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NANNY MOONEY'S WEDDING RING FOUND AT LAST
NANNY MOONEY'S WEDDING RING FOUND AT LAST
I will start this story by telling a little bit about my family.
This story started on April 23rd, 1933 when my parents Reginald Mooney and Annie Critch married at Church Of The Assumption in St. Mary's, SMB. That was the day that Reginald placed this ring on his love Anne. Reginald was a Light House Keeper and Anne was a Teacher. They took up residence at the Lighthouse in Point La Haye.Their first child Anita was born January 1934, followed by Doris, Betty, John, Myrtle, Jim and Nora, all born in the Lighthouse. After they left the Lighthouse they moved into a house in the Park (Point La Haye South). Delores and Frank were born in the Park. With the family arriving at an alarming rate, a bigger house was needed, so my Father purchased a house originally used as a School House in the Gulch (Point La Haye North) the house was brought to St. Mary's on skids with the help of a lot of men from surrounding Communities, to where it now stands, the house was 100 years old in 2016.
After their move to St. Mary's the family welcomed Gert, Doug, Al, and Alicia, the family was complete, 13 children. The first grandchild to be born into the Mooney clan was Gary, and here is where the story of the lost ring began. Both my parents had great faith, and when someone was sick my Mother believed that her wedding ring which was blessed had the power to cure. So when Gary's Mom Betty was experiencing some health problems. Mom suggested she wear the ring and bless herself with it every night. While wearing the ring Betty was washing dishes and while throwing out dishwater the ring accidently came off her finger. Every effort at time was made to locate the ring, but to no avail. My Mother called upon her faith for divine intervention, and so began the prayers to St. Anthony. We even enlisted the use of a metal detector, Mom never lost hope that the ring would eventually would be found.
Reginald and Anne's Granddaughter, Maxine husband (Phonse White) and Grandson Michael Parrott wife (Tina), Nora's children, are now the proud owners of the Mooney House in St. Mary's. To celebrate the 100 anniversary of the house, a big party with family and friends was planned for August 2016. While doing some yard work to prepare for the 100th Anniversary Celebrations, Maxine turned over a sod and what she found was as amazing as winning a lottery. Her Nanny Mooney's wedding ring after 61 years. The celebration of the house was made even more special with the finding of the ring. Maxine had the ring on display for everyone to see and each person was given the opportunity to wear the ring for a little while. My Father and Mother have since passed as well as a number of my siblings. May their gentle souls rest in peace. Because my Mother's motto was "Peace" above all else. Our wish as a family is that this ring brings peace and tranquility to all who come in contact with it?
Submitted by: Alicia (Mooney) Trask
NANNY MOONEY'S WEDDING RING FOUND AT LAST
I will start this story by telling a little bit about my family. This story started on April 23rd, 1933 when my parents Reginald Mooney and Annie Critch married at Church Of The Assumption in St. Mary's, SMB. That was the day that Reginald placed this ring on his love Anne. Reginald was a Light House Keeper and Anne was a Teacher. They took up residence at the Lighthouse in Point La Haye. Their first child Anita was born January 1934, followed by Doris, Betty, John, Myrtle, Jim and Nora, all born in the Lighthouse. After they left the Lighthouse they moved into a house in the Park (Point La Haye South). Delores and Frank were born in the Park. With the family arriving at an alarming rate, a bigger house was needed, so my Father purchased a house originally used as a School House in the Gulch (Point La Haye North) the house was brought to St. Mary's on skids with the help of a lot of men from surrounding Communities, to where it now stands, the house was 100 years old in 2016. After their move to St. Mary's the family welcomed Gert, Doug, Al, and Alicia, the family was complete, 13 children. The first grandchild to be born into the Mooney clan was Gary, and here is where the story of the lost ring began. Both my parents had great faith, and when someone was sick my Mother believed that her wedding ring which was blessed had the power to cure. So when Gary's Mom Betty was experiencing some health problems. Mom suggested she wear the ring and bless herself with it every night. While wearing the ring Betty was washing dishes and while throwing out dishwater the ring accidentally came off her finger. Every effort at time was made to locate the ring, but to no avail. My Mother called upon her faith for divine intervention, and so began the prayers to St. Anthony. We even enlisted the use of a metal detector, Mom never lost hope that the ring would eventually would be found. Reginald and Anne's Granddaughter, Maxine husband (Phonse White) and Grandson Michael Parrott wife (Tina), Noraâï¿½ï¿½s children, are now the proud owners of the Mooney House in St. Mary's. To celebrate the 100 anniversary of the house, a big party with family and friends was planned for August 2016. While doing some yard work to prepare for the 100th Anniversary Celebrations, Maxine turned over a sod and what she found was as amazing as winning a lottery. Her Nanny Mooney's wedding ring after 61 years. The celebration of the house was made even more special with the finding of the ring. Maxine had the ring on display for everyone to see and each person was given the opportunity to wear the ring for a little while. My Father and Mother have since passed as well as a number of my siblings. May their gentle souls rest in peace. Because my Mother's motto was 'Peace'ï¿½ above all else. Our wish as a family is that this ring brings peace and tranquility to all who come in contact with it?
Colonial Times and Cordage
Colonial Times and Cordage Long before C.J.O.N. (an acronym for Canada Jumped On Newfoundland?), Don Jamieson and Howie Meeker came to St. John's, the Rope Walk was in operation making ropes of all sorts, mostly from what I understand due to the fishing industry in Newfoundland. 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 Rope Walk's western property boundary, and I lived in that house until a month before my nineteenth birthday. My dad added to that house with each new addition to our family and 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 Rope Walk property was not enclosed by any fencing and so the young friends that I had made in my new neighborhood and I had ready access to the property where we played sand lot baseball, cowboys and Indians, hide and seek, and any number of other games that young boys used to play in that era during the two or three weeks of summer. Summers are always too short when you are still a kid. When the snow came in the winter we had the most fun, as 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, and then we would run along the roof and jump off into a large snow drift as a game to see who could jump the furthest. We would then climb back up on the roof and do it all over again and again, and sometimes continue to climb, run and jump until we heard our mothers calling us for supper. All the boys of course had a dog and sometimes two dogs, usually big mongrels, not little house pets, and the dogs would run and jump with us, and by the wagging of their tails I think the dogs enjoyed doing what we did more so than us guys. At the easterly end of the Rope Walk property, near Rope Walk 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 rafted, went swimming and sometimes just hung out as the kids say today. Again, winter was the best time as the water would freeze over, usually before Mundy Pond froze over, and we would take our shovels, brooms, homemade hockey sticks, Sears catalogs for shin pads and, of course, ice skates with us to the bog/swamp. We would then clear the snow from the ice, choose sides, the youngest kids always were the goalies, and then Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard and the rest of the NHL'ers would play for the Stanley Cup. I may get an argument from some of my friends from that long ago time, but I seem to remember that I was always on the winning team and I was always awarded the first star. The Rope Walk is long gone, as are some of my friends from a time that I remember with a fondness beyond description, but 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.
The winter that I turned ten years old my dad brought home a Newfoundland dog to replace a dog that recently died and which I believe came with our house as it was so old. Both the old dog and the new to me, Newfoundland dog, which was fully grown were outdoor pets of course. Mother would not allow us to have an indoor pet of any kind, not even a bird or a cat. I guess she must have had a bad experience with an indoor pet when she was young. Probably she was bitten by a pet lobster, lobsters at one time were plentiful in Newfoundland. Sometimes I wasn't even allowed inside by my mother no matter how cold I claimed to be or how loud and long I cried and pounded on our porch door. Sometimes it wasn't until my father came home from work on his trusty Harley-Davidson that I was able to enter the warmth up our home, still snotting and snivelling of course.
We named the Newfoundland dog Blackie because of his totally ebony black fur coat and Blackie seemed to me to be as big as a small horse or a really big pony. Not having seen a real horse or pony at that age except for the horse, or was it a donkey, that pulled Bob Tucker's grocery wagon when there was snow on the roads, which was most of the time during winters in St. John's when I was a young boy. But Blackie was really big and in my mind I was imagining ways I could saddle him and ride on his back as if he were a real pony. Oh, what I and a million others, would give to have that kind of optimism and innocence today.
One Winter day I made a harness out of salvaged material I found around our neighborhood and placed the homemade tackle on Blackie's neck and hooked it up to my sled. I tried and tried and tried to get Blackie to move ahead and pull the sled with me on it, but all he did was lie down and look back at me with extremely woeful eyes. I then put my imagination to work and tried to think of a way to get Blackie to pull my sled and take me for a ride. Ah, ha, I thought: The answer. I cut a long branch from a nearby willow or some other kind of tree and tied a hot dog to the far end of the branch which I held out in front of Blackie's nose. I was thinking that being a dumb animal Blackie would chase that morsel of food forever and take me wherever I wanted to go.
Blackie was sitting on his haunches when I waved the hot dog laden stick in front of him and when he noticed the food he jumped up and lunged for the hot dog. His sudden movement for the hot dog caused my sled to go forward and me to fall backwards with the stick and the hot dog coming backwards as well. In the wink of an eye Blackie opened his mouth and grabbed the hot dog, still on the string, and in a second all that was left was a piece of string tied to the stick. Blackie didn't lie back down but he turned his head and looked at me with those woeful eyes of his and in my mind I felt Blackie was saying "got any more?"
By this time I gave up trying to have Blackie take me for a ride on my sled so I left him tackled in and led him out Empire Avenue to where it meets Penny-well road, just past the municipal dump. There I turned Blackie around and jumped on my sled and started the ride of my life. Blackie took off, headed West on Empire Avenue towards our house, and ran as fast as he could. With me holding onto the sled for dear life Blackie kept running and did not stop, going through two stop signs, until he reached our house and headed for our old shed (which was next door to our out-house) where he slept at night. Without a moment's hesitation he slid under the shed door and the only thing that kept him from going through the other side of the shed was my sled and me hitting the shed door and stopping Blackie cold in his paws.
Early in the spring of 1952 Blackie developed a bad habit of wandering up the road to a house where the people who lived there kept hen's for the eggs that they would lay. Blackie soon took a liking to live hen's and one day grabbed one of the hens, eating feathers and all and then came home with blood and feathers on his muzzle. And what seemed to me, at my young age, to be a satisfied smile or a smirk on his face.
When the neighbor, I can't remember his name, came to our house to complain to my dad about Blackie and the hen I was surreptitiously listening and trying my best not to laugh. I managed not to laugh until the neighbor had left then I almost peed my pant's laughing and my dad laughed along with me. That was my dad, the best dad I ever had and the best dad anyone could ever have or want.
A short while later dad went out side and I heard him calling Blackie. When dad came back inside I asked him what he did with Blackie and all he would say was âï¿½ï¿½Blackie won't kill any more chickensâï¿½ï¿½. When I persisted in my asking, dad said âï¿½ï¿½don't worry about it Randolph my sonâï¿½ï¿½, a phrase he always used whenever he was praising me or chastising me âï¿½ï¿½Blackie won't do it againâï¿½ï¿½. Whatever my dad did or said to Blackie did not work as a week or so later Blackie came home with more blood and feathers on his muzzle and that same smirk on his face which seemed to me to say âï¿½ï¿½Ha Haâï¿½ï¿½. Then no more than an hour later the neighbor paid us another visit. He spoke to my dad outside my range of hearing and when dad came back into our house he seemed upset and when mom asked him what the neighbor wanted and what was wrong he said, words to this effect âï¿½ï¿½don't worry about it it's all been taken care ofâï¿½ï¿½.
The next day when I went outdoors, the last Saturday in July, 1952, a day I remember well, I could not find Blackie and I just figured he was off somewhere looking for adventure. When dad came home later that day, a little after noon, I told him I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t find Blackie. He said, Randolph my son, come here, I want to tell you something about Blackie and the bad things dog's sometimes do that cannot be tolerated. He then told me that when Blackie killed another of the neighborâï¿½ï¿½s hens despite his warnings he had to make a choice as what to do with Blackie. He then sat me on his knee and in what I remember as a somber voice he told me that once a dog gets the taste of blood, one time is bad enough but if they get a second taste of blood, there is no cure for them. I didn't know at the time what he meant, but now I do, he also told me that sometimes that principal applies equally to people. He went on to say he could have shot Blackie and buried him in our back yard or give him to someone who would care for him and take him to a place where he wouldn't kill any more hens. So dad said âï¿½ï¿½I gave him to Ramon, a Portuguese fisherman on a trawler which was docked at Job Brother's dock and sailed that morning for the Grand Banksâï¿½ï¿½. Probably, never to be seen in St. John's again, Blackie with them.
I didn't know whether to cry or laugh when dad told me what he did with Blackie but I remember how much I loved him, Blackie that is, and I thought how much better it would be for me to remember Blackie alive at sea, rather than dead and buried in our back yard where I would see him, in my imagination, everyday.
The Way We Were - Memories From Gooseberry Island & Glovertown
Please find a written submission (file attached) on behalf of my grandfather, Charles Howse. It would mean so much for my grandfather to have his story printed in Downhome magazine. He's been talking about it for years. Thanks so much, Christie Pike Downhome Memories The Way We Were - Memories From Gooseberry Island & Glovertown By - Charles Howse The Dirty Thirties were upon us and the world was in a deep depression. European countries were in turmoil and the looming powers of Adolf Hitler not only threatened the livelihood of our neighbours overseas, but that of North Americans as well. With the world's salvation on the brink of chaos, a small island off the coast of Newfoundland called Gooseberry Island, sat unoticed, battered not by the foils of of war, but by the harsh, unforgiving waters of the North Atlantic ocean. Although it seemed that this remote island served as a very minute part of the world, for me Gooseberry Island was the only world I knew. Gooseberry Island - The Landscape and Geography Located at the north side of Bonavista Bay, Gooseberry Island is surrounded by a chain of Islands including Braggs Island, Deer Island, Flat Island, and Green Pond Island, which lies north, about eight to ten miles from Gooseberry Island. On a clear day, you can see the outline of Cape Bonavista in the distance. In theory, Gooseberry Island is actually two separate islands divided by a short span of water, often referred to as a tickle, which divides the land into an upper and lower section. In order to journey from one portion or the island to another, you had to cross by boat with ropes tied to either end. The ropes were used in winter when you had no choice but to haul the boat across heavy, thick pans of ice that encapsulated the island during the winter months. Gooseberry Island hosts craggy, windblown landscapes, with no woods, mostly rock, grass and small shrubs. In years gone by, the island was a safe haven for schoooners and small fishing boats. My uncle, Martin Parsons owned a small schooner or "bully" as they called it in those days. My father, Alpheaus Howse owned a warf with stages and a store. Near the premise was our two story house and adjacent to that was the government wharf. Day to Day Life on the Island Most ot the upper and lower portion of the Gooseberry Island was occupied by fisherman and their families. There were about 20-25 familes that called this rugged island home during the 1930s. The winters were always long, ruthless and seemed to drag on forever. Gooseberry island was surrounded by pack ice from December to April and beyond. Wild ducks and turrs served as our main diet during those desolate winter months. My father was a fisherman during the summer and a woodsman during the winter. In the Fall after the fishing season was over, he spent most of his time with my three oldest brothers, Mart, Doug and Lloyd cutting firewood along the coastlines of Rocky Bay and Lake Mans, Newfoundland. After the trees were cut down, the lumber had to be towed back to Gooseberry Island. The towing was done by a draft of wood which took a full day, and that was only if the weather cooperated. Earing an income as a logger in those days wasn't for the faint of heart. Not only was the work dirty, dangerous and labour intensive, it offered s meager wage for the gruling work. Life on a small island during the great depression was difficult and the opportunities for education and employment were limited. With five sons and two daughters, my father was uncertain of what kind of future Gooseberry Island offered our family. On October 10, 1936 my father decided to pull up the stakes and move our family to Glovertown. I was eight years old at the time and I remember it being a heartbreaking situation for all of us. We packed our belongings in my uncle Mart's schooner and left our life on Gooseberry island behind. This was one of the saddest days of my life. A New Life In Glovertown, Newfoundland In the beginning, Glovertown for me was a strange, unfamilar place. I felt very much alone with no friends or relatives (other than my immediate family). I was devastated at the fact that I'd left behind all of my playmates on Gooseberry island. I remember feeling like my world had come to an abrupt end and I felt uneasy and uncertain about what was to come. As a young boy of eight, I'd become accustomed to my simple and sheltered existance on Gooseberry Island. To me, Glovertown felt like a bustling town, filled with bustling activity, big buildings and large stores. I specifically remember Gray Stores in Angle Brook were we settled. I even recall the moment I saw my first car, it was a taxi owned by a local resident named Ken Diamond. I also recall a gentleman named Caleb Ackerman who owned a taxi and a hotel. The Terra Nova River flowed near by my home in Angle Brook and a bridge spanned from one side of the river to the other. This bridge was built in the year 1936 (the same year my family moved from Gooseberry Island). It was not long before I settled into my new life in Glovertown. I soon made friends and adjusted to my new surroundings. My first school days started in a one room school house at an Anglican School at Angle Brook. I can remember a Mr. H.M Batten, who taught school and also conducted church services in the same room. Another Fresh Start in Corner Brook With time, came change as it always does. My school years passed by and I grew older in years and experience. When I reached my mid twenties I eventually married and started a family of my own. In 1966, I was offered a job in Corner Brook. I was relunctant to leave behind the life I'd built in Glovertown, but like my father before me, I jumped at the opportunity to move somewhere that offered the best possible future for my family. And so, exactly 30 years after I left Gooseberry Island, I moved to Corner Brook with my wife and four children. I am content to say that made a happy life on the west coast of Newfoundland, but I will always fondly remember my days on Gooseberry Island "the land where I was born and the very first place that I called home.
My Bonfire Night Mishap
Bonfire Night is one of many British traditions that has crossed the oceans and established itself in British colonies such as Newfoundland. On this, the 412th anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, many of us are probably not aware of what, or why, we are celebrating. But I'm sure this neither dampens our spirit, nor diminishes our enthusiasm, when it's time to light up on November 5th. James 1st succeeded Queen Elizabeth 1st in England in 1603. Since his mother was Catholic, English Catholics thought they would receive less persecution and more tolerance of their religion. When this failed to materialize, 13 young men, led by Guy Fawkes, stored 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar, just under the House of Lords, with the intention of killing the King, Prince of Wales and MPs. For some reason a warning letter reached the King and the plot was foiled. Those extremists (terrorists) received their reward; bonfires were lit to celebrate the safety of the King between the 4th and 5th of November, 1605. In 1956 I was teaching at a small school in Summerville, Bonavista Bay, where I, somewhat inadvertently, became involved in the ritual on the 351st anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. I was staying with the Greenings, a very congenial family where laughter was certainly not rationed. An apt description would be William Thackeray's quote: "A good laugh is sunshine in the house"; there was certainly no room for emotional darkness. On November 5th, we had finished the evening meal and were gathered around the radio listening to Omar Blondahl (born of Icelandic parents in Saskatchewan), who had arrived in St. John's the previous year and was playing and singing Newfoundland folk songs. There was some kind of riddle contest where clues were given each night. One listener identified the correct answer as a hypodermic needle, to which I remarked "I can't stand those needles." The Greenings' son and daughter, about 12 or 13 years old, plus another classmate were about to head out to light their bonfire, for which they had made preparations earlier. Someone suggested I should go along with them. As we meandered through the woods in darkness, that not even a laugh could penetrate or dispel, I also found myself in the darkness of ignorance. This was totally unfamiliar territory; I had no idea where we were going and knew nothing about the topography or the terrain of the area. We soon reached the pyre and had the combustible materials set in motion. Savouring the gleeful moment, admiring the luminous, crackling fire, our peace and serenity, very soon, crossed the line to dismay and consternation. A few roasted potatoes from the fire were tossed around in frivolity and fun. When one came towards me, I reacted quickly to avoid it, and backed over an 8-10 foot precipice, landing on my back on the rocks below. I lay there motionless, in intense pain, half-dazed, semi-conscious. I could hear screams and female frenetic cries in the distance that increased in volume as they approached. The students, apparently, had gone out to a lodge meeting and sounded the alarm. To this day, I don't know who carried me out. I know it was painful and I don't recall them using a stretcher. I was placed on the back seat of a car owned by a teacher from another school, who was kind enough to transport me to the hospital in Bonavista. After enduring the pain of driving over an unpaved road fraught with ruts and potholes, the first thing to greet me, upon admission, was a hypodermic needle. Having spent four days there and another week recuperating at home, I was, once again, able to resume my teaching duties. A few years ago a doctor, having read my X rays, noticed scarred tissue in my lower back. I told him it was from a fall a long time ago. Most of us have our physical or emotional scars, but they need not define who we are. There's a fine line between tragedy and comedy, the former focuses on the moment, the latter on the larger scheme of things or the bigger picture. James Russel Lowell said, "Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us as we grasp them by the blade or the handle." Phil Calloway said, "In the darkest of times, laughter revolutionizes our perspective." I can't let one dark moment cast a shadow on the entire year; my fond memories far outnumber any bad ones I may have. When a student comes up to your desk and says, "Mom says to come down for supper tomorrow night, and she wants to know what you would like to have?" Those kinds of moments and memories can serve to beam beacons of light in our darkest moments, for as Mahatma Gandhi said, "The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowed in prayer." There's a wise saying: "If you play with fire you will get burned. " I don't know what the saying is about horseplay.
From The Barrens To The Bronx
The seminal moment for this story was Saturday, October 15, 2016. An e-mail from my son, Juan, working in Northern Alberta, informed me that a co-worker had left on his desk a new, authentic, N Y Yankee toiletry bag, the same one that is issued to Yankee players. Juan had earlier indicated to him that I was a staunch Yankee fan; fortuitously for me, the co-worker's son is a padre with the N Y Yankees. I was so overwhelmed by the gesture that my initial reaction was "Often we feel like we don't have a friend in the world, then someone, we don't even know, befriends us." In my thank you note I included how I got interested in the Yankees, some of my favorite moments and memories, culminating in a visit to the old Yankee stadium during its close-out season in 2008.
Post World WarTwo
It was around 1947 our world began to change. We had just added electricity to our modest abode. My older brother who worked at a Cod Liver Oil factory in Bay de Verde purchased a radio. We couldn't wait to get home from the berry barrens of Old Perlican to enjoy this new novelty. There was a U.S. military base at Ft. Pepperrell, St. John's, about 164 Kms driving distance from Old Perlican, but less than half that for transmission distance, or as the crow flies to the North West. From station VOUS baseball games were broadcast quite frequently especially the Yankees. When I discovered the Armed Forces Network on a short wave band, the selection and reception was even better.
Yankees' Memorable Moments
During the late 1940's we saw the twilight of Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper's, career and the entry of Mickey Mantle on the scene in 1951. A Yankee- Brooklyn Dodger World Series was almost a given during the 50's when the Yankees appeared in six World Series. In 1956 Mantle won the triple crown and Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the World Series. I was teaching in a small school in Summerville, and heard most of the game, after school, at Tilley's "rambling house." Following this dramatic game, I recall the announcer, Mel Allen, say, after using up most of the adjectives, "words cannot describe what Don Larsen has accomplished here this afternoon" In 1961, two team mates hitting back to back, competed for the home run title. When Mantle and Maris hit back to back home runs on one, of many occasions, Mel Allen, the voice of the Yankees, said "Dial M for Murder, Maris and Mantle". Mantle who missed the last week of the schedule, wound up with 54 home runs; Maris broke Babe Ruth's record of 60 with his 61st home run on the last day of the season.
Media And Memorabilia
When I moved to Gambo in 1962, I purchased a red, Phillips, all transistor radio from Peter Paul Ltd. I've carried it to bed, outdoors, camping, as well as to the cabin. (Even a spider had become trapped inside the plastic casing). I tuned in regularly to WCBS and WFAN in New York, especially at night. With the advent of television, games were less frequent on short wave radio.
Quite often, the Yankees were on the televised MLB game of the week. One beautiful, sunny day in July, I was enjoying the Yankee game downstairs in my recreation room when the game was suddenly in a rain-delay. I shouted to my wife Dora to take the clothes in from the line because it was raining.
My Yankee memorabilia, especially hats, keeps growing. Juan's friend, now living in New Zealand, visited New York and sent me two hats. On returning to work after Christmas, 2016, Juan found a new post- season hat on his desk. Just recently another one of Juan's friends dropped off at my door a new Jeter #2 hat. Like Kris Kristofferson said in his song âï¿½ï¿½What did I ever do to deserve all the kindness you've shown?
Trip To New York
Under Manager Joe Torre, and led by Captain Jeter, and the core four, the Yanks, starting in 1996, appeared in 5 straight postseasons, winning 4 World Series. Some of the euphoria still lingered as we planned our trip to "The House That Ruth Built" in its final year. My brother Max, also a Yankee fan, made arrangements to make our dream trip to New York on the last weekend in August, 2008. Our oldest brother, a Merchant Marine World War 2 Veteran, living in Montreal was not well, so we did a side trip. After spending two days on his front deck telling stories and reminiscing, we said our final good-byes, and headed out to catch our flight to New York.
Arriving at Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday, August 28, our shuttle took us through the busy Lincoln Tunnel on our sixteen- mile journey to Manhattan. We checked in at Hotel Deauville on 29th and Park Avenue for three nights. The next day, August 29, we took the City Bus Tour, which included a spectacular view of the City from the 86th story of The Empire State Building. It's interesting to note that Newfoundland iron workers were among the 3400 emigrants, which in 1931, completed this immense project in 410 days, twelve days ahead of schedule. Another attraction was the 5 mile, 25 minute Staten Island Ferry ride which provided a majestic view of New York Harbor. From the deck of the ferry we had a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, while the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan made for spectacular viewing.
The long- anticipated day was here; we were about to see the Yankees at the Mecca of baseball, Yankee Stadium. On Saturday, August 30, after a late breakfast at Guy and Gillard's on Park Avenue, we boldly set out to get the subway to the Bronx; 28th to Grand Central, from there to 161st street. Subways were crowded, but people were friendly and helpful. Brother Max, who could strike up a conversation with a scarecrow, spoke to several stating the reason for our visit and where we were from. Passing through security, we had ample time to meander around and moved up close to see the batting practice warmups. As we got to our seats, the sunshine was resplendent, the atmosphere simply amazing, the stadium fans so animated and energized. I couldn't help but think how special this moment was, with all the aura and mystique associated with this hallowed place, It was all so surreal. It's a long way from picking berries on the barrens of Old Perlican to sell for thirty-five cents per gallon, or listening to a game, with spasmodic static occurrences, on my red radio.
With the exodus of approximately 56,000 fans from the Stadium, and the late Bob Shepherd's voice still sounding in our ears, we managed to stay together and intact. One consolation, amidst all the frenzy, we need only follow the crowd heading to the subway. After a short wait in queue, we were on the crowded subway back to the hotel.
Next morning, after getting a copy of the N Y Post, and bantering with a Met fan at the hotel desk, we awaited our shuttle to the airport. We took comfort in the fact we had a direct flight to St. John's. On route, I happened to mention Yogi Berra, legendary Yankee catcher and manager, who was probably better known for his humorous malaprops or yogi-isms. One of my favorite ones was when his wife said to him, "Yogi, you were born and raised in St. Louis, you spent all those years in New York with the Yankees, you retired in New Jersey, where would you like to be buried?" Yogi replied, "I don't know, surprise me."
Claim to Fame
My mom...Louise Lane(Bradley) went to St. John's when she was 16 years old to look for work (1936-37)....she did in service for Thomas Ricketts..She used to tell stories about Mr and Mrs Rickettts...all stories were about how nice they were to her and treated her with respect even though she was their cook/maid etc....she also spoke of their two children and their dog Spot. She really liked working with them.
Grand Bank Spy
Back in 1938, I was a teenager in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. My father, Harold Patten, his brother Charles and cousin Cecil Patten operated a boat named Cinderella, which they used to ferry passengers around Fortune Bay and St. Pierre. One stormy night in early spring there came a knock on our door. A man wanted to go to St. Pierre that night. My father told him that it wasn't fit for a seal to be out and asked could he wait until morning. The man said he had to go that night and money was no object. My father took him to see my uncle and cousin, and they decided to go. I was to stay home. After a very rough crossing, they arrived in St. Pierre. When they were tying up, the passenger started climbing up to the wharf, saying "So long, suckers!" My uncle managed to grab him by the ankle and haul him down on the deck, where he was administered "Newfoundland justice." They took the fare from his wallet and his pocket watch, then threw him upon the wharf and immediately left for Grand Bank. Later we heard he was a spy. My father, before he passed away, gave the watch to my wife and she treats it as one of her proudest possessions.