July 18, 1957
By Howard L. Morry
Just a book to jot down old memories as they come to me.
1. How the ordinary folks dressed In the early nineties In Newfoundland.
The Woman on the flakes wore long skirts to the ground, with buttoned jackets buttoned In tight only to the waist, called hug-me-tights. White aprons with straps tied behind and white sunbonnets. In the winter they wore long skirts, and many of them, heavy woollen stockings and pegged leather boots with low heals. For the snow they wore heavy white blanketing stockings that came well above their knees, heavy woollen underwear, curious shaped hats of their own design, mostly. Boys and girls usually went barefoot for the summer months, then when it got cold they wore pegged boots with a copper plate on the toe and plenty of protectors (iron plates) for the soles and heels and well greased with pork fat for Sundays, and tar and oil for ordinary days to keep out the snow water. Not many had dry feet In those days.
Men wore mostly moleskin pants and coats of moleskin, with a cloth front and sleeves of moleskin. (They were called sleeve westcoats) and a pair of leather boots; ˝ boots they were called, or Wellingtons, They came half way up the leg and had a blue or red band across the front of them.. Some fished with them as not everyone could afford a pair of long leather knee boots or deck boots. Sundays, the more prosperous of the fishermen had a suit of black cloth, with braid around it, and high silk hats and shallow tail coats, but those were only for Sundays or special occasions and lasted for years .and years. For the woods, canvas or duck, with woollen home made sweaters and short boots just above the ankle with the rough side out. These were called Bluchers and over them they wore canvas buskins (buckskins) with eyelets and twine to tie them down so they would keep the snow out. Light and comfortable and warm they were. No such thing as rubbers then and only the swankers wore over coats . I knew some of the old fellow, even in the twenties, who were ashamed to wear over coats, Afraid their neighbors would laugh
2. Some old sayings
a) Sure and Steady goes far in the day.
b) Speaking of anyone bustling around and not doing much, they’d say he was all cry and no wool.
c) Never change horses in the middle of the river.
d) Anyone leaving home for a long time, they’d say he gave her a long main sheet.
e) You'll kill more flies with a spoonful of molasses than a gallon of vinegar.
f) Hard words butter no parsnips
g) A short hill on a road was called a pinch.(spout Pinch, Kelly's pinches. Island Pond Pinch)
h) A hill with wood growing on the top was called a nap.
i) A spot of woods was a cup or a tuck.
j) A bunch of small tangled wood growing, mostly in a valley along river banks and bear down and all twisted with the snow and impossible to walk through was a drang.
k) A small strip of water between two islands or an island and the mainland is called a gut.
Hope that will be of interest to you Bye & Bye. Dad.
Howard L. Morry