SALMON COVE, NL — A collection of memories highlighting how boys growing up decades ago in Salmon Cove used to experience day-to-day life is now available in booklet form.
"Down in the Sands: Boyhood Memories of Salmon Cove" was compiled through the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador's oral history roadshow series. Folklorists representing the foundation visited the community in October. A small group came together at the local community centre and shared stories about playing, going to school, getting in trouble, farming and other memorable experiences.
"For me, it did bring back a few memories," said Donald Case, one of five men local men who contributed recollections captured in the 38-page booklet. "I lived down in the bottom of the cove near Salmon Cove Sands … and going to bed in the nighttime, it occurs to me that I remember the sea pounding on the sands. That's the kind of thing that it brought back to me."
"Things that you forgot about or were seated way back in your memory, they sort of come to the forefront," added Arthur Kelloway, another contributor to the project. "We even talked about going down the road with an old wheel and a piece of tin seeing how fast you could go with a wheelie bow, or putting a bunch of alders behind your bicycle and towing them down a dirt road to see how much dust you can make. Nowadays, if you'd see a child that was doing that, you'd have them in and have them analyzed right off the bat. When you think back as to what we did to have fun and how we developed back then versus today, it gives quite a comparison."
There was lots of laughter shared in October as the participants discussed all sorts of things they used to do. James Parsons has an affinity for the way people used to live, particularly with respect to how self-sufficient folks were.
"If it ever comes that we've got to go back to live off the land, we've got a problem, because the generation today, they don't know, they don't want to know, and it's frightening."
In terms of happenings from yesteryear he misses, Kelloway has fond memories of garden parties held at the playground by the old school in Salmon Cove.
"I remember those well. It seemed like the whole community came out … And you'd see people there that you didn't see all year," he said. "There'd be food and kids around playing games and so on. I think food was probably the central attraction."
Kelloway also somewhat fondly recalls how he and Berkley Reynolds, a fellow booklet contributor, would leave school early.
"We decided come recess time that that was enough for us — we could retire now. So we both went home."
Katherine Harvey, a folklorist from Cupids, helped oversee the gathering in October and edited the booklet, which was released Tuesday at the community centre.
"I pretty much just transcribed the interviews. Usually you have to pick and choose (stories), but they're such great storytellers that it worked out very easily for me. It was a pleasure and I enjoyed it."
Copies of "Down in the Sands: Boyhood Memories of Salmon Cove" can be picked up in Salmon Cove or accessed online by visiting the Heritage Foundation's website.