of years old, the concept of storing book information on a small card (author, title, subject etc.) was born in France with the French Cataloging Code of 1791. The cards were repurposed playing cards; book information was written on their blank backs. Until 1860, card catalogues were primarily for use by library staff. Then Harvard librarian John Langdon Sibley decided the public needed a card catalogue, and assistant librarian Ezra Abbott designed what we know today as the card catalogue cabinet. That method was used until library catalogues were digitized. 1-888-588-6353
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reviewed by Denise Flint
Even Weirder Than Before Susie Taylor
Breakwater Books $22.95
Daisy Radcliffe is not having a good day. Her parents are splitting up (sort of), she and her best friend are growing apart (sort of) and school is... well, school. And then there’s the new guy – kind of fascinating (he has a rat tail and an earring!), but with the potential to cause major embarrassment. Thus opens Susie Taylor’s first novel, Even Weirder Than Before. The story plays out over the course of the next few years as Daisy enters and survives high school. Like all adolescents, she spends half her time trying to figure things out and half her time just going with the flow. Daisy’s neither an underdog nor a princess, neither a victim nor a bully. She’s just a girl. How refreshing. Taylor has also created a captivating group of characters (with the exception of Daisy’s father, who’s a stereotypical philandering university professor and a bit of a straw man) to surround her. Taylor has nailed the period, somewhere in the 1980s, but the story is one that resonates beyond shallow considerations of a specific era. As a former teenaged girl, be it ever so long ago, I have to say that if you want to experience the joys, the angst and the everyday rollercoaster ride that is life as an adolescent female, then Even Weirder Than Before is the place to do it. Taylor has written a compassionate and compelling story with a charming and fully realized main character. I can’t wait to read more from this relative newcomer. 34
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Q&A with the Author Denise Flint: Beginning or ending, which is more satisfying to write? Susie Taylor: I think the beginning because by the time you get to the ending you know where you’re heading. But when you have the beginning, it’s like the beginning of a road trip. You’re really there and it’s not a false start.
DF: What’s the most exciting thing about being a writer? ST: I’m torn. There’s two things: hold-
ing my book for the first time was fantastic; and knowing people who don’t know me are going to read my book. When you read a novel, that takes a lot of time. It’s not like a short story. It’s an investment. I’ve been a recluse for the last decade, and getting out and seeing an audience react to your book is a wonderful experience.
DF: Can you tell us what the title means? ST: When I was writing some earlier drafts I had a novel where Daisy [the main character] was talking about her family and how they had been weird before and how when her dad left they were even weirder. That scene got cut. I like how she feels like a misfit. Weird is also a celebration of being an outsider, of pushing against the norm.
DF: How much did this story reflect your own life? ST: I have been writing short stories
and little bits here and there, and www.downhomelife.com
about 10 years ago my mom moved from Toronto down the road from me and she brought the 70 boxes I’d left behind, and in them were my teenage diaries. I read them and was deeply moved, and the voice I try and give her [Daisy] is very much the voice from those diaries.
DF: Would you consider this a young adult book or is it for adults? ST: I really dislike the phrase ‘young
adult.’ My parents’ bookshelf was one place I could access everything. The only thing I put back was Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers. I wrote considering an adult audience. I didn’t try and dumb things down. I didn’t edit content. It’s quite explicit. I think everyone should read stories about young girls. We shouldn’t dismiss them. But I really feel like I don’t understand why there’s YA. They should be encouraged to read all the shelves in the library. I have always been a broad reader. I still read YA, mysteries, Canadian literature. The great thing about reading is having multiple experiences.
DF: What’s up next? ST: I have been writing a series of
short stories set in the fictional town of Grace Harbour, and there’s a series about three women as they come of age and their lives become separate. I also have another novel that I intend to pick up when I finish the short stories. October 2019
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homefront what odds
from an island to an island By Paul Warford
Before we My wife and I paid a much needed visit to the in-laws, an opportunity for her to gush about scrambled to her mother’s cherry tree and the freshness of the pack a bag or Malpeque oysters. Andie loves this place, as of us love our homelands, and nothing hail a taxi, Andie many leaves her more excited than the slopes and soda detailed a loose shoppes of Prince Edward Island. itinerary, filled Me? I can take it or leave it. The people are as are the crops, but this island isn’t my with vaguely lovely, island. I always need time to adjust to the lowing dangerous cattle and roads without turns. activities, like Andie, meanwhile, was determined to make the most of her time with her four young nieces. launching Before we scrambled to pack a bag or hail a taxi, kayaks Andie detailed a loose itinerary, filled with dangerous activities, like launching and riding vaguely kayaks and riding rollercoasters. She intended to rollercoasters. treat the little ones to a day at Shining Waters, one of the many humble, enticing amusement parks that line the decorated drag of Cavendish. But first, T-ball! The girls had a game on our first night in town. Their mother was manager and referee; their father was a loosely affiliated first base coach. I’ve never been much of a sports fan (I apologize to readers who follow the Jays, pray for the Leafs and lionize the Raptors), but if you ask me, T-ball is 1,000 times more entertaining than baseball. I don’t know why they’re not televising it. T-ball reminds me of Aussie Rules Football, which plays out like a hybridization of American football, rugby and an utter lack of rules. Andie’s nieces and the other neighbourhood kids would whack the ball (after my sister-in-law had turned their bodies to face the outfield), then they’d kinda run around, meandering this way and that. Sometimes they’d leave the baseline entirely to go wave at their mothers in the bleachers. I could watch that all day. I had to stifle my laughter to avoid embarrassing them or myself. 36
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Shining Waters was a real extravaganza. Cecily, the third daughter, got frightened of the Witch’s Cave and asked me to lead her through it. The request echoed memories of my own childhood, which I spent being afraid of just about everything. I felt like a real surrogate parent as I fearlessly led her by the hand. Age is a remarkable filter for what’s considered scary; as we inched forward I thought to myself, “These are just mannequins in scary makeup.” Meanwhile, if I were to show Cecily a T4 tax form, she probably wouldn’t bat an eye. I was a little less fearless when it was time to board the rollercoaster. I mean, it’s designed for kids – even two-year-old Paisley Jane was tall enough to ride it. Still I didn’t enjoy the corkscrew near the end of the run, which hurtled us towards the crushed stone surface. All four girls loved it and rode it again and again. I rode it twice and considered my work done. On our last night in town, Andie and I visited Old Home Week, an event much like any other hometown summertime festival. There were games of chance (I missed all three shots with my cork gun, failing to win my wife a plush bear), carnival rides (I was sated from the rollercoaster days before and went on none of them) and horse racing! Andie said we had to bet on a stallion and watch from the rail ringing the track. Like most rubes, Andie and I natuwww.downhomelife.com
rally ignored the racing form’s relevant information on the entrants and instead just paid attention to their names. I had a good feeling about the horse Still Owing – it really spoke to me. I put down $10 that he’d win, and he did! I didn’t realize the race was over right away and had to ask, “Did I just win?” Andie said that I had, so I whooped and hollered until I noticed everyone staring at me. There must have been a few thousand people on the grounds as the heats took place. Between races, the loudspeaker told me I wasn’t in Newfoundland anymore by announcing that the active 50/50 pot was up to $500, and I thought, “If this was home, that amount would be way higher.” Andie bet on a horse named SHOULDHAVEBEENACLOWN. Soon after, we overheard a spectator say, “Better name would be SHOULDHAVEBEENADONKEY.” Her horse didn’t place, but we had the vacation she wanted. My favourite moment was watching her ingest oysters (her favourite food) farmed fresh that day from Black Point and Dupont. Paul Warford began writing for Downhome to impress his mom and her friends. He writes and performs comedy in Eastern Canada. Follow him on Twitter @paulwarford October 2019
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homefront in your words
Good Friends By Bruce Roberts
If you drive
down Liverpool Road in Pickering, ON, the last street to your left just before you get to Lake Ontario is called Wharf Street. There used to be about a dozen or so houses on Wharf Street in the 1970s when I lived there.
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I moved there mostly because my boyhood friend, Harold Hull, was living there. Harold and I started kindergarten back in Twillingate, NL on the same day, and we graduated high school on the same day, and have always been good friends. Shortly after I moved to Wharf Street, another family moved in directly across from Harold. It was Major Robert J. MacDonald of the Royal Canadian Air Force, his wife Anna and their daughters, Cheryl and Bonnie. He was the new commanding officer of the Canadian Armed Forces recruiting office in Toronto. It didn’t take long before the major became our good buddy, Bob. We’d spend our spare time at each other’s homes, drinking a few beers, playing darts, always laughing and good naturedly kidding each other. Bob grew up in a little town named Ripley, near Kincardine, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron. He had a new cedar cottage built up there, and Harold and I spent one memorable long weekend helping him apply coats of stain. At every opportunity we tagged along with our new friend. Bob shared his complimentary tickets to the Toronto Toros home games of the World Hockey Association with us. There was a trip to Mosport to watch the Formula One races. Because the Canadian Armed Forces was a sponsor, we had pit passes and got to see the crew of world champion Brit James Hunt working on his car before the race. Bob studied the huge, fully equipped toolboxes of the mechanics and muttered under his breath, “I don’t see a bottle opener,” and promptly pronounced it a Mickey www.downhomelife.com
Mouse operation. Then there were the trips to the Trenton Air Force base, where we enjoyed food and beverages, and laughs, in the officers’ mess. One summer, when we went home to Twillingate to enjoy our annual vacation, Bob flew to Gander in one of the Air Force jets and joined us for a few days’ fun in Twillingate. He loved it there. He came to our house and met my parents, and enjoyed a meal
Both Mom and Dad thought Bob was a “darling man.” He was cultured, courteous and crazy, always in the right amounts and at the right times. with them. Both Mom and Dad thought Bob was a “darling man.” He was cultured, courteous and crazy, always in the right amounts and at the right times. Harold took Bob to the local bar, the Pig and Whistle, and they had a ball. After a year or so at his desk job in the recruitment centre, Bob knew he would soon have to return to the cockpit of a fighter jet and he had to get in shape. Harold and I would run with him in the evenings, but as the runs got longer and more gruelling, the October 2019
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printing press operator and the banker decided they didn’t need to be in Spartan condition and we dropped out. Bob gave up drinking and carefully watched what he ate. Before long, he was back down to his fighting weight. “You gotta be trim and fit to sit in a cockpit and pilot a jet. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
Major Robert J. MacDonald I eventually moved away from Wharf Street and followed a different path in life, and I never saw Bob again. I later learned from Harold that Bob had retired from the Air Force and had moved to New Brunswick, where Anna’s family lived. He had also started a new career as director of Mental Health Services at Caring Friends Activity Center in Miramichi. A year or so later, Bob suffered a devastating blow. His daughter Bonnie passed away suddenly in Toronto. Those of us who haven’t experienced it can never fully understand the 40
permanent pain to the heart of losing a child. We can only imagine. Recently the news arrived that my friend for a short time and Harold’s friend forever had passed away on August 3, in New Brunswick at the age of 83. From the obituary, I read that he was predeceased by his first wife Janet, mother of his two daughters; his second wife Anna; and his daughter Bonnie. I also learned that he was a longtime member of the Miramichi Literacy Society and a member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada. While most of you reading have no memories of or connections to my friend Bob, some of you may have unknowingly had an encounter. One beautiful summer day in the 1970s, when the sun was directly overhead, a CAF fighter jet approached Twillingate from the northeast. It was flying low over the water, as low at the lone pilot dared. It flew slowly in through the harbour mouth and on in past Carter’s Head. As it flew past Hart’s Island toward Stockley’s Hill where Harold lived, the pilot hauled her up and pointed the nose of the sleek, silvery craft toward the high heavens and “gunned her.” There was a sudden roar of the engines, and in an instant she had disappeared into the clear blue, leaving only a white misty trail behind. That day there must have been those in Twillingate who looked at each other in puzzlement and wondered, “What the dickens was that all about?” But Harold Hull knew. And I knew. Our hometown had been respectfully saluted by Major Robert J. MacDonald of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Rest in peace, Sir. 1-888-588-6353
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homefront in your words
My husband and I got married just over a year ago, on August 27, 2018. It was a “time.” We both grew up in small towns but never met until we were in Fort McMurray. One day, a few years in, he asked me to marry him. I believe my exact words were “Hell no!” but in my heart I knew there was no one else. There was no planning, no dress searching, no venue options. My Aunt Claudine asked me which island I was getting married on, as both her daughters went South for their weddings. I said Newfoundland. There was no question of where: It was to be my dad’s wharf. Mom asked me what the guys were wearing, as they would buy something for Dad to match. “I assume your father is giving you away,” she explained. I told her he could wear a suit of oilclothes. Well, he bought himself a shiny new set! 42
I owe all credit to my sister, Jaime Sue, for my beautiful hand jigger bouquet; my to-be husband, Chris, for the crab pot chandelier; and to everyone else who pitched in to decorate. I may have just been 20 minutes late to my own wedding, but that’s because I couldn’t find my rubbers! The wedding went off without a hitch – besides us! – as I replied, “Yes b’y” instead of “I do!” We ate a massive meal by Woman of the Sea – a shoutout is required for this hardworking lady and her crew. As the fog rolled in and the sky clouded over, we danced and celebrated our “time” well into the wee hours of the morning to the wonderful sounds of Peter Jacobs and underneath our first crab pot chandelier. 1-888-588-6353
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Top: The bride rowing her groom across the harbour Left: Michelle and her father, Anthony Barrett, in his finest oilskins to give the bride away. Above: Crab pot chandelier, designed by the groom, Chris Johnson.
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life is better Sunset in Whiteway, NL Phyllis Jackson, Cavendish, NL
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Local comedy legend Andy Jones was named to the Order of Canada in June of this year, joining the ranks of national treasures like Sarah McLachlan, Margaret Atwood, Neil Young, Prince Charles, Gord Downie, Alex Trebek, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara and more. Awarded the second-highest honour for merit in the Canadian system of orders, decorations and medals, Andy was recognized for his contributions to the Canadian arts and entertainment landscape. The actor, writer, comedian and director is well known for his early work with CODCO; for starring in, co-writing and co-directing the featurelength film The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood; and for his role in the movie Rare Birds alongside William Hurt. On a national and local scale, Andy has made innumerable appearances on screen and stage, as well as in a series of one-man shows. “I was happy to get a nod of any kind at this stage of the game,” the bashful Andy says of his recent appointment. This year so far has been one of reflection on Andy’s many accomplishments, especially with the CODCO reunion in Halifax in the spring. “It was really fun, and you know, again, it’s nice to get a pat on the back,” Andy says of the reunion show, which took place in March at Andy’s alma mater, Saint Mary’s University. He was reunited www.downhomelife.com
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on stage with his longtime colleagues Mary Walsh, Greg Malone and Cathy Jones (also his sister). Neighbouring Nova Scotia and its capital city, Halifax, have always been supportive of Newfoundland arts, he explains. “They’re a great audience for Newfoundland material. They really appreciate it. To go back and to have all that kind of warmth from people … It was good to just go back in a very pleasant way down memory lane.” Though Andy notes that the troupe sometimes clashed in terms of creative differences, the CODCO reunion recalled “those times when things were cooking and we just had fun together,” he says. “We each picked a sketch that we liked and no one else knew what the sketch was that we’d picked until they [the other members of CODCO] got there… We each got to do some good, good stuff,” he says. Andy is quick to acknowledge the contributions of cast member Tommy Sexton, who died in 1993. “The truth is that all of our best stuff came from when we were getting along and having fun, having lots of laughs.” In watching anything Andy is present in, from the early days of CODCO onwards through to the 2018 play “Men of Misfortune” with Greg Malone, it seems like Andy has fun with whatever he’s working on.
Standing Up in Canada Andy draws heavily on his life experiences as a Newfoundlander when creating content, he says. As part of the first generation of Newfoundlanders to be Canadians, his experience was formative. “It was a different time in New48
foundland because, I guess, there were those questions about whether they had made a mistake by joining Canada or not,” he recalls. “Some people said there wasn’t a great deal of difference from before Confederation, although that may or may not be accurate. Of course, we were the first generation of Newfoundlanders to be Canadians. So we wanted to take advantage of everything in Canada, being Canadians, but we found that we were the ‘joke people’ – which we didn’t like. We wanted to set that record straight,” he explains. “The general narrative was, you know, you guys are sucking off the tit of Canada… we were really, really, very angry about that. We had a trenchant wit, and we had great music and storytelling and visual arts, all that stuff. We wanted to make sure we got that out to them, so they realized that they got a lot out of the deal,” he says of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Canada. The sentiment still rings true today, almost 50 years after the beginnings of CODCO, and with 2019 marking 70 years since Confederation. “People are still very interesting and still quite different in Newfoundland. You can really tell if you go somewhere and then come back. Economically, we had a little burst of joy there when Danny was in power and we had oil money coming in, but it seems extremely worrisome now again,” Andy says. “I feel somehow as if we’re back to square one in some ways, but it does seem that we have a sense of ourselves and a sense of pride in ourselves that we did not necessarily have when we joined Confederation, although there always was a feeling that Newfound1-888-588-6353
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“We did have that problem and that’s the reason I left CODCO, But the truth of the matter is, we were very free. The company that produced us in Halifax was Michael and Paul Donovan of Salter Street Films. We couldn’t go far enough for them.” landers had almost a superiority complex that went along with the inferiority complex. There was that sense that everybody kind of knew we had something special here.” Andy calls the artist uprising of yesteryear “one of the great success stories of Newfoundland.” He adds, “Now, you look at all the summer festivals, all the playwrights, the novelists – can’t keep track of it all.”
No topic too taboo Newfoundland and Labrador has put in a lot of work to prove that we’re not the butt of a joke – we’re the jokesters. Simply look to the cast and writers of the nation’s political parody powerhouse “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” to see a heavy Newfoundland and Labrador presence. While “22 Minutes” focuses on Canada-wide issues, much of CODCO’s content was centralized on provincial issues, news, politics, traditions and more. CODCO delved into – or exposed, explored or eviscerated, depending on the skit – a list of hot-button topics: religious upbringings, post-Confederation feelings, local political blunders, the Christian education system, basic rights for LGBTQ people and much www.downhomelife.com
more. The show absolutely ruffled a few feathers – including at the CBC, which refused to air a particular sketch titled “Pleasant Irish Priests in Conversation.” “We did have that problem and that’s the reason I left CODCO,” Andy says. “But the truth of the matter is, we were very free. The company that produced us in Halifax was Michael and Paul Donovan of Salter Street Films. We couldn’t go far enough for them.” Present day, Andy’s main artistic concerns aren’t about what he can “get away with” – as a man who always seems to be wearing many hats within the local arts scene, it’s more about making time to fulfill all of his ongoing passion projects. “I’m trying to write a piece about my son Louis, who died in 2014. He took his own life after a long struggle with mental illness, and I’m still trying to write something about him. And I’ve actually gotten all of his medical records. I’m going through them very slowly, trying to get some help from whoever I can get help from, to help me do research, get all that stuff together. And that’s kind of my main goal right now.” Andy is also compiling an archive October 2019
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of material created by his late brother Michael Jones, and he’s working on a new children’s book set to come out in 2020. Much of his summer was spent helping out with the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Hant’s Harbour Heritage Museum and at the Bonavista Church Street Festival. When asked if there was anything on his “creative bucket list,” Andy remarks that he felt he was always free to create as much as he wanted to create, but “I guess I would like to have done more things,” he adds. “I always wanted to be on stage doing comedy, and from the time I was a kid, I got to do that. So, I would have liked to do more. I would love to have done a third feature film,” he muses. “I had wanted to work with my brother on that and he wasn’t able to do it for the last few years, but I did have a script, but I don’t know if it’ll ever be done,” he shares. “But really, generally speaking, I think that – because I live in this country and because Newfoundland has such a rich culture – I have never been stumped by anything in terms of creativity. Funding, yes. Dear God, I wish we had full funding for everything; but ultimately, there was no nefarious force that could stop us from doing anything – maybe just a slightly cheaper version,” he jokes. With the local arts community lobbying for a $3-million increase to ArtsNL over the next three years, there’s a collective hope that a province seemingly “rich” in arts and culture can better support artists like Andy Jones and all the wonderfully talented people who put Newfoundland and Labrador on the map with their artistic ability and comedic clout. 50
Q&A with Andy Jones Who makes you laugh? [laughs] My granddaughter makes me laugh a lot.
What do you do to calm stage jitters, if you get them of if you used to? I usually whine and complain, make a fool of myself and drive everyone crazy.
What’s the last book you read? I’m actually in the middle right now of reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
Your favourite art museum? I always loved the National Portrait Gallery of London, England.
Favourite movie based in Newfoundland and Labrador? I would say… I certainly enjoyed the experience of being in Rare Birds. But one I really like – and it has a great title, too – is Lois Brown’s film, Heartless Disappearance into Labrador Seas.
Do you think we’re alone in the universe? No.
How do you take your coffee? With milk.
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one in the audience is going to stab me during a show, that I’m gonna fall down stairs…
If your childhood had a smell, what would it be? Christmas cake, fruitcake. All the dried fruit, with rum, that real oldfashioned dark, dark fruitcake.
Are you good at Scrabble? No. My wife is so good I can’t play. She’s so smart.
Favourite Newfoundland and Labrador festival? Trails Tales and Tunes on the west coast of Newfoundland.
Who was/is your favourite character to play?
What’s your astrological sign and do you believe in astrology? I don’t believe in it. I’m Capricorn.
Your go-to vacation spot? It’s always Caplin Cove, Hant’s Harbour, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland.
What would your “death row last meal” be? Lamb and blueberry pie.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? I’d like to do stuff like work in the garden, work around the house.
What’s a song that makes you think of Newfoundland? Tickle Cove Pond.
Do you have any tattoos? Nope.
If you could have lunch with any character from Newfoundland media or pop culture, who would it be? Off the top of my head, I think I’d like to sit down and have lunch with Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers.
Do you have an irrational fear? I have thousands of irrational fears, thousands. [laughs] I’m afraid somewww.downhomelife.com
*This interview has been edited for clarity and length. October 2019
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About a mile-and-a-half
off the coast of Petty Harbour, NL, we’re dropping anchor, 26 fathoms deep. The fishfinder, an instrument for locating schools of fish, confirms what captains Leo Hearn and Kimberly Orren already know: the cod are plentiful. In their 22-footer, we have everything we need for an afternoon of cod jigging. We’re suited in head-to-toe raingear, rubber boots, wool hats, waterproof gloves and life-jackets – clothing signalling late summer in a place accustomed to late, short summers. We also have a bucket of freshly caught capelin we’ll use for bait; a few single-hook jiggers with steel weights on 250-pound test lines; and an empty fish tub for today’s catch. 52
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This third Sunday of July 2019 marks the first cod-jigging trip for two of the five of us on board. At 20 months, not surprisingly, my daughter, Navya, has never fished a day in her life. I’ll consider the “fishing” she does today an activity best placed in air quotes, much like when she plays “soccer” or goes “swimming.” And yet, Navya gets what’s happening, bright-eyed and repeating “fish” whenever we show her the capelin. My 39-year-old husband, Raman, is the other newbie. Raman is a firstgeneration Canadian; his parents emigrated to Canada from India. While I spent my childhood in Newfoundland running freely outdoors, Raman tells me he often spent his in New Brunswick running mathematical equations indoors. He thinks summertime math is a rite of passage, but we’ll start Navya off with cod jigging today. As the boat bounces on the Atlantic, Raman holds Navya tightly. I smirk, thinking it looks like he’s hugging an ocean buoy; only Navya’s face is visible, the rest of her body swallowed up in bright red gear, perhaps a size or two too big, her hood and her life jacket. I turn my attention to Leo, who offers a quick lesson on baiting. One can jig a cod without bait. In fact, that’s why the jigger, designed to look like capelin, was introduced by merchants – so fishers could catch cod no longer taking bait. If fishers could guarantee catch, then merchants could guarantee incomes. But fishing without bait eliminates a natural equilibrium between fishers and fish. It’s one of the reasons I chose Kimberly and Leo’s non-profit, Fishing for Success, for today’s family 54
fishing excursion. They teach families like mine our ancestral and traditional fishing knowledge and skills, and they do it in a way that conserves the fish and protects the environment. “There are no gill nets here for three miles,” Kimberly had told us as we headed out to the fishing grounds. Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove has a protected fishing area, having first banned trawls (longlines) in 1961, then gill nets in 1964. I follow Leo’s instruction, holding the capelin in my left hand, then piercing its eye with the jigger’s hook in my right. I guide the hook along the capelin’s spine until the fish curls around the hook. Then I drop the jigger in the water, allowing the line to pass over my open hands, as the steel weight helps the jigger plummet to the depths below the deep blue rug. Then, I gently hold the line, awaiting that distinctive tug. Within seconds, the line is taut against the gunwale (sometimes called gunnel, the rail of the boat). I pass my one hand over the other pulling in the line, at the same time noticing marks along the gunwale, evidence of many lines pulled many times. Then, a glint emerges to the surface. I haul my cod up and over the gunwale. “Fish, fish!” Navya says excitedly, emphasizing the shh the way toddlers do, awkwardly making their way around new word sounds, uncertain where to place the emphasis. Raman tries his hand at jigging and before we know it, we are hauling in cod for cod, in a way that’s almost comical. Just as one of us catches one, the other has one on their line. Navya’s “fish, fish” repetition becomes the perfect narration. The unfolding scene reminds me of an 1-888-588-6353
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Ernie and Bert sketch from Sesame Street when Ernie calls “Here fishy, fishy, fishy” and fish come flying into the boat.
Should we fish cod at all?
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, but I know cod aren’t as plentiful in the Northwest Atlantic as they appear to be today. It’s 27 years www.downhomelife.com
after the collapse of northern cod and the July 1992 shutdown of its fishery, better known as the cod moratorium. That moratorium remains in effect today, but the federal government, which manages the fishery, allows a small commercial and recreational cod fishery (a.k.a. the food fishery). October 2019
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In August, a new union hoping to represent inshore fishers, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (or FISH-NL), called for an end to all cod fishing apart from the commercial fishery. The call comes after a new paper by fisheries scientists George Rose and Carl Walters finds overfishing played a greater role in the collapse of cod and its slow rebuilding than originally thought. A few years ago, other work by Rose and Sherrylynn Rowe found cod making a comeback (in an area called the Bonavista Corridor on the northeast coast of Newfoundland), but that comeback didn’t play out. And yet, Fisheries and Oceans Canada continued to increase the landing limits for cod in the years that followed. More recently, a federal fisheries scientist reported a “highly probable” near future extinction of cod in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This information might lead one to reasonably ask: Why fish Newfoundland and Labrador cod at all? But I don’t think the route to conservation is an outright fishing ban. To protect and preserve the fish, or any species, I believe we need a healthy relationship with them. History tells us that traditional fishing approaches like baited hook and line are sustainable (the fish bite when they’re hungry) and ecological (this approach leaves no “ghost fishing gear” or microplastics behind). Of course, we must fish within reasonable limits – something we hadn’t done a particularly good job at leading up to the moratorium. Two fisheries scientists hypothesized that more cod were commercially fished 56
from the Northwest Atlantic in the 15 years between 1960 and 1975, than during the 250 years between 1500 and 1750. Social enterprises like Fishing for Success, a small-scale fishery operation, help maintain links with history while allowing us to enjoy the benefits of fishing for generations to come.
The end of the day
Back in the boat, we have our 15 fish – the daily limit for a boat of three or more recreational fishers – so Leo hauls up anchor and Kimberly sets a course for harbour. I’m sitting at the stern, my arms wrapped around our living ocean buoy. This vantage point allows Navya to see a female fishing captain at the helm. While there are fewer fish and fewer harvesters and processors, the fishery has never been more profitable. A commercial fishing career remains viable, though there are more hoops to jump through than ever before – being female in a male-dominated industry is only one of them. We pull up next to the red ochre fishing stage. Inside, the Fishing for Success crew have prepared a pot of coffee, ginger cookies, partridgeberry loaf and partridgeberry jam. The coffee helps, but real warmth will come 1-888-588-6353
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with the salt beef and cod fish stew simmering on the stove in the back corner of the stage. Yet another reason to enjoy the food fishery: to put fresh, local food on our plates. In a province accustomed to shipping most of its food in from elsewhere, this feels like a luxury, but it need not be the case. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have fresh seafood at our oceanfront doorsteps. So long as we pay respect to the fish through sustainable fishing approaches, we can enjoy these simple luxuries for generations. As Leo fillets the cod, I try my hand at a traditional Japanese fish print. Before photography, fishers made www.downhomelife.com
prints like this to record their catch. Using acrylic paints that can be washed off so the cod may be used for food, I paint my canvas in bold shades. The resulting prints appear as magic cod – and they ought to be, given it marks Navya’s first cod jigging trip at a time when one can’t help but wonder how many more trips we’ll have like this. We hold up the print for a family photo. Before we can pour a bowl of soup, Navya is already fast asleep in Raman’s arms. Jenn Thornhill Verma is the author of a new book, Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland’s Saltwater Cowboys. October 2019
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In the last two issues, Downhome has presented a deep look into what’s happening in our province when it comes to agriculture. We’ve met retired and new farmers, and we’ve talked to government officials and leaders in education. All of our conversations have been about our food supply. The reality is, Newfoundland and Labrador is very food insecure. According to Statistics Canada, there are only 407 farms operating in NL today, down from the 4,000 farms of 70 years ago. Many of today’s farmers are aging out of the industry while we continue to import about 90 per cent of what we eat. While most of us aren’t likely to quit our day jobs, buy a plot in the country and work the land as farmers, there are things individuals can do to help increase our own food security. In the final installment of our three-part series on agriculture, we chat with people who know we can grow more food for our own tables. Left: SucSeed hydroponics company in St. John’s has designed a compact system for growing fresh food without soil or even sunlight. www.downhomelife.com
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Returning to our roots
Food First NL is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing our food security and working to ensure access to healthy food, says Executive Director Kristie Jameson. At their core, they understand the complexity of food security. It’s not just that the vast majority of our food is imported, she notes, but also how our population is spread out over a vast area. “The food brought in has to reach everyone, which leads to a very complex food distribution puzzle that we haven’t really figured out. So we end up seeing many communities have limited physical availability of good, quality, healthy, affordable food as a result of the fact that many of these communities don’t have full-service retailers and don’t have regular distribution to the communities,” Kristie notes. A surprising 84 per cent of commu-
nities in NL don’t have a grocery store. There are corner stores – many of them independent, family-run shops – that residents often rely on for food, or else travel to the nearest supermarket, which could mean an hour’s drive or a ferry ride and then a drive, Kristie explains. So while food production is a major challenge in NL, access is also a hurdle. Furthermore, our food transportation system is easy to disrupt. For instance, ferry runs could be cancelled unexpectedly due to bad weather or the ferry might be tied up for repairs. Maybe the weather is too poor for people to drive to the nearest store in another community. Remember when Hurricane Igor washed out roads in 2010? Vehicles, including delivery trucks, couldn’t get through, Kristie recalls. What we have going in our favour, Kristie advises, is the strength of our traditions and our living knowledge
Most people will never be able to grow all the food they eat, but it is possible to reduce our overall reliance on imported produce. 60
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A community garden “creates a tangible, handson learning mechanism of how important and how valuable farming can be to a community,” says provincial minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, Gerry Byrne, who also happens to have a small-scale farm and, by his own admission, “can’t stop talking about it.” of hunting, fishing, berrypicking and gardening. “And I think a lot of the work we do at Food First tries to build upon those, and support groups in the province in developing and implementing programs that are really in many ways building on those strengths,” she says. Individually, Food First encourages people to try getting involved in food production at whatever level they feel confident, even it’s something as simple as growing a few potted herbs on a windowsill. “It’s very addictive. I think as soon as you try doing a little bit, then you’re more and more interested to take on more,” Kristie says. Kristie also recommends cooking more and trying to make meals from scratch. It all helps people to further understand and appreciate where their food comes from and what they’re eating. Moreover, by getting involved in a community garden, individuals can help localize some of their food supply while supporting and educating each other. Food First NL has helped establish community gardens across the province. By their count there are now more than 90 community gardens in operation. Through cooperative efforts, community organizations develop plots www.downhomelife.com
to farm, often in raised beds. Local residents can access these plots and grow their own food, creating opportunities for greater self-sufficiency and socializing with others as they work together for the common goal of producing food to eat. A community garden “creates a tangible, hands-on learning mechanism of how important and how valuable farming can be to a community,” says provincial minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, Gerry Byrne, who has a small-scale farm and, by his own admission, “can’t stop talking about it.” He says, “Growing food and growing farms and growing farmers is what Newfoundland and Labrador needs to do more of, not less.”
No yard, no problem
It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows her to see Emily Bland as the “Seed-EO” of SucSeed, a thriving hydroponics company based in St. John’s. She comes from a family of farmers, and growing fresh produce has been a normal part of her life since she was a child. SucSeed is a social enterprise that creates hydroponic systems that don’t need sunlight or soil to grow food. With a LED light on top of the October 2019
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SucSeed kits like this are in classrooms in Canada, where as many as 8,000 kids are currently using them to learn how to grow their own food. The system was designed by MUN students in St. John’s.
unit acting as a sun, it can used be indoors all year round. “It’s an enclosed ecosystem,” Emily explains. “You add water, nutrients to the bottom of the container. The water circulates through and provides the plant with the nutrients when they need them.” The system was developed by Enactus Memorial, a student-run volunteer organization at Memorial University that leads enterprises aimed at improving quality of life. Emily was president of the team in 2016, when they worked with MUN Botanical Garden and the engineering department on a hydroponic method to address food insecurity. Their original goal was to have 15 units installed and growing plants in northern Labrador. In just a few short years, they’ve sold more than 15,000 units across Canada. Considering the challenges Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have in growing fresh food in our climate, Emily says of hydroponics, “It’s 62
something I think we should have been doing and been more aware of long ago. You look back 60, 70, 80 years ago and we were producing almost all of the fresh produce that we consumed on the island,” she explains. Today, we produce around 10 per cent of the food we consume. In addition to making, marketing and selling these hydroponic units, SucSeed is actively involved in food security education of the next generation. SucSeed is currently in 400 classrooms, working with close to 8,000 students to give them handson experience with food sustainability. Emily says they want to be educating one million students every year by 2022. “We want to reach the next generation and empower them to grow,” she says. After the harvest time, Emily says they get a lot of thank-you letters from kids who’ve tried kale for the first time or made fresh salad from what they grew. They’re genuinely excited to eat vegetables. 1-888-588-6353
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“It’s great when you see kale putting a smile on a kid’s face. And then they go home and start talking to their parents about these amazing fresh tomatoes that they grew in the classroom, or lettuce and kale. In my opinion, I think it tastes better, too, when you grow it.”
Food for the table
Behind Derrick Maddocks’ St. John’s home is a lush little oasis. There are trees along the fence, a shed tucked away in the back corner, a greenhouse and carefully plotted out garden beds. It’s not a large backyard, but he’s made the most of it for the garden he’s been growing for the last 30 years. His small property produces a mouthwatering mix of fresh produce: tomatoes, peppers, onions, green onions, peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries and apples. Now retired, Derrick typically spends an hour a day working his garden during the growing season. “Planting, weeding, going to the store to buy fertilizer and seeds and whatnot, pollinating tomato plants, those sorts of things,” he says. When asked why he started growing produce, he says he’s not sure if he can answer that. As a boy, his mom had a garden, “maybe that influenced me. When we were in Labrador City, I tried to grow a few things. I just liked the real taste of what you grow yourself rather than what you buy at the store.” He recalls being at a Christmas party years ago, and a man told Derrick he liked to go home after the workday and build things with wood because he could see what he’d accomplished, “and I think it’s the
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Derrick Maddocks has turned the back half of his modest-sized St. John’s backyard into a fruit and vegetable garden.
same thing with gardening, you know. You actually grow something that wouldn’t otherwise grow there, and you’ve got in your hands something: this is what I produced. So this sense of accomplishment is there.” Because he lives on a small plot of land, there’s no way he could grow all the food he and his family consume. In fact, it probably doesn’t even save them money when you add in the cost of his time and all the tools, including fertilizer and soil. “I mean there’s no soil here; all the soil in the backyard is basically bought soil,” Derrick says. However, there is almost always something on his table that came from the garden. “We have a fairly large raspberry patch and we grow a lot more raspberries than you could eat, so we freeze a lot. So over the winter I’ll be eating frozen raspberries,” he says. The menu changes with whatever 64
crop is in season, so in the fall he’ll harvest the potatoes and carrots, which will last a few months. “So you have a little something from the garden almost all year round,” Derrick says. As of this interview in August, the strawberries are being picked. “And right now I’m eating strawberries almost to the point where I’m sick of them. But a month ago and a month from now, I’m not gonna have any… You have a season, you get it, you get overloaded with it and then it’s gone.” With his garden, Derrick has found an activity that feeds the body and soul, and helps, even in a small way, to ease a societal burden. “It is an enjoyable pastime, it gets a person outdoors,” he says. “It’s not really food security, but if everybody did it there’d be a lot less food necessary to bring into the province. So there’s pluses to it.” 1-888-588-6353
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How did we get here?
Back in our grandparents’ day, people typically had a little plot of land allocated to growing at least some of the vegetables they needed to eat, so they didn’t have to buy all of it. If we used to have so many farmers and were so self-sufficient, what happened? Food First NL’s Kristie Jameson notes that people never really stopped growing or catching their own food, but probably one generation kind of shifted away from it. Fortunately, enough people have grandparents alive today who’ve practised these skills their entire lives and can share their knowledge. “And what’s been amazing is the amount of interest that there has been in people getting back involved in this work or picking up the approaches of their grandparents,”
Kristie says. Among Food First’s initiatives to meet that interest is a series of videos called “Scoff,” in which NL seniors demonstrate traditional food skills, from cleaning cod to bottling beets. And recently, Food First launched an online map that makes it easier for consumers to find the closest available fresh food, including farmers’ markets, community gardens and food banks. For Seed-EO Emily Bland, the issues NL is grappling with can be fixed. There are resources like community gardens, backyard gardens and hydroponics within our reach. “There’s answers to a lot of the challenges that we’re facing,” she says. “We just need to take the initiative to do it and not wait another 10, 15, 20 years to fix it.”
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The Canadian Forces 56 Engineer Squadron, better known for community projects and big gun salutes, turns 70 this month. BY DENNIS FLYNN
Dennis Flynn photo
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As dusk creeps towards the parapets and low stone walls along the perimeter of the Queen’s Battery atop Signal Hill, the sound of bells rings out all across the city: church bells, fire bells, ships bells, military bells, even small hand-held bells lofted by private citizens. On the Signal Hill Tattoo parade grounds, an actor dressed as a WWI nurse rings a beautifully crafted bell carved with “HMCS Terra Nova.” She stoically, dutifully pulls the lanyard to ring the bell 100 times, once for each year since the November 11, 1918, Armistice ended the Great War. Immediately prior to this moving “Bells of Peace” ceremony, large 105 mm Howitzers rumbled a salute and spat tongues of fire into the sky. I was fortunate enough to witness this once-in-a-century event in November 2018 and get a quality photo of it. A few months later, I accepted a request to donate a copy of that photo to the 56 Engineers archives, to display with the rest of their memorabilia at Canadian Forces Base in St. John’s, NL. In doing so, I got to chatting with Squadron Sergeant Major Doug Rothchford, a native of Conception Harbour, NL, who’s been with the unit for 21 years. “We are a Reserve unit of Combat Engineers that was founded on October 24, 1949. We were originally based at Buckmaster Field in St. John’s and later at Fort Pepperell, and now the new Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander W. Anthony Paddon Building at CFS St. John’s, which opened in 2014,” he explains. “There are members and former members of 56 Engineers all across Canada and beyond, and we www.downhomelife.com
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will actually be celebrating our 70th anniversary [this month], so we’d love to hear from anyone who may have memories or stories to share.” I also spoke by phone with retired Sergeant Len Edison of St. John’s. He joined the 56 Engineers in March 1966 and stayed with them until he retired at 60 in September 2009. “The Squadron became part of the Royal Canadian Military Engineers when Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949,” Edison says. “We are trained to perform the same as if under wartime conditions to put in things like Bailey bridges, largely by hand, done in sections and assembled by teams of engineers.” Bailey bridges are a type of portable prefabricated truss bridge made famous by the British Army during WWII. They have distinctive advantages of being light, strong, easily portable by trucks and requiring no special tools or heavy equipment to assemble. In the late 1970s, the Squadron was tasked with building a bridge in Cartwright, Labrador. “The new bridge we did at Cartwright was an Acrow Bridge, which was similar [to a Bailey bridge] but made of much heavier galvanized steel, which was stronger and longer lasting. The 56 Engineers actually won the Hertzberg Memorial Trophy for that project, and we have gotten it a number of other times over the years for other projects.” The Hertzberg trophy is presented annually to the Reserve engineer unit that successfully completes a standalone project of significant training and/or civilian or military community relations value. 68
In 1967, with a still small unit of about 30 or 40 members, the 56 Engineers rebuilt the Quidi Vidi Battery as a Centennial Year project. Currently, Edison puts the membership at about 100-120 members, “which is a strong number for a small region,” he says. “We have done projects all across the province in partnership with community groups, including in Gros Morne and Trout River and Manuels River, to name a few.” The 56 Engineers have also been called in to support communities affected by major storms and hurricanes in NL in recent years. So how did engineers get involved in performing gun salutes? In recent memory, gun salutes were traditionally the domain of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Then in 1970, for a variety of reasons, the 56 Engineers were invited to do it. That happened several times more, until they became tasked with that duty on a regular basis. They’ve since performed the 105 mm Howitzer salutes for events as diverse as the opening of the House of Assembly, the July 1 Memorial Day Commemorations, Remembrance Day events and Royal visits. In recent years, they’ve also famously fired the gun as the starter’s pistol for Athletics NorthEast (ANE) Running Club’s Uniformed Services Half Marathon. (Proceeds from the event go to deserving military charities and other good causes.) While sending best wishes for their 70th anniversary, I’ll use the traditional sign-off of the 56 Engineers: “Chimo.” 1-888-588-6353
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sed near, I amthple ea s w a r d rte n in e e As Halloiswmythical monster manual in
to present th chilsafety. d Labrador est of public foundland an the ew N in f of of r ns de Generatio to not wan d ne ar w y tl an en righ fairies, d dren have be ed up by the ch at sn g in of be leep on the woods for fear never fall as ld ou sh u yo ows Hag perch everyone kn , lest the Old ed fe t g bi y rt a di zed. But wha couch after you immobili e av e le m d so an ar t fe es with upon your ch by creatures s if confronted do agical power u m yo n, ld io ou ct w of destru t ns no po ht ea ig w m g , in ntle reader teeth, bear ge , ou Y ? er laught and terrifying . ce some of the an ch stand a eld guide to fi l fu lp t he a is ids who haun What follows es and homin rs ho g in le ib rn rr tu ho or lesser-known your pockets ince. Bread in e beasts ov ng pr ra e st m e es ho our â€™t keep th on w t out of ou m de st stay ho e your cap insi caution or ju h it w r. d he ee ot oc your M away, so pr ber to listen to em m re s ay it. And alw
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Placentia Bay Sea Horse osus
Features Distinguishing Sea Horse The Placentia Bay and head has the upper body a short g tin of a horse, spor e neck, th of ck mane at the ba sharp d an es ey large black long, and fangs about an inch fish. Its huge the lower body of a with thick fur paws are covered hooves simiand end in broad horse, but lar to those of a ng. While mi webbed for swim ance, it ar pe ap frightening in reat to th us rio se does not pose a attack when food sailors, but may d. urces are threatene
acentia Range Primarily Pl
ng and other small
Typical Diet Herri
ar Great Paradise.
Bay, last spotted ne fish.
tia Bay found r men from Placen fou , 00 19 In s te g monster” that Historical No ugly, mouth frothin n “a by ed nt ro nf their boat. It prothemselves co lete destruction of mp co e th on up t ten nding splinters of seemed in und on the craft, se po d an ll pu and , aw gn ceeded to with axes and oars, rmen fought back he fis ed e sh Th ni va g. t in as fly wood e the be over an hour befor for isim ted is las e rse ttl Ho ba a the Bay Se waves. The Placentia e ied th od or blo e e lpi th ke h ath tis ne be such as the Scot s, re atu cre ke -li lar to other horse Welsh Ceffyl Dŵr.
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shape of an res Crust Man takes the Distinguishing Featu He carries a s. eye big and arms, and two s leg g lon h wit n ma y ugl powers is st Man’s exact range of sack upon his back. Cru to enter any oured to have the ability unknown, but he is rum to fall out, or are asleep, cause teeth bedroom where children wl after the supernatural power to cra even endow crusts with the them. person who does not eat guage Archive rsity’s Folklore and Lan Range Memorial Unive least 24 comat m fro the Crust Man contains references about luding Twillparts of the province, inc munities in many different He prefers to Lord’s Cove and Buchans. ingate, Brunette Island, with access to outside of town limits, live in the hilly regions ngsters. caves for storing stolen you plemented by marily on margarine, sup Typical Diet Lives pri nt child. the occasional disobedie lized in the Crust Man was immorta Historical Notes The Bishop’s Cove: following folk poem from bread-crust man “Oh I’m the ghost of the enever I can I scare young children wh to another I scare them all from one ts and listen to mother.” Who do not eat breadcrus
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Old Smiley Risus gargantua
Distinguishing Features At first glance, Old Smiley generally appears in a form that is indistinguishable from that of a normal human being. When the creature smiles, however, its lower jaw unhinges, the smile spreading from ear to ear, to reveal row upon row of tiny, sharp, shark-like teeth. Range Western side of Trinity Bay. ntickles, river mint (for Typical Diet Spring water, spa better breath) and fear. n if this figure is a ghost or Historical Notes It is unknow reported in the early 20th a type of fairy creature, but it was man who had a run-in with century to a local minister by a n of Trinity, Trinity Bay. it while walking towards the tow behind him on the path The man had seen a stranger far of water. When he looked and stopped to drink at a pool reflecdown into the water, he saw the ents mom tion of the stranger who only ance. dist the in before had been far off hed his flas r nge stra the When he looked up, ing the man vinc con ng, ishi van re terrifying smile befo in. to never walk that path alone aga
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Distinguishing Features Red eyes. Only appears at night. Small but spooky. Range Glovertown area, with most sightings reported at the abandoned 1923 ruin of an old concr ete pulp and paper mill constructed by the Terra Nova Sulphite Company. Typical Diet Cement dust, shadows and teenagers doing things they should not. Historical Notes Stories that someone had died during the millâ€™s construction began to circulate in the 1950s. One rumour spread that a worker had fallen into a vat of lead; later tales said that a man had fallen from a tower or had been buried alive in concrete. Some locals maintain that the manâ€™s red eyes haunt the plant, and that if you dare to visit, you might encounter Red Eyes following you around. While Red Eyes is a highly localized species, he is possibly related to Cement Sam who haun ts the Deer Lake Dam, and the Riveter who haunted the SS Great Eastern, all of whom were entombed alive.
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Distinguishing Features Hum an-shaped with unusually long legs, usually seen wea ring a dark suit coat and high boots. Range Bonavista Peninsula, cent red around Elliston and Little Catalina, with a possible sigh ting in the Rabbittown area of St. Johnâ€™s in the 1930s. Typical Diet Bread and molasse
s; sugar candy.
Historical Notes The Springl egs is an intriguing creature, either formed directly from the collective energy generated by mass panic, as an offshoot of local fairy species, or possibly a descendant of Springheeled Jack, who terrified Victorian-era London. The Springlegs was known to bound around with great leaps, as if it had iron springs for feet. Equally at home in the woods or jumping from rooftop to rooftop along Merrymeeting Road, the Springlegs can be identified by its highpitched, sinister laugh. Bystanders should beware of flying sparks caused by its supernatural leaping.
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Traverspine Gorilla rspinus
rk-haired, gorillaatures A large, da Fe g in ish gu in st Di resembling a shaggy fringe of white hair ), like creature, with a equally large teeth large mouth (with d an el he e th mane. It features a at rrow and 12-inch feet, na It s. toe d de human-like hands en dun into two broad, ro forking at the front ent of its footes, and from the ind tre r de un sts ne its makes ll over 500 pounds. prints may weigh we ador
Range Central Labr
, grubs, insects and
Typical Diet Roots
pine River, a d after the Travers me Na s te No l ica Histor this beast has ver (Grand River), Ri ill ch ur Ch of y tributar rassed the Michelin on since 1913. It ha d-an off r ed ott sp been rs. Michelin fired he winters until old M o tw for en bin be ca s ha ily It fam g it. , potentially woundin gun at the ape-man ch with caution. oa pr ap so b, es as a clu known to use branch
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ghly human-sized, with only one Distinguishing Features Rou . The Norse referred to the Uniped leg ending in one jeezly big foot ellers report that the Uniped may as an einfĂŚtingur, and other trav an back and use its giant foot as sometimes lie down upon its ed. umbrella. Warning: May be arm la, though in historical times may Range Great Northern Peninsu d. have spread as far as the Holy Lan d and Viking tears.
Typical Diet Wild grapes, mea
has not been spotted in several Historical Notes The Uniped der of Norse centuries, but is linked to the mur the son of n, ksso explorer Thorvald Eric of Greenrer ove disc the Eirik the Red, ky. While Luc the Lief of ther land, and bro a group exploring Vinland circa 1009 AD, ng glitterof Norsemen spotted somethi . It proved ing on the far side of a clearing bounding e cam to be a Uniped, which rvald was Tho re down towards the ship whe shot an ped Uni The sitting at the helm. s groin, ingâ€™ Vik nate ortu arrow into the unf rwards. afte n soo died d rval and poor Tho h. roac Do not app creatures, If you have spotted one of these l oddities gica or know of other cryptozoolo st Dale lori folk tact in your area, please con tedaun @h info at Jarvis immediately hike.com.
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what’s on the
St. John’s, NL
The Harvest of Hope, an Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador fundraising event, offers guests an evening of music with Sherman Downey, a live and silent auction, a dance, and food and drink, all hosted by VOCM’s Paddy Daly. For tickets and information, visit autism.nf.net.
The first Eastport Agricultural Exhibition started in 1937 and ran for 13 years before falling dormant until 2001. The revived festival stays true to its roots, featuring crafts, artwork and vegetables. There’s also a judging component, where the best entries are awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons. There are several other activities as well, including entertainment. For more information, visit their website: Beachesheritagecentre.ca.
October 16-20 October 11-13
St. John’s, NL
Fogo Island, NL
The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival brings documentaries, short films and feature length movies to the capital city. The festival aims to showcase local, national and international film scenes, and features the creative work of women in film. The festival also includes the Film Industry Forum, with panels, workshops and meetings for filmmakers, producers and creatives. Get the full lineup at WomensFilmFestival.com.
The Fogo Island Partridgeberry Harvest Festival is a celebration of local food and craft. And, like the name suggests, it is also a celebration of the partridgeberry in jam, tart and other forms. Local vendors will be selling handmade crafts and foods. There will also be a kids activity tent, a harvest and craft competition, plus live entertainment. Fogoislandpartridgeberryfestival.com.
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St. John’s, NL October 23-27
Corner Brook, NL Music NL Week is a celebration of the talent and artistry of Newfoundland and Labrador musicians, featuring performances, awards presentations and a music industry focused conference. Scheduled workshop topics include songwriting, touring, stage presence and more. For performance schedules and tickets, visit Musicnlweek.ca.
The Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra’s Halloween Spooktacular will entertain the audience with selections from Harry Potter soundtracks, as well as other spooky tunes and Halloween classics. The hauntingly good time takes place at the Arts and Culture Centre. For tickets and more information visit Artsandculturecentre.com.
Mount Pearl, NL Now in its 27th year, Christmas at the Glacier is the place to go for an early start to your Christmas shopping. Featuring handmade crafts, unique items, and winter and Christmas themed items, it’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit. More than 150 craftspeople, artists and giftware producers are expected to be at the show. For more information, visit Cgientertainment.ca.
October 26 - November 2
Moncton, NB The World Wine and Food Expo is part of wine week, and is a must for lovers of wine. There are several tasting sessions planned that feature premium wines, various vintages of Dom Perignon, as well as new wines. For more info, visit WineExpo.ca.
Tourism New Brunswick photo
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In the spirit of the season, Tobias Romaniuk seeks expert tips on where to look for a ghost.
Cape Spear Justin Wade photo
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St. John’s has so many ghosts that you can, on a summer’s evening, get a guided tour of downtown’s haunted buildings as your costumed host tells chilling “true” stories. Come October, the tours have stopped running, but the hauntings continue. We spoke with a couple of paranormal-knowledgeable people who could point us in the best direction to find a ghost – if we’re brave enough to go looking. First off, we need to clear something up: not all ghosts are “ghosts.” Ghosts fall under the larger umbrella of paranormal activity and are usually associated with deceased individuals, says Jon Mallard, host of “The Odd to Newfoundland Paranormal Podcast” and former paranormal researcher. Then there are the apparitions of objects, like the Viking long ship of L’Anse aux Meadows, he says. And it’s entirely possible to be in the presence of a ghost but not see one, as Jon found out when he was gathering audio recordings for his research. During his researcher days, Jon focused on electronic voice phenomena (EVP), which involves using a recorder to capture voices of the dead. “I have not physically seen a ghost,” he says, “but I have heard and been touched by them. Most of the time it is during playback of audio I hear these, so real time interactions are rare. I was touched only once, and that was at Cape Spear, Newfoundland. An audible tap on my shoulder and the feeling of it through my jacket was unnerving to say the least. I guess after 20-plus investigations of the old military tunnels, somebody wanted to interrupt my fun at the time.” It was incidences like this that changed Jon’s mind about ghosts. He entered the field as a non-believer, but became convinced of the existence of ghosts after numerous encounters during his research, prompting him to hang up his researcher hat because he felt he couldn’t be objective anymore. Whether real or imagined or entirely made up, Jon www.downhomelife.com
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likes a good ghost story. Among his favourites are the ghost of Dobbin’s Garden on Bell Island and the ghost of Henry Candey, who watches over the Admiralty House Communications Museum in Mount Pearl. “Electrocuted to death during the operation time of the communications base, he watches over the Annex building located next door to the museum,” says Jon. “This is where he died.” As for the best place to see a ghost? Head east, says Jon, all the way to Cape Spear, where he’s had several spooky encounters. “There is no place on earth as fruitful to would-be ghost hunters as Cape Spear, Newfoundland. They recently renovated and made things more safe down there. I would highly recommend it to anybody out there craving spooks,” he says. Dale Jarvis, founder of the St. John’s Haunted Hike, folklorist, author and storyteller, advises would-be ghost spotters to head for where the stories are. “In St. John’s, the area between the intersection of Long’s Hill and Queens Road, and up to Livingstone Street, has more than its fair share of
ghost stories,” he says. “There were two burial grounds close to that location, which may have something to do with that history.” But Dale’s favourite haunted location is far from any urban centre, at Tracey Hill in Red Bay, Labrador. “Captain William Kidd was said to have hidden a treasure at the bottom of a small body of water known as the ‘Pond on the Hill’ close to the summit. In the story, the pirate cut off the head of one of his crew and tossed the body on top of the loot. The spectre of the unfortunate headless man was believed to appear at midnight, acting as the treasure’s ghostly guardian. Some adventurous locals once attempted to drain the Pond on the Hill, but nature unleashed its fury in an unforgettable display of thunder and lightning. The men quickly abandoned the search and never returned.” If you really want to see a ghost, there’s a pretty good chance that you never have to venture far, according to Jon. “…In my experience…we live in a haunted world where this stuff only manifests in certain places due to stimuli. In other words, anywhere can be haunted,” he says.
Tracey Hill in Red Bay, Labrador - one of the most haunted places in the province? NL Tourism photo
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life is better Fall colours in Swift Current, NL Margaret Martin, Lordâ€™s Cove, NL
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My dad, Tony Flynn, and I were on an outing one day when I casually asked him if he had any ghost stories from Brigus. “No not personally, but my dad [Jack Flynn] certainly had a few. He was a great storyteller and very entertaining if you got him in the mood. Of course, he swore they were true tales, but you’d have to judge that for yourself,” Dad says. As Dad retells it, this story took place in the early 1900s, when my grandfather, John Francis (“Jack”) Flynn, was a young man. “He was travelling up from Brigus, going up that big Burke’s Hill. It was just before Christmas and coming on dark with great heavy snow flakes the size of herring scales falling down in blotches, covering everything in white in a matter of minutes.” He spied a man sitting on a rock at the side of the road, and Jack knew right away he wasn’t from this world because while the snow covered everything, not a speck stuck to the figure. “He said the spirit on the rock
kept saying over and over in a deep, gravelly voice, ‘I lost me way, I lost me way,’ and Father figured it was some old fellow who had gotten astray at some point in another time and probably sat down and died by that rock,” Dad says. “The spirit couldn’t get out and was still trying to find the way home.” I have to ask, “Did he speak to the spirit or offer any help?” Dad says, “I wondered that, too, and when I mentioned it, Father said, ‘Good Jesus in heaven, no I did not. I was afraid to say anything to him. If I spoke the spirit might have wanted to take me to help him find his way and I might never had gotten back myself. I’d rather be in Colliers than wherever the spirit on the rock was going. Not sure where he went or if he ever found his way. I never saw him again, but he might be out there looking yet.’”
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A Long Goodbye
from him. She was not moving any further or closer and never looked him in the eye. Finally, as he reached the last turn at the bottom of the hill, he looked back once more and she was gone.”
“Father had been cutting hay down in Conception for some friends and was carrying the scythe on his shoulder,” Dad says. It was getting duckish (dusk) when he passed by a big rock atop a hill where his recently deceased sister had been laid to rest in the graveyard. Lucy was only 14 or 15 when she got sick and suddenly died. Perhaps for courage at a graveyard in the waning light, Jack started to whistle a little tune. “He heard someone pick up the tune, and it sounded like they were whistling it from close by but somehow there was a great distance between them. When he stopped to look back, he saw Lucy. There was no mistaking her, as they were close in age and great friends. She was looking in the general direction of him, but never directly at him. He got a bit of a start, but did not feel afraid or worried in any way,” Dad says. “He didn’t know what to say and she did not speak, so he simply kept walking on down the hill. When he would turn and look back, she was always exactly the same distance
Dad says, “He never saw her again, nor, as far as I know, did anyone else. Father always said it was Lucy’s spirit letting him know not to worry and she was going to be fine. She was just heading over a different hill than he was.”
That wasn’t grandfather Jack’s only ghostly enounter. He was a teenager in this other tale, in the late summer coming over the hills to Colliers from nearby Conception Harbour.
The Little Girl of Red Rock Another wonderful storyteller from Colliers was the late Paddy Burke. My dad shares with me a story Paddy had told him years ago. “When Paddy was a young man of maybe 17 or 18, he would walk down the harbour to visit people, and in those days it was a gravel road hugging the coast all the way down past the Tiniment Hill, the Dockheads, Murphy’s Hill, Polly’s Beach and right down to the bottom of James Cove,” Dad says. In those days, most of the trees were cut down and used for firewood or were eaten by local livestock. “There really was nothing much to get behind, not a stick or a stone to conceal you in those open areas, and you could see up and down the road 1-888-588-6353
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and inland and out sea for a long spell,” he explains. “Anyway, Paddy was going visiting one day and he could see this young girl from over a mile away where she was playing down by the Red Rock. He was watching her running and skipping around the rock, happy as could be.” In those days, the huge rock was much bigger and sat closer to the shore, with a bit of cobble beach around it so you could circle the
ran back around the rock and looked everywhere in case she was hiding, but there was nowhere she could have gone. He searched under and even climbed the rock to look as far in all directions as he could, but no sign was to be found.” Later, when Paddy mentioned the girl at Red Rock to some older folks in the community, he got a chilling response. “They said a little girl matching that description and related
The Red Rock in Colliers
boulder no problem. “Paddy didn’t recognize her and figured it might have been a child belonged to someone who was home from away.” When he got close enough he could plainly see she was a child of about seven or eight. He watched her round the boulder once more and stood nearby to greet her when she came around again. “The girl came running and giggling towards Paddy, holding out her arms and hands until she was a foot or two away. Then she simply vanished. Gone without a trace. Paddy www.downhomelife.com
to locals had been drowned many years before at that location and Paddy was one of a number of people to see her. The spirit never threatened or meant any harm. Having died so young it was, some felt, simply still trapped playing at the place where the girl died.” There’s been no mention of this ghost since those long ago days, and Dad says Paddy had suggested that roadwork in the 1970s, which had disturbed Red Rock quite a bit, might have also broken its connection with the girl’s spirit. October 2019
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The elderly gentleman is dwarfed by
the ebony horse as he crouches under her belly with one of her front legs wedged back and clamped firmly between his knees, while his hands move over the hoof with hammer and nails in controlled, rapid succession. Whatever he calmly whispers to the gigantic animal between applying horseshoes is lost to the din of anvil and iron and the sizzle as red-hot metal hits cold water. I get the privilege, when the last shoe has cooled to a safe temperature, to retrieve it with tongs and deliver it to the old man who winks, thanks me and sends the children gathered outside the door on their way. I was only 10 years old then, and the work of the blacksmith in this Bay Roberts stable and forge filled me with wonder.
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Though I’m well into adulthood now, I was still pretty excited when the old Pinkston Forge was recently restored and relocated to Magistrate’s Hill, next to the John Leamon Stone Barn Museum in Brigus, NL. I had to go check it out. My tour begins with Jenifer Soper of the Brigus Historical and Conservation Society. “When you think of a forge, it was really a centre of technology transfer in the heart of a community. It was a place people gathered,” she says, “and if they needed something new, such as a tool or a piece of equipment or something for a specialized purpose, they would talk to each other and the blacksmith, and try and design and fashion something to meet the need. There were often no other options close by and nowhere to buy whatever was required. So people had to be creative, have ingenuity, and work with the materials they had on hand to solve problems. A forge and a blacksmith were very important to all of that. It is wonderful to have the Pinkston Forge operating here again in season in Brigus.” Inside the Pinkston Forge, I meet head blacksmith Kyle Downey, of Brigus, and his assistant Maxwell King, also a local young man. They show me around and explain the background of this business. “This historical forge was built in 1920 by John Pinkston, and it was in operation until around 1976,” Kyle says. The forge was originally located on, appropriately, Forge Road. For 40 years it lay dormant, “until around four years ago, when the son of the last blacksmith who operated the forge kindly donated the building to the Brigus Historical Society.” 90
Kyle first trained as an assistant to the head blacksmith when they restarted the forge three years ago. The head smith left and Kyle (who recently earned his certificate in Artist Blacksmithing at the Haliburton, ON campus of Sir Sandford Fleming College) assumed the lead role. Before they moved the forge, Kyle and the former blacksmith took photos of the exterior and interior of the building, for heritage sake. “We wanted to get a good feel for how Pinkston ran his forge, so most of what you see on the walls is original pieces. Many of the tools are repurposed old files because they had good steel that could be fashioned into chisels and punches. There are a lot of tongs for handling hot metal and things of that nature. We know most of them, but some of them are very specialized and we can guess at the long ago use, but in a few cases we are not really sure yet,” Kyle explains. “One that we do know about, which is kind of unique, is called a hardy tool, which is used on the anvil. The hardy tool is sort of shaped like a U and has a square hole and is used for shaping and punching holes.” There are two anvils in the forge. One weighs about 34 kg (75 lbs); the other, Pinkston’s original, weighs about 113 kg (250 lbs). “You can see the divots pounded into the metal where they did a lot of heavy work, which adds to the character of it, 1-888-588-6353
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from my perspective,” says Kyle. There are also pretty substantial scythe blades (for cutting grass by hand) and an assortment of homemade hand tools, including a tap and die arrangement for threading substantial size screw holes and making bolts back in the day. As I notice the assortment of horseshoes and the paraphernalia associated with ferrier work, Kyle informs me that this was a mainstay of the Pinkstons. “If you look closely at the wooden floor you will see the marks made by horse hooves over many years,” he points out, and adds, “If you look close by the centre rail on the floor, there is a small ring where they would tie down the horse’s lead rope while the horseshoe work was being done.” Kyle says he and Maxwell leave the horseshoe work to professional ferriers. “We mostly do artisan and smaller decorative items for sale to www.downhomelife.com
tourists and locals, with all the proceeds from this non-profit venture going to support different historical sites around the town,” Kyle says. “We also do a bit of tool smithing and some custom work on commission to support the same mandate, and we would love to do more of that.” There are many other interesting artifacts displayed in the forge, including mast collars from old sailing vessels and the original bellows dating back about 120 years from England, plus a working replica set handcrafted here in the province. And on one wall there hangs a framed picture of a distinguished gentleman, gazing down at all the activity. It’s Doug Pinkston, the last blacksmith to run the family forge before it closed in 1976. “Mr. Pinkston did a great job of preserving this place and keeping it going as long as he did,” says Kyle. “It is something special.” October 2019
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Marie-Beth Wright travels to Greenspond to see whatâ€™s new in this historic area.
Yvonne Burke photo
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Harold Hutchings photo
ACCORDING TO a popular Newfoundland song, “Greenspond is a pretty place,” but it and neighbouring communities are proving to be much more than that. In the past two years they have come alive with touristy options, comfortable accommodations and exciting day trips. With the Barbour Living Village in Newtown an anchor draw, sophisticated, world-class features have spun off to entertain and engage visitors. Historic Greenspond, first permanently settled in 1697, was once “the capital of Bonavista North.” In its glory days, Greenspond was the judicial and commercial centre for the entire north side of the bay, while its former Customs and Telegraph Office illustrate historical importance in international shipping. In recent years, with the groundfish moratorium decimating the fishery and wellpaying jobs being found off the island, Greenspond and surrounding area suffered a decline in population. One of the results of that was the closure of Heritage Academy in 2016, which had seen more than a generation of kids graduate since its opening in 1979. Losing a school is a major blow for a community, but it turned out not to be the end for this landmark structure. www.downhomelife.com
A mere three years after closing, the facility has roared back to life, this time as six beautiful rental condos. A large restaurant fills the former gymnasium, where the tiled floor is left intact and the food is served to rave reviews. My husband, a Greenspond expat, and I, who grew up in Valleyfield, spent a night there this summer, just as everything was coming out of the box. The newly opened Hub of the North is owned and operated by Sylvia Kean and her husband Wade. “When renovations started in February,” explains Sylvia, “former students were keen to come by for old times’ sake, and I was happy to share academic artifacts with them. After all, I was buying their community heritage.” October 2019
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Explorers of the Greenspond area can stay at the Hub of the Noth (above) or go for a more rustic experience by glamping at Homestead Adventures at Southwest Pond (right) I met Greenspond Mayor Roxanne (Burry) Hounsell and Cynthia (Knee) Davis in the town library, where Roxanne is also the librarian. Both are former students of Heritage Academy. “I remember the feeling of newness, having a science lab and a real gym,” Roxanne, one of the school’s first graduates, recalls. Cynthia graduated in 1981. “I appreciated the expanded staff and returned briefly to act as a supply teacher after university,” says Cynthia, who now teaches in Ottawa and was home for a visit. If you’re more into rustic excursions – but still with creature comforts – you might find yourself booking a night or two with Curtis Roebotham of Homestead Adventures in neighbouring Southwest Pond. A bush pilot with years of experience in Canada’s North, he returned to his hometown of New-Wes-Valley and started a tourism business with his now wife. These days he rents glamping tents and offers hiking, berrypicking and boil-up outings, as well as kayaking at Southwest Pond and nearby Newtown, where he operates 94
out of Karma Kafe (a tea room run by Florence Cross and which supports the Bridges for Youth Theatre Group). Florence is a crucial mentor and influencer in the tourism and cultural community in the Shore region. Another local, Steve Perry, has found his niche in tourism, theatre and hospitality. A founding member of Beyond the Overpass Theatre Group, he operates Welcome to the Rock Tours, which includes walking tours and dinner theatre. Steve, along with Florence, Curtis, and Sylvia and Wade Kean, are members of the newly formed Shore Tourism Association, with the aim to accelerate development from Gambo to Gander Bay. The association comprises many local business owners 1-888-588-6353
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and municipal leaders. Steve talks passionately about the “lure of the Shore,” of visitors who become “shorists,” of how the past brought into the present can support the economy. “The storied Greenspond Courthouse is the town’s Eiffel Tower, from a historical perspective, and Grab a coffee and cheescake and take in the view at Ida’s Place.
Salt Water Villa, a prominent Airbnb in Greenspond. Robert Carter photo untapped potential,” he points out. “From a genealogical standpoint and academic spin-off, it could host lectures, visiting artists and spawn an annual festival.” Indeed, Greenspond has a huge number of expats with descendants found throughout North America www.downhomelife.com
and beyond. For those interested in the history and culture of this place, The Greenspond Letter is published four times a year. It’s the brainchild of archivist Linda White, who launched it in 1994. This magazine is put out by the 3,000-member strong Greenspond Historical Society and includes interviews, poetry, genealogical discussions and more. No visit to Greenspond is complete without a stop for stand-out cheesecake and coffee, or any other treat on the wider menu, at Ida’s Place on Wing’s Island. Owners Heather and Des Gordon, also members of the Shore Tourism Association, moved here about 10 years ago, in search of a summer place. An unexpected demand led to their business. “I had repeated requests from tourists looking for a place to get a cuppa and washroom facilities,” Heather explains. So she opened a tearoom that now attracts thousands of drop-ins. Visitors come from March onwards with long lens cameras to view icebergs and whales, and leave with her goodies. Even American Airlines pilot Captain Beverley Bass, feted in “Come from Away” on Broadway, has come calling. That award-winning musical has been playing a role in Shore tourism, and the Gordons have seen the results in the visitors they’ve welcomed. “I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world,” Des says. Greenspond, New-Wes-Valley, Southwest Pond and all the engaged communities on the Road to the Shore (a.k.a. Kittiwake Coast) seem to have knitted themselves into a developing pattern of success. In the words of their newly formed association, “It’s a Shore Thing!” October 2019
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explore travel diary
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(a word I prefer over “tourist”) who’s been visiting Newfoundland and Labrador every year for the past six years (plus a couple of times in the late 1990s). Each visit, I spend about a month driving endlessly and taking hundreds of photos. Old sheds, stores, stages, houses, wharfs, boats and lobster traps have become my prime interests as a photographer. And you can’t beat Newfoundland and Labrador for that!
All photos by G. Tod Slone
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Wild barrens accompany your drive to Monkstown
Monkstown had caught my eye a year ago on my way to Petite Forte and South East Bight, all diversions off the Burin Peninsula highway. But the road looked rough, so I skipped it. This year, though, I said the heck with it and went for it. It was a long, unpaved road of about 27 km through vast barrens. It was an up and down hilly drive, the fog was pretty thick at times and the potholes could open up suddenly. It took me about 40 minutes driving at about 50 km/h, sometimes slower, to
reach the isolated outport. Down Beach Street, I drove past the community centre, a kidâ€™s bike and some beautiful old stages. I parked and walked and walked. I saw a woman outside hanging laundry and asked if I could take her photo. She hesitated before agreeing, then the friendly Myrtle Snook and her husband Ted, who came out to greet me, invited me in for tea and fresh baked biscuits. We chatted around the table for a half hour or more. Their house used
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Left: Ted and Myrtle Snook invited the author in for a cup of tea. Bottom: Ragged Ass Road
to be a variety store, owned by Myrtle’s father, Mr. Monk, who died at 107. Mr. Monk used to deliver the mail from Monkstown to Davis Cove… by foot. It would take him all day and into the night. Ted told me that at one point the government was planning on building a road to South East Bight, but the people at the www.downhomelife.com
latter end didn’t want it, fearing it would mean more people and upset community harmony. I decided to check out Davis Cove, and Myrtle sent me off with a bag of tea biscuits to sustain me. Such wonderful people! The road to Davis Cove was even rougher than the one to Monkstown. I parked the car and walked down Ragged Ass Road (can’t beat that for a street name!) and saw a couple of fishermen getting ready to leave. I found a pathway up a steep hill and through the woods to another part of the cove to photograph an old house and wharf. My exploring done, another old community visited, I drove – ever so slowly – back to civilization. October 2019
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food & leisure the everyday gourmet
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the everyday gourmet By Andrea Maunder
Andrea Maunder is the owner and creative force behind Saucy & Sweet – Homemade Specialty Foods & Catering.
People often say to me they could
never be baking all the time because they’d be too tempted to eat too many sweets. And I always reply that the funny thing is that when you’re around baked goods all the time, you feel less tempted to overindulge simply because they become part of the scenery for you. Usually, the occasions I make something new or something I haven’t made in a while are when I simply must have a serving for myself. There are a couple of exceptions. I never get tired of my scones (even though I made about 15,000 of them this summer!). My coconut cream pie is another – light and barely sweet with flaky pastry (I’ve been making it since 1995, and I promise that recipe soon). I’ve been perfecting my carrot cake for nearly four decades, and I have to say, I have never tasted one that I like better than my own. It might be the only dessert I make that I’m unwilling to share my slice. I will unapologetically sit down and slowly savour every morsel, with perhaps only a most fleeting pang of guilt that I didn’t offer anyone a forkful. I’m not gonna lie, or apologize… it’s a bit of a process. There are a few steps that I think make my carrot cake exceptional. I toast the walnuts, plump the raisins and grind the spices from whole. If you don’t have a spice mill (or coffee mill), I’ve provided alternative measurements for ground spices. My frosting is a little different, too. I begin with Italian buttercream frosting (that’s the one where you boil a sugar syrup that you pour into whipping egg whites, and then carefully incorporate the butter), and then I add cream cheese. It makes for a gorgeous frosting that delivers that tangy cream cheese flavour, but with a lighter texture, less sweetness, and better piping and holding power. You will need a candy thermometer. A stand mixer will make the frosting process a lot easier – but it can be done with a hand mixer if you can recruit a volunteer pair of hands. October 2019
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Carrot Cake 1 cup walnuts 1 cup golden raisins 3 (3") cinnamon sticks (or 5 tsp ground cinnamon) 3/4 tsp allspice berries (or 1 tsp ground allspice) 1/3 tsp whole cloves (or 1/2 tsp ground cloves) 1/2 a whole nutmeg, finely grated (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg) 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cardamom 3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups white sugar 4 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp almond extract 2 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp baking soda Pinch salt 3/4 cup water 1 1/2 cups grated carrot (on largest shredding side of a box grater)
Preheat oven to 350Â°F and prepare two 8-inch round cake pans. Spray them with nonstick spray and line each with a round of parchment paper. Spread walnuts on a parchment-lined sheet, toast 5-8 minutes until fragrant and beginning to brown a little. Remove from pan to cool and then chop medium coarse. Soak raisins in hottest tap water to allow to plump. Combine whole spices in a spice mill and grind until fine. (Cinnamon can be a little hard; run it through a sieve to remove any unground bits.) In a large mixing bowl, hand whisk oil, sugar, spices, eggs, vanilla and almond extract until incorporated. In a separate small bowl, dry whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture and water to the large mixing bowl; use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine wet and dry. Add drained raisins, chopped toasted nuts and shredded carrots. Stir to combine. Divide mixture evenly between prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking to ensure even doneness. Cakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks. Allow to cool completely. 104
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Cream Cheese Italian Buttercream Frosting 2 cups white sugar, divided 1/2 cup water Pinch salt 6 egg whites 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 2-inch cubes and allowed to come to room temperature 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp almond extract 500 g cream cheese (full fat, room temperature – two 250 g packages), cut into 2-inch cubes 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 cup (or so) toasted coconut, if desired, for garnishing the sides
Clip a candy thermometer to a medium-sized saucepot. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Boil until it reaches 240°F. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, on high speed, whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until they become frothy. Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and whip on high speed until light and fluffy. When sugar syrup reaches 240°F, remove thermometer and remove pot from heat. Drizzle hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl slowly, avoiding the whisk (so it doesn’t spatter and burn you), while you continue whipping on high speed until frosting is fluffy and firm. Keep whipping until sides and bottom of mixing bowl are no longer warm. Then, still on high speed, slowly incorporate butter cubes, one at a time. To be sure cubes aren’t too cold to mix in properly, squeeze one between your fingers and make sure it squishes without too much resistance. If it’s still cold, either wait longer or carefully microwave to soften it, but be sure not to melt it. Butter temperature is important for
buttercream. If melted or too cold, your buttercream could separate or curdle. Continue until all the butter, and then the shortening, is incorporated. The meringue will deflate a little; this is normal. It helps to stop the mixer every so often and scrape down the sides. Whip in the extracts. Stop the mixer, lower the bowl and remove 2/3 of the buttercream to another bowl and set aside. Incorporate the cream cheese the way you did the butter into the remaining 1/3 of the buttercream. Add the lemon juice. Then, in three or four additions, add back the buttercream you removed and beat together after each addition until fully incorporated and fluffy. If it’s warm in your kitchen, you might need to refrigerate the frosting before icing the cake. Frost the middle, top and sides of the cake, reserving some of the frosting to place in a piping bag to add some flourish to the top, if you like. I sometimes press toasted coconut into the sides of the cake. This is optional. Refrigerate a couple of hours to set the frosting. Cut into 12 or 16 wedges and enjoy.
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food & leisure
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The berry picking
is almost done for the season, and probably the preserving, too. Now it’s time for the tasting! Here are some of our readers’ favourite Newfoundland and Labrador berry recipes.
Partridgeberry Squares Submitted by Margaret Pearson 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup flour pinch of salt 1 cup sugar 1 tbsp flour 1/2 tsp baking powder pinch of salt 2 large eggs 1/4 cup lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed) 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen partridgeberries 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8"x8" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. (Or grease the pan, line with parchment paper, leaving a bit over the edges for easy removal later, and grease the inside.) In a medium bowl, beat butter and 1/4 cup sugar until creamy. Stir in 1 cup flour and pinch of salt until well combined and crumbly (press with a spoon or rub between your fingers). Use a spoon to press batter firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10-12 min., until edges are pale golden. In the same bowl (no need to wash it), combine 1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp flour, baking powder and salt. Add eggs and lemon juice; stir until smooth. Sprinkle partridgeberries and coconut evenly over the baked base. Pour lemon filling over top. Bake for 40-45 min., until squares are golden and set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with icing sugar before cutting into 16 squares and serving.
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“Bursts of tart partridgeberries combined with coconut in a sweet bread that is quick and easy to make – a family favourite!”
Partridgeberry Coconut Bread Submitted by Donna MacLaughlin 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 3/4 cup white sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp coconut extract for more coconut flavour) 2 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup low fat milk 1 1/4 cups flaked unsweetened coconut (I used medium) 1 heaping cup partridgeberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well until combined. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. Add flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients; mix well to combine. Stir in coconut and partridgeberries; stir until just combined. Batter will be thick. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until tester inserted into bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in loaf pan for about 10 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack. (NOTE: If you use frozen berries, DO NOT thaw them first. You can replace partridgeberries with blueberries or cranberries.)
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“My mom, Evelyn Langille, was born, raised and lived 78 years on Tancook Island, a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia. This is one of her favourite muffin recipes, baked with hand-picked wild blueberries from fields on the island. At a feisty 91, and although she now lives on the mainland, the island remains in her soul.”
Evelyn’s Blueberry Muffins Submitted by Donna Languille 2 cups flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice 1/3 cup oil 2 eggs 2 tbsp orange rind 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all wet ingredients and orange rind in a bowl and mix until blended. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl and add to wet ingredients. Stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into greased or lined muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in muffins comes out clean.
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Blueberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars Submitted by Donna MacLaughlin 2 cups rolled oats 1 cup all purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup cold unsalted butter
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw frozen berries) 1/2 cup white sugar 1/3 cup coconut water (or orange juice) 1 tbsp cornstarch plus 1 tbsp cold water
Preheat oven to 350Â°F. Line 8"x8" pan with parchment paper large enough to extend over the sides a bit (for easy removal later) and spray inside with oil. In a saucepan, bring blueberries, white sugar and coconut water (or orange juice) to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until berries are tender, have released their natural juice and liquid thickens slightly (15-20 minutes). Mix cornstarch and water. Bring blueberry mixture back to a boil and whisk in cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until thickened (only takes a minute). Immediately remove from heat, cover and set aside to cool while you make the crust. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar and salt. Cut in butter using two forks or a pastry cutter (or rub ingredients between your fingers) until it resembles coarse crumbs. Press half into your parchment-lined pan to make a smooth base. Cover evenly with blueberry compote, then sprinkle with remaining oatmeal crumbs, patting crumbs lightly into blueberry compote. Bake until crumbs are light golden brown (40-45 minutes). Let cool completely to let blueberry filling set up. Remove from pan by lifting the parchment paper, then cut into bars. Store bars in refrigerator. These freeze beautifully: wrap squares in tinfoil and then cover with plastic wrap to keep squares from getting freezer burn. Let squares thaw in refrigerator before eating. 110
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Submitted by Janice Rand
No Bake Partridgeberry Cheesecake
Submitted by Yuvadee Feltham 2 cup graham cracker crumbs 1/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 (250 g) pkg cream cheese 2 tsp sugar 1 tsp lemon juice 1 small pkg Nutriwhip 2 cups fresh or frozen partridgeberries 1 cup sugar 1 tbsp lemon juice
In a large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press mixture into a 9"x9" pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill. Make the filling: Soften cream cheese. Gradually beat in sugar and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Prepare Nutriwhip according to package directions and stir into cheese mixture. Spread cream cheese filling evenly over chilled crust and return dish to the fridge to chill. Cook berries, sugar and lemon juice over low heat until berries soften (about 3 min.). Remove from heat and cool. Spread partridgeberry topping over chilled cheesecake or serve it on the side. www.downhomelife.com
1 cup flour Pinch salt 2 tbsp sugar 1/2 cup butter 1 tbsp vinegar 2 cups blueberries 3/4 cup sugar 2 tbsp flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 cup fresh blueberries
Combine 1 cup flour, salt, 2 tbsp sugar, butter and vinegar, and press onto a pizza pan or the bottom of a 9" pan. Layer should be about 1/4" thick. Combine blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour and cinnamon. Toss to coat blueberries and spread berries over bottom layer. Sprinkle lemon juice over top. Bake at 400Â°F for 1 hour. Sprinkle 1 cup fresh blueberries over top after cooking.
Submitted by Thomas Lambert 1 1 1 1
pkg strawberry jelly powder cup partridgeberries tsp sugar apple, diced
Prepare jelly according to package directions. Let set slightly. Toss sugar with partridgeberries and apple; stir into jelly. Refrigerate until fully set.
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Blueberry Cinnamon Dump Cake Submitted by Alice Smith
4 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries 1/3 cup sugar 3/4 tsp cinnamon, divided 1 pkg Duncan Hines golden cake mix 3/4 cup butter, cut into thin slices
Preheat oven to 350Â°F. Spray 13"x9" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread blueberries over bottom of pan. Sprinkle with sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Toss berries to coat in sugar and cinnamon. Top berries with dry cake mix, sprinkled evenly. Top with butter slices, distributing evenly over cake mix. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the centre of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool for 15 minutes before cutting into 12-15 squares. Top each serving with ice cream, if desired.
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Orange Cranberry Muffins Submitted by Cathy Gale 1 1/2 cups flour 3/4 cup sugar (or less, to your taste) 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 whole navel orange (medium sized)
1 egg 1/2 cup milk 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 cup fresh cranberries (or thawed from frozen)
Preheat oven to 375Â°F. Lightly grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut off the ends of the orange, then cube it without peeling it. Remove seeds. In a food processor, combine orange (with peel), egg, milk and oil until well blended. Stir in flour mixture until just moistened. Gently stir in cranberries. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are firm and a toothpick inserted in the centre of muffins come out clean. Remove from oven and let muffins cool in tin for 10 minutes. Turn muffins out onto rack to cool completely.
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Balsamic Strawberry Sauce Submitted by Cathy Gale 4 cups hulled strawberries 3 tbsp granulated sugar 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, cook strawberries and sugar for 2 minutes, or until sugar dissolves and starts to form a sauce with the berry juice. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold.
Raspberry Vinegar Submitted by Thomas Lambert 6 cups raspberries 2 cups cider vinegar 2 1/4 cups sugar
Wash and drain raspberries. Put berries in a bowl and cover them entirely with cider vinegar. Let stand overnight. Next morning, strain berries through double-thick cheesecloth. Boil strained liquid for 15 minutes. Add sugar and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Pour into hot, sterilized jars; seal and cool. “This makes a delicious drink in hot weather.”
Dogberry and Apple Jelly
Submitted by Thomas Lambert
Submitted by Thomas Lambert
4 6 2 1 3 1
24 crab apples, peeled and diced 4 cups dogberries 3/4 cup sugar
cups partridgeberries cups water, divided cups sugar cup orange juice tbsp lemon juice L ginger ale
Cook berries in 4 cups of water until they are soft. Crush berries and force them through a cheesecloth. Discard skins and reserve liquid. Boil sugar and other 2 cups water for 5 minutes. Add partridgeberry juice and stir well. Chill liquid before adding orange and lemon juices. Just before serving, add ginger ale.
Add crab apples and dogberries to a pot with enough cold water to completely cover fruit. Simmer on the stovetop until fruit is tender. Strain through a cheesecloth or jelly bag. Reserve juice in the pot and add 3/4 cup sugar to it; boil together until it thickens. Test it by dropping a teaspoonful onto a very cold plate; if it gels, remove from heat and immediately pour into sterilized jars, seal and cool. “This goes very well with chicken.”
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Blueberry Cake Submitted by Pauline Nickerson 2 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla
2 2 1 1
cups flour tsp baking powder tbsp lemon juice cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) blueberries, divided
Preheat oven to 350Â°F. Grease a 9" round cake pan. Cream eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add sour cream, oil, salt and vanilla. Beat at low speed until well combined. Add flour, baking powder and lemon juice; mix well. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Top with 1/2 cup blueberries. Add remaining batter and top with remaining blueberries, sprinkled evenly. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until tester inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cool on a rack. Serve with Cool Whip or ice cream.
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food & leisure
Edible marijuana products
baked goods, so to speak – are set to become legal in October, with public availability expected by December. For all of you who remain weed-curious, but don’t want to inhale smoke or swallow a pill to get your buzz on, this is what you’ve been waiting for. While details on product availability remains somewhat foggy – we’re not sure if there will actually be legal pot brownies for sale – companies like Canopy Growth, the parent company of weed retailer Tweed, has stated that they will have THC-infused chocolates for sale, as well as beverages. The choice to make mind-altering chocolates is somewhat apt, as Canopy Growth’s head offices in Ontario are in the former Hershey chocolate factory. With a bit of retooling and renovation, they are now putting the former candy factory to a, ahem, higher purpose. But aside from there being chocolates, the company is keeping exact details under wraps. 116
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“Taking more because you don’t feel the effects can lead to the unpleasant experience of getting too high once the edible’s effects do kick in.” In St. John’s, NL, licensed cannabis retailer Healthy Vibe has met their share of first-time consumers. Although some of these customers may be old enough to remember the 1960s, they didn’t get “the ’60s experience” and, with legalization, they are now wanting to try cannabis. Salesperson Ainslee Gosse helps these customers with a gentle, understanding approach. For a first-timer trying a cannabis edible, she says a cautious, slow approach is best – in part because it takes an hour or more to feel the effects of edible cannabis. Taking more because you don’t feel the effects can lead to the unpleasant experience of getting too high once the edible’s effects do kick in. “The first time, if you get an edible, cut it in half and see where that takes you,” she says. The next time (not the same day) you can judge the effects and adjust your dose accordingly. The way cannabis affects a person depends on several variables, including how your body metabolizes cannabinoids. Every person is different, and it’s important to remember that recreational use is about enjoyment: if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it, and definitely don’t judge your consumption amounts based on another person’s consumption level. “People’s experiences with it are different,” says Ainslee. Cannabis comes in two strains: indica and sativa. The sativa strain www.downhomelife.com
tends to be more cerebral, while indica affects the body. If you’re prone to anxiety or nervousness, indica may be a better option, says Ainslee, adding that this advice is meant purely for recreational enjoyment, not as medical advice. As for the feeling of a cannabis high, it can be a bit hard to describe to the inexperienced. “It’s hard to explain it,” says Ainslee. “If it’s sativa or indica you’re going to get a completely different feeling. If it’s indica, you’re going to get a heaviness in your limbs; you’re probably not going to want to do a whole lot. I find with edibles, it really knocks me out. If it’s an indica, it makes me want to sit on the couch. The sativas are a more cerebral sort of deal, so it’s more in your head than it is in your body.” Healthy Vibe is a recreational cannabis retailer, but many of their customers are looking to cannabis for its purported therapeutic benefits. If you fall into this category, it’s best to ask a medical professional about how cannabis products may alleviate what ails you. The two common acronyms you’ll hear when talking about cannabis are THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis – the stuff that gets you high. CBD is non psychoactive and is marketed as a way to reduce pain, amongst other things. If you eat a bit of CBD-only edible, you won’t get high at all. October 2019
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food & leisure down to earth
Gardening with Ross Traverse
Pears or Berries?
Q: When I was growing up, I’d visit my grandparents in Deer Lake. They had a berry bush in their garden, and we loved to eat them. We called them pears, but I have no idea what they are really called. They were the colour of a blueberry but pear shaped. Would you have any idea what I’m talking about and what they are called? – Cathy A: Cathy, this berry bush is commonly called chuckley pear. Some people call it a wild pear, and in western Canada it is known as Saskatoons. The botanical name is Amelanchier, and there are several species. It can easily be transplanted into the garden from the wild, but you need to mark the plant in the summer so you can transplant it early next spring before the new growth starts.
Apple Advice Q: I planted an apple tree in my backyard last year. I’m wondering if I need both a female and male tree to produce apples, and how often do apples grow? I’m also wondering the same for a pear tree. – Lori Cullimore A: Lori, yes, you do need two different varieties of apple in order to ensure proper pollination and fruit. If you have a flowering ornamental crabapple tree it will also pollinate the apple that you have planted. If you are buying a new apple tree, you should get one that is classified as an early variety. The variety “Yellow Transparent” is a good one. The same thing applies to pear trees. You need two different varieties. 118
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Vine on the Line
Q: I am desperate for your help or advice, and it may already be too late. I purchased a Prairie Star grape vine about three or four years ago and put it in my greenhouse. It grew like crazy and, of course, I didn’t prune it back like I was supposed to do as I was never sure on what I was doing. I did prune it back in January or February. The vine is about three feet high, and I have about four to five or more vines or leads going to the left, and the same going to the right, and they are about 6-8 inches long suspended on a main wire down the length of each wall. Here is my problem: Everywhere I pruned it, it’s bleeding and won’t stop. I tried putting tree paste on the cuts, but the sap just keeps washing it away. There were some early buds all along the vines, but they never did break open. The plant is barely alive (I think ). Now there are four or five big sprigs or shoots starting to grow off the main trunk about 2-3 inches from the ground. Can you please help me? I really don’t know what to do. – Terry Legge A: Terry, grapes are produced on new growth each year, so I don’t think you will lose the vine and you may get some grapes this year. The weeping of the sap from the cut surface is normal. It will not kill the vine. Pruning is as much an art as it is a science. The website Gardeningknowhow.com offers some basic instructions.
Maple Pruning Q: I am wondering when I can cut the lower branches of the two maple trees in my front yard. Can this be done anytime? – Ken Power A: Ken, you can remove the lower branches of the maple anytime during the summer. It won’t damage the tree, although you will see sap weeping from the cut area. It will heal.
Dr. Ross Traverse has been a horticultural consultant to gardeners and farmers for more than 50 years. www.downhomelife.com
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OVER $25s in saving ! by joining
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Save up to $104** – 51% when you sign up for 3 years! Delivered with December’s issue. ††Delivered with June’s issue. Canadian mailing only. *Delivered February and August issues. **$104 off cover price.
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Littledale Academy 1961-62 Front row (l-r): Anne Traverse, Mary O’Brien, Doris Keating, Josephine White, Margaret O’Grady, Alice Pumphrey, Rosemary White, Betty McIsaac, Diane Aucoin and Joan King. 2nd row (l-r): Doreen McCarthy, Laura Fitzpatrick, Marie Doyle, Lucy Walsh, Marilyn Doody, Agnes Murray, Catherine Kennedy, Rita Seaward, Anne Hann, Anne Ryan and Patricia Hynes. 3rd row (l-r): Hilda Dwyer, Rhonda Bennett, Genevieve Croke, Mary Ann Croke, Lydia Edwards, Lydia Slaney, Carmel Fitzpatrick, Ann Smith, Sheila Ricketts, Ramona Noel, Lorraine Crawley, Madonna Crowe and Marguerite Stacey. 4th row (l-r): Theresa Moss, Angela Furey, Bridget Fitzpatrick, Regina Harvey, Maureen Power, Patricia Doucette, Paula Coady, Margaret Combdon and Maureen T. Power. 5th row (l-r): Patricia Hogan, Justina Lawlor, Betty Lou Kennedy, Patricia Delaney, Jacqueline Morris, Rosemary Hatt, Louise Hartery, Clare Taafe, Brenda Grant, Margaret Walsh, Gertrude Wells and Ellen Moore. 6th row (l-r): Nellie Shea, Patricia Dawson, Elizabeth Kent, Lucy Hearn, Agnes Connors, Anne Browne, Mary Fitzgerald, Catherine O’Keefe, Mary Coles, Ita Bruce, Joan Marie O’Quinn and Mary Ryan. Maureen (Power) Clarke, Via email 122
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Here’s a photo of the Grade 4 class of J.R. Smallwood Collegiate, Sacred Heart Section in Wabush, taken in 1968. Front row (l-r): Michael Beauregard, Ronnie Parsons, Garry O’Brian and Gary Hayward. Second row (l-r): Maureen Hickey, Ann Marie Hayward, Anna McCarthy, Mary Pitman and Mona Penny. Third row (l-r): Dian Barsalou, Jerry LeBlanc, Brian Collins, Nancy McGregor, Anthony (last name unknown), Susan Baxter, Walter Joy and Francis Hearn. Teacher: Miss D. Gibbons. Anna McCarthy, Cambridge, ON
This Month in History
The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen had a large impact on the people of Labrador in the late 1800s and into the 20th century, where it eventually became known as the Grenfell Mission. It offered medical aid to those in need, and one of the ways they dispersed that aid was with the hospital ship Strathcona. According to The Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Strathcona was built in the shipyard of Philip and Sons in Dartmouth, UK. It was launched in 1899 and presented to the Mission in 1900. Every year, the Strathcona would visit communities along Labrador’s coast and dispense medical care. On October 2, 1922, the Strathcona sank off Seldom-Come-By, Fogo Island. The ship was en route to Bay Roberts when rough weather led to a leak, which eventually forced the crew to abandon ship. The crew, which included Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, evacuated in a dory and were soon rescued. The ship was replaced by a small steam yacht they named Strathcona II.
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reminiscing Downhome Memories
Nick Lee photo
By Randolph Toope, Cobourg, ON
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Did you know that Ropewalk Lane in St. John’s is so named for an actual “ropewalk” – a long building or space where ropes are made? The Colonial Cordage Company (1882-1965) was in the business of making ropes of all sorts there, mostly for the fishing industry, from what I understand. When I was five years old, my parents moved to St. John’s and bought a small house, a hundred feet or so from the ropewalk’s western property boundary. I lived in that house until a month before my 19th birthday. My dad added to that house with each new addition to our family. As our neighbour once said to me, “Art has built so many wings on that house it’s a wonder it doesn’t take off and fly.” The ropewalk property was not fenced in, so my young friends and I had ready access to it. There we played sandlot baseball, cowboys and Indians, hide and seek, and any number of other games that young boys played during summers back then. When the snow came in the winter we had the most fun. We would find a spot where the snow had drifted almost to the top of the roof of the quarter-mile-long building where rope was spun. We would run along the roof and jump off into a large snowdrift, in a game to see who could jump the farthest. We’d sometimes climb, run and jump over and over until we heard our mothers calling us for supper. All the boys had a dog back then, usually a big mongrel, and the dogs would run and jump with us. By the wagging of their tails, I think the dogs enjoyed it more than we did. At the easterly end of the ropewalk property, near Ropewalk Lane, was a bog or a swamp. I’m not sure what the correct name for it was, but in the summer it was full of water where we 1-888-588-6353
rafted, swam and just hung out. Again, winter was the best time. The water usually froze over before Mundy Pond did, and we would take our shovels, brooms, homemade hockey sticks, Sears catalogues for shin pads and our ice skates to the bog/swamp. We would clear the snow from the ice and choose sides. The youngest kids were always the goalies, while the older boys – the imagined Gordie Howes, Rocket Richards and other NHLers – would play for our version of the Stanley Cup. I may get an objection from some of my friends from that long ago time, but I seem to remember always being on the winning team and always being awarded the first star. The ropewalk is long gone, as are some of my friends from that time – whom I remember with a fondness beyond description. I remember it not as a different time, but as the Bucky Covington song, “a different world.” A world that was different than it is today, but a world that will never change in my memories. October 2019
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reminiscing visions & vignettes
Gnat, do you mind…
Autumn Leaves? By Harold N. Walters
Oddly, Harry was oblivious regarding a certain puzzling event that happened in Brookwater on All Hallow’s Eve. Gnat, Sally and Ugly Maude, however, had their suspicions, but held their tongues. In the daylight hours of All Hallow’s Eve, Brookwater was 40 shades of autumn. Birches and aspens, poplars and witch hazels, alders and cherry trees: all had strewn their leaves in varying hues from honey yellow to blazing red. The half-dozen tall maples bordering Aunt Hood’s yard shed leaves the 126
size of china saucers, and the prevailing westerly breeze curled them in windrows along the bottom of the paling fence. In the schoolhouse, the walls and windows displayed crayon drawings of leaves, pumpkins and myriad ghosts and hobgoblins, decorations that Miss Britt’s students had 1-888-588-6353
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chewed their tongues to make in celebration of Halloween. Among the cutouts, Harry’s – a ghastly, doublepage, bandaged and bleeding ghoul fiendishly devouring a howling pumpkin – was the least likely to be seen as a joyous creation. “Harry, here’s a spot for your poster,” Miss Britt had said, pointing to the lowest space in a shadowy corner. Harry’d winked at Gnat when Miss Britt turned away and he pinned his work two feet higher than she’d indicated. After the school’s Halloween party had ended, Harry gazed out a window at the autumn leaves festooning Brookwater. And he imagined what Huckleberry Finn – a storybook idol of his – might do with a bunch of crisp autumn leaves. Huck would likely roll a few and smoke ’em, or, more likely, stog ’em in his corn-cob pipe. Harry squirmed, waiting for Miss Britt to ring the dismissal bell. At the same time as Harry was longing for dismissal, across the cove Aunt Hood was busy hanging delicate items on her clothesline. Aunt Sissy Hatt, the Brookwater witch, leaned on the fence chatting with Aunt Hood. “Late in the day to be hanging out clothes, isn’t it?” said Aunt Sissy. “’Tis,” said Aunt Hood, “but these are special things.” She shook out a lacy-edged, ivory-white cloth large enough to cover a table and pinned it to the line. “This is a Christmas tablecloth that come all the way from Wales with my old granny.” “Yes?” said Aunt Sissy, as if not truly understanding how that explained the late day clothesline visit. “You see,” continued Aunt Hood, “Granny believed that if this linen 1-888-588-6353
was hung on the line on All Hallow’s Eve and left overnight, the sacred dew would give it a special glow, a blessed shine that would last till Christmas.” “Ah,” said the Brookwater witch, as if – even with her arcane knowledge – that was something she’d never heard before. “All this is precious linen and lace,” said Aunt Hood. She continued to pin napkins and doilies and Christmas hankies to the clothesline. “’Tis lovely cloth,” said Aunt Sissy, girlishly kicking a pile of leaves as she left Aunt Hood to finish her task. As Aunt Hood fastened her final clothespin, Miss Britt shook the dismissal bell. A split second later, his bookbag banging on his back, Harry bolted from the school. Gnat trotted out behind him. Sally and Ugly Maude followed, rolling their eyes at the boys’ unruly behaviour. His earlier thoughts of Huck Finn propelling him, Harry ran in search of the driest bundle of leaves he could find and a secluded spot for smoking. Outrunning everyone else – most of whom weren’t running at all – Harry and Gnat disappeared beyond the Big Rock, headed for the skeletal maples on the edge of Aunt Hood’s garden. Like Babe Ruth – whom Harry’d seen pictures of in The Great Big Book of Sports Heroes – sliding into home base, Harry skidded through a litter of leaves down over the bank beneath Aunt Hood’s maple trees. Like a pup in shavings, Gnat tumbled behind Harry. “These are dandy,” said Harry, fanning a clutch of leaves like playing cards. “They’m just like ’baccy, sure.” Gnat grabbed a handful of leaves and commenced grinding them in his October 2019
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palm like Pop crushing a ’baccy plug with the heel of his hand. Harry hauled a scribbler from his bookbag, opened it and ripped out the middle pages, even though they were covered with incorrectly added sums and rough sketches of a grimacing, pumpkin-gobbling ghoul. After tearing the paper into rough squares, Harry creased them and held out the open folds to Gnat, who emptied his palm to equally share the mashed maple leaves among the papers. Imitating grown men rolling Target and Big Ben, me buck-oes – perhaps not entirely novices – rolled and licked and produced king-size smokes that, had they been created decades hence, would’ve made Bobby from Jamaica beam with admiration. Striking a match from a squat box of Seadogs, Harry held the flame to two twisted tips. Simultaneously, Harry and Gnat sucked in harsh, hot smoke that instantly caused their lungs to spasm and their heads to reel. “Strong, eh?” they grinned through tears and smoke. Wreaths of maple leaf smoke drifted up over the bank and dispersed among denuded maple branches and brushed against the pristine woven threads of Aunt Hood’s Welsh linen. Sally and Ugly Maude found Harry and Gnat hunkered in the lee of the bank, murky clouds rising above their heads like smoke signals. Although noticeably green in their gobs, the boys struggled to maintain some dignity and puff as poised as adult men drawing ’baccy smoke from hand-rolled cigarettes. “Here’s the foolish fools,” said Ugly Maude when she and Sally reached the boys. “Your mothers will kill yous if they 128
find out yous is smoking,” warned Sally. Puffing defiantly, the boys sucked in their cheeks and coughed clots of smoke like chimneys with blocked drafts. “Like our fathers before us, we loves a relaxin’ smoke of autumn leaves,” said Harry, squinting his weeping eyes while attempting a suave smile. “T’will make men of us, I ’low.” But his smile was less than debonair; it more resembled the twisted lips of the pencil-sketched ghoul smoldering on his coarse scribbler paper. “Yous better knock off and get home,” said Sally. “Yous is going to stink of smoke.” “Dout them awful things and get home,” said Ugly Maude, “or we’m going to tell.” “No yous won’t,” said Gnat. But he stood up, spit out the remains of his crude cigarette and ground it to pulp with this sneaker boot. Preserving his cockiness, Harry drooled spittle on his fingers, pinched off the tip of his smoke, flicked it over his shoulder and left it for dead. Dying maybe, but not dead, Harry’s cigarette butt, gasping its last breath, rolled beneath one maple leaf’s curled edge. After sunset, a freshening breeze blew up from the beach and, as if for devilment, slipped between the palings of Aunt Hood’s fence, spiralled up her clothesline poles, tickled the fringes of the hanging linens and 1-888-588-6353
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caused them to flutter in the early darkness. In passing through, the breeze also brushed Harry’s abandoned cigarette, breathed life into its dying coals and rolled it snuggly against the sheltering maple leaf, where it began to smoulder and ignite the leaf as dry as parchment. As if happy to be lit up, the leaf flushed fire through its veins and leaned solidly against the leafy pook it was a part of. The pook burst into flames and, encouraged by the breeze from the beach, shook to pieces. Like wee kites on the breeze, individual leaves scurried up the bank, scuttled between the palings and sailed with the night wind towards Aunt Hood’s clothesline. The harvest moon, its face painted pumpkin-orange for All Hallow’s Eve, sprang like a spook from behind the Crow Cliffs and watched the raiding party of torched leaves fly across Aunt Hood’s garden. The moon was perhaps the only witness as the leaves rose on the wind, pitched on the Welsh linens awaiting saintly 1-888-588-6353
blessing, and clung to the weave like a horde of fiery Halloween bats. Lying in bed, immersed in a Hopalong Cassidy comic, Harry had no idea that hapless maple leaves ignited by his cast-off cigarette had been transformed into sizzling Day of the Dead creatures and had assaulted Aunt Hood’s Christmas linens. Months later, on Christmas Day, a distraught Aunt Hood had to strategically lodge plates and platters on her dining room table to camouflage scorch marks and burn holes when she served Christmas dinner. Mind that autumn, Gnat? Mind the mystery of Aunt Hood’s seriously singed linens? Harry was oblivious. Gnat, Sally and Ugly Maude had their suspicions, but all held their tongues. Harold Walters lives in Dunville, Newfoundland, doing his damnedest to live Happily Ever After. Reach him at email@example.com October 2019
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In Broad Cove,
Conception Bay North, NL, at the end of Mulleys Cove Road, there is a relatively new sign that identifies “Mulleys Cove.” I found the sign in June 2019, but I’d first heard about plans for it when I paid a visit to a gentleman in Mount Pearl the month before. Bertram King (or Bert as he prefers to be called) reached out to me after reading my story on alleged pirate treasure locations in NL in the March 2019 issue of Downhome. “I really enjoyed your story about the pirates, and it reminded me of a time when I was growing up during the Depression in the 1930s back home in Mulleys Cove,” the spry 91-year-old tells me when I visit him in his home in May.
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get to see it, but I’m working on it and contacting people. I think the council out that way is going to take care of it. Nice for all the people who were from there.” Before getting to the heart of his pirate story, Bert tells me about growing up in Mulleys Cove. “We never spent anytime indoors that we didn’t have to. In the winter we would be outside playing and skating on the little gully. We used to call it a pond. It was big to us because we were small. I only had one pair of skates and they were the kind you would screw on your boots. Sometimes you’d fall through the ice, but it was only a few feet deep, so it was no harm. In the summer we’d be Dennis Flynn photo playing and throwing rocks, and get in a bit of trouble, but nothing big… The most bit of Bertram King fondly recalls minor mischief we got into was boyhood days in Mulleys Cove. stealing old barrels for Bonfire Night every year. We’d have a “Now that was a town all of its own great time and roast up potatoes in when I was a boy, but when Confedthe fire and hang out with the older eration came in later years they evenboys and girls out around Wood Cat tually combined a lot of towns and Hill.” He also recalls attending the some names got dropped altogether. two-room Old Salem School, writing It was never, ever resettled actually, on slates and keeping warm by the and there are some older folks or school’s potbelly stove. those with family connections still living out there, and a few new ones have even moved in or have cabins.” But only those with a living memory of the place know where Mulleys The pirate treasure story that Bert Cove was, so Bert is campaigning for lured me with involves the sudden a sign to mark the spot. appearance of a mysterious large “At 91, you are working on getting a hole in the community. “I was born sign for your former hometown?” I in 1927, and I was around seven or asked. eight years old when this happened Bert grins at the idea. “I might not
A HOLE LOT OF SPECULATION
Dennis Flynn photo
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Bertram King, a spry 91-year-old, in his Mount Pearl home. so I remember it well… My father was home because there was not much work on the go during the Depression. It was a real foggy night, and when we got up the next morning the rumour was going around town that someone had dug a big hole and found something,” he says. In a village of just 130 people, news and rumours spread quickly. “What was going around was that this strange man came down to the town and met up with one of the poorest men in the community and engaged him to help him with a task. The stranger had some kind of stick or wand that might have been a Geiger counter or a metal detector of some type, and it was said he walked all over this particular piece of land waving the stick over it. Eventually he found a spot that he stopped at, and they both dug down and hit a 1-888-588-6353
metal chest of some type.” The stranger suggested they take a break and ordered his helper to go make them a cup of tea. When the local man returned with the tea, the stranger told him he’d opened the box while he was gone and there had been nothing inside. Because no one had seen the stranger open the box, the rumour was that he had opened it and secretly removed its contents. “They say the stranger left the same night under cover of darkness. Someone saw him going over the road the next morning on his way towards Carbonear with a sack over his shoulder. So whatever was in the chest may have went with him, but we may never know for sure. I know it was the talk of the town for a week or so and a few other people went back and had a look, but nobody ever found anything else, as far as I know.” October 2019
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between the boulevard and the bay
the squid By Ron Young
In August, the squid made a surprise appearBut when the lines are full of ance in Holyrood (there’s a reason it’s home to Squid Fest even if people have forgotten why). the ugly things They were rolling right in on the beach, drawing They climb crowds with buckets and nets looking for a free aboard the boat, catch. It’s the first time locals recall seeing squids ashore since the 1970s and ’80s. Back then it And every last come was common to see racks and lines of squids dryone of them ing in the sun outside homes all over NewfoundWill squirt right land. And that was around the time I was inspired to write this poem about jigging for squid. down your throat. The Squid They’re quite a delicacy I’m told In Japan, and even New York, Like fish and brewis and tiddies here Or doughboys and fatback pork. They’re temperamental creatures These sirloin of the sea, They need tentacles spread for drying Before the morning tea. When lines are empty they shy away In other waters and gloat, But when the lines are full of the ugly things They climb aboard the boat, And every last one of them Will squirt right down your throat. Sometimes the water is teeming With squid of every size and kind, But jig as you like ’til your back will break Or you’re driven out of your mind 134
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To hand jigger or roller Their way they cannot find. “And why is that?” you ask yourself Why, they’re pretending that they’re blind. The sun will shine upon the lines ’Til you take them from the store, But when the last is on the line You know the rain will pour. And the very minute they’re back inside The sun’ll come out for sure. Then the collectors will come for the brokers And take your squid away. And after they’ve checked they’ll tell you, 1-888-588-6353
“They’re pink and worth but little pay.” And you feel like taking the lot of them And heaving them into the bay, But you don’t ’cause you know you need the stamp For pogey for winter’s tay. So you go on out and jig some more, Tomorrow’s another day. The irony of modern times We toil and sweat all day To jig the inky creatures In every cove and bay, And turn them over and over For very little pay, The invertebrates our fathers let Go on their merry way Or in the fall as bait for trawl But mostly threw away.
Ron Young is a retired policeman, published poet and founding editor of Downhome. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Our Lost Monuments by Chad Bennett
Newfoundland fed half the western world
for half a millennium. In 1815 alone, we delivered approximately 122 million pounds of fish to market – nearly 12 pounds for every man, woman and child then living in Great Britain. And that staggering figure doesn’t include the fish taken by the fleets of Spain, France, Portugal etc. In monetary terms, per capita we earned between 12 to 15 pounds sterling for the British Empire. In comparison, the highest earning American colony, South Carolina, earned only four pounds sterling and they used slave labour. So where are the monuments to that past?
William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It can, however, be difficult to see the way in which it’s carried forward. Most of our centuries have faded to fallow fields, lost orchards and forgotten cemeteries. To discover one monument, which speaks louder than others, we head back to 1816 and to Poole, Dorset, England. The Poole quay thrummed with the energy of Newfoundland. Eighty per cent of all residents were employed supporting the Newfoundland trade, from the tanners to the anchor smiths. On nearby High Street, 136
Christopher Spurrier stood in front of the Beech Hurst building, built in 1798 by one of the many Newfoundland merchant princes. “I will do better,” he thought, scuffing his feet over the pavement just a few times for luck as he made his way over to his carriage. Luck ruled Christopher Spurrier’s life; it was his joy, his madness and ultimately his undoing. Christopher inherited one of the largest fortunes in South West England. His grandfather, William Spurrier, four times mayor of Poole, amassed vast holdings including the Upton Estate: 930 acres previously 1-888-588-6353
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The Poole quay thrummed with the energy of Newfoundland. Eighty per cent of all residents were employed supporting the Newfoundland trade, from the tanners to the anchor smiths. owned by the most powerful people in England. Everything was paid for with Newfoundland earnings. Christopher spent with the risk and abandon of a man at war with his own reflection. At a whim he purchased 500 acres in nearby Compton Abbas, had a major public highway moved miles from his property just to impress his father-in-law, and gambled the most grotesque sums of money on anything and everything. He also began building a massive country house on his estate, called Upton House. Parklands were created, as well as walled gardens. If a hill was in the wrong spot, the hill moved. Maybe the Queen would have thought it a lovely, cozy home, but to everyone else it was lavish and palatial in the extreme. Butlers, valets, footmen, maids, cooks – the full English family country seat to last forever. Christopher Spurrier first ran for office in 1818, despite his father-inlaw’s attempts to buy him off, wanting the position for himself. Spurrier would lose this election, but not without torpedoing his father-inlaw’s campaign at a cost of a sizable fortune. Thankfully, for Spurrier, he 1-888-588-6353
had other fortunes to spend. In 1820 he ran again. If it was money they wanted, he would make sure that everyone choked on it. He sold his Compton Abbas estate, mortgaged Upton and drained his bank accounts. He bet everything to win. Did he scuff his feet along the pavement before the vote? Did he rub a lucky coin? It’s unknown, but his luck held and he won. He would stand as the member for Bridgport in the British Parliament. A vast estate, a dream country house, incomes best described as torrents of money, and now he had a position of power. Christopher Spurrier, in this brief window of time, had it all. But the ground was shifting beneath his feet, and no amount of scuffing the pavement would set it right. The back rooms of politics were churning. Someone, possibly a political rival, but much more likely his father-in-law, wanted him gone. Either way, Spurrier was made the subject of an opposition petition of bribery. These charges originated within Parliament itself. This was a personal attack. On the 20th of June October 2019
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It is said that while entertaining guests, Spurrier cracked open a walnut and two maggots fell out. Right then and there, Spurrier bet his household silver and last remaining silver teapot on a race between the two maggots. 1820, Spurrier was voted out of Parliament (including by members of his own party), removed from office after only six months. It is darkly comic that the charges against Spurrier were ones of bribery, as money undoubtedly needed to change hands to make it happen. The fall had begun with no lack of speed. Spurrier departed for France, where his gambling and excess increased a hundredfold. If money had been his life’s blood, he hemorrhaged as though speared through the back; the damage was done. Year over year spending increased, already greatly in excess of earnings. Yet in 1825, Christopher Spurrier built a west wing addition to his Upton estate. Whether in defiance or denial, it would be his last stand. He held out for another three years. But in 1828 the debts shifted, sands moved and the ground began to swallow him up. Spurrier sold the furniture, the paintings, the porcelain, before finally selling Upton Estate itself. It is said that while entertaining 138
guests, Spurrier cracked open a walnut and two maggots fell out. Right then and there, he bet his household silver and last remaining silver teapot on a race between the two maggots. Did he believe even then that luck would save him? It didn’t. Christopher Spurrier lost everything and, in 1876, he died penniless. Upton House, however, would go on with a succession of new owners – lords, barons and princes – enduring to become a monument not to the partly grotesque, partly tragic figure of Christopher Spurrier, but rather to Newfoundland’s forebears. Upton House is today Upton Country Park, opened to the public and truly one of the most striking monuments to the industry and ingenuity of our blood. Upton House is only one of dozens of such lost monuments to be found throughout southwest England and southeast Ireland. This has been a re-imagining based on real events. Sources Prowse: A History of Newfoundland; Major: As Near to Heaven by Sea, Upton Country Park) 1-888-588-6353
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GLENBURNIE • BONNE BAY
House & Land, Furnished, 6 Room Bungalow, $67,000 For further info contact:
One story ranch/colonial style home. Beautiful view of Halls Bay. 3 bdrm, living rm, kitchen/dinette, family room, 4 pc. bath, garage/workshop, basement, large verandah, patio, beautifully landscaped. 2700 sq. ft. total. Exceeds R2000, Electric heat , propane fireplace, water softener, HRV w/HEPA filter, hardwood flooring, new built in appliances, plus more. Information package can be provided. $375,000 BAYVIEW ROAD • SPRINGDALE Pat or Carl: 709-673-2000 or email@example.com
November 2019 Downhome Ad Booking Deadline September 20, 2019
Happy 40th Birthday It’s the happiest thing for every parent to see the healthy growth of their child. And the pleasure becomes unbounded when this child makes you feel proud of their success. We are so thankful to have a daughter like you. We wish you a very happy birthday, my child!
Love Mom & Dad www.downhomelife.com
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Movers & Shippers A&K Moving Covering all Eastern & Western Provinces and Returning Based from Toronto, Ontario Discount Prices Out of NL, NS & NB Newfoundland Owned & Operated 35 Years in the Moving Industry
Andy: 416-247-0639 Out West: 403-471-5313
A Family Moving Families Professionally and economically Coast to Coast in Canada Fully Insured
Newfoundland Owned & Operated
Contact: Gary or Sharon King
Toll Free: 1-866-586-2341 www.downhomemovers.com
Moving you from Ontario and Newfoundland... or any STOP along the way!
DOWNEAST CONNECTION 709-248-4089 905-965-4813
Hawke’s Bay, NL (collect calls accepted) firstname.lastname@example.org
Movers & Shippers
Let our Family Move Your Family Home
Rates start at $175 for a 1 col. x 2" ad.
Newfoundland, Ontario, Alberta and All Points In Between Newfoundland Owned & Operated Fully Insured, Free Estimates Sales Reps. in Ontario and Alberta
Call Jim or Carolyn - Peterview, NL 709-257-4223 709-486-2249 - Cell email@example.com www.samsonsmovers.ca
Clarenville Movers Local & Long Distance Service Your Newfoundland & Alberta Connection Over 30 years Experience Toll Free: 1-855-545-2582
709-545-2582 Cell: 709-884-9880 Tel:
Call Today! 709-726-5113 Toll Free 1-888-588-6353 Email firstname.lastname@example.org FIVE STAR SERVICE Without The Five Star Price! ★ Local & Long Distance Moves ★ Packing
Voted CBS Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year
★ Door-to-Door Service Across Canada ★ Replacement Protection Available ★ NL Owned & Operated
MOVING INC. 709-834-0070 866-834-0070 email@example.com www.fivestarmoving.ca
Over 25 Years Experience in the Moving Industry
November 2019 Downhome Ad Booking Deadline September 20, 2019 146
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The Beaten Path
Criss Williams photo
By Ron Young
Block out all the letters that are like other letters in every way, including shape and size. The letters that are left over will spell out the name of the above place name in letters that get smaller in size.
T D B F B K T L D R H
V B M L x
F L R
A F A
Last Monthâ€™s Community: Makkovik 148
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Skill level: Medium Last monthâ€™s answers
Visit DownhomeLife.com/puzzles for step-by-step logic for solving this puzzle
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Downhomer Detective Needs You After more than two decades on the Urban City Police Force, Downhomer Detective has come home to rid Newfoundland and Labrador of a new threat – cunning thief Ragged Rick. A real braggart, the slimy criminal sends DD a blurry photo of his surroundings plus clues to his whereabouts just to prove he’s always a step ahead. DD needs your help to identify where in Newfoundland and Labrador Ragged Rick is hiding out this month.
Use these 5 clues to identify where Ragged Rick is now: • Copper mine opened here in 1908 • Original French name, Petit Oie • On the Great Northern Peninsula • Southeast of St. Anthony • Location of Pumley Cove Trail
Last Month’s Answer: Petty Harbour
Picturesque Place NameS of Newfoundland and Labrador
by Mel D’Souza Last Month’s Answer: Colinet 150
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In Other Words Guess the well-known expression written here in other words.
Last Month’s Clue: Fibber perjurer trousers aflame In Other Words: Liar liar pants on fire. This Month’s Clue: Nary a soul comprehends the disturbances I have witnessed In Other Words: ______ _____ ___ ________ ____ ____.
A Way With Words LIVING THE EDGE
Last Month’s Answer: Living on the edge
Rhyme Time A rhyming word game by Ron Young
1. To pick your media is to ______ your _____ 2. A black bird’s beak is a _____ ____
This Month’s Clue
BAN / ANA
3. A couple of rabbits is a ____ ____ Last Month’s Answers
ANS: ______ _____
1. seal the deal, 2 shook cook 3. ship trip
by Ron Young
Place each of the letters in the rectangular box below into one of the white square boxes above them to discover a quotation. Incomplete words that begin on the right side of the diagram continue one line down on the left. The letters may or may not go in the box in the same order that they are in the column. Once a letter is used, cross it off and do not use it again.
A E E D A I D N A I E F H E H E N I O C O G M T N O P N I O M T T S W N
E E A M D D E A B E E E B I C R N A N H E M G N E E E D U N S Y T U S T L I V R S Y O T T Y R N
Last month’s answer: It is the true duty of every man to promote the happiness of his fellow creatures to the utmost of his power. www.downhomelife.com
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Rhymes 5 Times Each answer rhymes with the other four
1. read 2. disinterested 3. stockpiled 4. travelled 5. nobleman
____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________
STUCK? Don’t get your knickers in a knot! Puzzle answers can be found online at DownhomeLife.com/puzzles
Last Month’s Answers: 1. lean, 2. mean, 3. clean, 4. green, 5. seen
Tangled Towns by Lolene Young Condon and Ron Young
Sound out the groups of words below to get a familiar expression. For best results sound the clue words out loud!
Hole Summon Greedy Hence _________ ___________ Up Era Shoot _ _________ Last Month’s 1st Clue: Caw Tin Eight Rap Answer: Caught in a Trap Last Month’s 2nd Clue: Easel Higher Answer: He’s a Liar
Unscramble each of the five groups of letters below to get 5 Newfoundland and Labrador place names.
1. OYRKC RURHOBA 2. RONSIR TONIP 3. UTTOR ERRIV 4. SLAYLS VCOE 5. OWC DAHE Last Month’s Answers: 1. Grey River, 2. Francois, 3. Ramea, 4. Burgeo, 5. Petites
Unscramble the capitalized words to get one word that matches the subtle clue. 1. SASS PETS ERR – Clue: they know no bounds 2. ARGUE CURL IT – Clue: a field of fields 3. HEAD NUT – Clue: caught up in the spirit 4. FACT FIR – Clue: not for playing in 5. MY TYRES – Clue: creates more questions than answers Last Month’s Answers: 1. chandelier, 2. ventriloquist, 3. honesty, 4. roundabout, 5. window 152
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Four-Way Crossword F o re Wo rd s • B a c k Wo rd s • U p Wo rd s • D o w n Wo rd s By Ron Young
Unlike regular crosswords, in Four-Way Crossword each letter is not necessarily related to the letter in the adjacent row or column, but is part of one or more words in some direction.
1-4: shape 1-10: impressive 1-21: fish part 1-91: finishing 2-32: leave out 4-94: sellable 6-4: bleak 7-47: repeat 8-6: terrible 10-40: Napoleon isle 14-12: objective 14-34: Noah’s boat 19-16: border 20-15: account book 20-18: guided 25-21: waste pipe 29-26: outflow 29-49: small wave 30-26: desolate 30-60: lure 34-32: frontiersman Carson 38-18: cot 38-40: snake 38-78: whisk 41-44: adore 43-83: obscure 45-75: cobbler’s tool 47-44: longest river 47-45: zilch 48-78: space 49-19: rod 49-69: place 54-52: faucet 54-60: food to go 54-57: accept 56-6: booted 56-26: recoil 56-86: retain 58-60: away 61-63: droop www.downhomelife.com
61-65: narratives 61-91: croon 63-65: accelerator 65-25: coleslaw 65-95: main actor 67-64: tableland 69-67: male feline 69-89: cure hide 74-54: club 74-72: insect 75-78: swarm 80-60: acquired 81-84: Christmastide 86-90: call 91-94: DNA segment 91-100: era 95-100: dole out 97-57: topic
97-67: those ones 100-10: debatable Last Month’s Answer 1
HAB EV I MAG OTO RE T RE S HNE AOL GOA EMP
I G N A S T Y E L L
TUA L I LDA E TOY D I NO AMU R HAT E E TOA AE P D DLOU OYME
L O S T O S S A T N
Y L L U F E T S A T
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Crossword Puzzle 1
by Ron Young
42 46 51
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ACROSS 1. Get any? (colloq) 4. “At ___ with low and falling glass, soundly sleeps a careless ass” 5. “It’s for ___ own good that the cat purrs” 6. United States Navy (abbrev) 8. “My hair is like a birch broom __ in the fits” 10. Hibernia’s location 15. large crow 20. Canada’s 10th province (abbrev) 21. flying prefix 23. do over 24. ptarmigan 27. either 28. Mother ___ 29. rural route (abbrev) 30. operating system (abbrev) 31. Saddle Island (abbrev) 32. American Medical Association (abbrev) 33. afternoon nap in Mexico 37. aim 39. “parrots of the sea” 42. Great Big Sea album 43. happily ___ after 45. Irish Republican Army (abbrev) 46. blueprint 48. Canadian National Railway (abbrev) 49. Nautilus captain 51. ice birds (colloq) 52. lair DOWN 1. ___ Wednesday 2. goes with jigs 3. not any (colloq) 6. Port ____ 7. opposite of SW 9. Newfoundland (abbrev) www.downhomelife.com
11. myrrh 12. paddle 13. finish work 14. to ___ is human 16. Toronto football team 17. change course 18. short for Edward 19. Atlantic fulmars (colloq) 22. cod liver ___ 25. “Whaddaya __?” 26. common ocean bird 28. Harbour Main (abbrev) 29. anger 30. stupid lout 32. extinct bird of the Funk Islands 33. Snooks Arm (abbrev) 34. pay 35. murres (colloq) 36. “She’s not lazy, she was born _____” 38. October gemstone 40. dorsal 41. “I don’t have a cent to my ___” 44. VHS player 46. Port Union (abbrev) 47. Northern Bay (abbrev) 50. “How’s ya gettin’ __?” 1
U N 5 I 6 T
R N E E D S X K 7 8 D Y E I B 9 L O B L 21 22 S C 25 S C U 27 C A P 31 U N 37 T D 41 T R I 44 E S 47 R O C
ANSWERS TO LAST MONTH’S CROSSWORD
S E A L
T E R S B A R G E 19 20 A U S Y E R A 23 24 R I H E A D E R 26 P I N O P O E 28 29 30 L E A N J 32 33 34 35 36 B L A S T Y S O I 38 39 40 R F I R S T A G 42 43 O C R OW J I G 45 46 O T U S H O R E K B O T T O M B R
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DIAL-A-SMILE © 2019 Ron Young
Pick the right letters from the old style phone to match the numbers grouped below and uncover a quote which will bring a smile to your face. ____ 7663
__ ____ 73 6753
_ _ _ _ _ _. 2568 37 _ ___ 2 929
__ _ 48 7
___ 329 Last Month’s Answer: Got a new phone today, my old one failed the swimming test
CRACK THE CODE
©2019 Ron Young
Each symbol represents a letter of the alphabet, for instance =S Try to guess the smaller, more obvious words to come up with the letters for the longer ones. The code changes each month.
k _ S
S _ _ _ _ _
nBX JKL _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _, x0kJLQ ;
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
tBKKBCX _ S
_ _ _ _ _ QLkxf _
_ _ _ _ _ S QLkxfn
S _ _ _ _ S _ _ _
n xkxBn xBp
Last Month’s Answer: If I remain true to what’s in my heart, that’s all the success I need 156
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Food For Thought
© 2019 Ron Young
Each food symbol represents a letter of the alphabet. Find the meanings to the words then match the letters with the food symbols below to get a little “food for thought.”
_ _ _
_ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
IltY wpt s
_ _ _ _
i c vI
pYI i c]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
avd vIIt wYKs _ _ _ _
pYlf _ _ _
_ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _
ac l _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
Last Month’s Answer: Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness. www.downhomelife.com
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Our artist’s pen made the two seemingly identical pictures below different in 12 places. See if you can find all 12.
ERN AND COAL BIN IN A SPEED BOAT
Last Month’s Answers: 1. Jacket; 2. Ern's arm; 3. Man moved; 4. Point; 5. Dog; 6. Man running; 7. Sea gull; 8. Shoreline; 9. Boat; 10. Cloud; 11. Island; 12. Boulder. “Differences by the Dozen”- A compilation of Different Strokes from 2002 to 2014 (autographed by Mel) can be ordered by sending $9.95 (postage incl.; $13.98 for U.S. mailing) to Mel D’Souza, 21 Brentwood Dr., Brampton, ON, L6T 1P8.
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HIDE & SEEK NL WORDS
The words can be across, up, down, backward or at an angle, but always in a line. BANGBELLY BAYMAN BIVVER BOILUP CHINCH CHUMMYJIGGER ELEVENER EMMET FLAKE FLUMMIE GLUTCH HANGASHORE JANNY LASSY LOGANS MAGGOTY MAINLANDER MISSUS MUMMER NISH
Z C R D H V M S Z T A D S H L B M A
F Y Q F S A T V M D C F M O A Y I D
S L E H G I P N N A L Z G D S C S M
H X A G Y O O T I G T A Y V L Q S P
I C O K O R Y K D K N C K D E S U N
M T N R E S H J R S S D H I V R S U
Y U C I S B A N G B E L L Y E L Q G
SWARVE TOUTON TOWNIE TWACK WASISNAME YAFFLE YAWNY
NIPPER QUAT SCROOP SCRUNCHIN SKEET SKINT SLEVEEN SMATCHY E J E W H C U R O B D P G M N Z P Q
Last Monthâ€™s Answers
F S M A H R W C G F L Y X V E P M S
M Q L M I C E P Q V M C V H N N R L
K A U W E O M N I I H I J X T I E S
P P I A Y R M X E U B N W Q E B V N
L U A N T S E V M V I O X E E T R T
T L F Y L Y T M S H E Y S H K L A V
I I G V U U L E S J R K W U R M B F
L W K T G S D W U C U A T T S G H M
L I V S A A Y Z C W M L J A S Q W B
N S L I L N F E T A K P X A N H B K
K E B A A J B F B Z E H H P V J U L
A O M F C J N N L Y A N E N Y B S D
R I N J S B N U D A N B K P K W E E
W E T I R A Z E H G R L G E R C U M
D B F E I Z U D A F N G A G W S P D
Y I V O Y F V R I F U O H R L S Q R
Q A X R U Y L L J A A O K S O A C X
D L U G A R C W E X S Q H A N N G F
D O Y X E L L U F C F D L D D X A A
N M B K N I Q A F L O O A B Z E J Q
E P G L C G N N M R I X K S Y N C O
T N C A N U N P Z B H Y C M N D X R
M I E G Z E M I Z C V N N C L O W E
D E K S T Y U I U D S E N H P K J Y
H C H T J E Z Z I D I R O F S Z N A
I A L C W N L N P X K B U V R K C U
R H C T U L G S S H A W B O C M U D
M T U X R W L E Q P C H J R Y Q I K
S J N W W R L F Y E A F H W D G Z R
E I M M U L F H R N W J A R T Y U H
K I D V N E E Z C E H U O O E L T K
E U R K Z K C Y R A E L C N R Z I V
J A N N Y Q E I N W O T S E O U J M
D S I R W R R R M T U L Z S K I N G
D W G N O L U B Y N D U M B T J G D
K S G V Z M K N H F B A Y M A N O C
A F A K W N P Y D R A P F F Y Z A F
N V N D N O M S O F U Y F P Z R T R
N H O S I V O T A T N I P P E R I T
X I H A W K I N S X U E B G A U N E
H A Y L E Y W B S M E U O W T N H E
G O X U N I H T A J U H K C A W T A 159
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Autumn is the season and the reason for this Cape Ray panorama that leaves us breathless. Wayne Osmond Cape Ray, NL
Do you have an amazing or funny photo to share? Turn to page 9 to find out how to submit. 160
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