Those Were the Days
Camping out in a homemade tent was the best!
My fondest childhood summer memories are of our family camping trips to Point Leamington, N.L. We began those two-week summer holiday trips in 1947 when I was just six years old, and they continued until I was 14. My parents, two older sisters Marilyn and Ruth, our younger brother Donald and I would travel the 29 kilometres from Botwood to Leamington in the back of a hired truck over a gravel road, with all the necessary equipment, including a tent my mother made from cotton flour sacks. She’d bleach them to remove the printing, then sew them together to make a tent. Dad would coat it with some sort of oil to make it waterproof. We had no portable source of refrigeration, so Mom canned and bottled most of our food, and brought along some storebought canned food. Our parents had made friends with Mr. Chesley Boone and his family, who lived in Leamington. He was kind enough to let our family set up our tent in their fenced garden every year. We kids made our own fun playing board games and swimming during the day, while most evenings we’d walk the half-hour each way to a small variety store to buy treats. We loved Leamington—especially Dad, who was an avid salmon fisherman. He spent most of his days fishing by the nearby falls. We enjoyed it when he brought a fresh salmon back to camp and Mom would fry it up for supper. What great memories I have of those bygone summers!
Left: Gloria’s dad fishing with her mom’s sisters; Gloria and Donald in 1950.