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In Attics And Archives

Volume 4-Issue 8, page 3

By Lara Maynard

A Story Stumbled upon at Breakfast

In late August I was out around Clarenville doing some research and stayed at Janes’ Tourist Home. It’s a wonderful 114 year-old house that belonged to one of the owners grandfather and a perfect place for meeting interesting people. Apart from the lower cost, one of the nicest things about staying at a bed and breakfast rather than a hotel is that you actually get to meet the people staying in the rooms next to you. And if my experience is any indication, you meet the most interesting people at bed and breakfasts.

The very first morning that I was at Janes’, I met a retired couple at the breakfast table. The husband had been a teacher for many years and had taught in a community on the West Coast for a part of that time. When I introduced myself, he asked if I was a Maynard from the West Coast. I told him no, that my paternal relatives are concentrated in Flatrock. He said, "Well then, seeing how that’s the case, now I can tell you a story." That he did, and almost made me choke on my toast laughing.

I also enjoyed other stories that he and his wife told. Then after breakfast I went back to my room and wrote the story down as close as how he told it as I could manage. Since the teller himself thought that it was kind of a sensitive tale, I have changed the first name of the man in the story and also his community. Here it is, otherwise in the retired teacher’s words:

"I taught down in Moore’s Head for a few years and I also used to do some engraving and that sort of thing there. This old fella there, Ned Maynard, was sick and he figured that he was going to die over the winter. Now he was an old guy. He was 90 years old and 10 months old when he died. I had to engrave it on his breastplate, so I remember that. He’d spent a lot of his life fishing on the Labrador. He’d been there the summer before, in fact. And his first wife was buried in Labrador. So he said that they figured that he was going to die over the winter and we’d have to bury him in Moore’s Head. So what he said was this: "I know it’s winter and you won’t be able to take me to Labrador to be buried next to my first wife. So you can bury me here with my second wife. But dig me up and take me to Labrador in the spring, because two months is long enough to be buried with her!"

As far as the man who told this story knows, poor Ned Maynard is still buried next to his second wife in Moore’s Head. You have to wonder if he’s resting in peace!

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