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The Yarns We Had
By Cyril W. Greenham

The Yarns We Had By Cyril W. Greenham

History: General
Paperback, 175 pages, b&w photos
ISBN-10: 1-77117-220-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-77117-220-2

Price: CDN$19.95

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Book Description
The Yarns We Had is a collection of stories that were handed down to Cyril W. Greenham by his father, Wilbur Greenham, and grandfather, Andrew (Chum) Greenham. Both men were fishermen and seagoing captains from Notre Dame Bay, and in this collection, they relate the wit and humour of outport Newfoundlanders in the early to mid-twentieth century.

On the surface, these oral histories are the lighthearted reminiscences of the fun and mischief these rough-and-ready men and their friends got into after their work was done. Tall tales of moonshine makers dodging the law, devilish pranksters aboard fishing vessels, raucous rows and bawdy misbehaviour in a religious-minded community—this book has it all.

However, underneath the comedy, these stories are a reminder of a time when life was difficult and the average family didn’t know if they would survive from one year to the next. People worked hard and had very little money, but despite this, they maintained a sense of humour that, to this day, makes Newfoundland and Labrador one of the most hospitable places in the world.

About the Author
Cyril W. Greenham was born and grew up in Twillingate, Newfoundland.

His father, Wilbur Greenham, and grandfather, Andrew (Chum) Greenham, were both sea captains, and Cyril was initiated to the sea, and stories of it, at a very young age. In the early 1950s, Wilbur Greenham owned a little schooner, and six-year-old Cyril was often rocked to sleep on board.

Captain Andrew (Chum) Greenham and his son Captain Wilbur Greenham were storytellers par excellence, and very popular around the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Cyril had a very close relationship with his father, and whenever they were together they often indulged in yarning about the “old times.” Cyril soaked it all up like a sponge.

The author wanted to become a sea captain like his dad, but after completing high school in 1963 he attended Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he received a BA (Ed) and a BA (French). He spent most of his life as a language teacher throughout Newfoundland, and he currently works part-time as an ESL in Toronto, Ontario. He devotes the rest of his time to keeping alive Newfoundland’s unique way of life and the memory of a father dearly loved.


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