Land & Sea: Them Days — Part 2

In this 1981 episode of Land & Sea, Dave Quinton brings us a taste of some of the legends and memoirs that the magazine is preserving.

Them Days has been publishing memoirs, Labrador history and legends since the 1970s

Doris Saunders interviews Aunt Flora Baikie. (CBC/Land & Sea 1981)

Founded in 1975 and still going strong, Them Days magazine has preserved many of the stories and legends of Labrador.

In Part 2 of this 1981 Land & Sea show, editor Doris Saunders records elder Flora Baikie, who remembers that everyone had to saw their own wood to make everything — chairs, beds, qumatiks, small boats and schooners.

Baikie talks about her love of fishing and how she traded some mink she trapped to buy her wedding ring. She also recounts how she'd almost been swept out to sea on the ice during the previous winter, but was saved by a pair of socks.
A Them Days cover features Flora Baikie. (CBC/Land & Sea 1981)

Hilda Decker describes how she would make soap from ashes and seal fat. Leo O'Brien of L'Anse-au-Loup tells the story of his first partridge-hunting trip with his father.

Manasse Fox recounts an Inuit legend about Iceberg Island near Nain, featuring two shamans who were said to have competed to prove each had the best magic. The shaman who won took an iceberg and turned it into an island that is still there to this day.

John Edmunds tells the story of an Inuk named Simon who was owed money for a silver fox. He was able to stop a schooner dead in the water, row two miles in a dory, climb aboard and retrieve the money he was owed. Only after he rowed away was the schooner released from his special powers and able to sail away.

There are also tales about haunted houses, a teapot that walks up and down stairs and a tent stove that had such a good draw, it sucked the logs right up into the funnel.

Gerald Mitchell of Makkovik illustrates Them Days. (CBC/Land & Sea 1981)
The Land & Sea crew join artist Gerald Mitchell of Makkovik, an illustrator for Them Days. His pencil drawings often accompanied the legends and stories, capturing the lost ways of life and the landscape of abandoned coastal communities like Hebron and Okak.

The episode also features an interview with Inuk Josiah Ittiluk about the advantages of sled dogs over snow machines. Born in the northern part of Labrador, Josiah would often travel as far as Cape Chidley wearing sealskin clothing to protect against the cold.

He says he trusted in his dogs; as long as he could see the harness traces and if the dogs had gone that way once before, they never got lost.

Them Days is still thriving. You can find out about current issues here.

About the Author

Angela Antle, producer


Angela Antle produces and hosts CBC Radio's long form journalism program Atlantic Voice as well as TV documentaries for the Absolutely Newfoundland and Labrador series.