Category Archives: Them Days..Today

We all have stories to tell…

We all have stories to tell. We share them with our friends, family and even the world through the social media. There is a time and space for this type of art form. I use my blog as a forum to share knowledge of culture, people, landscapes, business, heritage and history of the Great Northern Peninsula.  Our way of life has been viewed by nearly 180 countries world-wide and edging closer to 200,000 views. I may not have the talents of my grandfather Mitchelmore for storytelling, but I do my best to convey what is truly authentic to rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

This past weekend, my sister and I had a unique opportunity to be in the audience at the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre and were spectators to a performance scripted by a local playwright, Megan Coles.

Our Eliza is real – authentic. A true depiction of what life was like growing up in rural Newfoundland & Labrador not so long ago. It is masterfully crafted – capturing the audience from the first soundbite as it works its way through a powerful coming of age story. One exuding Newfoundland humour and wit, colourful language and actions that will keep you wanting more, long after the curtain closes. Our Eliza is the type of story that must be told beyond centre stage, it should be shared with Outport Newfoundland & Labrador – one of which we can all reflect upon as to who we truly are as a people – a society.                                                                                                 -Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA

St. John's-20130224-01483

When I picked up my tickets at the box office, I was asked my address. I responded, “Green Island Cove”. The person asked where that was and I said, “The Great Northern Peninsula”. She said, I will be in for a real treat with tonight’s showing and that it has been getting great reviews from those in attendance. This certainly raised my expectations, especially since Friday and Saturday night’s performances had sold out.

The very first soundbite set the stage of framing for the audience the hardship the moratorium would have on our way of life in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Actors Greg Malone (Author of “Don’t Tell The Newfoundlanders”), Joel Thomas Hynes and Renee Hackett turned the clock back more than twenty years and had us reminiscing only in the stories our parents and grandparents could had told us. Our Eliza, is the typical Newfoundland girl, who becomes a woman and the glue that kept many of us together especially when times got tough. The modest, yet powerful story that lasted about 1 hour and half was filled with humour, wit and antics in which I could easily relate. I do not want to give away the story-line  I want you to go experience it for yourself.

These talents have engaged in putting our culture, our life experiences into performance, which brings together many art forms. We can all learn something about our roots and the role in which space plays in it. I took a Newfoundland Society & Culture, in which I learned much about community order and our every day space. It was pleasing to hear writer and co-producer Megan Coles, and co-producer Shannon Hawes, founders of The Poverty Cove Theatre Company open the show highlighting the minimalism utilized in staging, as well as the desire to be able to tell this story in non-conventional spaces. On March 2 & 3, the performance has found a home in the Library of the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre. You can purchase tickets at www.artsandculturecentre.com.

Thank you Megan Coles for sharing with us your creative talents and all those involved with the current production. You have made Our Eliza, a part of all of us. I only hope this story gets told throughout rural Newfoundland & Labrador where it can be at home, especially the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Live Rural NL Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

One year ago today, I introduced myself to the wonderful world of blogging under the name Live Rural NL. Over the past year I have scribed nearly 200 posts and have shared with you my rural life from heritage, cuisine, politics to vacations. I extend a big thank you for all my loyal readers for continuing to show interest in the potluck of articles I post daily as time permits.

The journey over the past 365 days was a learning experience as I became much more aware of the significant aspects of rural culture that surrounded my daily life. For instance:

  1. the tradition of soup Saturday with my grandmother, my love for fisherman’s brewis, figgy duff and Sunday’s Dinner.
  2. the significance of my grandfather’s folklore, his incredible riddles, quotes and jokes – sadly only the memories remain with his passing on June 6, 2010.
  3. I continued to realize how much I value the water and the importance of the fishery to our rural economy.
  4. I took a strong stance against Ellen DeGeneres’ views on the Canadian seal hunt, lobbied Governments for Broadband Internet access and asked for decision-making at a more localized level.
  5. I realized the nuisance a Moose can be on our roadways, but how delicious they are in a pot of stew.
  6.  I learned how to traditionally hook rugs, paint using acrylics and also improve my photography skills.
  7. I spent time with family, playing games, telling stories, enjoying laughter.
  8. Locally, I visited most places on the Great Northern Peninsula, being a tourist at home. |This past weekend, I’ve re-visited again Conche, Englee, Roddickton- Bide-Arm, Main Brook, St. Anthony, L’Anse aux Meadows and Quirpon to tour with a friend. I’ve returned to St. Pierre-Miquelon-Langlade, Grand Bank, Marystown, Burin, Brigus, Cupids, the Irish Loop, St, Johns, Port Home Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, Lodge Bay, Battle Harbour and the Labrador Straits. Evident from the nearly 50,000 kms I have placed on my car in the past year.
  9. Nationally, I visited Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg
  10. Internationally, Mom and I visited France, England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland last November to experience the Newfoundland-Ireland connection. I also travelled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Cuba.
  11. I joined Couch Surfing
  12. I met up with old friends and made new friendships
  13. I realized the importance of community and how everyone has a role to play and that we should do our best to contribute.
  14. I plan to visit Raleigh, Cook’s Harbour and Cape Onion this summer season. As well as return to many other places. As well, I would love to spend a weekend in Fogo, Ramea and St. Brendan’s. There must be something about island culture.
  15. Culture evolves and does not remain stagnant
  16. We have some of the best cultural assets in the world!
  17. There is immense opportunities on the Great Northern Peninsula, for those young and old alike.
  18. Include the community in the decision-making process. Local people have valuable ideas and contributions.
  19. The Great Northern Peninsula is an experience
  20. Live Rural NL!

To reiterate lines of my first post, “I have changed many times as a person as I progress through my twenties, but I realize that with the right attitude and efforts we can accomplish the unthinkable. Today my friends, I just want to share with you what it means for me to continue to Live Rural Newfoundland.”

Cheers,

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Baked Bread by Grandmother Pearl

In previous posts, I have mentioned the highly talented baking skills of my Grandmother Pearl and the delicious squashberry jam she prepared. On Monday, I dropped by her house and was greeted by the pleasant smell of freshly baked homemade bread.

Freshly Baked Bread from Grandma Pearl

We had a wonderful conversation over a steeping hot cup of coffee and tea at the kitchen table, as we peered out the window at the setting sun over the Strait of Belle Isle. I remembered as a child picking blackberries on the barrens near the ocean in her backyard. I would bring them in for her to make me the most delicious blackberry puddings. It would be a real compliment with Sunday’s Dinner.

 
My grandmother is still very youthful and community-minded. She is actively involved with the 50+ Club, Lionness Group, Church Group and many more organizations. She gets involved with fundraising activities, attends socials and at the time was icing a cake to bring to a grieving family in the community.  I only hope to stay as active as she is when I reach her youthful age. We talked about several challenges for small non-profits and noted some action that may be taken to bridge some gaps.
 
It was a wonderful visit. I do not do it often enough and must make a greater effort to do so more often. My Grandmother gave me one of her freshly baked loaves of bread. It was a treat with my supper meal.
 
If you have the opportunity, take some time to visit a loved one. If you can, enjoy that cup of tea or freshly sliced piece of homemade bread.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
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