One of the major things that’s changed over the years, is the sense of safety we enjoyed as kids. No we weren’t any less brave or less of risk takers than today’s kids, but there was a sense that everyone watched out for everyone’s kids, and also that there were no external dangers like stalkers and the like.
We often were told to go outside in the morning, and unless hungry, may not be seen again till the evening. Wherever you were, whoever had food, usually got something for you, even if it was a slice of jam bread.
But we also had to listen for when we were called to come home, and were expected to come right away. Sound carried far in those small communities, there wasn’t any background traffic, or industry. You could hear a door close pretty much anywhere. But some people could be heard even further!
My Aunt Vick had this call, I’m not sure what to call it, maybe the closest thing was a yodel, but whatever you call it, it was piercing, and we had no trouble hearing her up at bottom from their house a half mile away.
There was also Ralph Smith. Ralph didn’t call out for Lorne (his nephew, who lived with him) he whistled. And did that whistle carry. Once, during a wind storm, the remnants of a hurricane I believe, we were on the beach, quite a way from their house, but even with all the wind, and the lop breaking, we could hear Ralph when he whistled.
Remembering Ralph also reminds me of another story. He had this big old car, of course I guess almost all the cars were big back then, but anyway… It had some weird wiring issue. In those days, you could turn “back” the ignition to turn on accessories, listen to the radio, etc. This old cars ignition was so worn that you could do that without the key. Well for whatever reason, when you did that, and turned on the radio, pressing the brake pedal would start the car!
Of course time muddles memories, and the exact combination of actions may be mixed up, but the story is true!
Raised in outport Newfoundland in a town of 65 people, I pursued a post secondary diploma in Information Technology right out of High School.
I’ve always been a geek at heart, but yet I love the rural life I grew up with. Fishing, hunting, camping and the great outdoors are still loves of mine, even if I don’t pursue them as often as I once did. Sports were always a big part of our lives, and I played many (badly) and loved them all.