Nickels on the train track
The Bonavista Branch line stopped running in 1986 from what I can see, though had been reduced in service prior to that. Most of the young people now can’t remember the joys (some sarcasm may be included here) of stopping for the train at the bar hill, in Shoal Harbour, up by Newfoundland Hardwoods, down at the crossing, up by Best’s store…..Yes, there were a lot of crossings back in those days!
As a kid, I didn’t mind the waits as much, especially the one up by Newfoundland Hardwoods. You’d be sitting in the car, with the tracks just to the side of you, watching the train go by. After a while it felt like you were the one moving and the train was standing still. I can imagine it got frustrating as a driver though. At least Clarenville wasn’t a high traffic town, though as a service centre it did get more than its size would indicate.
When I was a kid at school at Balbo Elementary in Shoal Harbour, the tracks ran right behind the building. This was in the early 70’s and since I finished going to that school, and moved to Random Island school in 73-74, I can’t say I recall lots, but one recollection does stand out. The train ran daily then, and if I remember correctly, sometime between morning recess and lunch time. I remember kids used to (I’m sure I was guilty too) take nickels down at recess time and put them on the tracks. At lunch time they’d go back and pick them up, after having been flattened by the train.
That in and of itself was kind of cool, but it didn’t end there! Just up the road from the school, there was a little store in someone’s basement. I may be wrong, but I think it was owned by a Pardy family. The owners were elderly, and we kids would take those flattened nickels up to the store and spend them as quarters. Nowadays doesn’t sound like much, but back then you could get a pack of chips, a bar, and a pop all for a quarter and have a few pennies left for candy.
I wonder though, did the owners really not know? Seems kind of hard to believe now that they’d not have caught on. I’m thinking they just liked the kids.
- Settlements of the PastJust a short post to followup on my mention of the cemetery at the brickyard in Snook’s Harbour. Years and years ago it appears there was a settlement here called Sooley’s Brook. I can’t really recall it being talked about in my generation, but like a lot of things, the …
- Apple Pickin TimeNear the road back home in Apsey Brook, on Uncle Luther’s Land (I guess Carol’s? Meghan’s? now, well thats irrelevant :)) is Dad’s apple tree. Its Dad’s because his grandmother gave it to him, so its a little bit old now. I’ve not had an apple from it since I …
- Time to see the Butche…er I mean Barber!When I was growing up, haircuts weren’t like they are now, or at least not around home. Till I got a little older, most haircuts were done at home with scissors and an old electric clipper. The only other real option those days wasn’t a salon, it was a barber. …
If you follow the tech scene at all, and likely even if not, you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about Mastodon lately. I’m actually perhaps a little late to the scene, but I joined the bandwagon this past weekend, and thought I’d share my thoughts and tips. Sorry for any incoherence. And I’ll update […]
Was watching (or trying at least) to watch some sports last night. Harkening back to my love of curling, there’s a tournament in Toronto, and I was expecting coverage. Apparently they aren’t deeming to until Thursday, so be it. But for the love of god, between them TSN and SportsNet have 10 different feeds. Last […]
I can’t say I watch wrestling much anymore, but when I was younger I remember going to some bar or another to watch almost all the major events. I have a memory of this one motel bar out by what used to be the beginning of the divided highway, which was nearly into Kenmount road […]
The NHL announced today it won’t be participating in the next olympics. I get some of the reasons, but I really think it’s short sighted. Yeah it’s in the middle of the season, yeah some of the players could get injured. But they could get injured walking to the rink too. To me the the olympics […]
I’m currently watching the men’s world curling championships. I know a lot of people laugh at the game and can’t seem to follow it, but to me it’s probably my favorite thing to watch. It sounds simple, get your rock as close to the center as you can, and prevent the other team from doing […]