Much of the appeal of rural Newfoundland lay in the freedom of being your own boss and a love of the great outdoors. You were tied to the seasons, and each one played a big role in your life. Spring and summer were the fishing season and a time when new life began. Fall was the hunting, trapping, and harvesting season. If you had livestock, you waited for the first frost—Mother Nature’s deep-freeze—and then you butchered your animals. Winter was a time for gathering firewood. You made sure you had enough to do you until the next year. A man was judged by the size of his woodpile in the spring. It was a symbol of his ability to provide every necessity for his family.
Life on the Great Northern Peninsula,
Adrian Payne’s memoir begins in 1940, with his early childhood in Cow Head and Parson’s Pond, and then Hawke’s Bay, where his family lived in a company home while his father worked for Bowater’s Pulp and Paper Company. It has been said that a person’s real education begins after school, and rightly so. The reader follows Adrian through his early years of hard work and rich rewards in the lumber woods, hunting moose in the wild north, and adventures on the Long Range Mountains. Told anecdotally, this charming memoir illustrates a life well-lived on the Great Northern Peninsula, where women and men worked hard from season to season and family always came first.
About the Author
Adrian Payne was born in Parson’s Pond on the Great Northern Peninsula on November 11, 1940. His parents were Jack (John H.) and Lucy Payne (Keough). He lived there until the age of four when his parents moved the family to Hawke’s Bay, where his father was employed with the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Company. In the 1950s, they moved to his father’s hometown, Cow Head. Except for living in Toronto for just four years, Adrian has resided in Cow Head, where he remains today with his wife, Carol (Darrigan) Payne, of fifty-five years.
Adrian Payne entered the workforce as a logger with the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Company at the tender age of fifteen. Upon his return from Toronto, he engaged in the fishery and spent the next thirty-five years as a commercial fisherman. While he was still a fisherman, he became an outfitter catering to non-resident big game hunters for nearly twenty-five years. In 2009, he and his wife retired.
What began as a few stories for the grandchildren, so they could understand what life was like for their pop when he was growing up, has evolved into a collection of short stories of Adrian’s life from the time he was just a small boy.