Episode One of Hundreds

 Written by Eric Stringer

The following story was related to myself by Joe (Jonah) Benson at his home in St. John’s recently. It isn’t OSCAR material, but it does lend an aspect to the way life was generations past. I will write it in the first person, as if I’m Joe telling me the story.

It may have been in the late 30’s or early 40’s … I was in maybe grade 5 at the time at the school in Little Harbour. As boys sometimes do, I was just fooling around and a piece of my pencil got lodged in my ear. Nobody at the school could get it out so I had to go home.

Dad took a look at it and realized it was a problem he’d rather not take a chance with. So he would go for some ‘expert’ help. Not to a hospital … but to a lady he knew in Gooseberry Cove who would be the best one to ‘look into it’.

So Dad (Newman Benson) tackled the horse, got the slide ready and we set off to see Mrs. Lydia Sarah (Benson) Seward.

The problem having been described and shown to her, she took a look, assessed the situation and made her diagnosis. She said, “I’ll loan you my tweezers … you can get them back to me when you can. But you probably won’t need to use them; the juts and the ruts and the bumps on the sled ride back to Little Harbour I’d say will jar the piece loose.”

Sure enough, it was as she foretold.

One of countless incidents the kind of which took place in communities in the South West Arm, and where such things as broken bones, cuts and bruises, and ladies ‘in the family way’  were tended to by a person acknowledged as “the one” who undertook the role.

No waiting for hours in the ‘Emergency’.