Talk­ing with Tourists: Still not a New­found­lan­der

The Western Star - - LIFE - BY ROSALYN ROY THE GULF NEWS The Gulf News

Down on Mac­Don­ald Drive in Chan­nel-Port aux Basques on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Aug. 8, a fam­ily re­union was well un­der­way. Rel­a­tives and friends from Al­berta and On­tario have de­scended en masse to help cel­e­brate San­dra Hardy’s 65th birth­day.

The rel­a­tive quiet of the short dead-end street is bro­ken first by their rev­elry be­fore Herb Cowen bel­lows at his rel­a­tives, “Am I a tourist any­more?”

Herb mar­ried a lo­cal girl, Sherry, 23 years ago after they met in On­tario where they still live. After vis­it­ing, Herb fell in love with the area too and bought a cabin in the MacDougall­s Beach area. Ap­par­ently, none of that counts.

The Hardys holler back uni­son, “Yes!”

“I just love it here,” says Herb, shrug­ging off their good­na­tured jabs. “We came back down for 10 days, and I brought my mother who is 84, and ab­so­lutely loves New­found­land. She’s come about four times with us and ev­ery year she says, in ‘Are you go­ing? Can

She loves it.”

This sum­mer the an­swer was yes and yes.

His wife Sherry is quick to point out that, un­like her hus­band, she is a real New­found­lan­der. She was born on this street, on which there have al­ways resided many Hardys. She spent sum­mers here run­ning around with her sib­lings and cousins.

“My grand­mother bought this whole end of this street,” says Sherry, point­ing out the house her grand­mother used to own. “We used to watch the boats I come?’ go­ing through (the har­bour). She had that win­dow in her kitchen when I was a kid.”

Her grand­mother gave land to her sib­lings and chil­dren, and the Hardys still own four or five homes on the street.

“I’m go­ing to put in a thing that they need to change the name of this street to Hardy Drive,” of­fers Herb.

“When they named it Mac­Don­ald I couldn’t be­lieve they did it because it was al­ways us,” agrees Sherry. “It was all her (grand­mother’s) end of the street.”

Street name aside, it’s clear the Hardy clan will con­tinue to dom­i­nate this end of the street for a few years yet.

“We re­ally do have a good time when we’re to­gether,” Sherry later texts. “I just wish ev­ery­one could have made it, (but) that rarely hap­pens. This pic­ture is why our street should be Hardy Lane.”

In the list of names Sherry wrote the fol­low­ing in brack­ets be­side her hus­band’s name: Ont., not a real Newf.

It may take Herb a while yet to achieve that hon­oured sta­tus.

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