Share your photos,
videos, stories, poems and more.
Remembering Daddy Bruce
I want to say thank you. I've enjoyed Downhome for the last 10 years. I was born in St. John's in 1956 but only lived there a couple of years. My father was in the US air force. I have been back many times and still have family on "the Rock."
In 1968 the family spent the summer. One afternoon "Daddy Bruce" asked me to go for a ride. Any time I could be alone with my grandfather, I jumped at the chance.
Well, we ended up at a cemetery. He got tools out of the truck and went to work on a piece of marble. I watched in amazement how just a hammer and a chisel in his hands, he turned that marble into a headstone for one of the graves.
Well when my Nov 2017 issue of Downhome arrived I was just thumbing through as I usually do, I came upon the article "He left his mark." I saw the name Frederick Chislett. I immediately phoned my mother and asked who this was. She told me that Frederick was her grandfather and my great grandfather. You see my Daddy Bruce was the oldest son of Frederick and Irene Chislett, Bruce Chislett. He too worked on many tombstones. So some of the tombstones with the name Chislett at the base may have been done by Bruce Chislett.
Thank you for the article. I learned a little more of my family history. I really enjoy Downhome and love to visit St. John's. The smell of really fresh air when you walk out of the airport is etched in my mind.
Thank you again
John C. Johnson
Have faith and believe-MotherÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s Signet Ring
My mother was a romantic body. In 1981 mother was caught up in the excitement of Prince Charles and Diana. mother went shopping right after the wedding and bought herself this gold ring with her initial on it. M for her pinky finger
Mom passed away to her heavenly home in 1987 at the age of 80 years, I received the ring as my initial as M also. I had to have the ring enlarged and then I put it on my little finger and I wore it always and the years went by. I even had to have the initial engraved again and put more gold in the band. I loved that ring. We were farmers and I did everything on the farm with that lovely ring on my finger. The farm was sold and we built out retirement home in 1993, a lovely bungalow and a little barn for my husband's horses.
Now starts the good part of my story-20 years later.
Sometime in February of 2006 I noticed that I had lost my ring. I looked everywhere and all the while I was praying, "Please God help me find that ring." I never gave up as I was sure that God would come though and He did. Sometime in early spring outside the garage after my husband Ed had gone with his horse in the cutter, I found the ring. What a shock and yet I knew I would find it. I was using a snow shovel cleaning the slush and horse poop off the yard when I saw the ring amid the gravel. I will be so careful and just keep my ring for special occasions.
Well losing the ring again really upset me. I was singing the opening hymn in church when I looked down and "no ring." This was in March '08. I frantically checked my coat, scarf and the car but it was gone.
So again I prayed "please help me Jesus." Three weeks went by and I kept looking and thinking and praying. Where is it? We had to go to a funeral in another church 20km away-our daughter and son came with us. Can you believe that while we were in the cloak room my ring fell on the floor. Thank you, thank you my lord and God. How I prayed for days with thanks for giving my mother's little ring.
In August of 2009 my husband passed. That winter I lost my ring again. I didn't have nay idea where to look. Actually I told God I was sorry that I had lost it again and that I didnâï¿½ï¿½t expect Him to find it for me again. I really felt I didn't deserve to find it after losing it three times.
One cold morning towards the end of spring we had a flood of water in our little horse barn. My son and his wife and family were away, so I decided I should clean up the mess. First I used the large fork to get the straw out of the water and then I used the large push broom to sweep the water and chaff out the doors.
I was doing so well-I kept cleaning, moving the dog and cat dishes out from the wall. By this time I was on my knees (a great place to be) cleaning behind a stool. What do I see, my ring. I was crying and praising God. the cats were running and the dog was barking. What a wonderful God we have.
I didn't wear it much after that. I kept it on my dresser. the one night, I worse it to a ladies fundraiser it came out of my glove and before I missed it someone returned it to me.
Life is good, now I am 80 years old in 2017-I still have the ring and plan to leave it to my great granddaughter. The ring is restored and I wear it when I'm out and about. Many times I tell this story, how God has been so good to me.
Do you know this person?
Do you know this person?; or possibly once knew or now know some one about whom you could say âï¿½ï¿½I know/knew some one just like that personâï¿½ï¿½, the person that I know and will fondly and lovingly remember until the day that I die. A person of extremely modest monetary means who gave his entire and hard earned monthly pay cheque, signed on the back with âï¿½ï¿½pay to the order of my grandsonâï¿½ï¿½, to help offset his grandson's 1st year college expenses and in so doing went without some necessity himself as, on his income, the word savings was as foreign and alien to him as somebody from outer space would be.
What name would you give to a person such as the one I just described?
The name that I would and did give to that person is âï¿½ï¿½Dadâï¿½ï¿½.
Dad was a kind, gentle, considerate and giving of himself type of person as long as I knew him which was most of my life, until the day he died in 1988. I could go on and on with platitudes and synonyms for goodness to describe Dad but I think any person of moderate intelligence could easily understand what I am saying.
Sometimes, I think my Dad was cloned by his quasi-adopted parents, the ones I call my Nana and Baba Brown, who themselves were emblematic of numerous Newfoundlander's of their time. People who forged a living out of the Atlantic and the rock and stone gardens in all of the remote communities they settled and made into homes, communities like Thoroughfare where my dad grew up. Communities that today may exist in name only but communities that hold untold memories of a way of life that children today will never experience and only know about by visiting the local library.
I am still not sure if resettlement, way back in the 1950's, was really good or really bad but a belated thank you to Joey Smallwood for destroying an endearing way of life.
Come from away
Recently, my wife and I planned a trip to New York City to see the play Come From Away, at the Schoenfeld Theatre, based on experiences from September 11, 2001. Having heard such glowing publicity about the play, the attraction to me, a Newfoundlander, now living in Kitchener, Ontario, was almost magnetic.
There was a feeling that we should do something special to show our enthusiasm for the event. I made contact with my sister and her husband, Paul and Beth McLean living in Paradise, in an effort to acquire some symbols representing the province. They contacted the provincial Department of Tourism and their member in the House of Assembly, Mr. Paul Davis requesting the symbols. They ended up with miniature provincial flags, and lapel pins (flags, the provincial coat of arms, the Newfoundland dog, and puffins).
The day of the play, we took the flags and pins and distributed them to those in attendance. There were people from many parts of the world who came to see the play. What happened is something we will not soon forget. In distributing the flags and pins to complete strangers we found they were in awe of the fact that somebody would not only give these items for free, but more so that these were symbols, not only of the province on which the play was based, but that the person handing them out was a Newfoundlander. This was a small connection to what happened on September 11, 2001 on this little island in the North Atlantic Ocean.
In the row in which we were seated, were 8 ladies who accepted the pins and flags, and after speaking to them, we discovered they were flight attendants on American Airlines. They told us they knew some of the pilots and flight attendants that landed in Newfoundland on that eventful day, and some of them became very emotional in recalling the event.
All people who accepted the pins immediately placed them on their clothing, proudly wearing the symbols. At the end of the play everyone stood, clapped hands and waved the flags.
My wife and I felt blessed to have had this special opportunity, and to see the emotion from many in attendance. I felt very proud to say I am a Newfoundlander. This undoubtedly should be a bucket list item, and has become a good news story arising from such a tragedy in modern history.
Special thanks to Paul and Beth McLean, Mr. Paul Davis MHA, and Mr. Christopher Mitchelmore MHA, Minister of Tourism
Thank you for your tribute to Ed Smith The View will never be the same." I was saddened to hear that he had passed away. Every month when I would get the Downhome magazine in the mail, Ed Smith's column was the first one I would look for. I thoroughly enjoyed his writing. His humour and wit (and strong opinions!) always made for a great read. And the column that his family asked to be reprinted "Sailing Your Boats" is a fitting one and an important life lesson for us all.
Dear Downhome friends
Wow, reading the article "Blast from the Past"I couldn't believe kickin stone wasn't mentioned.
Kickin Stone is something similar to hop scotch-you had to have a lucky stone.
It was sure lots of fun.
PS: and so is my Downhome. I just can't wait for it every month