Outport

The Strange Case of Ralph’s Car

Not written in a bit, just because its not often a story comes to mind I’ve not already written! Probably cause I’m gettin’ old and just keep repeating myself. ūüėõ

Anyway, was thinking about old times today, and for some reason, the strange case of Ralph’s car come to mind. ¬†Now I’ll preface this by saying I really can’t remember if this is true, or if its me remembering a dream or something as true, but in any event, it SEEMS like it was true to me.

Back in the early 70’s, Ralph Smith used to have this big old car, well what car’s weren’t huge back then. ¬†I remember Dad got a Chevy Nova in 72, and people thought it was tiny with its little 6 cylinder engine, but I digress. I believe Ralph’s¬†was an Olds 88 or 98. something like the model on in this picture.¬† Seem to remember it was white with a green roof, but not sure.

f0258ed5fbec449322206f533c0c3783This car had some peculiar wiring issues in my memory. ¬†Most are probably too young to recall, but back in olden times, we used to have these old car radios with analog tuners, and buttons you’d pull out then push in to set the channel. ¬†AM radio of course, that’s all we had in those days, even if the radio could receive FM. On another topic for another day, who remembers scanning the dials late at night looking for skips? Remember getting all kinds of weird things like that, but I digress again. In any event, these old cars had an auxiliary option where you could turn the key backwards to listen to the radio, or use the wipers and a couple other options.

I seem to remember hearing about the weirdness of Ralph’s car, but then one day I saw it (or dreampt it, who knows, twas 40 years ago!). ¬†We used to have a little store back home in Apsey Brook back then, well we didn’t was a small co-op of people that had it actually, but we were operating it. ¬†Which meant going out to it with customers when they’d come looking not spending the day out there. ¬†In any event, I remember Ralph coming over one day, and the car being parked outside on the side of the road. ¬†Seem to recall me and Keith and Lorne being aboard with the radio on, and with the weird wiring…turning on the emergency signals, and then touching the brake, and the car would start!

Drop me a line with your old memories, or write me a post to add here, love hearing and relaying the old memories of home.

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?”