Here is another convenient way to send us your thoughts on down-home living, and comment on the stories you've read in Downhome. All will be considered for inclusion in the "Notes from Home" section of the magazine.
Ride For Sight 2013
5 year old Noah Thomas is a new Downhome carrier. He may be only 5 but he's done many great things in his 5 years. He is Ride for Sight's youngest registered rider in Canada and has raised over $4,000 for the ... click to read more5 year old Noah Thomas is a new Downhome carrier. He may be only 5 but he's done many great things in his 5 years. He is Ride for Sight's youngest registered rider in Canada and has raised over $4,000 for the Foundation Fighting blindness thus far. This is his fourth year taking his 12 Volt battery motorcycle to Gander for the annual Ride For Sight.. HE RIDES IN MEMORY OF MOMMY'S FRIEND HOLLY BARTLETT WHO DESPITE HER BLINDNESS TAUGHT MOMMY AND EVERYONE WHO KNEW HER TO SEE THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE.
Holly Bartlett was born and raised in Nova Scotia, however she does have family living in the Marystown area. ... Hide full submission
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My Secret Nightmare My Secret Nightmare
Shape shifters have the ability to physically transform into another form or being. Sounds like a big slice of baloney doesn't it? But as I slowly edge into my golden years there's a deeply disturbing memory that has stayed with me all my life. And when I think back on that night so long ago I still can't come up with a logical explanation for what my sister and I saw. ... click to read moreMy Secret Nightmare
Shape shifters have the ability to physically transform into another form or being. Sounds like a big slice of baloney doesn't it? But as I slowly edge into my golden years there's a deeply disturbing memory that has stayed with me all my life. And when I think back on that night so long ago I still can't come up with a logical explanation for what my sister and I saw.
I grew up in Stephenville, a small town on the west coast of Newfoundland, probably one of the safest places in the world for a child to grow up. Ours was the last house on Queen Street Extension and our beautiful back yard was the forest. Our home was quiet and peaceful and we knew the forest around our house like the back of our hands.
There was a little lane next to the house that led to our friends' place and we'd travelled back and forth along that lane a thousand times. It was a dirt road rarely traversed by cars and we knew the location of every protruding stone; we had the scrapes and bruises on our knees to prove it! Since there was no traffic on the road, it was a great place for determining who the fastest runner was and we always managed to garner a few new scrapes during our races.
There was an open field about halfway between our house and our friends' place and we used to play there, in fact we had to walk through that field in order to get to the path that led through the trees down to our favourite swimming hole in Warm Brook. We'd pick wild strawberries along the way, enjoying the sweet smell of clover in the beautiful field under the warm summer sun.
My secret nightmare happened one night in the summer that I was twelve years old. My sister and I and our two friends planned to sleep out in the yard in Dad's big army surplus tent that night. He helped us set it up that afternoon and everything was ready to go for a fun night sleeping outside with our friends. We couldn't wait til it got dark!
After supper my sister and I did the dishes and then hauled on our sneakers to meet our friends on the road beside the field. Mom and Dad told us not to run, as it was getting dark and we might trip and fall. We assured them we wouldn't and headed off, chatting and laughing along the way.
And then the nightmare began...
Into the deepening dusk we skipped the stars to light our way
We'd travelled that road a thousand times but usually in the day
We weren't afraid of the dark at all but we'd never forget that night
Who could forget the nightmare of a horrifying fright
When the night sky claims the daylight and eyesight's not the best
Shadows can play tricks on you as the sun sinks in the west
Halfway down the familiar road in an open field we knew
Something suddenly appeared in the dark changing shape as it grew
Frozen with fear we couldn't move nor could we utter a word
Then a terrible shriek shattered the night like nothing we'd ever heard
In blinding fear with pounding hearts we ran as fast as we could
Scared to death that if we fell we'd be gone for good
We didn't dare to look behind as we fled from the great unknown
For all we knew whatever it was might have followed us home
We'd planned spend the night in a tent, set everything up that day
But now we knew without a doubt, in the house we were going to stay
I never told a single soul; who'd believe me anyway
But nightmares haunted me for years ever since that day
Do shape shifters really exist in this world? Can such things possibly be?
I know with certainty that they do and my sister will agree!
My sister and I saw exactly the same black shadowy entity that night and the ear-piercing screech we heard was real. When we first saw it, we thought it might have been a bear standing on its hind legs as they often do. But this thing was way too big and in only a few seconds it changed shape a number of times. Whatever it was it appeared menacing and we weren't about to stick around and find out what might happen next.
All the way home I didn't dare look over my shoulder and the knot of fear in my stomach was nauseating. I really thought I wasn't going to make it home at all, because I had a sickening feeling that whatever it was, it preyed upon fear.
Even writing this story down gave me goose bumps, because even though I haven't thought about that night in years, as I put the nightmare into words the memory of that experience was as vivid as the night it happened.
The REAL Pigeon Inlet
This is in regards to a letter from Deborah Shea asking about Pigeon Inlet. I too grew up in Buchans and there was a Pigeon Inlet as everyone called it just outside of Buchans. Years ago people did live out there and eventually they moved all of the houses in closer to Buchans, which is now called by the residents, the Townsite.
Many people of Buchans then used that area to plant their vegetable gardens. I know one year my Dad (George Hawkins) had a pig out there along with his vegetable gardens.
I don't think anyone other than the people from Buchans knew of the Pigeon Inlet there.
You might not expect a Newfoundland Night way out here in Portland, Oregon, but here's the proof. Charles Barnes, originally of St. John's and Foxtrap (holding the July issue) and Lois Leveen (next to Charles) were delighted to host ... click to read moreDear Ron,
You might not expect a Newfoundland Night way out here in Portland, Oregon, but here's the proof. Charles Barnes, originally of St. John's and Foxtrap (holding the July issue) and Lois Leveen (next to Charles) were delighted to host Michael Collins, originally of Placentia (holding the VHS box) and Chris Piuma (next to Michael), who both now live in Toronto. Also joining were our backyard neighbours, Don Golden, Edith Casterline, and their son Adiv (born in Vancouver). In honour of Charles and Michael, we spent the evening watching a double feature of the Fogo Island Accordion Group video "Pushing All the Right Buttons," and a documentary "From Paradise to Fortune" by Shawn Hainsworth about the impact of resettlement. We also read some favourite stories from your most recent issue. No Purity biscuits, alas, but we did serve maple ice cream for a little local flavour far from home.
Michael and Chris are currently graduate students at University of Toronto, and Michael's specialty is contemporary Newfoundland literature. They'll be moving to St. John's next year, so hopefully this Downhome evening will tide them over until then. ... Hide full submission
While at the Catholic cemetery in Bishop's Falls I came across a grave marker that really got me thinking.
It was a tall square-shaped stone like a pinnacle style. On the front it read "In Loving Memory of Margaret wife of ... click to read moreWhile at the Catholic cemetery in Bishop's Falls I came across a grave marker that really got me thinking.
It was a tall square-shaped stone like a pinnacle style. On the front it read "In Loving Memory of Margaret wife of George Ivany. Born March 11th 1916, Died Nov 25th 1943."
On the right side is engraved "Their Sons James, George, Gerald, William, Died Nov 25th 1943." On the left side is engraved "Their Daughters Agnes, Catherine, Gertrude, Marie, Ann, Died Nov. 25th, 1943."
I assumed that their deaths came about as a result of a tragic house fire. Then I realized that Margaret was only 27 years old and was the mother of nine children. I suppose this was not uncommon in those days. But I began to imagine the hard times this family may have known starting out during the depression years. My own mother was age 26 at that time and she already had four children and one on the way. Our family was lucky because my father worked at the pulp mill in Bishop's Falls through the depression years. But times were hard and there were shortages and rationing.
I wonder how George and Margaret fared, and what ever became of George after the terrible loss he suffered. I did some looking online and couldn't find an Ivany family in Bishop's Falls in a 1935 census, but for a census taken in 1945 I found a George W. Ivany aged 32 who was listed as a boarder with a Cooke family. It also listed that he was born in Trinity. Did he bring his young family to Bishop's Falls so he could find employment?
Maybe some of your readers who are relatives of this family or someone who may know more would be willing to tell us all about this forgotten tragedy.