DEN­ZIL SHEP­PARD Heart’s De­light-is­ling­ton

The Compass - - PORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER, TERRY ROBERTS AND BILL BOW­MAN

Like no other time of the year, Christ­mas is a time that evokes nos­tal­gic mem­o­ries of Yule­tide sea­sons past. It re­minds us all of our child­hood, of Christ­mas con­certs, jan­ny­ing, cut­ting trees, and spe­cial gifts we re­ceived along the way, pre­cious mem­o­ries that seem to be stirred in our hearts at this time of year. With that in mind, The Com­pass spoke to seven cit­i­zens of our cov­er­age area and asked them to share some of their favourte mem­o­ries with our read­ers.

Den­zil Shep­pard re­mem­bers Christ­mas time be­ing “all about fam­ily” grow­ing up in Lark Har­bour in the Bay of Is­lands dur­ing the late 50s and early 60s.

He re­mem­bers “putting in your list to Santa Claus and wait­ing for dad to get home on Christ­mas Eve.”

Shep­pard fondly re­mem­bers try­ing to sleep on Christ­mas Eve, not­ing, “it was a hard job.”

One p a r t i cul a r Christ­mas, Shep­pard re­calls ask­ing for a rock­ing horse, “the one with the metal springs,” when he was six years old. He got the horse he wanted. “There were stock­ings hung up be­hind the stove,” said Shep­pard. “Some­times, there would be a slice of bread or grapes. Maybe some can­dies, a pair of socks or some dinkies.”

Christ­mas time was the only time to find a five-point ap­ple, ac­cord­ing to Shep­pard, and the grapes he would get were ei­ther pur­ple or green.

One Christ­mas in par­tic­u­lar, Shep­pard re­mem­bers ask­ing for an elec­tri­cal record player, a year af­ter get­ting the rock­ing horse.

“Most of the record play­ers of the time were wind-up, but this one would plug into the wall,” said Shep­pard. When he got it, Shep­pard felt like “he had the world.” Un­for­tu­nately, he broke the nee­dle af­ter a cou­ple of hours of en­joy­ment and had to wait a cou­ple of days to get a new one.

“The only place to get it was in Cor­ner Brook,” said the mayor of Heart’s De­light-is­ling­ton.

Shep­pard said when he was grow­ing up, “there was al­ways a fear that you would get a lump of cool in your stock­ing.”

“It’s noth­ing like it is to­day. It’s Christ­mas ev­ery­day.”

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