Goin to de time de nite?
One of the traditions of outport Newfoundland was the “time”. Havin a time seemed to die out over the years, but I do remember many held at the old one room school houses back on Random Island. Most of these buildings had a stage for little community concerts and recitals. And they mostly all had home made hardwood floors.
What was a time? Well it was a combination of food, dance and music generally, often held as a fund raiser for the church, women’s group, cemetery or to help someone out. Someone likely had a guitar, or accordion or some musical instrument, and sometimes someone might even sing a tune or two. They’d gather on the stage, or more likely around the old pot bellied stove, we’d push back the tables and desks, and we’d be thumping our feet and dancing jigs around the place. Was a tame time if someone didn’t accidentally get thrown into a wall.
The night might have started off with a soup supper, or bean supper, or a pot luck (god I love pot lucks!) where we’d stuff our faces, and need the dance later to work it off.
And of course there were a few drinks involved too, but generally they were home made; home brew, moonshine, lemon gin, blueberry wine, and of course, the next best thing to paint thinner, dogberry wine. You’d see people in later years at least go outside for a smoke, or drink or just to cool off. I can remember blasts of frost coming in through the door now, and people yelling “Close the door!”
Eventually everyone would stumble home, walking generally, times were pretty close to home usually. Next day, with big heads, I can hear us now, “Some time at the time last night wha?”
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